Everything Filipino Is Suddenly All The Rage


All things Filipino have been popping up on my radar over the last year. However, my visit to LA this week, dialed up my Filipino-awareness to new heights.

Since arriving here last Sunday I have been immersed in Filipino-ness through:

  • Food. Checked out Sari Sari at Grand Central Market and had their Buko Pie – so good!! (pic above). Note: I wrote about D.C.’s Bad Saint, ranked the country’s top Filipino restaurant back in April (the middle pic, lower level above, are the 3 founders).
  • Wedding traditions. Through my Uber driver, Arnulfo, who is getting married in November, I learned about family dynamics, wedding rituals and how important it is for a bride to master traditional cooking skills from the groom’s mom. I could tell that Arnulfo was a little disappointed that his Guatemalan fiancé would rather order in than learn to make the Filipino Pancit dishes that he loves.
  • Spirituality. Over a catch-up dinner with a longtime friend (who I did not realize was Filipino), I learned more about the fascinating indigenous religious beliefs and cosmology of Filipinos.

And then, I found this excellent write-up of a soon-to-be-published marketing book specifically focusing on cultural, social, personal and psychological factors observed in the Philippines.

Whether you do business in the Philippines or just have an appetite to learn more about different cultures, this is definitely worth a read (see below).




  • The absence of parents in a third of homes and the increasing role of schools in instilling values.
  • The social disorders associated with the increasing absence of parents in the lives of their children (drugs, child sex abuse, teen pregnancy, among others).
  • The change in the boundaries and sequence of love, marriage, sex and family.
  • The rise in the number of single parents.
  • The trend towards late marriages and smaller families.
  • The upgraded role of music as surrogate companion.
  • The rise of “adultescents” (a play of the words adult and adolescent). They are also called the Peter Pan generation, or the 30-something adults who are still single and without kids, mortgages and responsibilities.
  • The rise of stay-at-home “housebands” looking after children and house needs.
  • More men becoming purchase decision-makers of grocery products (the mansumers).
  • The increasing ratio of people 40 years old and above wanting to take control of their health.


  • The desire to migrate and the rise of middle class among overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
  • The expanding number of call center workers and their odd working hours to conform to working time abroad.
  • The vanishing breed known as househelps.
  • The desire of senior citizens to have second careers.


  • The increasing role of women in the workforce due to better education and social equality.
  • The increasing number of millennial women who do not know how to cook nor cook as well as their moms.
  • Women have become more liberal when it comes to their sexual and relationship behaviors (including promiscuity).


  • The emergence of cheap smartphones.
  • People relying more and more on free texting via apps such as Line and Messenger.
  • The reemergence of voice calls, thanks to features from apps like Whatsapp and Viber.
  • The continuing shift of advertising from traditional to digital.
  • Owning multiple mobile phones.
  • Becoming more accepting of foreign cultures (American music, Korean pop and television shows, Indian yoga, Chinese feng shui, Japanese anime).
  • The swelling number of netizens and their reliance on online tools to keep in touch.
  • Opinions are shaped not just by watchdogs, but also by strangers in social media.
  • The openness to talk to strangers and fellow customers.
  • The emerging consciousness of people to self-organize and help others in times of natural disasters.


  • The increasing reliance on tech-based solutions to manage personal life and work.
  • The rise of omnichannel.
  • More online activists are creating noise.
  • The rise of virtual reality and augmented reality.


  • The increasing influence of online celebrities like bloggers.
  • The middle and upper class condemning non-environment friendly products and practices.
  • “Tingi” (small portions), sachets, “lista” (credit) and “four-gives” installment style of payment will always be popular.
  • Value brands and private labels are becoming patronized. These include SM Bonus, National Book Store’s Best Buy, HBC’s personal care products.
  • The openness to try new brands, including generic drugs or alternative health remedies.
  • The continued growth of microfinancing options.


  • Relying more on deliveries (for food, medicine, car batteries, LPG, etc).
  • The increasing preference for smaller store formats.
  • Convenience stores as go-to for fast food.
  • The growing popularity of multilevel marketing.


  • The demanding lifestyle of the working class leading to stress and lack of sleep.
  • The growing consciousness for planning discretionary time.
  • The desire to buy new gadgets and spend on travel.
  • The frequent visit to malls as instant escape.
  • The increasing dominance of point-of-purchase activities (packaging, display, sampling, etc).
  • Expansive food knowledge, instead of owning expensive cars, as a sign of sophistication.
  • The use of visual communication like emojis and memes.

Buying preferences

  • Shifting priorities—from ownership to access (like car sharing).
  • Knowing the importance of skin care, not just owning good cosmetics.
  • For the complete trend list, please visit www.josiahgo.com.


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