Pinoy Life: 8 Classic Filipino Traits and Characteristics

Updated on June 9, 2016
You Know You're Filipino When...
You Know You're Filipino When... | Source

Characteristics of Filipinos

Every country has its differing values and stereotypes, and the Philippines is no exception. We Filipinos firmly believe that our country has the best values in the world. Although we have been colonized by several countries, many core values from our ancestors remained intact and are still honored to this day. Filipinos are not perfect, but we have great characteristics and qualities every one of us should be proud of. Below I've listed some of the most well-known positive and negative traits of Filipinos.

Positive Traits

A Filipino host will always offer food to a guest.
A Filipino host will always offer food to a guest. | Source

1. Hospitality

This is one of the most popular qualities of Filipinos. Foreigners who have gone to the Philippines find themselves falling in love with the warm hospitality they are shown. It's a different kind of value system, which has existed for thousands of years. Here are some examples of the hospitality that Filipinos show, not only to foreigners, but also to their fellow citizens:

  • When a person visits a friend's house, the host greets him or her with a very warm welcome. The host will immediately let their visitor sit down and will prepare a meal or a snack plus drinks for the visitor. The host will insist that the friend not leave the house with an empty stomach. A host will always make sure you had a great time visiting them.
  • People offer their guest room to visitors if they're going to spend the night.
  • Meals offered to guests are very special. A host always finds a way to prepare great tasting food that her visitor wants to eat.

Filipinos love to get together for big family meals.
Filipinos love to get together for big family meals. | Source

2. Respect

This is often observed—not just by younger people—but also by people of all ages.

  • Children respect elders by saying "po" and "opo," which mean "yes," when answering their elders.
  • Children or young adults also show respect by putting their elders' hands on their foreheads.
  • Filipinos also show respect at work by making a bow to their employers.

3. Strong Family Ties and Religions

Yes. Filipinos value their families so much that they tend to keep families intact through the generations.

  • Families go to church and pray together because their religion is important and creates a strong bond, marking God as the center of their lives.
  • Families make sure to have quality time together especially after a day's work. Just watching television or eating a family meal will be valued and prioritized in everybody's schedules.

Everyone helps out and gathers together at Filipino parties.
Everyone helps out and gathers together at Filipino parties. | Source

4. Generosity and Helpfulness

Filipinos are generous people. Even when we have very little, we always share with those around us.

  • During special occasions such as birthdays or "fiestas" —parties when people from other places visit your home to celebrate with you—there are lots of foods specially prepared for everyone! Friends, family, friends of friends, and even strangers can gather and they are always willing to share food and help out.
  • When a neighbor is in trouble, Filipinos are always ready to help them.

5. Strong Work Ethic

Yes, we are hardworking people to the point that we are willing to work almost the whole day just to feed our families. That's how Filipinos are.

  • One example of a hardworking person is a farmer. They earn so little but they still work very hard for not much compensation.
  • Filipinos always find creative ways to earn a living, like creating a small business from their home where they sell foods or other items for the convenience of their neighbors.

Filipino farmers work hard for very little money.
Filipino farmers work hard for very little money. | Source

6. Love and Caring

This is so true! Filipinos are the sweetest and most loving people in the world. I'm not just saying this because I'm a Filipino; if you know us well, you will soon figure this out.

  • Men are so sweet and romantic when it comes to love. They will send their beloved flowers, bring her to a very romantic place, text her sweet quotes, and tell often how special she is to them.
  • Filipino women are also romantic and very caring, which often makes foreigners want to marry them. Women tend to prepare dinner before their husband comes home. They are loving, and value the relationship, always staying faithful to their husbands. They love deeply and sincerely.

Negative Traits of Filipinos

Politics in the Philippines can be brutal.
Politics in the Philippines can be brutal.

I don't want to sound totally arrogant. Awesome as Filipinos are, we are not perfect. Here are a couple of more negative traits which also really represent Filipinos.

