Filipino Hiya

Filipino Hiya
“Hiya = shame. Much of what Filipinos do and don't do is motivated by the avoidance of hiya.”
- The avoidance of Shame.
-By Jonathan Aquino Jonathan Aquino

I want and need to have a couple of respectable friends here in the Philippines. After all the fun and games, the accumulation of friends when traveling is a need, not a want.

It is possible this quote above came from inside the book
“Philippines (Culture Shock!)”

Culture are pealed and understood like an onion, one layer at a time. With the learning of the word “Hiya,” I am removing one more layer of the onion and hopefully understanding the Philippines enough to find a couple of respectable friends. The understanding of the how shame works in the Philippines is an essential piece of knowledge to make friends in the Philippines.

Bauang - Paringao - San Fernando, Philippines
La Union Province
Southeast Asia
Monday, September 7, 2009
Buy the Same Gear as Andy uses


Shame saved my life, the personal shame I had for being a drunk, embarrassing myself, friends and family made me stop drinking. I have got up for 22 years with one goal in my mind, to be a good boy so I can avoid this shame.

If I want friends, maybe the best way to lose friends and not influence people is to shame them.

I always have a sudden increase in mocking, mean and attacking comments when I visit the Philippines. I am always a little baffled, I traveled in Guatemala, Peru, and East Africa and comments were balance, now that I am in the Philippines personal attack on my have multiplied ten fold.

Finding Friends in the Philippines
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, I have realized the Expats in this country react and think about the same as the Philippines, I would call the “shame based,” or full of "toxic shame." The reader who have been to the Philippines become extremely angry when I say normal cultural comments about the Philippines. I am not allowed to make comments that nobody would even think strange about Africa without attempted vengeance by readers.

Hiya is the word for shame in Tagalog; this is an essential ingredient of the Filipino culture. I would say, anyway we do it; we find people of like kind. I am sitting here in my Hotel with maybe one new friend, and I doubt this friendship will survive longer than my travels in this country.

I dot NOT find like-kind friends here in the Philippines. I cannot find friends in the Philippines, I have one, Bjorn in Manila, all the rest slowly become my walk-on-the-other-side friends.

Why am I here?

Well, on the positive side, daily I have called 2-3 of my good friends from all over the planet. I have about 20-30 close friends. I have been spending hours talking with friends over This hotel has the best connection in my 11 years of travel, I can make telephone calls at 7-8:00 at night, and I can make a phone call anytime I wish, without worrying. I have what feels like a normal USA phone system in my room.

Shame is a great thing, it saved my life, and I am always amazed how many people want to shame me for coming to the Philippines. I tend to think they know what they do here; they believe I am doing the same… Hehehe

Well folks, enough talking, I am going to treat the Philippines like a review of products. I am going to only explain what I love about the place, not want is shameful.

This is not so important for the Journal here, I truly accept that this is an internet page, it is not me. However, with my new understanding of Hiya, the people of the Philippines can become my friends. I am not going to say I am proud of them...

I am never going to make friends with the Expats here, they normally drink like a fish, how is a person who does not drink fit in, it just is not possible. Drunks and non-drinkers are like water and oil; they do not mix. I do not like them, they do not like me, and this is ok.

Excellent review of the book
Great Review of Cultural Shock Book

Hiya explained by a Filipina girl living in Switzerland.


Ok, all you shame based folks living or planning to live in the Philippines, I will give you a break and stop pointing at you… hehehe. Moreover, for you people who think you can shame me or make me apologize for my thoughts or actions, give up, I am in love with myself, I have no shame, mainly because I am good man… hehehe

Filipino Hiya


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