Social Manners in the Philippines, 2of2

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70 comments

  1. ahaha it happened to me to have to eat first , a few times and i even said it to my gf….. but i understood it was the normal thing there. i didn’t know that i had to move after though ….ahah….

  2. Good and accurate info. Being married to a filipina, I am around filipinos every week here in the US. Even though I know these people well, they always insist I eat first, often and in the prime seating. And if my beer is empty, another is sure to be served. They all know I do not want to be treated special, but it continues – It is their way. I smile, thank them and eat, drink & be merry 🙂 

    1. It is being hospitable, did they offer take outs yet? We practice it here in America, I know some Americans do it in restos, but imagine if you were in a family party or even birthdays? You can see the wonder in every American….get use to it! LOL

  3. Oh how true about the stalemate!  And to me its funny how everyone talks about the shoes, i live out in the sticks, midwest farm country and in the majority of peoples houses that ive ever been to, talking off your shoes is normal so you dont ruin the carpet.  Seeing all of this online is humorous to me, i mean its even in a Tim McGraw song- kick off your shoes and come on in- funny 

    1. Here in the States taking off shoes in the house is getting accepted. I take off my shoes when I come to my home and it’s more comfortable for me not wearing shoes. I’ve talked politics with my Filipina friend in Manila a lot, but we seem to have the same views. I think Aquino is probably PH greatest modern day president. 

  4. You are so right on Henry on this video. I fed at least ten people every time we ate. I would buy the food and everyone would wait for me to eat and even finish eating and then they would eat. I never liked that, I wanted all of us to eat together. I just got used to it, being there for two months. I also found that I ate less because I wanted to make sure there was always enough food for everyone, A question I never really got the answer to and I asked often was, how many people are we feeding? I still laugh about that.
    Keep up the good work. I love your videos. 

  5. LOL about the fries. Yeah, It’s true! I’m a Filipina and that really happens. I live now here in Norway so whenever I go back to Philippines, I still observe that and makes me smile at times. But then, I’m the one who’s eating the last piece LOL.

  6. happy father’s day henry! you  nailed it in the head but just like to add that if you open a bag of chip or whatever you must be ready to share it even around strangers we always ask “kain tayo” it’s kind rude when your the only 1 eating in a room full of people.

    1. Can you do video about cultural difference that can lead to a misunderstanding, like what happened to me my buddy, He got like into a series misfortune and he thought that i’m not even concerned as a friend.Sympathy in PH is entirely different from the west. We dont really say “I’m sorry that happened to you” instead our expression will be “Malayo sa bituka yan” or “Ok lan yan” then we laugh it off literally lol.

  7. I read online somewhere that if I finish all the food on my plate, the host will get the impression I am very hungry and will need more food. If that is the case, I will make sure to leave a little bit left.

    1. @Cecilia Degan It happens here always in my house. I think the tradition makes sense. Think about it.  There is almost always more food than can be eaten. Many Filipino homes do not have refrigerators or limit the use of them to save on electricity. By sharing the leftovers with those in attendance, no food gets wasted 🙂

    2. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines I don’t know if you havr been to any parties yet? Even here in the US, we still do the to go or take out? Most of the time they will ask you to, if there is a feast.But I don’t know if it is customary in the province.For sure, in Manila they still do it!

    3. Even before coming to the PH, I have a habit of placing my fork and/or spoon/knife facing down on my plate in an ‘X’ and moving the plate away.. to make it clear I don’t want another serving.  My Mom will keeping serving food if you don’t do this.  ha!

  8. i been in the philippines since dec 2012 i find it to be true also they always want you to eat first and tend to always want to fix my plate and overload it and i was taught if its on your plate you better eat it. while they would take lil portions like a bird would eat. so now what i do is kind of just sit around till the food is ready and beat them to the punch and fix my own plate. so i hurry and eat and put my plate in the sink. i dont realy a big food eater even in the usa. but here they eat pretty much all day. breakfest then mid morning snack lunch afternoon snack dinner then eve snack. i tend to try to skip all the snacks. i do love the food here tho. but i just dont like eating that much.

  9. Read the comments but couldnt find the answer if your wearing socks do they stay on or off with the shoes? seems an odd questioon i know anyone able to tell me please.

