‘Filipino Time’

Filipino time is something you just have to put up with living in the Philippines.

Filipino time

Examples of Filipino Time

If you aren’t aware of what Filipino time is it basically means expect everyone to be late for everythingA Filipina explains it here. It doesn’t always work out that way, and sometimes they are actually on time, but if you are supposed to meet someone at 7 and show up at 7:15 expect to wait another half hour before they arrive.

Waiting for Bible Study to Finish

I was having an irritation in my skin and needed to see a dermatologist.  Because of my odd sleeping and working hours it can be really hard for me to find a time to meet with people that keep normal human hours.

One morning around 10am I found myself with some extra free time so I went to the dermatologist.  It was a weekday and I figured they had to be open by then.

I arrive around 10:30 and the receptionist says the doctor isn’t in yet but you can wait for her if you like.  I ask what time do you open and she says 9:00.  I ask if there is another doctor  I can see and she says none are in yet.  I ask if I will be the first to see the doctor when she arrives and she says yes, but first they will hold their bible study and after that I can see her.

Only in the Philippines.  Clearly I am not about to sit around and wait for the doctor to show up and then also wait for them to finish their bible study, and never end up seeing that doctor.

Filipino time definition

Filipino time definition via Urban Dictionary

Waiting for Girls to show up

One of my first few days in the Philippines I got all the education I needed on Filipino time.

I had made a friend who was a masseuse.  We were hanging out and she said she had to go at 3pm and asked me to remind her.  I told her at 2:30 and she said ok but didn’t start getting ready.  At 3 she gets a text from her client and she tells him she is on her way.

By 4pm I am ready to go myself but she is still sitting on the couch doing nothing, I don’t want to be rude and kick her out so I keep reminding her that she has an appointment and she says she knows.  Finally she gets up and starts to get ready which takes her another 30 minutes.  She kept texting the guy saying “so much traffic” and that she was “on her way.”

She finally leaves 2 hours late and then sits in traffic for another hour.

Movies have Start Times

I invited a friend to go see a movie at the theater that I really wanted to see.  I was sleeping at 4pm so we needed to see the 1pm show.  She knew my bed time and I told her the movie started at 12:30 planning for her late arrival.

I text her throughout the morning and she always says she will be there before 12:30.  At noon I text her and get no response.  At 12:15 I ask if she is on her way – no response.  At 12:30 I ask are you here and she says “not yet.”  Fifteen minutes I text her again.

Now its 1pm and the movie is starting and I ask if she is near and she responds “maybe I shower now.”

This is the type of thing that you have to put up with here.  I would lie to you and say that you will get used to it but that is not the case.  You will just learn to tolerate it as best you can.

You would think that she would be able to tell me she won’t be on time at some point after my 10 texts…….. you would think.  She then texted me at 4 saying she was ready now.  I had been asleep for an hour.

2 Responses

  1. jspill says:

    there’s a ‘thai time’ too, pretty much a south east asia thing

  2. Sir Save-A-Whore says:

    Same same Papua New Guinea. Maybe worse there. PNG time means whenever.

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