BEHAVIOURAL ETIQUETTE TIPS
Enjoy your stay on the island! Make sure you interact with locals and enjoy their company along with other tourists. They are very hospitable and good natured. Here are a few tips of what to DO and what NOT TO DO during your stay on the island and in the Philippines in General.
Pointing finger to someone
It is considered rude to point your index finger to someone, Never point fingers to a stranger because it may cause confusion and it may lead to an altercation.
Catcalling means a “loud whistle or a comment in sexual nature made by a man to a passing woman.” It is never acceptable in any countries, as it is a form of sexual harassment. Unwanted comments by a stranger towards a woman makes the latter uncomfortable. It is very offensive especially to women.
Raising the middle finger up facing another is a rude gesture in any other countries. It’s normally done in the middle of a heated argument. This obscene hand gesture should never be used against elders as it is a form of grave disrespect.
A slap to the back of the head of someone is a gesture that you should never do. It means that the person you are doing the act to is “stupid.” Even when it is done in a joking manner, it is not acceptable because it is also a form of humiliation, especially when seen by other people. Any form of intentional hitting is considered harassment.
Never stare at someone especially when done in a manner that makes people uncomfortable. Staring at someone may mean that you are thinking of something rude against the other person, so avoid doing that especially when you do not mean anything, more so if you are a stranger.
Control your emotions
Speak softly and control your emotions in public.
Make requests, not demands.
Don’t be offended by personal questions.
These are asked to show interest. Feel free to ask the same questions in return, especially about family.
Don’t verbally assault anyone
Verbal assault is a crime for which you can be charged. Filipinos are very sensitive and a cuss word is very offensive to them.
Never bring shame to a person.
This reflects on his family. Personal goals are sacrificed for the good of the family.
Never directly criticize anyone, especially in public. Never offer insincere comments or compliments.
FILIPINO SOCIETY & CULTURE
Filipino Family Values
The family is the centre of the social structure and includes the nuclear family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and honorary relations such as godparents, sponsors, and close family friends.
People get strength and stability from their family. As such, many children have several godparents.
Concern for the extended family is seen in the patronage provided to family members when they seek employment.
It is common for members of the same family to work for the same company.
In fact, many collective bargaining agreements state that preferential hiring will be given to family members.
Filipino Concept of Shame
Hiya is shame and is a motivating factor behind behaviour.
It is a sense of social propriety and conforming to societal norms of behaviour.
Filipinos believe they must live up to the accepted standards of behaviour and if they fail to do so they bring shame not only upon themselves, but also upon their family.
One indication of this might be a willingness to spend more than they can afford on a party rather than be shamed by their economic circumstances.
If someone is publicly embarrassed, criticized, or does not live up to expectations, they feel shame and lose self-esteem.
- ATM’s are a bit easier to find nowadays, however, they sometimes run out of cash.
- Bring small change. It will be easier to pay for small habal habal rides, snacks and fruits.
- Use a lot of sun block. The sun is hot this side of the world! Make sure the Sun block you use is Reef-safe! to protect the marine life you’ll be visiting.
- Hydrate! Lots and lots of water will do you good! especially if you’ll be looking to have alcoholoc drinks. The hydration will help with future hangovers!
- Bring booties. If you plan on surfing, booties will help you keep your feet pain free when surfing in the beautiful reef breaks of Siargao.
- Smile! You’ll be happier and meet more friends! 😉