A lost  guy  asked  another  for  directions  and  the person  directing  gave  the  other  a  gesture  –  not  by  pointing  his  finger  towards  where  the  other  should  go  but  instead,  used  his  lips  to point  the  way.   It’s  one  singular  Filipino  habit  of  giving   directions.   And  it  is  practiced  practically  by  most,  I mean  most  of the  Filipinos  in  or  outside  the  country.   I  searched in   the WWW,  and  to  my  great   surprise  it  is not  included  in any of  the listings –  which  are  thousands –  about  habits  around  the world. .  Conclusion, very  singular therefore. 


Another   singularity   is the “tabo”.   What  is  a  “tabo”?.    It  is  any  small  round  container,   plastic  or  metal,  that  Filipinos  use  to  take  a  bath   or  to  wash  their  hands  with  but  most  of  all  it  is  the  common  alternative  to  the  toilet  paper.     I  remember  full  well  decades  back,   that  since  most  of the  showers  back  then  do not  function,   to simplify  matters,   Filipinos  “invented”  a  way  to  pour  water  on  the  body  and  “tabo”  is  the  handiest   tool  you  can  lay  your  hands  on    to  complete  the  bath.    Even  some  Filipinos  who  live  in foreign  countries    cannot  get  rid  of  that  habit  and  continue  to use  a  “tabo”.    A  question  of  hygiene?  Well,  for  Filipinos  it  is  both  hygiene  and  inexpensive –  economic  and  socio-cultural   habit. 

What  else?   Men  peeing  alongside  the  road  or  against  any  wall,  wherever  convenient.  Yes,   true!.    A few years  back,   I  visited   the  Philippines  and  to  my  jaw-dropping  surprise,   I  saw  half  body  high cubicles  standing   along   a  road  (cannot  remember  the name)   from  the  Ninoy Aquino  International Airport,  and  each  one  is  about   200 meters   away  from the   other.    I   asked  my  brother who picked  me  up,  what  are  those  for?   And  precisely  he  explained  to me  that  they  are  “urinals”  for   men  who  cannot   wait  to  get  home,   (especially  those  who  had  one  drink to many)  so  they  have  a place  to attend   to their  personal  necessity.   Awful !,  I  told  my  brother.   Very   “disgusting”   more so   because   they  were  built  along  the road leading to the  airport  where  tourists   pass through  regularly.  Besides,  as you  ply  along  the  road,   you  smell the  repugnant  odor  of,  yah….pee.     Anyway,  I  heard  from  someone  that  the road  had already  been  cleared  away  of  those  urinals.  Thank goodness!.   Yet,    peeing  against  a  wall  or  along  the  road   remains  as  how  they  had always   been ….. a  singular   Filipino  habit.

What  about   the  habit  of  drinking.   Go  to  a  “beer house”  (the equivalent of  a  “bar” in other  countries),  and   you will find  a  group  of  men  drinking  around    a table.   So what is the  habit –  the  habit  is  that  the  empty  bottles  of  beer  are  left  on the  table  uncollected.  It  does not matter    if  there  are  10’s  of  bottles  on  the  table,  waiters  or  waitress  do  not  collect  them.   In  the  event  that  they  are  really  piling  up,   what is  done  is   to bring  out a case  container  for  the  beer  which  is placed right  under  the  table,  if not  alongside  the  drinking  men.   And  most  of the  time,   a  group  of  drinkers  end up  with  two  or  three  cases  of   beer  containers.    Why  so?  My  theory  is  that,    it  is  more  of  a  “show-off”  to  the  rest  of the   other  drinkers  that   their  group  is  more  a  bunch  of  “macho-men”  than the  others.  Funny,  isn’t  it?.    Yes,  but  it  is  a  regular  view  in  any  beer house  gardens  as these  places  are fondly  called. 


I  could  write  a  lot  more,  way  a lot  more,  about  Filipino  habits or  peculiarities, singularities,  idiosyncrasies,   characteristics,  oddities,  mannerisms,  kinks,  etc.,  but  whatever  you  call  them ,   they  are   “only in the Philippines”.

If you’ve  got  something   to  add…please  let  me know.


Please  visit  this page:    if you  are looking  for  a  job  in  Madrid.   

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Teacher, Public Speaking and Life Coach, Book and Poem Writer, Folkloric dancer and choreographer, a father, friendly and an admirer and beholder of natural beauty...God believer..


  1. Have you Forgot about the count of Girlfriends of all MACHO with Lots of MONEY. They are Proud also to have many child in every girlfriend or ” KABIT “. The more live inn girlfriend you have the more MACHO you are….


    1. Hi Edwin, How are things going on? I think I remember having asked you about the history of the gold coins that you have in possession. I’ve yet to work on an article about it and I promise that I will come up with a write-up soonest. Well no, I have not forgotten about the MACHO image a lot of Filipino guys try to portray and I think I shall pick up from what you have mentioned about it. Thanks Edwin and good to hear from you, friend. All the best to you…Eric


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    1. Thanks a lot for a wholesome comment. Will try writing more about what people might be interested about reading..


  3. Another Pilipino habit is playing cards such as ‘Tong-it’ or ‘Pusoy’. Pilipinos, some of them obviously, bet a lot of money. Rather than buying rice for there’s not even a grain of rice left to feed their family, they use this money for betting instead.

    Playing ‘Mah-jong’ is another yet “bad” habit for many Pinoys. They don’t play ‘Mah-joy’ just for leisure, but to bet jus in case they win. Pilipinos abroad still have this habit of betting. Abroad, Pilipinos go to a Bingo Parlours to bet during their days off.

    Cock-fighting is another betting leisure fo many Pilipinos espeially in small towns, ‘probinsiya’ and villages or ‘baryo’.


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