If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, it might do you good to understand a few things about the Filipino culture, including how do Filipinos greet each other. You may not be expected to adapt to their culture, but as the saying goes, “when in Rome, do what the Romans do”. In the same way, when you are in the Philippines, you could try to greet Filipinos the Filipino way, too. This will make you feel more at home in the beautiful country, that is the Philippines, and make Filipinos easily warm up to you.
Cheek-kissing is a means of greeting you’d often see in other countries, but it’s not usually practiced in the Philippines, especially between strangers and not too close acquaintances. Cheek-kissing, if indeed done, is usually between close friends and family members only.
Normally, Filipinos greet one another with a smile, a wave, a hand shake, and by saying “Hi, kumusta ka?” In English the greeting means “hello, how are you?” Friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time would make the customary greetings, and then follow them up with comments on the other’s physical appearance. Some people find this a bit rude, but Filipinos are quite used to this already, and most of them are not at all insulted by this.
You will not often see or hear Filipinos greeting strangers, especially foreigners, in street corners. It’s not in their culture to do that. But it does not mean that they are snobbish. In fact, when you get to know a Filipina deep down, you will know that she is an interesting being.
Filipinos are generally hospitable. They will not make you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. They will go the extra mile to attend to your needs, and they will have your full itinerary planned out for you so you’ll have something fun to do every minute of the day. Filipinos are proud of their heritage; they will take you to the best places in town, to experience fiestas and festivals, and to taste their mouth-watering dishes. The Filipino hospitality is well known throughout the world, and extended to anyone, regardless of social class or color. So when in the company of a Filipino, you can be secured in the thought that you are in good hands.
A Filipino girl can be very funny, too. She can make you laugh with tales of her childhood in the province as well as her school life. If the Filipina is working already, she will have many interesting things to tell about her co-workers, too. Just listening to her gab about her life is already quite an entertainment, and there is still pretty much to discover and love about her!
Filipinas are smart and witty. Even though education is not practically 100% free even in many public schools in the country, education is being made accessible to most Filipinos. Many receive quality education and this is evident when you communicate with Filipino women.
Knowing how do Filipinos greet each other is very interesting, indeed, but it’s definitely not the only thing that makes Filipinos great.