But they do have quirks that can only come from a country with a melting pot of cultures. Although not every Filipino shares the traits below, you can expect them from a good number of the general population.
1. They point with their lips. Ask a Filipino about, say, where Rizal Park is, and chances are they will pucker their lips in the direction of the park instead of giving verbal instructions. It's not meant to be a rude gesture; it's meant to save time (and saliva) in case the person is in a hurry, or is in no position to talk.
2. They eat with their hands. To be fair, most Filipinos know how to use a spoon and fork. But, given the chance to eat their meal barehanded, or if eating utensils aren't available, Filipinos won't hesitate to scoop up food directly into their mouths.
3. They jerk their head upwards when greeting a friend. Like the gesture of pointing with their lips, this is meant to acknowledge someone's presence, and is not intended to be rude. You'll often see this between Filipino men, though women of a certain disposition may also do it.
4. They like to haggle, even in department stores. Every time Filipinos shop in small stores for non-branded items, and they realize that the price of said items is beyond their reach, they will tell the vendor something along the lines of Pwede pa ba itong itawad? (Can we still haggle on this?)
5. They like to bring home lots and lots of souvenirs. This is especially noticeable in Filipinos who return from abroad. It's not uncommon for them to carry tons of boxes and luggage that can give airport staff a headache!
6. They often arrive late for events. If you want to meet up with a Filipino at, say, 10 in the morning, it's better to tell them that the actual time is 8 A.M. That way, you can be at least 90 percent sure they'll arrive on time, and they won't be able to use Ay, na-traffic ako! (Ay, I was stuck in traffic!) as an excuse.
7. They use English in unusual ways. We've already covered those in detail here.
8. They use pails of water in the bathroom. Even in urban areas, water shortages are common, so Filipinos always prepare an extra pail of water just in case.
9. They reuse containers. Filipinos may not be the world's leading environmentalists, but you'll be surprised at how resourceful they are when it comes to reusing plastic shopping bags, Styrofoam containers, glass jars, etc.
10. They make the most of every nook and cranny. This is all well and good for non-human cargo, especially if you want to bring home lots of pasalubong for your family. But if it means cramming people into buses, jeepneys, etc. just to earn more money, this can be a dangerous habit to have.
11. They disregard traffic lights. Whether they're motorists or pedestrians doesn't make a difference. Even if the light is red, Filipinos will go ahead on the road/pedestrian lane despite the possible risk to their lives.
12. They like to throw parties for others, no matter how expensive. In Filipino culture, if you have an anniversary, birthday or other cause for celebration, you're expected to treat the people around you to a party — preferably with lots of good food! Even if you can hardly pay your own bills, you'll do this anyway, because you don't want to be the person who's labeled kuripot (stingy) or walang pakisama (doesn't know how to get along with others).
13. They practice Catholicism, but also believe in folk superstitions. Although the majority of Filipinos are Catholics, they also subscribe to beliefs that have been passed down since the pre-colonial times.
14. They are very, very proud of countrymen who have "made it big" abroad. Whenever Manny Pacquiao has a knockout win, or a beauty queen takes home a title, social media comments sections get flooded with "Proud to be Pinoy!"
15. They call themselves "Pinoy." Because "Filipino" doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly, you know?
Again, it should be emphasized that the abovementioned traits are applicable to most of the population, rather than all of the population. Like most groups of people, Filipinos are made up of individuals with unique and complex personalities, who may or may not reinforce the stereotypes listed here. If you're aware of other traits that only Filipinos seem to have, or you have other thoughts to share about this post, share them below!