How to behave when invited to a Filipino home.

Filipinos are less hesitant than Americans to invite people into their homes and are usually  willing to entertain visitors even on short notice. However, it is always best to give  advance notice when you are visiting.

Filipino homes are like American homes in that they usually have a living room  to entertain visitors, a dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and probably a  laundry area. Condominiums compress some of these areas and the living room will sometimes also act as the dining area.

You may be asked to remove your shoes  at the main door of any homes you visit, but this is not common. Meals are typically eaten at Western-style tables.

Most Filipinos have a knack for making people feel welcome in their homes.  They do not expect you to bring anything along when you visit, but food or beverages are welcome additions at any gathering.

Food that goes well with the meal is  especially appreciated, so feel free to check in with your host about what might be best to bring. Many people choose to bring a dessert. You may also bring a bottle  of wine, but only if you think that your hosts actually drink the beverage. For  potluck parties, of course, the host may assign you a dish to bring.

When visiting secluded or out-of-the-way areas, it may be wise to arrange in advance for the return trip to your hotel to avoid imposing on your host for transportation. Hosts may volunteer to bring you back to wherever you are staying,  especially if they have their own car, but don’t count on it.

Feel free to accept a ride  home with other guests if you are comfortable with the idea. Otherwise, you may  want to hire a car service for the day so you can leave at the appropriate moment.

There are some areas in the Philippines that do not have good roads. Check a  map when planning a home visit and ask around for suggestions or ideas about  the location.

Facilities in the provinces are not always as modern as they are in the cities and  being prepared for any eventuality is smart. If you are not sure about your  accommodations, you may wish to bring your own towel, slippers, soap, shampoo,  toothbrush, toothpaste, and bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth.

Sometimes, especially if visiting far-flung or remote provinces, you may also need  to bring your own bed sheets, pillow-cases, and even pillows, as well as snacks  that can get you by in case the food served is too exotic for your taste.

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