The culture of the Philippines is a rich mosaic of Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, West European and American influences; reflected in the Filipino people’s belief system and business practices.
Colonized by Spain for over 400 years, the Spanish influence is evident in Catholics comprising 85% of the population and religious celebrations such as fiestas.
As a U.S. colony for 50 years, the American influence is evident in English as a primary language and contemporary pop culture such as fast-food, music, movies, basketball and media.
The Arabs and the Indians brought Islam, its customs and traditions, to the southern most islands of Mindanao. The Chinese brought trade and commerce as well as the importance of family unity and respect.
Today, China’s predominance in Asia, is evident in Filipino-Chinese controlling as much as 60% of the Philippine economy.
Business travelers would be well advised that although the Philippines is the most Westernized in the ASEAN region, and English is spoken widely, they cannot assume that business is done just as it is in the West. For example:
1)Business relationships are personal relationships.Once you have a personal relationship, it is with you personally, and not with the company you represent (unless you are the owner)
2) Face-to-face meetings are preferred to other more impersonal
forms of communication such as telephone, fax, letter of email.
3) Negotiations are often done outside the office, in social
venues, or in the golf course.
4) Business visitors are often invited to social events and are expected to participate in dancing and singing.
A great way to learn more about the country is by taking part in numerous festivals and events which are held all year round.
Here are favorite destinations in the Philippines for the business and pleasure tourist.
Here are short trips in the key business cities of Manila and Cebu.
City Tours & Sightseeing
Day Trips and Excursions outside Manila
Food, Wine and Gastronomy
Manila Shows, Cabarets, Concerts
Morning City Tour with Manila Ocean Park
Spa and Shopping Spree in Manila
CebuCebu City Tours & Sightseeing