Greeting someone in the Philippines

If you want to greet someone in the Philippines you can do this by putting your hands together and taking a small bow. This is quite similar to a greeting in China.

If you want to say something to the person you greet here are some tips:

  • Good morning – Ma-gan-dang u-ma-ga po / Magandang Umaga po
  • Good afternoon – Magandang Tanghali po
  • Good evening – Magandang Gabi po
  • You are beautiful – Maganda Ka
  • You are from where? – Taga saan ka?
  • My name is WhizKid. – Ako po ay si Whizkid
  • I live in America – Nakatira po ako sa America
  • Take Care – Ingat po

At last, read this article of you’re greeting and showing respect to an elder (60+) you know.

Mano Po Gesture: Filipinos’ Way of Respecting The Elders

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Using the word “Po”

Po’ is a word used to show respect and humility in the Philippines. It can be used when talking to someone in higher position, someone older, or even when a person in a higher societal status wants to show respect and humble himself before an old beggar.

For foreign people, it’s also appreciated if they include ‘po’ in their statements. For example: ‘Yes’ is ‘oo’ (pronounced as oh-oh), but to sound respectful,  people made it ‘opo’. ‘No’ is ‘hindi’, but ‘hindi po’ would be better.

Where to put ‘po’ in the statement depends on the phrase or sentence but if a foreign toungue would use it, it will be better if they will have it at the end of the sentence, like, “I don’t know po”, “I will check your sms later po”, “hello po”, “how are you po” and “happy birthday po”.

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The Face a Holy Temple, Malaysia

It’s common for Westerners to give each other a hug or kiss each other in the face when you meet.

However, when in Malaysia, try to avoid touching a Malay or to kissing them in their face. The head and face are considered to be the home of the human soul. You can only shake hands if they will reach out for you to shake their hands.

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Not Write in Red in China

The color red is considered to bring luck. But there is one way the color red may not be used. Please do not write somebody’s name in the color red. This means you wish them bad luck.

In general, it’s not good to write with a red color at all. In some more conservative company cultures, it’s not done, when your boss or colleagues see you writing with a red pen.

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Give/Receive Business Card & Gifts in China with Both Hands

When given and accepting any objects (such as gifts or business cards) with both hands, it shows you are fully interested and dedicated to receive the object. This custom is relevant in China, but also in many other Asian countries.

For example, business cards are also given with both hands and thumbs up. When you’re the receiver, also accept it with both hands.

An often made mistake is to directly hide the card away. This is considered rude. The best thing is to study the card closely for a while and then put it in front of you on the table. Do not play with the card or write any details on the card. Instead, just take a careful look to remember the name and the background of the receiver.

accepting objects with both hands

Do not throw cards across table. This is considered to be very rude and disrespectful. Always handle the business card with great care and respect. After you finish the conversation pick it up and take it with you. Do not put it in your pocket directly!

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Pasalubong

Every time you visit a new place, family and friends expect you to bring souvenirs or popularly known as “pasalubong” from the place you visited, like food, shirts, keychains, etc. This makes them feel like they have also been to that place. This is also very common to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from whom families expect what is called “package” which could include international brands of shampoos, chocolates, or anything that could only be found in that foreign country. This is very common during Christmas season and New Year.

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Walking home after a wake/funeral

Never go straight home when coming from a wake/funeral. It is believed that if you go straight home the spirit of the deceased will follow you and torment you. We do what is called “pagpag”, we go another place before going home to ward off the spirit.

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Say goodbye to clients

Do not wave your client goodbye at the door. Always walk them to the elevator and walk back after the elevator door closes. For business partners you have been known for a long time, walk them to their car in the parking lot and leave only after their car makes the first turn.

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Open your umbrella

Do not open an umbrella inside a house. Chinese believe ghosts may hide inside umbrellas, if one opens an umbrella inside the house it could lead the ghost into their home.

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Do not wear white

If you happen to have a chance to have dinner with your Chinese friends during their traditonal festivals,please do not dress in white.As white in China means “sadness” and “poor” sometimes. Usually people will dress in white when someone passed away.

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Do not divide a pear or other fruit

If you happened to serve your Chinese business partner or friend with fruit like a pear, please do not divide it into 2 or more pieces.
Also do not give a couple of lovers a pear as gift.As in China,dividing pear means “separation”

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