Why Filipino Etiquette Matters

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Filipino etiquette is an essential aspect of Filipino culture that reflects the values, beliefs, and customs of the Filipino people. It is a set of rules and practices that govern social behavior and interaction, including communication, respect, and hospitality. In this essay, we will explore the importance of Filipino etiquette, its origins, and practices, and how it impacts Filipino society.

Filipino etiquette refers to the customs and traditions that are commonly observed in the Philippines. These etiquettes are essential in ensuring good relationships between people and are deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture. They often dictate how people should behave, communicate, and interact with each other in various situations. In this article, we will delve deeper into the reasons why Filipino etiquette is of significant importance in the country’s society.

The Origins of Filipino Etiquette

Filipino etiquette has its roots in the pre-colonial era when the Philippines was divided into various communities or barangays. Each barangay had its own set of customs and traditions, including ways of greeting, showing respect, and resolving conflicts. These customs were passed down from generation to generation and evolved over time, incorporating influences from various cultures, including Malay, Chinese, and Spanish.

The Influence of Spanish Colonization

The Spanish colonization of the Philippines from the 16th to the 19th century had a significant impact on Filipino etiquette. The Spanish introduced Catholicism, which became the dominant religion in the country and influenced the way Filipinos interacted with each other. The Spanish also introduced the concept of “delicadeza,” a sense of propriety and proper behavior that is still prevalent in Filipino society today.

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The Importance of Filipino Etiquette

Filipino etiquette is crucial in Filipino society because it reflects the values and beliefs that are essential to the culture. It is a way of showing respect for others, maintaining harmony in relationships, and upholding social order. Filipino etiquette also plays a significant role in personal and professional relationships, including job interviews, business meetings, and social gatherings.

Key Takeaway: Filipino etiquette plays a crucial role in reflecting the values and beliefs of the Filipino culture, maintaining social order, and building strong relationships. Understanding and observing Filipino etiquette is essential in various situations, including social gatherings, business meetings, and job interviews.


Communication is a fundamental aspect of Filipino etiquette. Filipinos are known for their warmth and friendly nature, and communication is a way of expressing that. It is essential to be respectful and courteous when speaking to others, using appropriate titles such as “po” and “opo” to show respect to elders. Eye contact is also essential in Filipino communication, as it indicates sincerity and honesty.


Respect is a core value in Filipino culture, and it is reflected in Filipino etiquette. Filipinos show respect to elders, authority figures, and those in positions of power. Respect is also shown through gestures such as offering food or drinks to guests and saying “thank you” or “please.”


Hospitality is another essential aspect of Filipino etiquette. Filipinos are known for their hospitality and generosity, especially when it comes to welcoming guests into their homes. It is customary to offer food and drinks to guests as a sign of hospitality, and it is considered impolite to refuse.

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Filipino Etiquette in Practice

Filipino etiquette is practiced in various situations, including social gatherings, business meetings, and job interviews. Understanding and observing Filipino etiquette is essential for building strong relationships and making a good impression.

Social Gatherings

Social gatherings are an integral part of Filipino culture, and observing Filipino etiquette is crucial. When attending a social gathering, it is essential to bring a gift or “pasalubong” for the host as a sign of respect and gratitude. It is also customary to remove shoes before entering someone’s home as a sign of respect for the host’s property.

Business Meetings

In business meetings, observing Filipino etiquette is crucial for building trust and establishing relationships. It is essential to dress appropriately, using conservative and professional attire. It is also crucial to address individuals by their proper titles, using “sir” or “ma’am” and offering a firm handshake.

Job Interviews

In job interviews, observing Filipino etiquette can make a significant impact on the outcome. It is essential to dress appropriately, using conservative and professional attire. It is also crucial to arrive on time, prepare questions, and listen actively.

FAQs: Why Filipino Etiquette?

What is Filipino Etiquette?

Filipino etiquette is a set of cultural norms and behaviors that are practiced by Filipinos in their everyday lives. It includes customs, traditions, habits, and mannerisms that reflect the values of Filipinos. These include respect for elders, hospitality towards guests, and the use of honorifics in addressing others.

Why is Filipino Etiquette important?

Filipino etiquette is important because it reflects the cultural traditions and values of Filipinos. It helps in maintaining social harmony and fostering better social relationships by promoting respect, politeness, and courtesy towards others. It also helps to maintain the nation’s collective identity by preserving and promoting indigenous customs and traditions.

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What are some examples of Filipino Etiquette?

Examples of Filipino etiquette include showing respect to elders by allowing them to sit first and serve food before eating, offering food or drinks to guests as a sign of hospitality, using honorifics when addressing others to show respect, and avoiding confrontational behavior in public places.

How is Filipino Etiquette taught?

Filipino etiquette is mainly taught within the family and through social interactions with friends and acquaintances. Parents teach their children how to behave in public and at home, while elders serve as role models for younger family members. Schools also play a role in teaching students about proper behavior and manners. In addition, media, such as television and movies, also help in promoting and reinforcing the practice of Filipino etiquette.

Can foreigners learn about Filipino Etiquette?

Yes, foreigners can learn about Filipino etiquette and are encouraged to do so when visiting the Philippines. Understanding and practicing Filipino etiquette can help foreigners better connect with Filipinos and enhance their overall cultural experience. It can also prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications that can arise from cultural differences.

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