The primary language that business is conducted in the Philippines is English. This is a result of the American influenced era which began in 1898. One should not assume that just because English is the most commonly used language that both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication are conducted the same way that they are in America. The Philippines business environment is known to be highly personalized. The communication style of the Philippines has also been perceived as difficult to comprehend due to its diplomatic and complex language which is derived from its Asian roots. (http://www.worldbusinessculture.com/Filipino-Business-Communication-Style.html) It is common in the Philippines, as well as most Asian countries, for people to have an extremely difficult time saying ‘no’ because they tend to try to avoid hurting others feelings. Saying ‘no’ to someone can also be viewed by others as confrontational and unfriendly.
Because of this Filipino’s would rather say ‘yes’ even if they mean ‘no.’ (http://www.worldbusinessculture.com/Filipino-Business-Communication-Style.html) Filipinos’ dialogue-oriented, rather emotional communication somewhat resembles Spanish, but is less forceful and exuberant. As a show of respect, Filipinos usually address people by their titles (e.g., Architect Cruz, Attorney Jose, Dr. Romero). Over time, and after a relationship is established, they may address business associate by their informal title or nickname. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4205562/National-Cultural-Profiles-Philippines.html) In the Filipino culture a pervasive smile can easily be interpreted as agreement or affirmation in what has just been discussed. That same smile can easily be used to hide embarrassment, aggravation on disagreement. Nonverbal signs of affirmation include the raising of an eyebrow and the jerking of the head upward.
A common sign for “no” include the jerk of the head down. For example, if an individual says “yes” while pointing their head downward you can be fairly certain that they feel negatively about what you have been discussing. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4205562/National-Cultural-Profiles-Philippines.html) Although in most cultures it is common for both men and women to shake hands with one another when they are first introduced or when greeting each other, that is not the case in the Filipino culture. Any form of touching, especially men touching women is frowned upon by Filipinos. (http://www.intercultures.ca/cil-cai/ci-ic-eng.asp?iso=ph#cn-2) The Philippines are split into three different regions called, “Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.” Gender roles in the Philippines are found in school systems, dating, marriage, and especially their families. When Filipino’s are born they assume their gender role by their sex.
Males get more respect for the most part because females take after their mothers and elder women to take less dominating roles, also being more feminine in the jobs they choose to hold. Men are categorized into the more dominating roles in society. Men are brought up to take after their fathers or the elder man in their life. They are defined as being more confident, accomplished, and well-rounded individuals. School systems are strict on students, making them look presentable, especially males. Males are required to have short hair and females must wear skirts down to their shins. Dressing inappropriately is not tolerated.
Males and females got to the same school but they divide them into two separate parts of the school. Attending a college or university for the average person is highly unlikely because there is no financial aid available so only the wealthy go and receives the higher education. Education is very important to Filipinos and is stressed by their parents to have the best education possible to be successful. Format for names, the country being a predominant catholic, old folks follow the old traditional way of naming their children after the names of the saints. In Luzon, the largest island and where the capital sits, has a strong western influence, naming mostly patterned like the westerners.
The country is patriarchal when it comes to family roles. The male or the fathers are always the head and of the household and the final word when it comes to domestic affair. There are regions, like in south Mindanao, the grand chief of the village is the eldest and the wealthiest of the clan where his power over other members of the clan is important even on domestic affairs. The female or the wife is expected to be the care taker of the household, including keeping up with the children. They do not have voicing power compared to the husband (Heinrich 2008) Dating among the Filipino’s is not usually done unless they are eighteen years old because education is most important. Even then when they start dating the male will pay for the female.
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