  • Fatalism: An attitude of "what goes around, comes around" or "come what may." We have a tendency to surrender our future to fate. We often accept bad news or circumstances without trying to stop or change them. This can sometimes be helpful in adversity, but it can also keep us from finding ways out of situations. Also, constantly expecting the worst can get pretty depressing.
  • Crab mentality: This is prevalent in politics where people tend to push each other down to clear the way for their own gain. Politicians, especially, try their best to ruin each other, but this can also happen among regular people. I think it goes to the point of selfishness.

So these are just a few common Filipino traits I can give. There are so many out there, but these are the ones that really stand out from the rest. If you wanna know more about the Philippines and Filipinos, you can travel to our country and discover the beauty of my land and people for yourself. I hope you enjoyed this article!

Do you agree that Filipinos are one of the most hospitable people in the world?

See results

Traits of Filipinos

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        mjgonzales 

        12 hours ago

        jmdortega.. you are a good witness.. nice addition..its really true..

      • profile image

        Filipino_Boy69 

        37 hours ago

        I've never met or seen a Filipino in person, but they seem cool

      • profile image

        Kika 

        10 days ago

        Sorry all.i respect ur culture.wrongly written.thank you

      • profile image

        Kika 

        10 days ago

        u people dont know the value of families.u dnt care the family.u will destroy others family.

      • profile image

        yagbols 

        11 days ago

        I kid of dont belive in you guys so

      • profile image

        Karen Leanne Sandberg 

        11 days ago

        They many advise thoughts of custom heritage culture among Philippines sometimes least tried good things like as character Filipino Filipinas Kind,Cheerfully,Wisdom,Polite thankfulness toward their own Philippines happen among regular people.

      • profile image

        caasey 

        3 weeks ago

        wow good

      • profile image

        Im a Filipino by birth but an american citizen 

        5 weeks ago

        Hypocrites and superficial not living on their means but presenting themselves successful , Copycats and jealous. They are the cover but not the content. They are the most proudest people for show.

      • profile image

        day 

        2 months ago

        1 negative trait of the Filipinos is the socalled "manana Habit".

      • profile image

        tony selfe 

        2 months ago

        why is it as soon as somebody buys a new motorcycle they replace the silencer with something that drives everybody mad and risks our kids with hearing damage and drives people needing some peace because they are making a staement """"ia am here"

      • profile image

        hiimmaryimnida 

        4 months ago

        Anothwr negative Filipino trait::

        copying what theyre neighbors have,ex:business,styles,etc

        and then engaged to a fight

        im a filipino too

      • profile image

        jmdortega 

        4 months ago

        continuation (negative trait)...

        7. Worker bee Mentality or Employee Mindset

        (As hard working as we Filipinos are but in general we lack the entrepreneurial mindset which is why more than half of big businesses in the Philippines are owned by the Chinese with Filipinos as their employees. In fact there is a famous saying here which compares Filipino parents to Chinese parents with their kids that goes something like this:

        Filipino parents: Study hard so that you will be able to land a good job

        Chinese parents: Study hard so that you will be able to make a good business)

        8. Colonial Mentality (Most Filipinos even those in poverty are fond of branded imported items and they think that anything American or Western made are superior while anything locally made are inferior. It even extends to the physical appearance and pedigree. Good example: the Filipino entertainment industry are loaded with mestizos or half-white/half-Filipino wherein the mestizos get the lead role while the more native looking actor end up either in maid roles or comedians or villains. Also the prevalence of whitening products and cosmetic surgeries or procedures designed to change the natural Southeast Asian look of a Filipino/a)

      • profile image

        jmdortega 

        4 months ago

        I'm Filipino and to be frank, I find this post somewhat biased because while I do acknowledge the positive traits but I wonder why the author only posted 2 negative traits where in reality there is more. While obviously there are exceptions but these are other negative traits which most typical Filipinos have. These are:

        1. Very emotional to the point of impracticality or irrationality

        2. Spendthrifts and imprudent (Most Filipinos don't save, invest or get insurance for their future. In fact statistics shows that many Filipinos retire without savings or retirement fund and rely on their children in order for them to survive. The "generosity" is many times is taken too extreme. Many Filipinos especially during fiestas put themselves into huge debts just to have something extravagant)

        3. Very egoistic and inability to handle criticisms (this is self-explanatory)

        4. To be accepted for a job is based on connections instead of merit (there you go with the close family ties, too much of a good thing is bad)

        5. Lack of discipline (again this is self-explanatory, its very obvious and you see it everywhere)

        6. Irresponsible (many love to play victim or indulge in self-pity behavior instead of owning their part and be accountable for their actions)

        Again this is not meant to insult or offend Filipinos but sometimes we need a dose of hard cold truth in order for us to be more enlightened and change for the better.

