A few Cambodian friends of my husband have asked me about Filipino culture, particularly about our food, the weather, how to get around the country, how come we speak English a lot more fluently than other Asians, and also how to behave when visiting a Filipino household.
Thinking about it, there is not much difference in visiting a Filipino home from a Khmer home. Here’s some tips on being a proper guest of a Filipino family.
- Always pay your respects to the elders in the family by greeting them. It’s an additional point in your favor if you can do the “mano” where you lift the elder’s hand and touch it to your forehead. For Filipinos, this is a sign of regard and respect to the elder.
- Remove your shoes or slippers before entering a Filipino house. Your host would most probably tell you to keep it on, but at least make a motion of removing them.
- Filipinos are very food-oriented and most visits and gatherings includes food. If you are visiting a Filipino home, expect to be offered something to eat. Don’t decline the invitation to eat otherwise you may be considered impolite.There are times like fiestas where you have already eaten in another house, but its still better to accept or you may just request to eat dessert or light snacks.
- Always offer to help clear the dishes. Your host would probably decline your offer of help but the gesture would be appreciated.
- When your visit is over, give your good wishes to the elders and thank everyone for their hospitality. If you have stayed in the house for a couple of days, a thank you gift would be a nice gesture.
- Whatever they are rich or poor, Filipinos would really go out of their way to be welcoming and friendly to their guests, that’s why for most people, visiting a Filipino home is a delightful experience.