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The Filipino society is one that is steeped in a rich culture that might not be immediately evident when you land in a vibrant and modern city like Manila. Knowing the dos and don’ts among the Filipino people can make the difference between offending your hosts and having a great time in this beautiful country. Here then are some of the cultural etiquette tips that you need to keep in mind when in the Philippines.
When you arrive in a meeting, it is important that you greet the eldest (or the highest ranking) person in the room as a sign of respect. If you don’t do this, you risk offending that person and any other people in the room. Handshakes are however perfectly acceptable and you could even hug someone if you are both female and have a close relationship.
Gifts are very welcome in Philippines and if you are invited to dinner, it is generally expected that you will show up with a gift. Fruit baskets can also be sent to your host after the event. It is important to understand that gifts will not be opened when they are presented but later.
Dining at Dinner Parties
When you are at a party, do not to refer to the wife of your host as a hostess. This is because a hostess means something very different in the Philippines. Appearances matter so the way you dress and the way you package any gifts that you bring to your hosts matters as lot. Take care to dress properly and if there is a dress code, adhere to it as you are likely to stand out if you don’t.
When you sit down to dine, wait until you are invited to eat. Do not dive in and start eating immediately. When you get to the dining room, wait to be shown where to sit as your host might have a seating plan. You are likely to be given a fork and a spoon. When you are eating, use the fork to guide food on to the spoon and ensure that you are holding the fork with your left hand.
When planning meetings in the Philippines, ensure that you book the meeting as early as possible and check closer to the date in case there has been changes in the schedule. Like most formal business meetings, punctuality is important. Make sure that that you share the agenda of the meeting in advance so that the people you are meeting get a chance to consult with others who might not be in the meeting.
Negotiating A Business Deal
Because the Filipino society is a very polite one, you are very unlikely to get an outright no. Therefore when you hear ‘yes’, always remember that is could just as easily be a ‘maybe’. It is important to write and sum up what was discussed during the meeting so that you are all clear on what was agreed upon. Avoid losing your temper or raising your voice as that is regarded as losing face in The Philippines.
Understanding these simple etiquette tips may determine how well your visit to The Philippines goes. If you are not sure about what is expected of you in a social situation, it is best to ask rather than wing it. This is because while they may forgive you for not knowing, it might be harder for your hosts to figure out if you are doing something to spite them or out of ignorance.
If you need to send money to your loved ones in the Philippines, Sharemoney has got your back. Money remittance though Sharemoney is fast, convenient and safe. Additionally, you can share the MTN (Money Transfer Number) for that transaction with your loved ones in The Philippines so that they can track progress of the remittance and know when and where to pick it up. Money remittance to the Philippines doesn’t get easier than this.
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