Filipino Culture: Getting to know the Filipino People via Filipino Traditions

Filipino Culture: Getting to know the Filipino People via Filipino Traditions


The Philippines is a land of smiles. As a matter of fact, hospitality is the trait that is common to all Filipino families and is an important part of Filipino Culture. Anyone who has visited the Philippines can stand witness to this. The Filipino people are into traditions as well. This is what makes the Filipino culture interesting. There are so many different Filipino traditions that, define the being of the Filipino. This is why it is said that if you want to get to know Filipino people and Filipino families  you should learn Filipino traditions.

Here are a sampling of  Filipino traditions that you should know to increase your knowledge of Filipino people.

Filipino people are courteous. This can be seen by the Filipino tradition of using the words “po” and “opo”. These words are words of respect. They are used mostly in the Filipino families to show respect to the elders. The thing is that, even when not talking to family, as long as the Filipino people are talking to someone that is older than them, they use these words. There isn’t any translation of the words “po” and “opo” to other languages. Only the Filipino people use them. For instance, when Filipino people say thank you to people who are older than them, they say “salamat po”. Alternatively, they can also say “thank you po”. Remember, as long they are talking to people who are older than them, the words “po” and “opo” are used. Other than this, the Filipino people are said to be courteous because they don’t forget to use courteous words. Visit the Philippines and you will definitely see this Filipino tradition.

Filipino people are family oriented. In fact,  Filipinos are closest to their families. This can be seen in the Filipino tradition of not leaving the house when they become adults. In the United States, and most other countries, as soon as a person turns 18 years old or when they get a job they move out of the family home.  The Filipino family is so close to each other that they normally don’t want to live far from each other. This is even when the kids have already gotten good jobs or married. There are some Filipino families that buy huge land areas so that they can make it a compound. This means that in the future, when the kids are grown up, they will get their own houses – in the compound. Therefore, the Filipino family will not need to be far from each other.

Many Filipino people go abroad to work. This being said, the Filipino families feel really sad to be away from each other. This is why Filipino people are the ones who call long distance the most. Also, they tend to send “balikbayan boxes” to their family back home as much as they want. But what is a balikbayan box? Sending a balikbayan box is a Filipino tradition that pertains to sending a box of goodies and such to the Filipino families that they left back home.

Filipino people are respectful. Aside from using the words “po” and “opo”, the Filipino people also show their respectfulness by never forgetting to talk respectfully to the other people. For instance, in the Filipino family, siblings call their older sister “ate”. They call their older brothers “kuya”. The Filipino word for aunt and uncle are “tita” and “tito” respectively. But this doesn’t end there. Even when Filipino people are not related to the people they interact with, they still use these words as a sign of respect.

If they are talking to a woman not related, but older, than them they still call them “ate”. On the other hand, if they are talking to a woman that is not related but close to them, such as a friend’s mother, the Filipino still use the term “tita” as a sign of respect.

There are many Filipino traditions that are seen in the Filipino culture. Indeed, you can get to know the Filipino people by knowing and understanding these traditions. In a nutshell, the Filipino people are courteous and respectful. They are close to their Filipino families as well. Indeed, this is why these Filipino people are always smiling. They are assured that no matter what happens, their Filipino families are always around.

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  1. The explanation of “Po” here sounds exactly the same as “Ji” in Hindi amd some other North Indian lamguages. It is used for “yes” and also in between sentences or end of sentences to make respectful. Inam pretty sure some other laguages would have similar words too.

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