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Question to Mr S and Ladislav about Filipina greetings

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Question to Mr S and Ladislav about Filipina greetings

Postby Winston » June 24th, 2008, 1:44 am

Mr S and Ladislav,

I have a quick question for you. Some expats here told me that when Filipinas ask you the typical questions upon first meeting you, which are always 1) Where you stay? and 2) How long you stay here, they are trying to find out how rich you are.

I've never understood why they always ask these questions at first.

They said that the first question shows how much you can afford. If I tell them I have an apartment, then they want to know where it is, to see if it's in a rich or poor area. Then, the second one is used to gauge how gullible I am and if I think in dollars or pesos. If I've only arrived or been here a short time, then I'm thinking in dollars still and am more easily duped to overspend and overgive. But if I've been here longer, then I'm less gullible cause then I know the system and the real prices of things as well as their tactics to extract money.

Is that true?

Filipinas deny it when I ask them. They said they are just getting to know questions. But why such odd getting to know questions in the beginning?

What do you think? Are these questions part of the culture? Why are they so common?

Thanks,
Winston
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Not Necessarily- Can be Considered Idle Chit Chat Questions

Postby AsiaBill » June 24th, 2008, 6:13 am

The answer is YES and NO, for the more mental, educated or ambitious FIlipinas yes it can mean they are sizing you and your financial situation up before making a decision to get involved or get to know you better, BUT for other Filipinas such questions can just be idle chit chat aka :making conversation" or getting to know one another withOUT any real ulterior motive. I mean when meeting new people anywhere in the world there's a fairly simple and very common det of a dozen questions and answers used wouldn't you agree?
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Postby Mr S » June 24th, 2008, 6:44 am

I think newbies who are naive and don't know any better probably think they are just friendly questions. I'm sure they are coached by others in the bar on how to start small talk without giving the reasons why initially.

I think the smarter ones over time start putting two and two together and figure out pretty quick how rich and naive the customer is by asking those questions. They ask the same questions in Thailand also. Actually come to think of it, all woman ask similar questions in one way or another when first meeting men who they may consider as a mate.

I never answer them straight on. If some girl I know I'm not interested in asks those questions or something similar I'll just make up whatever to lead them on and watch their responses. Serves them right for trying to be gold diggers or deceive me.

If a girl asks me those questions and I'm interested in conversing with them further, I will just divert their attention to other topics or not answer too directly. I want to make sure their interest in me is legit or just a farce.
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status

Postby Nate » June 24th, 2008, 6:49 am

There may be some Filipinos who use such questions in a calculating fashion, but for most it is simply establishing a context. Remember- status means a lot almost anywhere, including the Philippines, and Filipinos are pretty direct about a lot of conversation beyond money. Generally personal questions that would rarely if every be asked in the US are asked routinely in the Philippines. I would not read too much into it...managing expectations is a very important skill, especially in the Philippines as it relates to relatives/friends and money...but it can be done. Be wise, not a reactive dummy...understand the system...make it work for you.
My wife's uncle is small time local politician...a while back he hit me up through my wife for a little campaign cash "loan" as he called it...well it was only $300,
but I was not inclined to lose that, but I recalled I was intending to give some
home improvement money to my wife's mother ( The sister of the man asking for the loan) so I simply told my mother in law that I was giving her 300 USD but would first pass it through her brothers hands as a loan from her to him...I then washed my hands of the matter. Needless to say, he paid his sister back...LOL He did not want to lose face in the situation either...
And another note...if you are inclined to play the high roller...there are plenty of gold diggers willing to play along....
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Re: Question to Mr S and Ladislav about Filipina greetings

Postby ladislav » June 24th, 2008, 12:04 pm

Bar girls ask that, both in the Philippines and in Thailand. Why? 'Cause they want to know what hotel they will sleep at at night. And yes, probably, also to see how much they can charge you.
There is the second school of thought that actually means that since you are the guest, they want to know where you are staying at while in town. Just a natural thing. Also, they want to know whether you have a wife or not. Usually, if you say you are staying at a house, the next question is: alone?
Non bar girls usually do not ask any of those from my experience.
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Postby gmm567 » April 4th, 2009, 2:19 am

I think reason the bar girls are asking about the length of your stay is so that they can assess how long you'll be there to spend money on them. If you're leaving tommorrow, you've probably spent most of your money and that means there will be no trips to the shopping mall.
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Postby ladislav » April 4th, 2009, 9:38 am

A lot of it is just small talk with no guile in it. They all ask each other the same questions- what is your province, how long you have been in Manila, where you live, when are you going back to your family, etc. Sometimes we should not try and look into things too much.

When Americans ask each other: where are you from and what do you do for a living and where did you go to school, it does not mean people are trying to gauge each other. It is just small talk.
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Postby Hero » April 4th, 2009, 1:17 pm

The first question they ask me is "Are you married?" And they're very skeptical when I tell them "no". :?
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Postby ladislav » April 9th, 2009, 11:19 pm

Yeah. It is called 'provincialism'. I am lucky I am divorced, so I tell them I am divorced. They are not sceptical but just nod. Then they ask 'why'. I tell them my ex-wife was sterile and could not have kids. Then I ask them if they have any more personal questions. They blush and leave me alone.

Also, if they ask me " Where is your wife?" , I tell them- "My wife is with your husband now". "I have no husband!" "And I have no wife". This usually stops the discussion.
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Postby Hero » April 10th, 2009, 3:30 pm

ladislav wrote:Yeah. It is called 'provincialism'. I am lucky I am divorced, so I tell them I am divorced. They are not sceptical but just nod. Then they ask 'why'. I tell them my ex-wife was sterile and could not have kids. Then I ask them if they have any more personal questions. They blush and leave me alone.

Also, if they ask me " Where is your wife?" , I tell them- "My wife is with your husband now". "I have no husband!" "And I have no wife". This usually stops the discussion.


When I go back to the Philippines and meet some more girls that I like, I'm going to give them money to do an online background check on me, to prove to them that I have nothing to hide.
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