      • profile image

        tom C 

        5 months ago

        i love the philippines my wife is from there....but the only thing i find negative is that all philippinos think all foreigners are rich and will try to take that advantage

      • profile image

        Fred 

        6 months ago

        Thanks bro

      • profile image

        vanns digo 

        9 months ago

        This is so exciting. Thank you

      • profile image

        john 

        10 months ago

        hahahahahahaha

      • profile image

        johara solayman 

        11 months ago

        thank you you are helpful to my assignment and I proud to be a Filipino

      • profile image

        Arise Filipino 

        12 months ago

        Filipino are so respectful and friendly!

      • jujanester profile imageAUTHOR

        jujanester 

        13 months ago from Philippines

        That's good to hear coming from you sir! Very well said and thanks for the good words.

      • jujanester profile imageAUTHOR

        jujanester 

        13 months ago from Philippines

        Thank you princepe! Appreciated your comment

      • profile image

        princepe 

        13 months ago

        love the author ..

      • profile image

        Jim Ingebretsen 

        14 months ago

        Hello my name is Jim I live in Makati all great about Philippinos. I am Honored to be here an among the nicest kindest people on the planet. All positive traits. They are truly caring and make their familys first and now thats caring. The children so respectful and yes cant beat the hospitality it is the greatest in the world. I recommend the Philippines a beautiful place. And yes they are the first to reach out for each other and even a stranger for a stranger will never feel along. Loyal and ye honest. I made a great decision to live here.

      • profile image

        Marie 

        14 months ago

        I beg to differ. Filipinos in general are not helpful when someone is in dire need of help. I am a filipino but i have yet to see another filipino offering to help a mugged person or someone who was begging for help in a public place because their life was in danger. No, not even to call the police, filipinos can't be bothered. I was in that situation, filipinos just watched. So i would advice people to beware, they are only there in good times.

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        15 months ago from Germany

        Very well said. I agree with you. I voted the first one.

      • jujanester profile imageAUTHOR

        jujanester 

        15 months ago from Philippines

        That's right!

      • profile image

        AA 

        15 months ago

        Have A Great Day

      • profile image

        Darkthread 

        15 months ago

        I love the pinay people, cant wait to return and meet my son.

      • profile image

        me 

        16 months ago

        *Scratches head awkwardly* I am almost none of the above, but I am Filipino... LOL.

      • profile image

        Reni Glenn Canoy 

        17 months ago

        i proud to be a filipino..

      • profile image

        Ruby 

        17 months ago

        @Jason D same, but I got lucky. 10 yrs old and 4.7

      • profile image

        Jason D 

        17 months ago

        Proud to be filipino, and the tallest one out of everyone. Im 13 and 5,8 while everyone is either 5,5 or 5,0

      • profile image

        sup 

        19 months ago

        so are filipinos nice

      • profile image

        Liela 

        19 months ago

        Thanks for reminding us who we are as filipinos. Yes we still have these virtue however as these years go by it is also noticiable that these are fading and we are losing our real identity as filipinos. It is good to be reminded who we really are. May we not forget and may we fight for our identity. Let's be proud to be Pinoy.

      • profile image

        Maria 

        20 months ago

        I am so proud to be a Filipino!! :)

      • profile image

        ebeth agdeppa 

        20 months ago

        pround to be a filipino

      • profile image

        LovelyAmy23 

        20 months ago

        Proud To Be Filipino =)

      • profile image

        Xandre 

        20 months ago

        I'm proud to be a Filipino :)

      • profile image

        Marie26 

        2 years ago

        Thanks, it is very helpful for me this things...

