Filipino Body Language and the Importance of Non-verbal Communication with your Filipina

 As you may have gathered, if you have been following my blog for a while, I can speak Tagalog, and I have even created a series of blog posts that touch on the subject of Tagalog grammar. Because I am interested in making my marriage with my Filipina not only work but actually thrive, I have been taking the study of the Filipino language and culture very seriously since I entered this relationship back in 2000. Now I am at a point where my wife and I can quickly and easily switch from Italian and English to Tagalog. Yet, being able to communicate verbally is just a tiny part of the equation of effective communication. Many experts talk about the idea that around 93% of human communication occurs through non-verbal cues and only the remaining 7% is accomplished through words. When I look at this issue through this lens I realize that my efforts to master the Filipino culture and language count for very little if I don't work on improving my non-verbal communication. So in this post

The "Ningas Kugon" Trait of the Filipino Mentality

 Ningas Kugon is basically the tendency of Filipinos to get super excited about an idea a project for, maybe, one week or two, maximum few months. They lay a foundation then the wander off and lay another foundation.

So, it may occur, for example, that your Filipino wife wants to take you to the Philippines to live there for good and start a negosyo. She could even get you to invest some money there. Then she may change her mind and, perhaps, decide to stay in your Western country. After a while she may reconsider going to the Philippines for good. Then reconsider that again.

More often their not Filipinos don't have a life mission and a clear vision. They undertake myriads of projects that easily fizzle out and never stick around.

If you marry a Filipina this may cost you unnecessary money. For example, about 15 years ago, my wife set up an eatery in front of the Bulacan Agricultural State College and turned the ground floor of her big house into some sort of hostel for college students, because we were supposed to move there for good. Since then there has been an alternation of moments in which she wanted to follow through on that project and moments in which she seemed to be more interested in staying here in Italy and (after 15 years) I don't know yet what is going to happen.

The expression ningas kugon fittingly describes this Filipino trait: ningas basically means fire while kugon is basically the material used to build the roof of a bahay kubo which is, essentially, cogon grass, a type of material that kindles very easily and brightly and, after a short while, it extinguishes.

We in the Western world are generally more inclined toward making long-term plans and following through on those plans while, as I've just said, most Filipinos are the exact opposite.

So, if you are interested in marrying a Filipina, one of the many things you have to take into account is the fact that making long-term plans with a Filipino wife might prove to be extremely difficult.

The mindset that I have chosen to operate from, to deal with this and other aspects of the Filipino culture, that are difficult to accept from a Western standpoint, is acceptance (which is, by the way, one of the pillars of a thriving marriage according to many relationship experts).

As I keep repeating in my blog, Filipinos are the way they are and getting angry, pissed off and upset with them only creates friction and endangers the relationship and so the counsel I'd give to Westerners who are considering the possibility to enter this kind of relationship is to gather as much information as you can about the Filipino culture and mentality before embarking in this kind of relationship (and not make the mistake I initially made of assuming that I would figure things out down the road) and weigh very carefully if you are ready and willing to cope with the many traits of your future Filipino wife that are at odds with the Western ways.


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