By Ruth Santos
Filipinos pride themselves on their hospitality. The Philippines is blessed with breath taking vistas and amazing landscapes that attract visitors from all over the world. But, it is the hospitality of the people, a trait trademark of Filipinos, which make their stay unforgettable.
It is not uncommon for foreigners to sing high praises of their stay in the Philippines for Filipinos are friendly and caring by nature. Whenever guests come to visit, you will find their Filipino hosts going to great extent to make them feel at home.
The guests are served with the loveliest dishes and the best drinks available. Some Filipino household even have special plates and utensils that sees the light of day only when there are visitors.
In a Filipino household, it is customary to let the guests eat first, stay at the master bedroom if they are staying for the night, or offered the first choice of anything. The Filipinos got out of their way to please their visitors, sometimes to the point of borrowing from their neighbors just so they can buy something to serve for their guests. One gets to be treated not only as a family member, but as a royalty.
These things are offered cheerfully, gladly. A Filipino is never without a smile. They might be down on their luck, missing some front teeth, but never fails to grin and greet their guests.
If by chance a visitor arrives while the family is having their meal, they will surely be invited to sit and eat with them. If a visitor go inside a store, he will be welcomed warmly, and will be told a “thank you for coming” when he leaves, even if he did not buy anything. If a host is invited to a gathering while they have guests with them, they are invited as well. If you happen to pass-by an informal street gathering, expect to be given a drink or two. If you are a stranger in a new place, expect to be offered to be shown around for free by your host. If your Filipino colleague is eating when you arrive, hear them say “kain tayo” (let’s eat) to share their food even when their meal is enough only for one.
The Filipino’s hospitality is not confined to visiting the Philippines but can be experienced wherever Filipinos may be. It has been implanted to the core of every Filipino. So, if you find yourself amidst a sea of foreigners and strangers, look for a Filipino face, give a smile and a hello, and for sure, you have found a new friend.