      • profile image

        Jane16 

        2 years ago

        Yes, we Filipinos value our family members, even though they are dead we still remembers them especially their death anniversary we offer prayers and holy mass, because we believe that they cud help us in our needs here on earth.

      • profile image

        do no 

        3 years ago

        thks for my answered assignments because of these, these are really true

      • profile image

        gabriel 

        3 years ago

        amazing,

      • profile image

        Geneva 

        3 years ago

        I'm proud to be a Filipino! :-)

      • profile image

        kim 

        3 years ago

        loving

      • profile image

        jhandiel bersamina shuan 

        3 years ago

        my father is a pure filipino too...

        i really and highly appreciate the filipino traditions...

        the one i like in filipinos is their hospitality...

      • profile image

        Areez 

        3 years ago

        when it comes to quality of work and TLC Filipinos are excellent..they are kind and hospitable.. easy to adopt and learn.. i'm happy to work with them..

      • profile image

        Novemae 

        3 years ago

        Yes I agree t all of that

      • profile image

        keziah 

        4 years ago

        thank you you are helpful to my assignment

        :-\

      • profile image

        jeanevie 

        4 years ago

        indeed. Filipinos are good enough. They may have the negative sides yet mostly are positive one.

      • profile image

        jao 

        4 years ago

        Filipinos are sweet and caring in a general sense

        One major problem in the culture is AGE EGOISM.

        There is a wide generation gap existing because of assumed social roles based on age. Though some globalized Filipinos value friendship over age, and they communicate fluidly - they also let themselves be called by their first name alone. Those who discriminate so much, just have to lighten it up, and not assume that an older person knows better than another one who looks younger - but is really older in spirit, and has more wisdom and experience.

        Another thing is birth order discrimination. Most Filipinos expect that a first born will be the one to raise other siblings.. It places a heavy burden on them - doing a lot of work that they shouldn't be doing. While brothers and sisters should help each other, it is still the main responsibility of the parents to provide for their children. It will also be best if they don't compare them. Filipino parents must see their children as individuals, each with different personalities and traits.

        They also put a heavy burden on anyone who is younger. It is hard to communicate to an older looking person because of all those expected social norms. If only they can learn how to call each other on their nick name / first name basis alone, they'll see the beauty of equality in communication. There will be an increase in enriching exchanges. And those young looking people don't have to pretend to be someone else when they talk to them.

        If in other countries, the older looking ones are discriminated, in the Philippines: the younger looking ones are the one being discriminated.

        Still, I love them all.

      • profile image

        yurisaranghae 

        4 years ago

        proud to be pinay

        thats true!

      • profile image

        JHONALEAH 

        4 years ago

        OH !!! yeps ! filipino are so loving and caring .. friendly .. PROUD TO BE PINAY !!

      • jujanester profile imageAUTHOR

        jujanester 

        5 years ago from Philippines

        you are right! Filipinos are friendly people and they can even be the best friend you'll ever meet plus the strong family ties and values that we possess.

      • profile image

        shunade 

        5 years ago

        yes!!!try to have some friends to filipino people, they are so nice and good friends,if you try to make friends with them and you have any idea of what they are,who they are as a filipino..

      • profile image

        Natsumi 

        5 years ago

        I am a Filipino Japanese Mix. But I found out the hard way of my past. Knowing the truth and not letting go. Even in hard times. When money is hard to make, In the memories from a Child, will haunt you. Filipino's Will never Forget. But they will forgive, and let go. Even when others will not. -NK-

      • NateB11 profile image

        Nathan Bernardo 

        5 years ago from California, United States of America

        My father was from the Philippines and I have a lot of Filipino family here in the US; and I recognize all these characteristics you describe. I see these characteristics in my family and from every Filipino I've ever met: Mellow, considerate, generous, hospitable, romantic, social.Very true and accurate.

      • profile image

        john lexter emberador 

        6 years ago

        i was so proud to be Filipino and i will apply to everyone the good traits which Filipino have :)

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 

        6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        I'm glad to have stumbled upon your hub, which reminds me of how pinoy I am in spirit and despite the not-so-good general traits, I'm still proud to be pinoy. Perfect video accompaniment. Good job!

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