The Philippines has a very balanced and family-based society as the center and axis of all activity. Within the business world, families also play a predominant role. But first, we must take into account certain characteristics of cultural life in the Philippines to translate them into our attitudes and strategies when establishing commercial relationships.
The predominant religion is Christianity, with about 50% of the population; English is the predominant language given its status as a historic member of the Commonwealth. The Filipinos, in general, are friendly and very cordial in the deal, although while they may seem very sociable, they prefer and love brevity and distance as a symbol of respect.
The Philippines has been shaped by waves of immigrants from all over the world, which is why diversity is an evident characteristic, which implies respect for difference and acceptance with indispensable social norms. Respect for the law is an essential characteristic of the average Filipino, a great adherence to the rules and a strict compliance with the law in all areas of life as well as in business.
There are certain cultural-social aspects, typical of the essence of the Filipino, which can be very helpful to know them to successfully accompany a negotiation strategy:
– Men should wear dark suits and dark ties; Women often wear light colored dresses for business meetings.
– Being extremely punctual is strict.
– Present your personal card is always a plus at the beginning of the meeting.
– Always look at the person you are addressing during a work meeting.
– Gifts are not well seen in commercial areas or in business meetings.
– Greet by shaking hands at the beginning of the meeting and at the end of it.
– It is a very patient society, do not rush to resolve any issue.
– Try not to pressure the counterpart, they are used to acting under pressure and the negotiation can become dense and even disturbing.
– Men should not be physically demonstrative with other men, even less with women. Distance is something vital for understanding.
– Talking in a loud tone or laughing too much in public can be frowned upon by Filipinos.
– Never show the soles of your shoes when sitting cross-legged, showing them is considered an impolite act.
– It is unacceptable to point fingers at another person. Be very careful when doing it.
– The men greet each other shaking hands, only the women, although not all, greet each other in the welcome as well as in the farewell with a kiss on the cheek.