Navigating the Filipino Work Culture [Infographic]

Categories: Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs, Infographics

Navigating the Filipino Working Culture

You’ve probably heard about the world-famous Filipino hospitality from friends who have traveled to the Philippines, and it is true. The Filipinos really are one of the world’s friendliest people.

In HSBC’s survey titled “Expat Explorer Survey 2011,” the Philippines ranked as the 8th friendliest nation in the world. Expatriates who have worked in the Philippines for a long time can attest to the unique Filipino working culture, in which the Pinoys’ hospitable nature shines through.

Aside from hospitability, the Filipino working culture complements business growth. This could explain why the BPO industry has grown so much in the Philippines in the past decade.

According to industry experts, the BPO industry is expected to reach a revenue of $25 billion this year and $55 billion by 2020. The Filipino workers’ good work ethics continue to play a huge role in this growth.

If you’re planning to launch a business in the Philippines, here’s a short guide to help you deeply understand the Filipino work culture. Getting a recruitment consultant for your organization is also one of the best ways to secure top talents in the Philippines growing workforce.

Navigating the Filipino Work Culture
Filipinos are hospitable

  • They make you feel welcomed, even if they haven’t known you for a long time.
  • They will immediately ask you to join them for a meal or drink after work.
  • They will offer to show you around their city or town.
  • They will introduce you to their friends at the office.

Filipinos are warm and friendly.

  • They will greet you more than once. Apart from the customary “good morning” and “hello,” they will also ask “how are you?” and expect you to tell them a bit about your day.
  • They are genuinely friendly. They often smile not only out of habit but also as their way of saying “hello.”
  • They greet you not only with a firm handshake but also with a genuine smile. This is often followed by a sincere inquiry about how your day is going.

Filipinos have a unique communication style.

  • English is the second language in the Philippines, which adds to the success factor of the BPO industry.
  • They show respect to their seniors by using “ma’am,” “sir,” “miss,” “mister,” and even “po” and “opo,” which are important words used in the Filipino culture that show utmost respect.
  • Sometimes, a “yes” from a Filipino employee could mean “yes, but…” This can be confusing to expats. There are cases when Filipino employees would say “yes” to something, but because they don’t want to appear confrontational or troublesome, they keep their reservations to themselves. The best way to go around this is to listen not only to the intonation but also ask clarifying questions. This will ensure that you are both on the same page.

Filipinos value camaraderie and belongingness.

  • Filipinos have strong family ties, which can be seen in the way they treat their colleagues as family.
  • You would often see them hanging out after work, sharing a meal and having a drink with friends from the office.
  • The “buddy system” is even stronger in the Filipino working culture, as newcomers are welcomed genuinely to the team.
  • Filipinos are genuinely helpful because of their strong sense of camaraderie. This is often seen in how they help colleagues go through a tough time at work.
  • Filipinos are fiercely loyal because they value belongingness, which makes them strong brand ambassadors of the business or brand.

Filipinos are very generous.

  • When Filipinos go on a holiday, they often hand out small trinkets or “pasalubong,” which in Tagalog/Filipino means souvenir from their trip to their colleagues.
  • Generosity is also shown in how Filipinos give free food to their team members when someone gets a promotion, does a great job, or completed a successful project.
  • This kind of Filipino “hospitality” can also explain why Christmas gift-giving in the Filipino workplace culture is so grand. Everyone gets something, and nobody is left out to feel bad during the holidays.
  • The concept of “potluck” is also very popular in a Filipino office where employees often pitch in for lunch or bring something from home to contribute to the feast. This is because Filipinos enjoy eating with friends and colleagues.

Filipinos are hardworking.

  • Working overtime is a popular concept in the Filipino work culture. Many workers do not mind working beyond the business hours because they know it can help add value to the work they do.
  • The Filipino creativity and resourcefulness at work shine through, which help them work harder than anyone else.
  • Despite having a lot on their plate, you will see Filipinos offer a hand to their colleagues on a project.

The Great Filipino Working Culture

Filipinos aren’t only hardworking employees, but also strong leaders. Having a Filipino team member in your organization can earn you not only a top performer but a great ambassador too.

If you are building a team in the Philippines or joining a multinational in the country soon, you can hire a recruitment consultant to help you navigate the Filipino workforce.




Manila Recruitment is recognized as the leading recruitment firm in the Philippines for headhunting, executive search, expert, technical and IT recruitment. We share an unrivalled passion to help your business succeed by understanding your goals, then sourcing and providing you with your number one asset – driven, dedicated and exceptional people!

Experience the Manila Recruitment difference, and give your business in the Philippines a competitive advantage by contacting us today. Whether you are exploring an offshore solution, or are an established entrepreneur, SME or Multinational in the Philippines, our team has the experience and a tailored recruitment solution to introduce you to the top talent in the Philippines.

Contact our Manila Recruitment team at