Summer in the Philippines has started to sizzle and the heat has become quite unbearable. But this did not prevent some members of the Scandinavian Society of the Philippines (SSP) to attend the April SSP Day Social on 17 April 2013 at Maria Lundberg’s residence in Ayala Alabang to learn more about the tropical country and its people.
Mr. Lawrence Charles E. Salazar of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts gave a talk entitled “Islands of Celebration: Filipino Culture at a Glance.” The talk was intended for new and current members to familiarize themselves with Filipino culture. Mr. Salazar tried to explain the fun in the tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines”. It is the Filipinos that make the Philippines more fun, he explains. He says that the Filipino concept of “kapwa” (loosely translated to English as shared self or the self in the other) makes Filipinos naturally relational, creative, and sensitive.
Because Filipinos regard others as their own, it is hard for them to leave anyone alone. This makes eating alone uncommon, group photos a photographer’s usual subject and commuting a group affair.
Filipinos possess great interpersonal skills which make them the best in service industries such as hotel and hospitality management, healthcare delivery, and call centers.
As a creative people, Filipinos are good at bringing people together by putting every possible function or meaning to an object, activity or presentation. Their festivals draw people in because they have games, food, prizes, dancing, singing, speeches and many more. Their malls attract all walks of life because one can go there to shop, dine, watch a movie, meet their favorite celebrity, pay their bills, transact their business or even attend a mass.
Filipinos are also sensitive, perceptive and expressive. They are good at non-verbal communication. They may greet each other by tossing their heads or raising their eyebrows, point a direction by using their lips and ask the menu or the bill by drawing a big rectangle (Menu) and small rectangle(bill) on the air depending on the size.
Filipino expressiveness extends to the rich textural qualities of their houses, jeepneys, and other works of art, tasty food and the lush sounds they make.
Filipino sensitivity makes them gentle, kind, and non-confrontational. As much as possible, Filipinos avoid conflicts by making subtle criticisms by saying good thing first then the objective criticism.
In the course of the talk, the SSP members found themselves discussing about their experiences with Filipinos and comparing Filipino culture with their own cultures. There were times when they were quick to disagree with some of the characteristics but they would later realize that these are only generalizations which may only be true to some and not all the time. Their prior interactions with some Filipinos helped them understand the characteristics which were described.
The second part of the April SSP Day Social dealt with the natural aspect of the fun in the Philippines. Ms. Marites Pastorfide, Sales Manager of Wayfair Tours, Inc. talked about the prime summer destinations in the Philippines – a visual tour of the best places to go this summer. She provided them with a range of destination choices with white sand beaches and recommended good resorts and hotels in the said areas. In Palawan, she focused on Pangalusian Island of El Nido, El Rio Y Mar Resort of Coron, Apulit Island Resort of TayTay, Dos Palmas Island Resort, Microtel Hotel and Hotel Centro of Puerto Princesa and Amanpulo, Pamilacan Island. Also discussed were the latest resorts in Marinduque (Bellaroca Island Resort and Spa), Bicol (Misibis Bay), Bohol (Bellevue Hotel and Bluewater Panglao), Cebu (Badian Island Resort & Spa), Davao (Pearl Farm Resort) and Boracay Island (Shangri-La Resort & Spa, Grand Vista Resort and Boracay Regency Hotel).
Here are some of the pictures and description:
El Rio y Mar Resort is located in San Jose, Coron, Palawan. Charming accommodations and resort facilities are nestled in a beautiful bay with a breathtaking view of calm waters and rolling hills. The resort is an intimate and tranquil setting, ideal for those seeking nature’s solace. All rooms are on the beach fronting the bay and surrounded by lush mangroves; the best view of the sunset is from your own verandah.
Named after the Sanskrit word for peace, Aman, and the Tagalog word for island, Amanpulo is a serene retreat offering the pure white sands, turquoise seas and endless blue skies for which the Philippine archipelago is fame.
With its white Santorini-inspired architecture on rolling terrain contrasted with the azure blue of the sky above and the clear water below, Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa offers a fantastic experience unlike any other place in the Philippines and across South-East Asia.
The island of Panglao, Bohol will be more inviting with the opening of The Bellevue Resort. Giving new meaning to the island getaway concept, picture exquisitely designed guestrooms with spectacular views of the sea, a spa village dedicated to the pursuit of wellness, and recreational facilities to please your every whim.
Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa. This resort is located in a northern part of Boracay Island, approximately 315 km south of Manila. Its secluded location makes it possible for guests to enjoy 350 meters of unspoilt beach and well-preserved nature.