Thursday, March 04, 2010

What do Filipinos do?

There are some countries where I hear conflicting messages about whether the custom is to remove shoes or keep them on. The Philippines is one of those countries.

Some Filipinos say that it is their custom to always remove shoes when entering homes. A lot of etiquette guides say this what you have to do. Yet a lot of Filipinos are adamant that they do not normally take their shoes off in their homes.

I visited a guy once who had a Filipino wife. The couple were wearing slippers, but they did not ask me or my friends to remove our shoes. That incident does not tell me much.

I suspect a regional variation is at work. The Philippines is made up of many islands and has ethnic and religious divisions. Some Filipinos look like the Chinese, others look like Pacific islanders. Most interestingly, there is a big Hispanic influence on the Philipines.

I think Filipinos are a cool people- they like fried food, they like wearing flip flops and a lot of them also like extreme heavy metal.


Anonymous said...

um.. the couple were probably wearing "tsinelas" (chi-NE-las) tsinelas are slippers you mostly only wear inside the house. as you said, Filipinos don't wear shoes in the house as to keep the floor clean. so serving as an alternative for shoes, some Filipinos wear tsinelas.... and for not inviting you and the other guests to take your shoes off, they were probably just being polite and letting you guys be as comfortable as possible(:

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for visiting.

Clearly many Filipinos wear slippers at home and not shoes.

On the other hand, I have read many Filipinos online who insist that it is not their custom to remove shoes at home.

Roly Manansala said...

I know some couples who do enforce the "shoes off policy" inside their homes. However, it seems visitors are exempt from it, and whenever I try to take my shoes off I always get a 'wag na wag na.' A brand of hospitality, perhaps? Of course, it makes you want to take your shoes off more.

Matthew Celestis said...

They probably want you to take them off, but are trying to be polite.

Thanks for visiting

Anonymous said...

We take our shoes off not because of what other filipino think off such as bacterias. We do it because it is a tradition that has been passed along by our great great grandpatents in respect to the home owners. Home is sacred and out of respect we remove our shoes. Here in the US it is not accustom and people fell uncomfortable to remove their shoes and stepping in your floor.

Matthew Celestine said...

Thanks for visiting.
I'm glad you remove your shoes. I have heard other people say it is not the custom in the Philippines

Anonymous said...

I am 100% filipina born and raised in the Philippines. Been here in the US for over 30 years. I still remove my shoes when I go to a friend's house unless they insist not to remove them. I have a friend who currently bought a 5 bedrooms house. They family hosted and invited guesses to come to the house warming and her 2 kids birthday party at the same day. When we get to the house, there's a big sign by the door asking visitors to pls remove your shoes. So ok we did cause we see others shoes out there. We got it the house is tile and partially carpeted in formal living room and family room. The floor is cold and filthy with food drops. We feLT uncomfortable. So we stepped outside to eat our food. Our friends felt the same way and wend up making humor about it. I see the most of their visitors out eating and hanging out outsidw. It looked very bad. The thing was when they come to our friends house, this family don't remove the shoes.

Matthew Celestine said...

Thanks for visiting. You should ask that family to take their shoes off.