One of the best things about travelling is that it exposes you to different cultures and traditions that exist around the world. But as a tourist, it is your responsibility to not do or say things that will offend someone. It is always good to educate yourself about certain things that you should and should not do beforehand when visiting a foreign land. So here is a list of things that you should avoid doing while you are in Philippines. 

1. Stay away from commenting about the country or its people. 

This is common sense guys. How would you feel if a tourist comes to your country and starts criticising the people and your country? Annoyed, right? Well, the same goes for Philippines. Filipinos are quite proud of their country, culture and traditions. Yes, 'Filipino pride' is a legit thing so be super careful before saying or doing anything. They are very protective about their people and country so even the slightest criticism could be taken in the wrong way. In short, think before you speak. How difficult can that be?


2. Don't disrespect the elderly. 

Filipinos respect their elders highly. This can be seen in the way the elders are spoken to. If you want to greet an elder, use the word 'po' or 'opo' to show respect. There is another local greeting practice that is known as pagmamano (mano is Spanish for hand). If you want to greet with the pagmamano,  bow slightly, take the hand of the elderly and touch it to your forehead. This act is generally done to grandparents so you can do the same too to give the elders a pleasant surprise. 


3. Don't be too punctual.

It's good that you take time seriously and are punctual but if you are in Philippines don't expect the same from the locals. Filipinos like doing things in their own sweet time. Did you know there is something called 'Filipino time' which refers to anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour long delay on the clock? Even if you are going for a casual gathering, just take your time and arrive at least 15-20 minutes late to the event. Just be casual and cool about it. 


4. Don't expect everything to be cheap. 

Yes, Philippines is cheaper than Europe and other countries like the US but don't get into a fight with your pedicab driver or the shop owner assuming that you are being charged too much and being cheated on. It is advisable to firmly agree on a price beforehand otherwise things might get messy. Of course, you can bargain but if they are not agreeing with you don't continue the argument. Just politely decline and walk away. You don't have to be rude about it. 


5. Don't talk about religion openly.

Just so you know, Philippines is a Catholic nation which is why many, especially those of the older generation are very devoted and religious. You know, something as common as divorce is considered illegal in this country. So, just stay away from any kind of religious conversation especially in front of the elders because they might not understand your viewpoint. Just reserve your comments and views on atheism if you don't want to end up upsetting someone.


Are you ready to soak in some Filipino culture?