If it uplifts you to come in contact with easy going people with smiling faces all day long the Philippines could be a place where you will feel right at home. The native residents are – for the most part honest,innovative, often hard working as well as tolerant and happy. The diminutive incomes, noise at all hours and traffic jams – they face it all with a smile. If I hear a loud agitated voice it is most likely a tourist or on occasion mine. Actually I could say that if you are living in an area without tourists you could spend the rest of your life there and not ever hear a voice raised in anger. In major centers, resorts and other spots that visitors are commonly seen foreigners and their foreign ways are understood a lot more than in the hinterlands and even less understood the further afield you go. But you will find you are welcomed with open arms wherever you go.
Two subjects I would suggest avoiding are firstly politics and secondly religion – unless you are a strong Catholic. During the elections recently held here I would avoid a direct answer on who I supported. If asked whom I liked I would reply that I could not vote but I hoped the best candidate got in. If asked about my religion I usually reply I am agnostic and if pressed I will say something like I have the peace of God in my heart. I say the Pinoy are strong Catholics but I can see centuries old traditions coupled or integrated into their Roman Catholic beliefs. If you construct a building and there is going to be a Piipina or Pilipino living in that house or working in that building in all likelihood they will want to sacrifice a pig , chicken or goat; drain the blood and sprinkle it either on the constructed building or into the foundation. Maybe to be on the safe side they will want to sprinkle the blood both before and after construction. Not wasteful people they would then consume the meat. I have met and know many Pinoy folks and everyone I have talked to strongly believes in aswong or evils spirits that inhabit graveyards, the forest or possibly take over the spirit of some people.
The Pinoy people are tolerant that does not to mean they forget easily. Wrongs done to them or harsh words that are spoken are not easily forgotten although the wronged person will leave with a smile and possibly an apology and a kind word even if they are seething with rage inside. In the nine plus years I have been living here I cannot count the number of times a Pinoy friend or acquaintance has brought up the fact that Magellan was beheaded by Lapu-Lapu. Magellan was from Portugal. I am sure the French, British, Spanish and maybe others as well were just as happy as Lapu-Lapu when Magellan died five hundred or so years ago. That has long been forgotten in Europe and elsewhere except in the history books and also forgotten is fact that the first European tourists to south-east Asia were the pirates.