International Gift Giving Etiquette - Philippines



General Guidelines

  • Giving gifts, particularly flowers and food, is especially popular in Filipino business culture. Moreover, exchanging gifts is an essential step in solidifying business ties.
  • Once a contract has been signed, prepare to give your new partners a gift of greater value. These gifts include dinner at a fine restaurant, whiskey for men, and perfume for women. Whatever you decide, avoid being so extravagant in your selection that your gift is perceived as a bribe.
  • When selecting wrapping paper for a Filipino recipient, you may use any colour you wish, which makes the Philippines somewhat of an anomaly among other Asian countries.
  • When invited to a Filipino home, bring a gift of flowers, candy or chocolates. Another option is to arrange to have these items sent before your arrival. Avoid bringing alcohol or heavier foods as these gifts may imply that the hospitality is inadequate. Allowances are made, however, for a specialty dish or food that is unique to your home region. Be sure to send a thank-you note afterwards; another small “thank-you gift” is also a thoughtful gesture.
  • At Christmas, you will be expected to give a small, modest gift to practically everyone you encounter in a business context. This includes everyone who works for you and all service personnel you depend upon regularly.
  • When you receive a gift, follow the Asian custom by not opening it in front of the giver. Instead, wait until you are alone.
  • During certain family events, particularly baptisms, it is customary to toss a handful of small coins to any children present.
  • At weddings, guests will sometimes use pins to attach money--typically bills in small denominations--to the clothing of the bride and groom.

Appreciated Gifts

  • a gift item related to the country or city you inhabit
  • fine pens
  • stationary imprinted with your company logo
  • dinner at a fine restaurant
  • whiskey [for men only]
  • perfume

*Peru Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  09 Aug. 2004                          <>.

Above:  The flag of Philippines











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