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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Singing while cooking

Sometimes, it feels good to cook for the ones we love. Sometimes, we get carried away that we can’t help but sing. If a female foreigner will do that in the Philippines, especially if she is single, the Filipino people will surely stop her from doing that. Filipinos believe that once a female who still have no husband sings while she cooks, she will either become an old maiden or marry someone who is old enough to be her grandfather. In some regions in the Philippines, people who do this attract bad luck to come inside the house or in any place.

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Once a foreigner visits Philippines or his Filipino friends or relatives in other places, he might notice that Most Filipinos are thrifty but they don’t allow their money or bills be stocked in them for a long time. Filipino people believe that they should let their money circulate to have more. They should buy some things or have the bank change their old bills. This actually came from the Christian belief that they should not let money stop from circulating to continue its flowing, or one should not stop from sharing, giving, and using the money so that they can have more.

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Paying and Receiving Borrowed Money

To those who are borrowing some amount from others, they have the responsibility to pay the amount they borrowed. While some people pays or receive the money anytime, Filipinos believe that one should not borrow money on the first hour of the day because he might have bad luck for the rest of the day, first day of the week because people who lend him their money will look for him the whole week, first day of the month because he might experience the same reasons in the whole month, and first day of the year because he might become needy and might borrow amount in a lot of times in that certain year. They also believe that paying or receiving payments for borrowed money at night can bring bad luck.

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Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, and Cleft Lip and Palate Babies

People who are knowledgeable about science, especially biology, know that the characteristics of a woman’s child depend on the characteristics the child acquired from his parents or from the relatives of his parents (family history) and the development of the child. Some Filipinos from the places away from the cities (bario) believe that pregnant women should be taken care of very well and she should avoid falls. This is actually a good practice but they have different reason from the others. While people who have been educated or those who live in the cities believe in this because they want to avoid premature labor and misconception or abortion, people from the barios believe that they should not let a pregnant woman fall because she might deliver a baby with cleft lip, cleft palate, or cleft lip and palate.

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People in the Philippines believe in lihi. It is when pregnant women starve for a food always or would always want to see or have something. Lihi is a noun, naglihi (past tense) and maglilihi or maglihi (future tense) are verbs. Old people say that people should only show pregnant women photographs of beautiful and handsome people so that the baby will also become beautiful or handsome. Women who always want to see someone especially if that someone annoys or entertains her so much, the baby will look like that someone. If the woman will experience lihi with a monkey, the child will look like a monkey; if with turtles, the child might become a hunchback; if with radish, the child will have fair and smooth complexion.

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Hoping Over the Husband

Pregnancy is not easy to women. Sometimes, aside from the heaviness of their abdomen, they would need to resize or buy another set of clothes which are bigger than their usual called maternity dresses. They may also feel sick and lazy, might crave for specific foods, and have mood swings. Sometimes, because they think that both husband and wife did something to make the wife pregnant, the suffering should be shared. The man also has to feel what the woman feels. In the Philippines, they believe that pregnant women can pass what she feels on her husband by hoping over him or his body while he is asleep.

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Balete trees

Filipinos believe in so many things and are very superstitious. They also believe in bad creatures that are not usually seen. They believe that balete, a huge tree with adventitious roots from its trunk and branches, is the home of bad creatures and ghosts. They should not cut those if they do not want those bad elements to be disturbed and disturb other people back or transfer to other places such as in people’s homes. Of course, no one wants to stay in a home with ghosts and bad creatures or elements, that is why people ‘respect’ the life of balete trees and those who are staying there.

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