Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Filipino Versus Japanese Culture

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Japan is often considered more "Western" in culture than other Asian countries. Compared to the Philippines, there are certainly a lot of similarities.

But Japan and the Philippines do have many cultural differences as well. Though no people can be generalized as a whole, and, like Philippines, culture can vary from region to region. Filipinos and Nihonjins have many differences in terms of culture, beliefs and practices.

As a Nihongo student, I cannot avoid comparing Japanese practices to ours. I do admire our culture, but I cannot help loving the Japanese culture. Here are some cultural comparisons.


credits to the owner

FILIPINO: If you’re a Filipino usually you would greet elders by kissing their hand for respect (mano). The word Po is often used when speaking with an elder or to a superior. Typcially, it is added to the end of a sentence. For example, thank you would be thank you po. In tagalog, salamat means thank you. To an elder you would say salamat po. The word “po” doesn't really have a meaning but adds formality as a sign of respect. When greeting a friend, Filipinos usually do “beso beso”.

Credits to the owner

JAPANESE: If you are a Nihonjin, bowing is always necessary. If someone bows to you, bow to the same depth as you have been bowed to. Nihonjins also use honorifics, and they call each other with their last name.


credits to the owner

FILIPINO: When eating, Filipinos use spoon and fork. Sometimes Filipinos eat with bare hands. Filipinos eat as many as they can. Whether it be a grand party or just an informal meeting, Filipinos express their hospitality & friendship through the serving of food. The more grandiose the cuisine, the more 'love' they are trying to convey to those at the gathering. Instead of asking, 'how are you?' Filipinos will ask, "have you eaten yet?' So if you're offered with some food, don't say no. It's an insult to reject this kind of offer. 

credits to the owner

JAPANESE: Nihonjins use chopsticks. Nihonjins always make sure that the presentation of their food is always appealing to the eye. Further, it is permitted to slurp your food, especially when eating noodle dishes like ramen or udon. Their way of eating is to eat until 80% full.


FILIPINO: Filipinos usually commute; jeeps, buses, tricycles, etc. are some of the popular means of public transportation.

credits to the owner

JAPANESE: Japanese people usually use their bicycles when going to school or in other places close to their home, they also prefer walking specially the elders. Trains and buses are other means of transportation for further places.


Photo credits to Laura Beckman

FILIPINO: During Filipino wedding ceremonies, the bride usually wears a white gown and the groom wears a barong or a suit. The wedding place is the church and the Christian Priest conducts the ceremony.

Photo credits to Patrick Leong

JAPANESE: Traditionally, the wedding ceremony is held at a Shinto shrine. The bride wears a Kimono and Hakama for the groom. In the ceremony, the bride, groom and the close relatives drink Sake to signify their union. The Miko is the Japanese version of the Bridesmaid, who dresses red or white during the ceremony and serves Sake.

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  1. I like the way the article was made. The pictures that are present in the article made it lively. But for a reaction, I would probably say that everyone must learn how to respect others. You should be properly oriented that there will be always differences between individuals especially when it talks about cultures. Put in mind that whenever you encounter different people you must learn how to adapt oneself.

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