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Pinoy Life: Classic Filipino Traits and Characteristics

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You Know You're Filipino When...

You Know You're Filipino When...

Filipinos: Who We Are

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 and traits in the world. Although we have been colonized by several countries, many core values from our ancestors have 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.

A Filipino host will always offer food to a guest.

A Filipino host will always offer food to a guest.

Positive Traits

Below are some of the common positive traits to be found in Filipino culture!

1. Hospitable

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.

2. Respectful and Courteous

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.

4. Generous and Helpful

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.

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

Politics in the Philippines can be brutal.

Some Not-Always-Positive Traits

I don't want to sound totally arrogant. Awesome as Filipinos are, we are not perfect. Here are a couple of not-so-helpful traits that also can 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.

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!

Traits of Filipinos

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Erebus Helskin on August 21, 2020:

You maybe Filipino so your experience is one sided. But as a non-filipino, you should see filipinos on the internet on gaming sites, on Facebook. The most unfriendly and rudest bastards I have ever come across. And I'm not taking back these words coz this is a first hand experience. By me and a filipino work colleague. I told this filipino colleague of mine to pose as a non-filipino on the internet when he told me this same thing, that Filipinos are friendly. He said fine. He posed as a non Filipino for half an hour (30mins) and the insults he got from his own filipino people was priceless the look on his face was even more so. You are only friendly to your own people and people who maybe speak filipino. I don't give a damn what you feel. Don't speak a single filipino word to a filipino and see the way they talk. The insults they give you and then you'll. You Filipinos are not friendly to an outsider in the least. You're just good for business that's all.

Kim on July 01, 2020:

There are the really good people, the bad and the inbetween but I'd say much higher % of ppl in the philippines are good than most other countries that is because of the countries Christianity.

Igorotaak on May 13, 2020:

wow, i enjoyed reading all your different views and experiences. i definitely agree with it, because i am also guilty of doing it..but there are slight differences in the traits of filipinos from the different regions.

JoeVicente Naranjo on February 27, 2020:

At a young age, kids in the Philippines are already taught by their parents to have respect to elders. That's the value that I remember most in my childhood.

I believe that these values are learned through proper nurture from the parents.

MrSniffles on November 21, 2019:

As a youngish foreigner living in the Philippines for more than a decade the one negative that stands out that is prevalent everywhere in this country is jealousy of success. If you have a nice new car, an expensive big bike or anything else that people perceive as wealth, there is a large portion of the population that will try to bring you down for it. I have had Filipino's talk about me saying 'his mom bought that for him. Thanks mom!' Every time I go out in one of my vehicles I'll always see multiple people with hand to the ear signifying you got the money for that from abroad from a relative. The jealousy here is rife and very tiring, not to mention I find it downright insulting. People give you evil looks because you have something nice and they don't have it. You didn't work for that! it was given to you now I hate you!

Of course there is an element of jealousy in all societies but here it is on another level. I honestly find it very difficult to understand why. Back when all I had was a honda XRM I had filipino's laugh at me for being a poor foreigner, but once my vehicles started becoming nice and expensive, all cash paid, it changed to being hated.

Other than this I mostly love it here it has problems, but then so does my home country. I'm married, starting a family, like my life here. I just cannot understand or accept the jealousy. I am too perceptive for my own good as I notice all this, I guess.

SilentHorror on October 30, 2019:

I actually agree that some of this are just sugar coating the reality but the 'filipino' described here are the well cultured people. As the generations goes on, the newer generations starts to be mean and horrible people because of the technology and what they also saw in their surroundings. This is my opinion even though I'm a Filipina but I merely observed this. Im an observant type of person.

Ra on August 28, 2019:

Thank you for posting such words

so Informational

$$ItsHomieCrocodile$$ on August 14, 2019:

Ok it’s goo all though a lot of text

mars ortega on July 19, 2019:

so useful for me...thank you so much.

benie on June 20, 2019:

respect not have impasible

My Name Is Nobody on June 02, 2019:

2. Respect... Mostly in one way.

What you wrote here about respect to the elders is only a very little piece of the puzzle. Allow me to dig deeper since this is a very important aspect of the Filipino culture. ( I call the Filipino culture 'a puzzle' because 1: Filipinos are ashamed to share their culture so they hide it to foreigners when they don't literally deny it. 2: Filipinos lie A LOT. Lying and pretending is a very big part of the Filipino culture. An entire life is not enough to decode their culture and understand why it became like this.)

In the traditional Filipino culture people are very modest. In a certain way they are more modest than Muslims born in Saudi Arabia or Yemen even if they don't cover their hair or face. In the Filipino culture people don't kiss nor hold hands of people of the opposite sex in public. It's a taboo. Most importantly, when a toddler reaches the age of about 2 years old, his parents cut every physical signs of affection to them: No more kisses nor hugs, nor caresses... NOTHING! It's unthinkable for a mother to kiss or hugs her kids. The 8 years old girl who wants to kiss her mother should expect to be pushed away roughly enough for her to understand to never do this again. The mom is the boss! The only physical sign in the traditional FIlipino culture is the mano po gesture.

Filipinos love to sugarcoat the reality so they say the mano po is a sign of respect but in reality it's more a sign of submission than anything else. The first time I saw this I felt really bad. I had the impression I was in the middle age seeing a girl kissing the hand of her majesty the king.

