Bye, Handshake? House Passes Bill on Official Filipino Gesture

‘Pagbating Filipino’ is the new way of greeting strangers. 

There is merit to not wanting to touch strangers’ hands, especially in this time of pandemic. That is why Filipino lawmakers passed a bill formalizing a new official gesture of the Philippines: Pagbating Filipino

Former MMDA chairman and now Marikina representative Bayani Fernando was the first to introduce the gesture in October 2019. He filed a resolution encouraging Filipinos to lay the palm of the right hand over the chest and lower the head to a slight nod as a gesture of goodwill and praise

According to Fernando, the gesture will replace the handshake, which is discouraged because it aids in the transmission of diseases such as COVID-19. 

Lawmakers supported Fernando’s resolution and adopted House Resolution No. 408 in June 2020. On January 19, 2021, the lawmakers passed House Bill 8149, which seeks to institutionalize the Pagbating Filipino. The lawmakers voted 211-1-1 on the bill. 

Watch how Pagbating Filipino is done in the video below. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor-at-Large
Mario Alvaro Limos is features editor-at-large at Esquire Philippines, and heads the Lifestyle and Esports content of as its section editor. Email him at [email protected] and [email protected]
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