Filipinos are known for their very hospitable nature. They welcome guests in their homes with open arms. The moment you receive an invitation from a Filipino family, you should know better than to refuse such a heartwarming gesture.
Philippines has a rich culture handed down from one generation to the next. Families are closely knit. It’s very common to find Filipino families with extended family members that may include aunts, uncles, and cousins in one household. Aside from this, Filipinos love eating and partying. They celebrate baptismal, patronal festivals honoring their patron saint, and the foundation of their town. Sometimes, having a guest is already enough reason to prepare a feast.
As hospitable people, it’s normal to get invited to their homes even if you just first met. In times like this, you should definitely say yes as refusing their offer can literally break their heart. Once you accepted, be ready with these simple courtesy tips.
The “mano po”
Filipinos, especially the older members of the family, expect you to do the “mano po” when you’re introduced to them. You can do this by reaching out for their hand which they will gladly offer to you. Hold the hand gently and press it on your forehead. This is a sign of respect and courtesy to the elderly. You’ll be surprised at how impress the Filipinos will be once you do this traditional way of greeting.
The “po and opo”
Another very common practice among Filipinos is the use of “po and opo”. This is used when conversing with someone older than you. For example, when you’re offered to take a seat, you say “Thank you, po”. On the other hand, “opo” is a Tagalog word for yes. Filipino use these courteous expressions in normal conversations so better get used to them too.
The “salamat po”
If you’re a foreigner in the Philippines, “salamat” or “salamat po” will be one of the first Filipino words you’ll learn. They mean thank you in English and are commonly used in everyday communication. You can just imagine the delight of Filipinos when they hear you say these words especially after they treated you nicely.
By simply knowing some of these courteous expressions you can prove to Filipinos around you that you’re respectful and polite. It will also prove you’re embracing the Filipino culture especially while you’re still in the country.