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Gift giving etiquette in the Philippines varies widely among different families and different islands. There are some things you need to take into consideration when traveling to the Philippines and giving gifts. One thing to remember is that they love giving gifts. They love seeing their friends and family happy and smiling.
Read more in our gift giving etiquette series:
Filipino Gift Giving Customs
- When invited into someone’s home in the Philippines, bring flowers, candy, or chocolate as a gift for the host or hostess. You could also have the gifts sent before you arrive.
- They open gifts in private, and you are expected to do so as well.
- During certain events, such as a baptism, it is the custom to toss a handful of coins at the children who are there.
- It may not be said outright, but when there is a potluck, it is customary to bring food. If you can’t bring food, then bring perfumed flowers instead.
Giving Gifts to Filipinos
- Any color wrapping paper is fine.
- When it comes to weddings, giving the newly married couple gifts they can use while starting a new house together was a long-standing tradition. These could be things such as pots and pans, plates, and blankets. However, cash and gift vouchers are more common now.
- The thought behind your gift matters the most.
Business Gift Giving Customs & Etiquette in The Philippines
- Gifts of flowers and food are the most popular in business settings in the Philippines. Other good choices for gifts include planners, pens, and bags.
- The act of exchanging gifts helps set business ties.
- When a deal has been made and the contract has been signed, give your new business associates a gift that is of greater value. Keep it downplayed though, and not too expensive so that it is not seen as a bribe.
- During Christmastime, you will be expected to give a gift to nearly everyone you meet in a business setting.
Gift Giving Occasions in The Philippines
- Birthdays, especially a female’s 18th birthday called debut.
Gift Giving Tips in The Philippines
- Some gifts that are good choices are a gift from your home country, quality pens, stationary with your company’s logo on it, whiskey for men, and perfume.
- Taking them out to dinner makes a great gift choice and nice gesture.
- Send a thank you note, and maybe even another small thank you gift, after visiting someone’s home.