You Know You’re Filipino When You Point with Your Mouth


Discovery Shores

View of the beach from the Discovery Shores Restaurant

I am here in Boracay at the gorgeous Discovery Shores resort with image consultants Olen Juarez-Lim and Denise Ng.

Discovery shores resortThe other day at the cultural session in Manila Miselle Bergonia talked about how you know you’re Filipino when you point with your lips. I hadn’t noticed this until yesterday when first lying by the beach when she was pointing out some other guests staying at the hotel, then later at dinner when Denise had her purse a little too far away from her on the banquette.

Olen LimIt’s a facial gesture used to try and be discreet, but point something out. I took a photo of Olen doing it to show you. It happens pretty quickly so you have to attuned to it.  So if you see a Filipino and you think they’re pouting, they’re not, they’re pointing!   It was interesting that once I’d noticed it once with Olen, I started noticing it in the staff as they were talking to each other about things that needed being done, or guests that needed looking after in some way or other.

sand art

Boracay sand art

Are there any cultural gestures typical of your country?



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  • That last photo reminds me of my years growing up on the northern coast of PNG. Coconut palms swaying in the sea breeze while eating dinner on the beach. Not so gourmet as your lunch but it was so much fun, anyway.

    I think someone else would have to tell me if Aussie's have unusual cultural gestures. What we do seems normal when you're in the thick of it.

  • Wow, the views are wonderful, Imogen. It seems that you had a very good time in the Philippines and you had time to connect with other image consultants from the area. Great!

  • This made me laugh. I'm of Filipino descent myself (born there, raised both there and in Canada). Glad you're enjoying your stay there! I haven't been back since I left!

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