Why the Philippines?
The Philippines is the smart choice for outsourcing for many reasons…
The Philippines is the smart choice for outsourcing for many reasons but here are the top three reasons why
1. Their English
They grow up speaking English as a second language so you will have no problems communicating with your VA.
Miscommunication can be frustrating and slows your production down. Time is money and money is time so a language barrier just costs you. Of course, you may need to teach your VA some local slang but don’t worry, they are quick learners!
2. Time zones are close
Unlike most other outsourcing countries, the Philippines are pretty close to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). There’s no need to wait until the next day to get a change made (how annoying is that?). AND most people want to work ‘daylight’ hours. Filipinos are no different. Having similar time zones attracts more people wanting to work for Australian business – so our talent pool is BIG!
3. Their Education
In the Philippines almost 90% of Virtual Assistants would have achieved an equivalent of a University degree and would have completed a minimum of 4 years college to gain a Bachelor’s degree. At Phil Labor 100% of our staff currently hold BA’s in a variety of fields including Communications and Business Management, Accounting, Software & IT, Bookkeeping and Business Administration as well as English related degrees such as School Teaching qualifications.
Many Filipinos working as customer support or call centre operations will have had experience teaching English either at a school or online via International English learning programs.
Filipinos are smart, keen to learn and extremely loyal – what more could you want in an employee!
You are going to love working with a Phil Labor VA from the Philippines; smart, dedicated and friendly!
Introduction to the Filipino Culture
Culture & Tradition
The Filipino culture is due to the early influences of Spain, China, India and more recently the United States.
Filipino’s value tradition and culture. They set aside specific days to celebrate birthdays, festivals, All Saints’, National Hero’s days and a range of other national events even Chinese New Year is celebrated every year. Food, particularly rice, is an integral part of the celebration too.
Most Filipino people will attend Church service every Sunday but sometimes as often as 2-3 times per week. Their homes are full of religious paraphernalia, crosses and the like and their gardens will sometimes have shrines or fountains with sculptures of biblical persons, Jesus Christ being the most popular.
The religious makeup consists of 83% Roman Catholic, 9% Protestant, 5% Muslim and 3% Buddhist/Other.
Filipino’s are known to help others without expecting something in return. They even have a word for it….its call ‘Bayanihan’. They come together and help each other.
They love art and design! Their architecture is a testament to this…..beautiful tall buildings with a strong design blending modern themes with cultural heritage.
Got the Smarts
Largely, Filipino people are smart and quick learners. As a society, they are social media savvy and understand technology.
Often the first present a child will crave is a mobile phone or iPad, this mean they grow up understanding the ever-evolving digital environment of today’s world.
There are approximately 175 different languages but the joint official languages are ‘Tagalog’ AND ‘English’!
English is no barrier! The educated speak it very well albeit with a slightly American accent. Their sentence structure is slightly different to Australia though. Interestingly, they struggle with ‘he, she, him and her’ because there is no equivalent in their native language.
Respect is Imperative
Filipino’s are taught from a very early age to be respectful, especially to their elders. They have a simple catchphrase ‘po’ and ‘opo’ when addressing their elders. When meeting after a period of absence, the younger of the two will take the hand of the older generation and place the back of it on their own forehand. This is most common within an extended family group.
Party Party Party
They love to celebrate and party. They have a festival for everything.
A perfect example is the Tigtigan Terakan Ken Dalan Festival. It is held every Friday and Saturday in October and is the Angeles City’s version of Oktober Fest with all night long singing and dancing.
And for New Year Eve; families gather, wear dotted clothes and prepare round fruit to eat which symbolises prosperity.
New Year’s Eve in the Philippines still consists of firecrackers of all descriptions being let off 2 or 3 days before and after New Year’s Eve. Although officially banned throughout the Philippines, the authorities turn a blind eye and allow people, especially those in the Provinces (outside the major cities) to run amuck with fireworks imported from China.
The Importance of Food & Rice
They love to eat. Not just breakfast, lunch and dinner…..try every hour…or at least every 3 hours. Not a day will go by without the eating of rice either, a daily staple. They are big eaters even though they are a petite nation (lucky huh). Oh, and they love a buffet….well of course they do!
Every meal, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner will have rice as the main part of the meal. The food that accompanies the rice is called ‘ulam’ and it can consist of vegetables, pork, chicken, fish or whatever. The most important is the RICE!
If there is a shortage of rice in the Philippines it makes national headline news – that’s how important rice is to the individual!
It is a known fact that the ‘happiness’ of a family is based on their current supply of rice within the household or village.
Karaoke was ALMOST invented purely for the Filipinos. They love it so much. Any excuse to sing out loud, they will take it!
Parties, family get-togethers, festivals, celebrations….they don’t need an excuse.
The quietest person in the office can instantly transform into a Lady Gaga or Elvis Presley when a microphone is at hand.
Family is THE most important thing to a Filipino person. They have big extended families and they include god-parents, distant relatives, co-workers and friends as ‘family’.
A family crisis will take precedence over anything and EVERYTHING!
Continuing on from the festival addiction…the Christmas period can start as early as August where you can hear Christmas songs in the shopping centres.
This continues right up to the 1st/2nd week of January. That is a LONG time!
Filipinos will typically celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and include celebrating throughout the night.
Christmas presents will normally be shared and opened after midnight of the 24th.
Generally, they are shy people and don’t understand sarcasm so be careful here. If it’s a joke or said in jest, make sure you point this out.
A simple phrase ‘Joke lang’ (said as ‘lung’ will have them understanding it was just a joke, this will bring a big smile to their face even if they don’t understand.
They will be amused by your accent and the fact you know a Tagalog word.
Most Filipinos will be inclined to want to call you Boss/Sir to show respect. Allow them to do this even if it seems ‘over the top’ as it’s more comfortable for them to address you this way than by using your name.
This is the family way – even brothers and sisters have respectful titles that the younger siblings call them.
For example, the elder sister is called ‘Ate’ (ah-téh) rather than her given name.
In order to please you, they will want to always say yes!, regardless. And this can often be frustrating because they may not know what they are saying ‘yes’ to.
They are loyal and hard-working. They take pride in their work!
In the Philippines, there are no government handouts – no dole, no free medical services, no nursing homes. It is up to the families to support their extended family.
Therefore, their work ethics are stemmed from the importance of having permanent employment to look after their loved ones.
Often the siblings that show the most aptitude to education whilst growing up will receive the bulk of the entire families spare income.
These are the ones who will go on to graduate from College (University) earn a higher income and support their parents in later life.
In many cases, families can only afford to send one of their children to college. It is a heavy responsibility for this child and they will strive to do well in whatever field they chose.
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