There's Actually a Reason Why Filipino Time Is a Thing

Not just because of the traffic.

Picture this: You turn up at an event 30 minutes late. You probably didn't mean to, but that's just how things turned out. When you get there, you realize you're not late at all because the organizers accounted for Filipino time and set the real start of the event an hour later than stated.

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Now, if you think the phenomenon of Filipino time was something everyone else made up to shame constant latecomers, well, you're wrong. In fact, there's actually a very legitimate reason as to why it's a real thing.

According to University of Santo Tomas sociology and political science professor Dr. Louie Benedict Ignacio, being late was once considered a status symbol during the Spanish colonial period. We guess tardiness was the next best thing in the absence of usual status symbols like land and ships...?

"Noong panahon ng mga Kastila, ang huling pagdating o pagiging late sa mga okasyon ay isang 'status symbol.' Kaya naman ginaya ito ng mga Pilipino sa pag-aakalang importante sila para hintayin," he says.

Well, that (sort of) settles it. But, why have most Filipinos carried on the same habit until now? Has it become genetic memory? Instinct? Or, has it become part of our culture as a whole? That's probably a question for another day.

Do you follow Filipino time?

I'm always on time.

No. Not consciously at least.


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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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