11 Awkward Encounters Abroad with Foreigners When They Find Out You’re Filipino

If you’ve ever travelled abroad and interacted with foreigners, then you’ve definitely had awkward encounters with them once they found out you come from the Philippines. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s confusing, and sometimes you just want to say, “Seryoso ka ba?!” But just to make fun of it, we’ve listed the reactions that stand out the most.

Also read: 18 Comments Every Filipino Traveller has Dealt with Abroad

1. When they bow to you because they think all Asians bow

Um, I am not Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or any other nationality that bows in greeting, sir!

2. They’ll talk to you slowly because they’re not sure if you can converse in English

Dude, it’s cool. We can understand you perfectly.

3. “Wow, you speak good English. Why?”

They teach us in English in school, from nursery to college, if you did not know.

4. They’ll say all the Filipino food they know just because

Yeah, we get it. Filipino food is delicious. No need to mention all of them.

5. They’ll say all the Filipino words they know even if it won’t make sense

What is your point, good sir?!

6. They’ll ask you if you know this or that person, just because said person is Filipino too

We don’t know everybody just because we come from the same country.

7.  When they mistake you for other Asian nationalities

Foreigner: Konichiwa!

You: Try again.

8. “Have you met Manny Pacquiao in person?”

Have YOU?

9. “Are there buildings there or purely islands?”

Googling the Philippines wouldn’t hurt, you know.

10. They might even ask you to sing because they think all Filipinos can sing

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is obviously a hasty generalization.

11. When they automatically assume you’re a domestic helper

Respect to all Pinoy domestic helpers out there! Just one thing though, some of us are simply on a vacation. 

Also read: 9 Struggles Filipinos Travelling Abroad can Totally Relate to

When you have these interactions with foreigners for the first time, their messages actually take a moment to sink in because one, you’re too dumbfounded that they’d react to you that way. Two, you never thought that YOU of all people would encounter such awkwardness, or three, you don’t know whether to correct them or to just ride with them. But the best course of action is to always be civil and be you, whether they think being you is very Filipino or not. Just don’t forget to be a good representation of your country when the time comes.


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