Posts Categorised: Culture

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.

You have probably heard that the Philippines is a Christian country. This is unusual because most countries in Asia are either Buddhist or Muslim.  This was mostly due to the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines and introduced Catholicism to the people.

Today there are about 89 million Catholics out of 103 million Filipinos. Chances are the Filipina that you interested in is Catholic. Thus it is best to understand a few things about the Catholic Filipina and dating.

In her dating profile, she may have put the term “God fearing” woman.  What does this mean exactly?  Simply put, it means that she was raised with Christian values. This includes respecting the family, treating others with kindness, loving God, and generally trying to do the right thing according to the teachings of the Bible. For many Western men, this “God fearing” attribute may be the main reason why they seek a Filipina partner.  

The Catholic Filipina’s religious upbring should be a good thing. She would likely make a loving, devoted and loyal partner for the right guy.  Yet I hear from my friends and blog readers that many of the same guy who seek out the “God fearing” Filipina also want them to be naughty, easy, and hot in bed — all on the first date.  In fact, “that guy” also expects her to be experienced with sexting, x-rated chat, and baring all for the webcam.  That makes my head spin with confusion.

If you are seeking a respectable God fearing Filipina, you need to act like a respectable guy. It is that simple. Don’t treat the woman that could potentially be your long term girlfriend or wife like a bar girl. Most Filipinas on the dating sites are investing their time and energy to find a real relationship. They are not there to play. Their lives are difficult enough juggling family, work and sometimes school.

Here are some simple Golden Rules to abide by if you want to go to the front of the line with your dream Filipina:

  • Ask about her family. Remember that the family is the first form of societal glue in our culture. It keeps us functioning and happy even when most of us don’t have much by way of material things.
  • Ask about our children. Yes it is true that many Filipinas on the dating sites are single moms. We love our children. We are their caregivers. And we would choose them over a guy. But we do need long term companionship and that is why we are seeking the right guy.
  • Ask about our religion. You will likely find out that we go to church every Sunday. We make the sign of the cross and pray before every meal. We pray before going to bed. We pray when we wake up. It is a habitual act as much as it is spiritual. Our families expect it of us and being spiritual is good for the soul.

If you want to go to the back of the line or even get blocked, do these things:

  • Ask for a naked picture or video. Come on, what “God fearing” woman would expose her private parts to some stranger guy online? On the first contact?
  • Ask to go travel with you. Would any respectable woman in your country pack up a suitcase, leave her kids, and fly off to Bali with you for 2 weeks? Before you’ve ever met in person? Before you’ve ever met her family? Her friends?
  • Offer to pay her to see her naked. Now you’ve officially called her a sexual performer. Thank God she is God fearing because she has her family, she has her children, she has her friends, she has her sanity. She doesn’t need you or your money if you are that kind of guy.
  • Ask her to stay in your hotel when you visit. It is a big no-no for her to stay in your place when you meet for the first time. It is not respectable and goes counter to all that she has been taught. She will feel self conscious even with the hotel staff. The look and disdain from her family is not worth it to her.

“So is the God fearing woman boring, listless, and a starfish when it comes to excitement in the bedroom?” You may ask. I don’t think so.

The key to a Filipina’s heart — the key to a woman’s heart is in the space between her ears. We have a mental checklist that we are not even aware of many times. They include the very things that our Christian religion has told us that we should do. Want to know what that checklist looks like?

Here it is:

  • Is the guy responsible? When he says that he will call at 1 pm, does he call at 1 pm? Does the guy call his mother to check on her? Does he talk about taking care of his kids? Does he have a regular job? This is a very Christian concept.
  • Is he thoughtful? Does he remember things about their chat? Did he remember their 1st month chatting? Does he offer to do things for her virtually like getting her coffee? Does he tell her sweet things just because? Jesus was always mindful of others.
  • Does he have a sense of humor? Filipinos are easy going people. We tell a lot of funny stories. We love to laugh. Life is tough. You either laugh about it or you cry. Christ might have said it differently, but I believe that was his message.

Follow the Golden Rules as I laid them out here, pay attention to her checklist even though she may never verbalize it, and you will be 80% ahead of the pack.  To get to the very top of the pack, subscribe to my newsletter and find out from a Real Pinay how to win the heart of the Filipina of your dreams. Approach this the right way and you will have a mentally stimulating, soul stirring, and sexually charged relationship with her especially if she is “God fearing”.

You will notice after talking with your Filipina friend that she mostly likely has a large family. There will be discussions of her parents of course, but there will also be talk of her grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, godparents, and cousins. Oh my, there will be a lot of cousins. If you begin to count, there may be as many as 200 to 1,500 cousins.

Compare that number to about 5 cousins that a typical American has, and chances are your head will spin. Does this mean that each Filipino family has a lot of kids? The short answer is twice as many as a US family. The average Filipino family household size is 4.4 according to the government census in 2015. The US family household size was 2.5 in 2015. Don’t tell that to my mom and dad though. They had 10 of us!

Since the household size doesn’t account for the huge difference in the number of cousins that Filipinos have, there is another explanation for the large number of cousins. Filipinos count the number of 3rd and 4th cousins as their “cousins”.  Since Filipinos have extended families this makes sense. We actually know and keep in regular contact with our cousins, distant aunts and uncles.

All this is to say that family is very important to your Filipina. She shows them respect in the way she talks about them and in the way she talks to them.  You will hear terms like “ate”, “po”, “tito”, and other forms of polite address.  In order to endear yourself to your Filipina and to her family, try and understand the way Filipinos address family members and close friends.

Here is a table to help you navigate how to address her family.

English Tagalog
Grandfather Lolo
Grandmother Lola
Grandparent Lolo at Lola
Father Papa or Tatay
Mother Mama or Nanay
Parent Magulang
Uncle Tito or tiyo
Aunt Tita or Tiya
Elder Brother Kuya
Younger Brother Toto
Elder Sister Ate
Younger Sister Nene
Youngest Sibling Bunso
Sibling Kapatid
Son Anak na lalaki
Daughter Anak na babae
Child Anak
Grandson Apo
Granddaughter Apong babae
Grandchild Apo
Nephew Pamangking lalake
Niece Pamangking babae
Godfather Ninong
Godmother Ninang
Husband Asawa
Wife Asawa
Spouse Asawa
Father-in-law Biyenan na lalaki
Mother-in-law Biyenan na babae
Brother-in-law Bayaw
Sister-in-law Hipag
Cousin Pinsan
I Ako


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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