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines funny because in italy, where i am from, white socks are considered the horror….eheh….everything is so relative

    2. Personally, I never wear socks with sandals.  Some guys do.. even to the point of wearing black socks.  (the horror!)  ha!  But wearing socks in the house is fine if the shoes/sandals are left at the door.  🙂

    1. @Cecilia Degan We have the Sto. Nino, the best one is called Sinulog, in Cebu! We also celebrate some Saints, esp. one from the Philippines! Maria Elena, SantaCruzan, etc.Did I miss anything? There are a lot of devotees, so if Henry has any problems, there are churches all over that for sure will help him, even organizations from the churches.

    2. We take our Faith very seriously.We have the passion reading in Holy Week! We have Crucifixion on Good Friday, I am not sure, but I think Pampanga does it, to where they nail somebody on an actual cross! It is getting overboard, but true! Most fun part is during Christmas and New Year Seasons! You can feel the Christmas Spirit! I hope he does do a video of this! A lot of feasts and celebrations you can ever imagine!

  10. Lol! So true.. about the last piece thingie. As a Filipino, I guess it’s kinda awkward to take the last piece and knowing that the others want to take it too so to make it “safe” better leave it for the host or maybe a kid who wants more. Just my two cents.. 🙂

  11. I was very uncomfortable when I was a guest at a friend’s house in Cavite.   None of the family ate until my friend and I ate.  That is just the way it is….you are the guest….no one else eats until you as the guests eats first.   That is the way it is….no use fighting it.  Guests eat first….then the family.    

    I know…..we Americans do not like that….but that is just the fact of Filipino life.

    The guests eat first.   

  12. One thing that Filipinos hate to hear is a foreigner saying “well in my country blah blah” the first thing they think this isn’t your country, it’s the Philippines. get over it already. 

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines I believe that we have to make some small sacrifices in order to enjoy the benefits ‘there are many things ai phili that would be totally unacceptable in Europe or USA But thats the way it is ,,,,,, get used to coz you aint gonna change things any time soon LOL

    2. That bugs me as well.  My first thought is, “If you don’t like it here.. LEAVE.  Planes are flying out 24 hours a day.”  haha!

  13. I find it funny that you mentioned taking off your shoes indoors. I taught in Korea for 4 years and part of the curriculum that I taught had a section on a Korean child visiting a foreign family living in Seoul and when the Korean child entered the house they began to take off their shoes and was told not to, that it was okay to wear their shoes inside the house. The Korean students (Grade 4 iirc) found this to be either shocking or funny. I found it absurd because I didn’t know anyone that wore their shoes inside the house either and I was from the west, but I guess here is one more difference between Canadians (where I’m from) and Americans.

    1. Yeah, I think they intention was for you to pay! Kind of funny, but true! Next time, let someone else be the head, then leave right away.Be smart, or else they will take advantage of you!

  14. They put hot dogs in spaghetti….just sayin…sure as hell isn’t any French Fries in any Philippine dinner table …not on any Ive seen ….perhaps at Jolly Bees

  15. It’s funny but all the little things you mention towards having good manners? They are all are the things my mom taught me to do when I was a little boy here in Canada. Take my shoes of at the door… Don’t eat all the food… Watch my language… A couple more months until the big move and i’ll be able to confirm it all for myself!

  16. yeah. filipinos make sure that guests are comfortable and well served and it really doesn’t bother them that much if you go barging in to the house without notifying them of your arrival..but of course you must still be respectful and courteous

  17. For 3rd worlders, they sure are wasteful! “lets all leave this last piece of chicken here and act like we are rich to show off!”

    They also (and most OFW’s) have a tendency to act as though they have countless dollars (when really they only have a racked up credit card) and seem to enjoy showing off the luxury they’ve obtained with money they don’t have “proving” their worth and high status. But the wealth and materials they have only have negative dollar signs and collections agencies attached to it!

    From what I’ve been told (and what I’ve experienced myself) they will make a big pot of rice, eat half of it and then leave it for the ants to eat. Not exactly a frugal way of living when you are a 3rd worlder. But not surprising, the western way of life is so inviting and ingrained in their minds, they wish to live that fantasy and pretend as though they have it all!

    1. @UgariticMot i know of fil-fil couples whose families were against the marriage because one was catholic and the other baptist.  it has seriously caused a lot of interference with their marriage plans.  and that was between fil-fil relationship.  yet most expats don’t have this problem if they are not catholic.  it is just presumed/expected that he will likely not be catholic.  but the whole banana.. yah, def a topic to avoid at all costs over the dinner table or around a table of rum.

