Gift Etiquette in The Philippines

The Philippines Gift Etiquette
  • Filipinos don’t open gifts in front of the giver. They are opened in private.
  • As to the wrapping of the gifts, you may use any colour you wish, which makes the Philippines very different from other Asian countries.
  • For the weddings, it is customary to give useful things that can be utilized for staring a new house. Alternatively, you can give money as a gift in addition to the money dance tradition, when guests stick or pin money on the clothes of the bride and the groom during their first dance. If you are attending a Filipino wedding, you might want to prepare some cash with you, even if you have already brought a gift. The money dance is optional, though.
  • If you are visiting someone’s home, you should bring flowers, chocolate or candies as a token of respect. You can also arrange for the gifts to be sent before your arrival.
  • It is polite to send a thank you gift for inviting over. It is a thoughtful gesture.
  • During Baptism, the godparents give money to a child as a gift, known as ‘Pakimkim’
  • Gifts of flowers and food are popular in business settings in the Philippines.
  • During Christmas time, you are expected to give gifts to nearly everyone you know.

The 18th birthday debut

A female’s 18th birthday, which is commonly called a debut, is a signal of a woman’s coming of age. This is celebrated extravagantly with a program. The program usually includes 18 roses, 18 candles and 18 treasures. Those who were chosen to participate in the 18 treasures are supposed to buy the debutante a gift.

The Philippines Gift Etiquette
Copyright: Julia Wimmerlin
The Philippines Gift Etiquette
Copyright: Julia Wimmerlin

Photography Credits

Julia Wimmerlin

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