What Are Some Filipino Values and Traits?

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Filipinos value the family, as evidenced by the close family ties that are kept strong through generations. Divorce is not a legal practice in the Philippines, and most natives hold marriage sacred, especially in the older generation. Unlike in Western countries, where children of legal age are expected to move out of their parents’ home, the Filipino family lives in the same house until one marries into another family.

Many Filipinos hold gratitude in such high esteem that they find it necessary to repay any kindness given to them in any way possible. Academics refer to it as reciprocity or debt of gratitude, but Filipinos refer to it as “utang na loob” all over the country. In this way, Filipinos show appreciation and gratitude for lending out a hand.

Values, such as respect for the elderly and taking responsibility for the welfare of the family, are commonly observed traits in Asian countries. A unique Filipino trait, however, is their linguistic social convention that involves the use of polite words when giving commands or orders. It is considered rude to give a direct command when asking for something, even in an office environment. Instead, Filipinos tend to use the word “please” or the local prefix “paki” or “maki” before a direct order.