  18. This is just my opinion: Regarding the mentality of having the only foreigner in the room to eat first: that’s the filipino way of respecting you and making you feel welcomed.  The U.S. translation may be taking out the best china or reserving the most comfortable seat for guests.  The one about leaving two or three french fries or chicken on the table: it’s to show that they’re not greedy and that someone else might want it.  It’s also extremely good manners and polite to decline politely at first whatever your host is offering you, i.e. food, take a seat, drink, etc.  It’s a politeness dance that must be done.  It’s okay to acquiesce after demurring one or two times. After politely declining you must partake on what they’re offering you (even if you don’t like it, you must take a little bite) or it’ll be considered an insult. This dance is at the top of the list that I told my husband I would like him to do when eating with my family or friends.  I love your videos, by the way. 🙂

  19. 2 friends of my friend wanted to meet me for the first time. One of them suggested dinner at one of the expensive buffet restaurants (1,000 pesos pp). Both of them reached earlier than us and started drinking and eating before we even arrived. It was assumed I will pay the bill (I did, for my friend’s sake). I was quite mad though I didn’t show it in their presence, but I felt I was used as a free and expensive meal ticket. If you are a foreigner, beware of freeloaders, there are plenty.

    1. +LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines it appears that is part of the culture there. Every Filipina that I agreed to meet and eat out with always brought at least one friend. In my case they always asked me which was okay with me. I figure they do it for safety reasons meeting a stranger. But compare that with Thailand. I’ve met several Thai ladies over the years and they always showed up alone. And one of them whom I met twice, as recently as July 2015, she actually paid for my meals both times. A Filipina has never paid for my meal.

      I was in Davao City years ago at the invitation of a Filipina who wanted to meet me. Well she was running late and I was hungry. There was another lady in the area whose phone number I had so I called her and asked her if she would like to meet me and go out for some lunch. She agreed but asked me if she can bring her sister. I agreed. So the security guard at the hotel told me there is a buffet restaurant about two blocks to the right of the hotel. Do you know the lady wanted me to take a taxi two blocks due to the hot sun? I told her where I come from I love to walk so walk we did. And that the taxis are all queued up in front of the hotel so it would make no sense to waste his time for such a short trip. So we walked. We had a nice buffet. She told me if my friend does not show up to give her a call and she will meet me again. Anyway my other friend text me and said she is running late.

      My friend showed up sometime after 6 pm with another girl. She never told me she was bringing a girl. She told me that girl is her sister. And the girl was very pregnant. And how she spent time with her at the doctor’s office. That is why she is late. So without much ado she wanted us to all go out to dinner. Well I was not too happy about that and the thought of having to feed a pregnant woman who probably would eat a horse.. I told her sorry but I ate at the buffet because I was hungry and she did not come around noon as she told me. I ate after 2 pm and I was too full to go out and eat. Anyway they decided it was best to leave because I was not about to play their little game. So we did not get to discuss anything of relevance in person. They left.

      The next day she text me and asked about the gift I said I had brought for her. I had brought her a bottle of perfume but I still had it. She said she was willing to come back alone to meet me. I said it’s fine with me that is what we had planned in the first place. I had planned a trip to Eden’s Nature park. Anyway she came back and the first thing she asked about was that bottle of perfume. As of this day I still have no idea if that girl she came with was really her sister or a friend whom she went to school with in Davao City acting as a front. I think men have to assert themselves or they will be taken advantage of.

      Contrast that with my experience in Thailand. When I was there in July like I said one of my friends paid for dinner. I met some other Thai ladies. One I took out to dinner. She wanted to pay but I said no. After we left the restaurant she asked me if it”s okay we can have some ice cream but this time she will pay? I agreed. Later that night I got a call from another Thai who wanted to meet me. I said it’s late. Anyway she insisted she should meet me. I met her at the train station. She was hungry but I had already eaten. I told her I am not hungry but I can buy some dinner. We went to a street food vendor. I offered to pay but she refused. Instead she bought me an ice cold coconut. Now I have read of men who said they had bad experiences in Thailand but that was never the case with me. And I’ve been there three times. But I think the secret in dealing with Filipinas is not allowing them to control you. You have to put your foot down and assert yourself without coming across as authoritarian.

