I’ve been here for a few months already and whenever I talk to folks online I always am asked, “So, how is the Philippines handling the pandemic?”. I think the

I live in the Subic Bay area so I can only speak for what I see. There are a lot of Americans where I’m at because of the US Naval Base that used to be in Subic because of the contract they had with the United States. I’ve heard that the US may have another contract with the Philipines regarding this, but that’s a different story altogether.

Going back, I’ve seen many videos online about indifferent Americans not wanting to wear some sort of face coverings to protect themselves and the people around them. Here in the Philippines, people complain but they do so in a funny way. We still regard this place as a free country, but Filipinos are just not a big fan of attracting attention. I think that everyone in the country knows that we should be wearing a mask at this point in order to get into any establishment.

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My Mom and I wearing a mask at the mall.

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This was the line at the grocery store 2 weeks after the lockdown. The grocery store is located inside the mall.

During the beginning of the pandemic, the city I lived in issued quarantine passes. Showing this pass would let us go into groceries stories to get essentials. Only one person per household is issued a pass. The guards were really strict, always wanting to see people’s IDs to match the name of the pass. We were told it was because people borrowed other people’s passes.

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They added arrows on the floor so traffic would flow only one way.

Barangays continued to monitor traffic by having checkpoints. As I mentioned in my previous post that business processes differ depending on who’s on duty, some barangay checkpoints were strict while others weren’t. The time of day played a huge role as I’ve observed.

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I was eating sisig Bangus at Inasal. Only one person is allowed per table at Mang Inasal.

One thing I stress is that Filipino attitudes are a lot more obedient compared to the United States. I always see new videos that show people who are trying to exercise their rights by saying that they have the right to wear a mask.

 

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Two friends interacting but seated in different tables at Mang Inasal.

Just like everyone I know, they’ve been trying to find ways to exercise. I’m learning Muay Thai myself, and I try to go to the gym twice a week. The gym’s procedures require staff to check member’s temperatures while they fill out a form. No person with a temperature higher than 39 C (or 100.4 F) is allowed to enter any business premises.

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Wearing a face shield while I learn Muay Thai for the first time at Victory Gym & Athletic Club at Subic Bay

I don’t think our rules are different compared to what we see in the US. I think most of the rules in the Philippines are very similar to what they have in the US. When this blog post was written, the Philippine government has yet to establish a rule in taking gatherings outdoors. I live in California and Being known for it’s tropicality, I’m not sure how citizens are going to take it if the government comes up with a rule about public gatherings. It was only recently that the Philippines started implementing laws that were normal in the US, like wearing a helmet when driving a motorcycle or scooter. For that I’m not sure how they’re going to take it.

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.

Now that I work from home officially, I find myself needing to use a lot of these abbreviations as I’m always in a hurry. Most of these I use during real-time chat. These are one that I deem important and relevant that can be used in the professional industry.

1 – NRN – No Reply Necessary

2 – HTH – Hope that helps

3 – GL – Good luck

4 – GJ – Good job

5 – TLDR – Too long didn’t read

6 – TLTR – Too long to read

7 – LMK – Let me know

8 – LGTM – Looks good to me

9 – IMO – in my opinion

10 – BTW – By the way

11 – FWIW – For what it’s worth

12 – FYSA – For your situational awareness

13 – FYFG – For your future guidance

14 – FYG – For your guidance

15 – PFA – Please find the attachment

 

I’ll probably add more later to this list as I come across them. Feel free to ask any questions below if you need clarification on one of them or if you have something to add!