30 Filipino Values: Cultural Beliefs that Shape Our Behaviors

Filipino values are cultural beliefs and assumptions about what is socially desirable, and therefore, there are expectations on how one must behave in certain situations. Filipino values are inherently positive, however, some values like utang na loob and pakikisama are often abused. Though the Filipino values system is shared by different ethnic groups, the values are ranked and expressed differently.

Filipino values are taught in school, but they are quickly evolving because of the influence of social media and the changing priorities of Filipinos.

Filipino values influence how we relate with people at home, at church, and in the workplace. Filipinos possess admirable values that, when reinforced, will create a great work culture and authentic leadership. By understanding their values, you can bring out the best in Filipinos.

What are Filipino values?

Filipino values refer to the shared cultural beliefs of what is socially desirable in the way Filipinos deal with each other. These values were cultivated by our experiences as a nation through centuries. This means you can find the origin of our values hundreds of years before the coming of the Spaniards.

Spain colonized us for 400 years. America tried to change the way we look at ourselves for 50 years. We cannot deny that they reshaped some of our values. But our love for the bayan, our people, is based on our being communal.

Filipino values serve as Filipinos’ lenses on how they appreciate the issues around them. To appreciate Filipino culture, begin with their values.

Like all other humans, Filipinos are not conscious of our values because we have internalized them in the process of growing up. We are swimming in values that we do not notice how our decisions are informed by them.

Values are the community standards of what’s valuable. They are the guiding principles of our lives.

We have personal values, which are like lighthouses that tell us what to avoid and what to pursue. And we balance our personal values with communal values.

Filipino Values: Pagdadamayan

Since Filipinos are grouped into many islands, dialects, and ethnic groups, some values may be emphasized more in one group than others.

I will describe later 30 Filipino values. You will understand why Filipinos do what they do. Use these values to educate, empower, and motivate Filipinos. Use these values to teach personal development and leadership.

I won’t attempt to be academic. I understand that the younger generation of professionals may find some of the values unfamiliar.

But they’ll surely recognize each when I show the asal (behaviors) that demonstrate each value.

30 Filipino Values

If you want to understand Filipinos, start with our values. You can start with these 30 cultural Filipino values. Each of us carries a different set of values, and we may have a unique way of seeing and understanding each value.

We don’t study all of these in schools. Our parents taught us these as we were growing up. We learned them while playing with other kids. And we caught them while watching adults. It is quickly evolving because of the influence of social media, but the essence of these values remains.

1. Amor Proprio ( Loving Oneself )

Amor propio is means self-love or self-regard. We Filipinos value self-respect. It is related to dangal, which means dignity. We honor our words, and we fight for our honor. It is also related to the Filipino term hiya I will explain below.

The greatest love of all, according to Whitney Houston, is loving yourself. Every line of that song tells us about Amor Propio.

Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

Amor Propio is a Spanish phrase. We used the phrase, but we did not inherit the value. That’s because Filipinos, like many Asians, value themselves. They have high regard for themselves. They respect themselves as they respect others (kapwa-tao).

When the Spaniards went to the Philippines, they were looking for slaves. the Filipinos, on the other hand, offered themselves as allies.

During the American colonialization in the Philippines, there was an effort to paint love for self in a negative light.

Our ancestors were told that too much of this is kayabangan (something that colonizers often say) and that our sense of hiya prevents us from reaching our potential.

This is why when a person is shy, he is called mahiyain. A criminal is walang-hiya (shameless) and kahiya-hiya (shameful).

But hiya means self-regard.

In the workplace, Filipinos do not want to be embarrassed. They resent being shouted at. And they also do not want to embarrass others.

When I was young, I often hear Nonoy Zuniga’s Doon lang. When I was young, I saw the value of education as a way to earn dangal. If you like listening to old songs, you can find Doon Lang on Youtube.

Amor propio is a Filipino value that we bring with us everywhere. And everywhere I go, I find Filipinos whose amor propio makes them excellent workers.

