Culture of The Philippines

The Philippines is a wonderfully laid back place.  You just don’t see a lot of Filipino raising heck about anything.  Even when unhappy, they tend to be polite.  This might be different inside of families, I know of times when family debate has become quite heated, just like any family any place.

There is a phrase in the Philippines known as Filipino time.  It is very real.  Don’t count on Filipino paying strict adherence to time, especially in social broken timesituations.  It may be different for business and governmental events but I don’t have much experience with that.

I see westerners getting upset about this casual approach to time.  They get uptight about people being late.  Well, go home or get use to it.

However, when a jet can’t land with 153 people on board because the air traffic controllers (ATC)  are late for work that might be carrying it a bit far.  It sounds like the airport in Zamboanga is not staffed 24 hours a day.  If so, it seems one group of ATC would not leave until their replacement was there.  This is speculation on my part though.

A PAL flight from Manila to Zamboanga was forced to circle the airport for a time.  The amount of time varies depending on which official you ask.  The time varies from a few minutes to about thirty minutes.

Two employees took the day off and two more showed up late.  They said they had trouble finding transportation due to the holidays, as fewer travel options were available.  Their boss seemed to think they were having trouble breaking free of the holiday mood.  He has launched a disciplinary  investigation into the incident.

This is not as shocking as it might seem to westerners.  You don’t see a lot of jets or planes in the air here.  I have never seen a small private plane.  You can from time to time see a jet very high over head but that is not common.  This is true even when I was living in Cebu City.  Out on the Mactan Island, perhaps I would have seen more planes as that is where the Cebu Airport is.

This laid back atmosphere of the Philippines is refreshing though if you’re in a hurry, it can be frustrating.  Perhaps we westerners could learn from the Filipino.  Perhaps we would have fewer heart attacks.  Come to think of it, I do see more elderly people here. That could be because they stay with their families instead of nursing homes.  They may just be out and about more, not really living longer.

In any case, get rid of your watch Mr. Westerner and join in on the local time zone, that being Filipino Time.

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Filed under: Filipino CultureLiving In The Philippines

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