    2. @Anand Vora i’ve fallen for that as well, so don’t feel bad. a filipiina i’d met online wanted to meet for the first time. first.. she showed up over an 90 minutes late. and arrived with a friend, not giving me any notice at all. i should have just walked away. i had planned on going to greenwich pizza for a simple, “get to know each other first” meet. they begin pining and egging on that it had to be shakey’s pizza. (much more expensive here than the usa.) that was the 3rd red-flag.  

      they ordered way more than they could eat and had this stupid habit of saying things like, “which of us is more beautiful?” they were pretty but not much in the brains or common courtesy departments. then they got into this thing of “take me” when i mentioned i was going to boracay in a few weeks. i was done with these brainless gold-diggers, i just wanted to pay the bill and leave. and mind you, never asked me a single question other than, “you are from united states?”.  

      so we finally exited the shakey’s and they said, “we go to the movies now”. i had never brought up going to the movies. that was all i could take. so i said, “sounds like fun. what are you going to watch?” they listed off a few titles. i said, “well, enjoy!! you should hurry so you get tickets in time. nice meeting you.” as i walked away they said, “oh… but you must join us.” (ha!!) i kept walking and said, “i have some things i gotta do but.. enjoy the movie.” once i got away from them, i blocked her number from my phone.

  20. They want talk politics cause they know it is corrupt,they are going to vote for te person who has the biggest feast or the one that does those most,
    the sex and foul language that was life here before the 60s.
    i often had what i call being the honored guess,some are hungry but they wait for you to get yours first, this is hospitality .
    Some richer pinoy function they had out plates it was grab and go to your seat.
    i read that pointing you finger in someone in a confrontational way was like the worst thing to them, but that came fom some pretty strange religious belief.

  21. I am a Filipina and the reason that we leave some food, its because we always think about our visitors. In case he wants some more food to eat. We feel happy if the visitor ate the last food, that means he did like what we served . We always make extra food for our visitor to take home. We always ask  for the visitor to take home some food, you will please Filipinos if you do that. You showed them that you like the hospitality they showed. Then you are always welcome to visit. This means you are Cool and Good Person.

  22. What I do is, and this was only once, is I let my wife, then girlfriend, point and shoot where for me to go or do, and if you are forced to serve first, serve your date a plate, then give it to her…As you are filling the plate, ask her, do you want more sald, this will let her know, you decide to serve her, but more than likely, she will serve you…Serving her, could piss some people off, “PINOY,” which is always fun, but the women will love it…SILENTLY OR GIGGLE (Giggling is both good and bad and done often) Also, if you are with a girl, she will in most cases, by direction of the Ate mother, wife, auntie, or female cook, or whatever, serve you…It is best to allow your girl to serve your plate, always follow her lead…If you are a dominate male, control freak like I am, I just told myself, King, you are still the boss, still in control, because she is serving you…That helped, because I prefer to do my own everything and you just can’t…So, recap, let your date serve you, because she will, or serve her, but 80% of the time, if there is not enough room for everyone to sit, the kids are fed first, then the table is used for serving, not a sit down eating, and everyone sits where they can, like front steps, back steps, beds in bedrooms, the floor, where ever…Or in my case, a brand new nipon hut my friend just bought

  23. In the circles i move around, older people first, then woman and children and the men clean up. Unless it is a birthday or special anniversary, then they go first unless they choose otherwise. Most older people do choose to go last because they know they are slower and would hold up the line. I was fortunate to be taught how to have eating etiquette. Placement of spoons and forks and knives, bowls, plates. At a very nice restaurant, there is certain things you do to let them know you are done eating. Have you ever been to a restaurant and been asked if you are done? i do this to see how good the waitresses are. You place you eating utensils sideways on the plate facing to the left i believe, maybe right, when you are done. At a fancy restaurant, they know this and will come and get your plate without even asking if you are done. I even do this at the franchise restaurants to see if they know about this. You dont realize how important this is until you are in that situation and feel comfortable.

  24. Very interesting video, I was not aware of the courtesy of sitting down first as a guest.. Then serving yourself first, I guess Filipinos are very hospitable in that way.

  25. I scanned but didn’t deeply read previous comments so I apologize if I’m redundant here. The custom of leaving food is common throughout Asia and is intended as a compliment to the host that they served more food than you could eat. Conversely, by taking the last piece, you somewhat insult the host by conveying they are leaving you still hungry.

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