2. Awa ( Compassion for Others )

Awa may mean compassion, grace, sympathy, charity, or pity. The meaning of awa changes slightly based on context, but as a community value, it means compassion for others. Because of our heart for others, we give whatever we have even though we need help. One good example is the mushrooming of community pantries throughout the country during the pandemic.

Because we value others, Filipinos tend to be compassionate. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Philippines, Filipinos took care of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

Many Filipino managers, for example, have to think twice before they let go of employees. Western companies consider it a good business decision to let go of people to maximize profits. If one employee can do the work of two persons, they’ll let go of one.

Most Filipino managers are people-oriented. They do understand that employment means a lot to Filipino workers.

Being let go means that they will stop supporting their family.

So, we find ways to keep someone on the job.

As a result, we have loyal employees. They’ll do everything to help your organization. Employees consider this generosity which they have to pay somehow.

Awa: A Deep Sense of Shared Suffering

Filipino vaues: Bahala Na
Leap of Faith

3. Bahala Na ( Let Go & Let God )

Bahala Na is a Filipino attitude that expresses courage and faith in God. It means to let go and let God. It has always been an expression of optimism.

Bahala na is a quality shared by most entrepreneurs. It is almost equivalent to the Western concept of risking forward. American entrepreneurs typically say that to succeed, one has to embrace the unknown instead of standing still.

Bahala na is like that and more.

Bahala na means that Filipinos consider all possible solutions. And when it seems that there is only one solution left, though they don’t have all the information they need, they’ll risk forward.

They run away from safety to get something that will make them free. This is the same quality we admire among heroes.

It may seem safe to be in prison but freeing oneself outweighs everything.

But, just like I said, Bahala na is more than that!

Bahala Na is an expression of courage and faith. It was like David facing Goliath. Bahala Na means I will win because God is with me. Bahala na is a 100% commitment to succeed.

But, like the Biblical David, Filipinos will use everything they have to win.

4. Bayanihan ( We Are Heroes to Each Other )

Bayanihan, derived from the words bayan (community) and bayani (heroes), happens when Filipinos unite to do heroic acts for individuals and communities in need without expecting anything in return. Giving aid, without being asked, even to strangers, is an enduring Filipino culture.

We are Filipinos, and we value bayanihan. We are nation-loving people. We support our countrymen in times of need.

Because what happens to some of us happens to all of us.

You will notice that Filipino values are very much connected. When we speak of Bayanihan, for example, we will notice that it has something to do with malasakit, pakikipagkapwa-tao, pagdadamayan, pakikisama and utang na loob.

5. Mabuting Pakikitungo : Hospitality

Tourists to the Philippines know us because we value mabuting pakikitungo. We are friendly. Filipinos are excellent hosts. This is because of our sense of pakikipagkapwa-tao and hiya. Our hospitality is for everyone.

They want you to get the best experience when they host you. They want to show their best all the time.

In most organizations, we talk about the Western concept of customer service. We preach the idea that the customer is king.

You should use our Filipino sense of hospitality when you talk about creating a delightful customer experience. Because that’s what we do naturally.

We find it difficult to consider our customers as kings. We are not their slaves. Teach instead that customers as guests. For we do want our guests to feel at home. We Filipinos want our guests to know they can trust us because we want the best for them, as we want the best for ourselves.

We serve not because we get paid but because we want to give and add value.

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6. Delicadeza ( We Value Our Reputation )

Filipinos value delicadeza. It refers to the value we place on maintaining the dignity of our institution, office, or family by avoiding embarrassing situations. When there is controversy, we expect them to resign from their posts, not because they are guilty but to shield their company or organization from further embarrassment.

Because of this, the DOJ Secretary was asked to resign.

We often say that we lose our sense of delicadeza when we talk about our politicians who are kapit-tuko. They grip their posts like a gecko.

Our sense of justice requires that at least they take a leave of absence or avoid a conflict of interest.

A local executive, for example, with delicadeza will not appoint his relatives to government posts. Filipinos do not value nepotism in the government. It is common for us to recommend our relatives to the government, but not to the same office that we are leading.

We do not want to put ourselves in a position that will make people question our agenda.

When a President appointed his people from the city where he was the former mayor, we consider the actions lacking in delicadeza.

