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Things a Foreigner Shouldn’t Do in the Philippines

by Lumuel Locomienzo on 26/11/08 at 4:53 am

Culture shock? Brace yourselves.

There are many differences in the Western cultures and in the Filipino culture. And some foreigners are indeed shocked when they do some things that are normal in their country but are disrespectful in the Philippines. Here are some tips in lessening these “shocks.”

  1. Do not show the condoms in your wallet: (I think talking about this in front of a traditional Filipino will also do you no good.) The Filipinos condemn premarital sex. (And so do I.) “Sex” is almost regarded as a vulgar word except in science classes and in seminars. And if you are courting a girl, you should not introduce a sex topic. (Unless for indecent women- in the Filipino point of view, that is.)
  2. Always smile: Filipinos are hospitable. Ask something with a smile on your face and they’ll do the favor for you.
  3. If you were regarded as a celebrity, don’t get shocked: Filipinos are often amazed when they see a foreigner, someone who is different from the group. They’ll always entertain him. There’s an exception to the rule however. If ever the media approached you and all of a sudden you have instant fans asking for autographs, be shocked. It’s either it was a practical joke or you were chosen to participate in a star-search game show without auditions.

      There you have them! These are just the basic tips. You must look out for more in your arrival in the Philippines. I’ll ensure you that you’ll rarely or never encounter problems in the Philippines because it is a good place with good people. And don’t forget to try the dishes!

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Anna Storer

Nov 26th, 2008

Nice Article. There are many,many things we do not know about other cultures as there as many things other peoples do not know about ours. But we all have room to learn.


Mar 12th, 2009

Nice article Lumuel. I live in Baguio and sometime do get taken as celebrity most think I am Bruce Willis (I don’t know why) My wife says I look a bit like him. I never placed that before.

Keep up the good writing. Take a look at some I wrote on the Philippines when you get a chance.


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