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Manila Lifestyle

Greeting someone in Manila
Basic respect for others is regarded as very important by Filipinos, who are often concerned about potential loss of face. So common courtesies should be observed. Shaking hands is an accepted form of greeting. It is considered very rude to point and to raise your voice. When dining, try to remember to keep your hands above the table and if you are eating with local people, note that they are unlikely to start their meals until you have had a bite or two of yours. Itås also polite to leave a small portion on your plate to indicate that you have had enough to eat.

Tipping advice
This is very much down to the individual, through restaurant staff will generally expect a tip, even if there is a service charge included. Always round up the amount when paying in a metered taxi. When shopping, especially in markets, its worth trying to get a ten percent discount. This is the system used by local people and as a visitor youll probably be quoted a higher than usual price anyway. Note that the US dollar is the most recognised currency in the Philippines, and is often easier (and cheaper) to change than cheques.

Manila dress code
Visitors are advised to dress conservatively, especially when visiting Muslim and Catholic shrines. If you are planning a trip out into the country then it is even more important to bear this in mind, as rural areas can quite patriarchal, and it is important that women should dress and behave modestly so as not to offend.

People in the Philippines dress for the weather (HOT!) Casual attire during the day for women are light blouses and shorts. For men collared T- shirts worn over slacks. In the evening skirts are substituted for shorts and the T-shirts are tucked in.

For Men Only: If you expect to have to attend any occasion which would usually require a jacket and a tie (which is torture in this weather) there is a wonderful substitute. Go immediately to a department store and buy a barong tagalog. It is an embroidered shirt that is considered a formal dress. It will cost about PhP1,000.00, but it is worth every centavo.

Local Customs
In metropolitan Manila the culture of the Philippines has been greatly diluted by the blend of different influences brought to bear by foreign incursions over the centuries. But in the 1970ås and 80ås, the Filipino people began to prize their own cultural heritage more strongly, and a revived interest in traditional arts and crafts has resulted in the national language being regularly used in theatre, literature and in the regionally famous kundimas (romantic and sentimental love songs). Traditional folk dances have become a new tourist attraction, particularly the national dance known as Ãtiniklingå.

The People
Halo-halo is a Filipino word that means mixture. While it describes a popular dessert, it could also describe the Filipinos. They look like Asians, write and speak English like Americans, worship like Spaniards, and have an outlook that is international.