It is not illegal, but it is not appropriate. When he used his power to give favor to those who supported his election campaign because of utang na loob, we felt that he abused his power.

Talk about delicadeza if you want people to observe good governance.

=>. Delicadeza: Doing the right thing (even when no one is watching)

Filipino Values: Pamilya muna
Pamilya muna.

7. Pagpapahalaga sa Pamilya ( Family First and Last )

Pagpapahalaga sa pamilya is a value that considers the interest of the family more important than personal interest. Filipinos are willing to sacrifice prestige and even happiness for the sake of family.

Because of our love for family, many Filipinos choose to work abroad. They are not doing this to achieve personal success. They do this to ensure that their children get a good education.

An employee, for example, may leave work to care for a sick mother or father.

It is to your company’s advantage to be family-oriented. Create programs for the family. Know the members of your employee’s family.

When the family is loyal to your company, you get a loyal employee.


Filipino Values: Joy

8. Kasiyahan ( Joy & Humor )

We expect kasiyahan when we gather together. The gathering can be a birthday party, a reunion, or a meet-up in Starbucks. We are attracted to people who make us laugh.

Our superpower is our ability to smile even in the most challenging situations. This does not mean that we take things lightly. Smiling in difficult circumstances allows us to be centered and in control.

To have humor is human.

We stay in companies where we can find meaning and joy. Filipinos can survive the most challenging tasks but not the most psychologically toxic environment.

Create an environment of fun and fellowship because that’s how Filipino workers thrive.


9. Kagalingan ( We Pursue Excellence )

We value kagalingan, from the root word galing which may mean excellence or wellness. A deeper translation of galing means magic. Filipinos look up to people who show extraordinary talents and excellence in what they do.

We take pride in having the kinds of Lea Salonga, Manny Pacquaio, and our beauty queens.

If politics weren’t involved, the country would have celebrated Maria Ressa, the first Filipino Nobel Prize laureate. She will eventually be recognized, of course, when politics is no longer an issue.

If you want to promote excellence at work, make it social. Let everyone know that you are after excellence.

More than the incentives, Filipinos love the honor of being known as excellent workers.

Aside from having top ten employees, you may also improve awards like Most Improved, Most Customer-Friendly, Most Creative, and Most-Value-Adding Employee.

You may not be able to double the salary of your people to make them more productive, but always remember that they value excellence.

10. Karangalan ( We Value Honor )

Filipinos value karangalan (honor) as they value their lives. Even the poorest among us dreamt of sending kids to school. It is our honor to have done everything for those we love.

An uncorrupted public official honors her family. A great and selfless teacher honors her community. A world champion in math honors her school.

Someone who does something great does not only honor himself but those who surround him. Because of these, we keep our integrity intact.

A Filipino who values honor above all else is truly remarkable. We surely miss their kind these days. but once in a while, we hear of Filipinos who will do everything to keep your trust.

11. Katapatan (Sincerity and Loyalty)

Katapatan came from the word tapat may mean sincere, open, honest, faithful, and true. We are trustworthy and loyal.

Loyalty means we will not lie to you. We will not betray you. We will do what’s good for you.

In the Philippines, we believe in the suki system. That means our loyal clients stay with us because they know we won’t cheat them.

Filipinos are loyal employees. So do not break their trust. Do not break your promises; if you have to, be open and honest about it.

12. Kusang-Palo (We Take Initiative)

Kusang-palo is an idiom for taking initiative. It means we do not wait for someone to tell us before acting. Filipinos value being proactive.

A beast of burden, like the carabao, moves when hit with a stick. There is no need for someone to supervise us or hit us before we move.

The best time to fix a leaking roof is when it is not yet raining. Becoming proactive means we have to get things ready before they are needed.

This will make more sense to you as we move on to the next value, maagap.

13. Maagap (Proactive and Prompt)

We often say, “daig ng maagap ang masipag“.

Filipinos are hardworking people. But more than hard work, they value promptness. They go to the rice fields before sunrise. They go to the sea before the cock crows.