I don't want to elaborate about all the immoral treatments adults often do to their kids in this culture: screaming after them, insulting them, not taking care of them, not encouraging them, humiliating them, beating them, forcing them to work, forcing them to do prostitution (the Fil government and the authorities don't do much to help kids in this country. They just ignore this and pretend it doesn't exists. It's almost always some voluntary police from western country who go there to stop these things).

The way parents treat their toddlers, kids and teenagers in this country and culture is the biggest source of social problems. It leads to a massive lack of personal pride and self esteem, complex of inferiority, alcoholism/drug abuse, gambling, delinquency, violence etc.

Ariane joy on February 19, 2019:

Thank you :)

Self-Improvement from Pakistan on February 04, 2019:

Good research work regarding Filipinos Please visit this article

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 18, 2019:

Knowing a lot of Filipinos, I agree with some of these and not others. Like all other races their are both good and bad. I will say appearance seems to be more important to Filipinos then anything else, and women, especially if married to a foreigner, will often become spendthrifts with no thought of saving. However, as a I said, this does not pertain to all and I also know hard working Filipinos who will do everything they can to provide for their children.

Joe on January 05, 2019:

The author of this article is obviously sheltered or paid to write a bunch of bull. I’ve been living in the Philippines for over a decade, and I have rubbed elbows on a nightly basis with Filipino billionaires while working side by side poor farmers during the day. Also kicked with all the middle class types the country has to offer. All of the “traits” listed can be attributed to any nationality. But here it’s way more negative traits than positive. Everyone is either in “survival” mode or “hater” mode, to the point that no one seems to be genuine. And as far as the rich go, impossible to be rich and sustain a high standard of living if you ain’t violating. But it’s ok cuz everyone knows money fixes everything. Nothing has changed, nothing will change.

Christopher on November 28, 2018:

Im proud to be a filipino.Thats true im loving caring and romantic

ALSON on November 19, 2018:

im a proud filipino man

antavious on October 22, 2018:

Filipinos are nice people

Bryan on October 10, 2018:

i don't know about respect.

ems cruz on October 10, 2018:

I am Filipino and a lot of the ones are are only like this for show. With each other, no. A good example is when your car breaks down and a “tambay” helps you push.. expect that he will ask for money in return. Filipinos nowadays have an heir of being privileged, have difficulty accepting true criticisms about us and our country, and have a false sense of nationalism.

big nigga on September 27, 2018:

For as far as i know, you shouldn't be using we when writing an article

angelica dela cruz on September 26, 2018:

yan ang pinoy

mjgonzales on September 20, 2018:

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

Filipino_Boy69 on September 19, 2018:

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

Kika on September 10, 2018:

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

Kika on September 10, 2018:

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

yagbols on September 09, 2018:

I kid of dont belive in you guys so

Karen Leanne Sandberg on September 09, 2018:

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.

caasey on August 29, 2018:

wow good

Im a Filipino by birth but an american citizen on August 10, 2018:

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.

day on July 07, 2018:

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

tony selfe on July 04, 2018:

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"

hiimmaryimnida on May 16, 2018:

Anothwr negative Filipino trait::

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

and then engaged to a fight

im a filipino too

jmdortega on May 08, 2018:

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)

jmdortega on May 08, 2018:

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.

tom C on April 08, 2018:

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

Fred on February 26, 2018:

Thanks bro

vanns digo on November 27, 2017:

This is so exciting. Thank you

john on November 08, 2017:


johara solayman on October 16, 2017:

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

Arise Filipino on August 30, 2017:

Filipino are so respectful and friendly!

jujanester (author) from Philippines on August 16, 2017:

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

jujanester (author) from Philippines on August 15, 2017:

Thank you princepe! Appreciated your comment

princepe on August 15, 2017:

love the author ..

Jim Ingebretsen on July 19, 2017:

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.

Marie on July 19, 2017:

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 from Germany on June 22, 2017:

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

jujanester (author) from Philippines on June 21, 2017:

That's right!

AA on June 05, 2017:

Have A Great Day

Darkthread on May 31, 2017:

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

me on May 13, 2017:

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

Reni Glenn Canoy on April 24, 2017:

i proud to be a filipino..

Ruby on April 23, 2017:

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

Jason D on April 20, 2017:

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

sup on February 23, 2017:

so are filipinos nice

Liela on February 19, 2017:

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.

Maria on January 16, 2017:

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

ebeth agdeppa on January 08, 2017:

pround to be a filipino

LovelyAmy23 on January 06, 2017:

Proud To Be Filipino =)

Xandre on January 04, 2017:

I'm proud to be a Filipino :)

Marie26 on January 21, 2016:

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

Jane16 on January 21, 2016:

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.

do no on July 21, 2015:

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

gabriel on July 07, 2015:


Geneva on July 04, 2015:

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

kim on June 08, 2015:


jhandiel bersamina shuan on February 09, 2015:

my father is a pure filipino too...

i really and highly appreciate the filipino traditions...

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

Areez on December 15, 2014:

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..

Novemae on October 30, 2014:

Yes I agree t all of that

keziah on August 13, 2014:

thank you you are helpful to my assignment


jeanevie on July 27, 2014:

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

jao on March 05, 2014:

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.

yurisaranghae on December 15, 2013:

proud to be pinay

thats true!

JHONALEAH on December 01, 2013:

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

jujanester (author) from Philippines on April 24, 2013:

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.

shunade on April 23, 2013:

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..

Natsumi on April 21, 2013:

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-

Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on October 08, 2012:

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.

john lexter emberador on September 07, 2012:

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

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on August 18, 2012:

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!