As I found myself visiting the Philippines to take care of family and business matters, I can’t help but notice how businesses run over here. My ruminating thoughts are what led me to post this. The points below are not in any order whatsoever.

December 2019 – January 2020


Not all businesses give the exact change

It seems pretty standard, apparently, but not all places give exact change, simply because the 25 and 1 centavos are rare. So what ends up happening is that the businesses give you the change – rounded down or up, depending on the sympathy of the cashier.

They like to take their time

Since the Philippines got their relaxed environment from Spain, they take their time, compared to how it is in the US. Expect lines at the supermarket and slow waiter’s walking.

Labor is cheap, multiple employees are the norm.

Well, labor is cheap, and that is probably why people aren’t as speedy in the US. After my first few days here, I found myself impatient with how they handled their services. They would forget utensils and condiments. Sometimes they would even get my order wrong. At first, I was aggravated, but then I realized that there was no use in complaining about it.

Customer Service isn’t the greatest

Customer service varies. If you shop at high-end restaurants and stores, you’ll experience better customer service. A good example would be the Mary Grace restaurant at NAIA. I was impressed with the customer service. They would make sure that we’re happy with our food and have everything we needed. They knew everything on the menu, so asking them details about each item felt reassuring.


I told my mother this, and she responded with:

It’s because Filipinos are patient.

That makes sense. Filipinos have a calm temperament compared to people in the US. As my professor said at CSUSM, the people in the US are much more sophisticated.


This list may help you figure out if you’d like to do Business in the Philippines. Businesses can have their own terms negotiated. Filipinos are flexible in that way.

8 replies
  1. Mama Maggie's Kitchen
    Mama Maggie's Kitchen says:

    This blog is such an eye-opener. I agree that not all countries are the same when running a business. But I hope that Philippines will definitely have a wiser and just management. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    Kristine Nicole Alessandra says:

    I am a Filipino, and I have had the experience of living and working in two different countries. The way they do business in the Philippines has both positive and negative sides. The only thing I don’t like is calling a customer service hotline. The CSRs never provide resolution to your issue!

  3. blair villanueva
    blair villanueva says:

    I agree with your observation. Labor is so cheap that they didn’t bother working hard because they receive a fixed cheap salary.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.