Peculiar Filipino Behaviors

Photo by Mommysaurus75 of
Photo by Mommysaurus75 of

Our everyday behavior might seem normal to us, but bring a foreigner to a Filipino home, they might be dumbfounded! Examples of our strange acts are listed here. (We're all guilty!)


Eating with one leg up (on the chair)

"Itís basically bad manners to be doing that but itís one habit pinoys do especially the kids. I used to do the same thing. From time to time, I still do especially when sitting on a comfy chair. Bad me!"

Eating without the use fork and spoon

"Meaning eating using bare hands. Have you seen Filipinos do this? Of course this trait, relates more to the poor as it mirrors poverty and the state of how the squatters live. But that said, this is one trait that many Filipinos still happy to do . Whatever social status one has. As a sample, when eating fried rice with grilled or fried fish, there still those who prefer to eat sans the use of fork and spoon. The eating becomes more enjoyable that way!"

Mano po! Bless in English

"This one. Iím so sure many expats are very familiar with. Thereís not one pinoy who doesnít know how to do the mano. First of all, Mano po means, to take oneís hand of the elders and to place to it on their forehead. Itía sign of repct and asking for blessing. Somethinglike that. Whether rich or poor, the Mano po is taught to kids. Along with teaching abcís and counting numbers and how to pray and say po and opo (which is like yes sir, yes maíam.. sort of.. no English equivalent), itís one trait that Pinoys have and is part of culture and Filipino respect. For the many expats here, do you do the Mano po with your in laws? Do the children say Mano po, to you?"

Calling someone hoy and psst

"This is so familiar. Many Filipinos love to say hoy and pssst instead of calling out your name. This one is really annoying especially since youíre not a damn dog! I wonder if itís the equivalent of ďHey!í Is it? Because itís more pleasing to hear instead of saying hoy!"

Paying just to use you a public restroom

"In the provinces, I can understand.. Iíve see some that says 10 pesos to do your thing, be it number 1 or 2. In some malls here in Manila, there are restrooms where you need to pay just to pee. I mean it only takes less than minute to pee and wash hands, right? itís 10 pesos! Of course you can be assured that itís clean. But, ok Iím not sure if thats odd or what. Let me say, Power Plant in Rockwell still has the cleanest restroom, no need to pay!"

Making the sign of the cross when passing by a church or image of saint

"I used to that a lot during elementary days. I understand many will find this odd, but,majority of Filipinos are Catholics and so things like making the sign of the cross is not that unusual. We even pray to the saints,and Mama Mary."


"If you know what Jeepney is (Iím sure you do), Sabit means hang. If the Jeepney is full of people and no more vacant seats left, and if youíre in rush, chances are youíll do that sabit thing. I canít seem to explain it properly, again, long time expats will surely know what Iím talking about. Thatís if they ride the Jeepney."

Having stores with so many quirky names

"Have you seen a kiosk called ďHappy Balls?Ē Itís inside the MRT Ayala. ok, maybe nothing quirky about that but.. just a funny sounding name. No idea what theyíre selling.. maybe fishball? And how about this for real quirkyness. I actually saw a store called Mc Jolly! a combination of two fast food giants here. The ironic thing.. the famous jolly was just few feet away. Amusing."