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Making Acquaintances: Do’s and Don’ts Do 1. Filipinos greet each other with a friendly handshake, cheek-to-cheek kiss (for females), or “Mano” when greeting the elderly. Mano is when you take a person’s hand, and gently touch it against your forehead while slightly bowing your head. If you are a foreigner, you are not obliged to do this, but it is considered a sign of respect to people you meet who are much older than you. The Filipino culture places importance on social hierarchy, where elderly people are higher up and respected the most. (“Introduction to the Culture of Philippines”, 2013) 2. Use titles of respect towards anyone who is older or of higher rank. As a sign of respect, Filipino cultures use the titles “Tita” (aunt), “Tito” (Uncle), Kuya (older brother), and “Ate” (older sister) when speaking to anyone who is older than you (even if you are technically not related to them). It is also polite to add the word “po”, which may even get you better service in stores or restaurants. An example would be, “Hello poTita, how much is this?” (“One Step at a Time: Do’s and Don’ts in the Philippines”, 2011) 3. When invited to a Filipino’s house for a dinner party, plan on arriving a little late. Filipinos are known to be on “Filipino Time”, which is usually about 15-30 minutes behind schedule. Although if you are meeting someone out to eat, arrive on time. (“The Philippines and Travel Etiquette”, n.d.) 4. Bring a small gift (called a “pasalubong”), such as dessert, as a sign of appreciation to the person who has welcomed you into their home. (“The Philippines and Travel Etiquette”, 2013) 5. Use both a fork and spoon as eating utensils. The fork is held in the left hand and is used to guide food into the spoon held in the right hand. This is the proper way to eat a meal in the Philippines. (“Philippines: Language, Culture, Customs, and Etiquette”, n.d.) Don’t 1. Do not raise your voice, show aggression, or be openly critical towards someone in public. These are actions that are thought to bring shame upon someone. The Filipino concept of “Hiya”, or shame, is an important aspect of their culture and basis of etiquette. (“The Philippines and Travel Etiquette”, 2013) 2. Do not deny offerings of food or drinks from a Filipino. Filipinos are known for their hospitality and this is their way of showing it, especially because food is an important part of their culture. It could be considered rude or insulting to turn down their offers. (“Introduction to the Culture of Philippines”, 2013) 3. Do not be offended by personal questions that Filipinos may ask you about your job, family, or significant other. It’s their way of getting to know you better, and showing that they value you. It is not meant to be intrusive or nosy. (“Introduction to the Culture of Philippines”, 2013) 4. Do not be in a rush. The Philippines has a very laid-back atmosphere. Filipinos take time to enjoy a good and long conversation over relaxed meals. (“One Step at a Time: Do’s and Don’ts in the Philippines”, 2011) 5. Do not misinterpret their use of the word ‘yes’. Filipinos are not confrontational people. They rarely say ‘no’ because they always want to please others, so a ‘yes’ may be indefinite and actually mean “maybe’. This may lead to confusion and misunderstanding when trying to communicate with Filipinos. (“Philippines: Language, Culture, Customs, and Etiquette”, n.d.) Sources One Step at a Time: Do’s and Don’ts in the Philippines. (2011). World Nomads Website. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from Philippines: Language, Culture and Etiquette. (n.d.) Kwintessential Website. Retrieved September 18, 2014, from The Philippines and Travel Etiquette. (2013). Travel Etiquette Website. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from Introduction to the Culture of Philippines. (2013). Backpacking Tips Asia Website. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from Reply Sample: I chose the Philippines to do this assignment on. I think one positive cultural interaction between Singaporeans and Filipinos would be the way they address each other with respectful titles. In the Filipino culture the titles “Miss” and “Sir” are also used to address others as a sign of respect. I think a negative cultural interaction between the two cultures would be about leaving a little bit of food on your plate after a meal. Food plays a large role in the Filipino culture, and they like when people enjoy their food. In contrast to Singaporeans, having an empty plate after a meal is a compliment to Filipinos because an empty plate means that the food was very good and enjoyable for the guests.

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