We value punctuality, and Filipino time’s colonial definition does not make sense to us.

The only reason for a Filipino to be late is to do it deliberately. Politicians during the American period tried hard to imitate their former Spanish colonizers. Being late in meetings is very un-Filipino.

Unfortunately, our American miseducation made us believe we are the opposite of maagap.

14. Magalang (Respectful)

We show many ways of respecting people. Our house helps, for example, are often called Ate and Kuya. We want our children to know that those with us deserve our respect.

If we don’t know people on the street who call them sir or ma’am. Or, in the case of tricycle drivers, boss.

If we buy something, we say thank you. And the seller will say, “thank you too.”

We address people in the ways they want to be addressed.

I think it has something to do with our concept of dangal. We don’t want to offend people. At all times, we want to show that we do respect them. And anything that violates this value we condemn.

You can build a better workplace if you find time to ask people what makes them feel respected. They will appreciate it.

In some companies, there are efforts to westernize their culture. Calling people by their first name, absent the honorifics madam or sir, may seem a good idea.

But it does not mean it is much better than respecting the place’s culture.

People do not leave their cultural values when they enter your company. Do not force them to live double lives.

Filipino Values: Mano po.
Mano po!

15. Magpasalamat (Being Grateful)

When I was in college, people often went to the store of Mister Salamat. His surname is not Salamat. Students gave him that name because he always said thank you to everyone.

Even if you just want to stay in his store and don’t buy anything, he’ll be thankful to you for dropping by. This made the students love him. And yes, they go to his store to eat or buy school supplies.

They reciprocated his goodness.

There are many ways of expressing our gratitude. In the workplace, that means going the extra mile.

I often tell my clients that if they want employees to be grateful, they have to express their gratitude to employees often. Our sense of gratitude is best expressed in utang na loob.

16. Malasakit (We Care for Others)

Aside from bayanihan, malasakit is the most popular value among Filipinos. Malasakit means caring or concern for others. We expect every Filipino to care.

A good leader, for example, is expected to show malasakit. Leaders cannot be public servants if they don’t care for people.

We expect business entities to show malasakit. They must take care of their employees – and to a certain extent, be concerned about their families too. They must not create products that will harm communities.

Often, companies manifest malasakit through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Because of malasakit, you will hear of teachers who spend extra hours teaching students. They use their own money to buy school supplies too.

Because of malasakit, you have employees who work the extra mile to serve their customers.

Because of malasakit, we hear of a movie star who sold her luxury car for charity.

When you work with Filipinos, remember that they care for people. They help those who are in need without expecting anything in return.

You will find it easy to sell a social business to Pinoys, who are always ready to do meaningful work.

17. Malikhain (Creativity)

What makes Filipino thrive is their ability to come up with solutions. We are inventors and innovators.

We seek opportunities, and when we don’t find them, we create them. One excellent example is Rags2Riches which helps many women while recycling textile waste.

18. Mapamaraan (Resourcefulness)

One lesson I learned from my grandfather is this: kapag may gusto may paraan, kapag ayaw may dahilan. Those with desire find ways, and those who have no desire have excuses. These days, people talk about embracing a growth mindset. This aphorism explains both growth and fixed mindsets.

Filipinos don’t expect you to give excuses. If you want something, you’ll find ways.

Though we lack resources, we should not lack resourcefulness. Our resourcefulness helps us do extraordinary things with what we have.

Find out how you can leverage the resourcefulness of Filipinos. Those who are passionate about working with you and making your business successful will certainly find ways.

Filipinos also value diskarte, which to me is about being resourceful and resilient.

19. Masikap (Diligent Worker)

We believe that work feeds us. Work provides for our family. Work sends our kids to school. Work makes us achieve what we want in life.

We believe that whatever we earn must come from the sweat on our brows. Whatever we feed our children must not come from stealing other people’s money. We work with honor.

I wonder how your employees will work if you start giving Masikap Award. By doing so, you will emphasize the value of stick-to-itiveness and doing our job like a vocation. That we are not selling our hours for pesos.

Masikap = Filipino values
Filipinos are diligent.

