If you have been chatting or talking to your Filipina special someone for a while, you may pick up hints of her cultural influence.  Online and over long distance, it is hard to really know about the Filipino culture and its influence on her people. But there are certain things that stand out, especially if you are a Filipino. When I say “stand out”, I really mean they are cultural quirks.

You, as a foreigner, will eventually find out about these quirks. So rather than leaving you guessing and finding out about it later, I’d rather give you the key things that you should know about us Filipinos now. Of course there are many more cultural norms, but these stand out in my mind.

Filipinos Love to Sing

The Japanese may have invented the term “karaoke” but the Filipinos are the ones who fully bring it to life. Filipinos love to sing. When I say “sing”, I mean singing with gusto, -- regardless if we have the range or not.  If you are a Filipino, you believe with all your soul that you have the range of Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran. If you are a Filipina, you know that your voice descended from Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston or Celine Dion… Sometimes all three.

Of course we practice our art.  Every proper Filipino household will own a karaoke machine with a couple of mics.  One will be working and the other will be broken. It’s just the way it is from regular use. In addition to the Philippine National Anthem - "Lupang Hinirang", the top 10 songs from the top 3 divas would have been memorized by all members of the household.

With this knowledge in mind, you may be able to score points with your Filipina by asking her what is her favorite song to sing.  If you encourage her, don’t be surprised if she actually sings for you. It can be sweet or it can be bad. No matter. Just go with the music. In fact, you will score bonus points with her if you can perform as well. Don’t be shy. Filipinos love to sing and they love even more those who can sing (or at least try).

Filipinos Are Superstitious

Superstitions are irrational beliefs borne out of some ancient story. It is passed down from one generation to another. Since we hear about it starting at a young age, it often leaves an impression on us and can affect our behaviour. Every culture has superstitions, but for some reason, Filipinos seem to have a lot. It affects the older people, especially in their day to day life.

Here are some common superstitions. See if you recognize some of them in your culture:

  • A pregnant woman eating a twin banana will have twins. This makes sense, right? Banana DNA and human DNA are linked somehow.
  • If you open an umbrella inside the house you will bring bad luck to your household. This makes sense from a safety perspective. You might knock something over or bang someone with that huge umbrella.
  • To properly prepare a new house, you should bring salt, rice, water, and a religious image. This makes sense to me. Bring in some food into that empty house so you won’t go hungry. We can’t live without our rice.
  • Don’t comb your hair or cut your nails at night. This will cause your parents to die an early death. It’s best not to groom yourself at night. Don’t worry. People won’t be able to see your unkempt hair and long nails at night anyways.
  • Speaking of the night, don’t sweep the floor either at night. This will cause your good fortune to be swept away.  Oh well. Only one thing left to do at night then if I can’t sweep, comb my hair or clip my nails… Oh wait. Maybe that’s why Filipinos have large families.

Filipinos Wear a Slow Watch

There is a special way that Filipinos tell time. 09:00 means 09:30 or sometimes 09:48. “I will be there in 30 minutes” means “I will be there in one hour.” Welcome to Filipino time.

If you want someone to show up at a certain time, keep in mind their Filipino timezone and add some extra time to the clock.

 

To be fair, not all Filipinos are tardy. Some are tardy because of the unpredictable nature of traffic in the Philippines, especially in Manila. I’m talking about street traffic as well as the long queues even to take public transit like MRT and LRT.

So if your Filipina is late for your scheduled meeting, you will know why.

Filipinos Love to Celebrate

If there is a chance to get together, share food, have drinks, eat cake, sing karaoke, play games, we Filipinos are there!  We celebrate Fiestas which are the birthday of the patron saints. We celebrate all birthdays and key birthdays of children. We celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, sometimes as early as late August. Our Christmas celebrations lasts until the first week of January.

I think this has to do with our close knit family mentality. If you visit the Philippines, chances are good that you will be invited to a celebration or a get together of some sort.

Keep these cultural knowledge in your back pocket so that you better your Filipina’s perspective. For more and deeper insight into the real pinay’s mind so that you can totally win her heart, subscribe to my newsletter. It will be worth it in love and affection that you will get from your Filipina. I promise.

About Maria

Maria Peña is people connector. She created Real Pinay to connect foreigners with authentic Filipinas for friendship, romance, and perhaps even marriage.

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