20. Matino (Sensible)

A sensible person is matino because he aligns his actions with accepted principles. He does not do anything that will compromise his integrity and the welfare of the people he serves.

Judges are matino if they are fair and just. They don’t favor anyone who has connections or money.

Students are matino if they pay attention to their studies. Teachers are matino if teachers set themselves as models to students.

We expect our leaders to be matino. But often, because of our electoral practices, we elect the incompetent and the corrupt.

At work, Filipinos try very hard to be deemed matino. They avoid doing anything that will tarnish their reputation.

Be clear about your work expectations because Filipinos will strive to abide by them.

21. Pakikipagkapwa-tao (Interpersonal Relationships)

When I was young, a popular TV program was “Kapwa ko, Mahal Ko’. It was hosted by Orly Mercado, who later became a senator. The program provides help to those who are in need. Many viewers give financial assistance too.

Kapwa means “of the same nature” or “of equal status.” It is like saying that kapwa is your other self. You ought to love your other self, right?

In the workplace, this means that regardless of your station in life or your organizational chart, remember that we are both humans. I respect you, and I expect you to respect me.

Filipinos will follow you because you are the boss. But don’t you dare insult them or make them feel inferior.

I often conduct workshops on interpersonal relationships and on building interpersonal communication skills. If you begin with pakikipagkapwa-tao, interpersonal relationships will make more sense to Filipinos.

For us, pakikipagkapwa-tao is not a means to survive. We aim to have harmonious relationships with our other selves.

22. Pakikiramay (Sympathy)

We often go to a lamay (wake) to show our pakikiramay. We want to show the bereaved family and friends our sympathy. It is also an occasion when relatives and friends who have not seen each other for a long time meet again.

This value is not for the dead but for the living.

If you are a manager, pakikiramay is the quickest way to relate with your employees. Pakikiramay shows that you have empathy. It shows that you care for them.

23. Pakikisama (Fellowship)

Filipinos value being part of a group or community. Events that make us together energize us.

Some companies conduct fellowship sessions as part of their team-building efforts.

Company initiatives will succeed if Filipinos feel they belong. Policies that are imposed on them do not often succeed. Make a project a communal effort, and people will support it.

An initiative like 5S, a lean manufacturing methodology, often becomes successful in the Filipino workplace when you sell it as a community project. It is good for the company.

Get leaders that employees trust to champion the concept, and you’ll have everyone follow the system in no time.

Pakikisama, like other Filipino values, is often presented in a bad light when we were still a colony of the United States. Your grandparents and even your parents have likely been miseducated about it.

But be that as it may, pakikisama is an enduring belief. We want to belong.

Pananampalataya: Filipino Children praying
We teach our children to pray.

24. Pananampalataya (Faith in Supreme Being)

Filipinos are known for their faith in the Supreme Being. Even those who do not consider themselves religious would say that they have faith in God.

It is this faith that makes us say “Bahala Na”. I will do it because God is with me.

Some believe that what they do for your company is a service to God. And when you do things that do not help the community, they think of you as selfish.

Some Filipino companies have chapels and allow Bible study sessions. Somehow, they believe that allowing Filipinos to have time for spiritual growth help in building good relationships and improving work performance.

25. Tibay ng Dibdib (Fortitude)

Filipinos dare to fight even when the chance of winning is tiny. We often associate it with puso (heart) or the will to go on until we win.

Fortuna favet fortibus. Fortune favors the brave. We adhere to the same principle.

We love the underdog, for we are always the underdog. Give Filipino challenging projects, and they’ll likely take on the project. Even if it is their first time.

We often succeed because we find ways to make things happen.

Tiyaga - filipino Values
Tiyaga sa trabaho.

26. Tiyaga (Patience)

We value hard work. Quietly we do what we ought to do. Our younger generations have been fed the idea that they don’t need to work hard if they can work smart.

Working hard does not mean we don’t work smart. Filipinos dare to do the job, no matter how hard. Our overseas Filipino workers are often praised for their excellent work attitude.

When I was young, I was told repeatedly that “kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga”. Those who have patience have something to stew.

We keep working, no matter how hard, because it is the smartest thing to do.

Quitters won’t get anything.

Instead of calling Filipinos lazy (an insult to us), encourage them to have patience. Say instead, “Tiyaga lang, uunlad din tayo. ” Let us be patient, for we shall succeed.

27. Utang na Loob (Debt from Within)

Filipinos are intrinsically motivated to give back what they have received from you, even though you don’t expect anything in return. It involves reciprocity. People do not pay utang na loob with money.

If you give Filipinos money to do something for you, we call it payment. We call it a bribe if you give money so they’ll violate policies and procedures.

But when you help them when they need help the most, we call it utang na loob. It has no price tag. We intend to repay you soon.

Filipino workers consider it utang na loob when you do good for them. An employee got promoted because you had coached and mentored him. That promotion allowed him to send his children to college.

You consider it your job, but he considers himself indebted to you.

Never look down on your Filipino subordinate. Support them. Don’t talk about how much money you pay them. Talk about what their work can do for their families.

28. Makatao (Humane)

We expect Filipinos to be humane. We want those in power to think about the welfare of the people.

A boss who is harsh with his words and has a habit of putting down people is deemed as “hindi makatao”. That means you are disrespecting people and treating them less than human.

Filipinos can ensure working with a bad boss. They need their jobs. But don’t expect them to stay longer than necessary. As soon as they find another, they’ll leave your company.

But you don’t like to become makatao for Filipinos to stay. It is a critical leadership practice that you can use anywhere. Employees trust those who respect them as human beings.

29. Makabayan (Love of Country)

I said that bayanihan is essential a demonstration of the love of our country. We do it together. Makabayan is a value we expect from someone wherever they are.

We held Ninoy Aquino as a hero because he was willing to die for his country. On the other hand, we deemed Ferdinand Marcos Sr a villain because he killed many Filipinos and plundered his country’s wealth.

Though many Filipinos elected his son to the presidency, many voters are ashamed of what they did. They don’t want to be associated with plunderers. For this reason, plundering politicians employ the services of paid trolls.

It is usual for those who earn their keep to defend even the indefensible. For the poorest of the poor, money is not a bribe. It is a help. And any support people receive becomes utang na loob. You did not buy them; they are paying utang na loob.

But being makabayan, once in a while, trump utang na loob. People do what is suitable not only for themselves but for the country.

Makabayan is the essence of our belief that goes,” bayan muna bago ang sarili”.

30. Masagana (Abundance)

Masaganang buhay means abundant life. Filipinos pray for abundant life all the time. Of course, each family defines abundance in different ways. 

But most Filipinos consider being healthy, joyful, and being with the people we love as having an abundant life.

We may not have gazillions of money in our bank accounts, but as long as we get to send our kids to school, have a good harvest from our labor, and have not met sickness, we deem our life abundant.

Interestingly, we say Happy New Year in English. But we often say Masaganang Bagong Taon, which means prosperous our abundant new year.

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Celebrating Filipino Values Month

Filipino Values Month happens every November. It was established by President Corazon Aquino in 1991 via Presidential Proclamation No. 479. This is a special time in the Philippines when we remember and honor our unique cultural heritage and traditional values.

The celebration of Filipino Values Month is crucial because it strengthens our nation’s moral character. This is a time when we reflect on our deep respect for elders, our strong love for family, and our renowned hospitality. These values help us stay united and they make us who we are as Filipinos.

Schools can take part in the celebration of Filipino Values Month in many ways. Teachers can prepare lessons about Filipino values and history. Students can participate in projects and activities that promote these values. Schools can also hold events, like plays or exhibits, that showcase our cultural heritage.

Companies can also support Filipino Values Month. They can organize activities for their employees that highlight Filipino values. These can be team-building events, workshops, or charity drives. Companies can also promote this celebration to their customers and partners.

We can promote Filipino Values Month on social media too. We can use hashtags like #FilipinoValuesMonth or #ProudlyFilipino. We can share stories, photos, and videos about our values. This is a good way to engage people online and spread the word about our beautiful culture and heritage.


Promote Positive Filipino Values

We have examined 30 positive Filipino values. And understanding them can help us leaders. I encourage you to consider how these Filipino values support your corporate values. It is a way of making it easy to connect corporate values to what we already know.

Promoting these values is easy and simple.

Firstly, managers should exemplify these values. Actions speak louder than words. By embodying these values, managers set the right example for the team. For example, malasakit can support the idea of customer care. We have to show malasakit to employees so they too will extend this value to customers.

Secondly, integrate chosen values into training programs. When these values are clearly communicated and explained, employees can better adopt them. Repeat these values in regular team meetings too.

Thirdly, foster an environment of open dialogue. Encourage employees to voice their thoughts. This cultivates respect and the spirit of “pakikisama” or camaraderie.

Fourthly, appreciate and reward employees who live these values. This can inspire others to follow suit. Recognitions can be simple shout-outs, awards, or even opportunities for growth.

Lastly, incorporate these values into daily routines. Let them guide the decision-making process. This way, these Filipino values become a lived experience, enriching the workplace culture.


Discourage Negative Filipino Values

Essentially, all values are meant to be positive. What we deemed to be “negative Filipino values” are actually bad habits which are observable not only among Filipinos. But when there are negative habits, it is often said to be “onli in da Pilipins”.

The following are bad habits of Filipinos that may discourage them at work. Here’s how managers can address these bad work habits.

Firstly, discourage “crab mentality”, where employees attempt to pull down those who are successful. Foster a supportive atmosphere where everyone’s success is celebrated. Implement mentorship programs to encourage cooperation and growth.

Secondly, address “ningas kugon“, the tendency to start projects enthusiastically but lose interest quickly. Set clear, achievable goals and maintain regular progress check-ins. Reward consistency and follow-through.

Thirdly, tackle “mañana habit“, or procrastination. Promote time management skills. Provide tools and training to improve productivity.

Fourthly, mitigate “hiya” or excessive shyness, which may hinder open communication. Encourage participation in meetings and discussions. Foster an environment where every opinion is valued.

Lastly, deal with “utang na loob” or debt of gratitude, which can lead to favoritism. Ensure fairness in rewards and promotions. Make it clear that every decision is based on merit, not personal obligations.

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  • Filipino values influence how we live. We give more significance to some values than others. When working with Filipinos, it is beneficial to consider the values that influence how they make decisions for themselves and others.
  • When you conduct training sessions, explore how you can incorporate Filipino values. By beginning with what’s familiar to them, you will make it easy for them to apply new concepts, strategies, and principles.
  • Come up with initiatives that celebrate Filipino values.

Appreciating the Filipino Values System

Embracing our Filipino values isn’t just about tradition; it’s about understanding our identity. Each value tells a story of our ancestors, our struggles, and our unity. Dive deeper, and you’ll discover wisdom passed down through generations. Don’t just learn these values; live them. Engage in conversations with elders, participate in community events, and observe the ways in which these values manifest in daily life. By doing so, you become a living testament to the beauty and depth of our culture. Remember, in a rapidly changing world, our values are our compass, grounding us and guiding our path forward. Celebrate them, cherish them, and most importantly, pass them on.

5 thoughts on “30 Filipino Values: Cultural Beliefs that Shape Our Behaviors”

  1. How true! You may be surprised to learn that we Scots have very similar values. I worked 10 years in Saudi and even longer in PI. My crews were always happy and great to work with as they were treated correctly.

  2. Nice collection here of Filipino Values, Jeff Menguin. It may be interesting for non-Filipinos to see how these 27 compare with values from different countries and cultures.

  3. Use some of these Filipino values for your “core values”. And when you do, clarify your message so that all of your people are on the same page. One way to do that is to look for three to five behaviors that exemplify the values.

    Explore also the behaviors that people must not do.

    Instead of using the word excellence, which I believe most companies used, you can come up with a combination. For example, you can use “matino at mahusay.”

    By putting these values together and identifying the behaviors aligned to these two values, you are creating something which is uniquely yours.

  4. Pingback: Bayanihan: Culture That Inspires Filipinos to Become Heroes

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