“When a Filipino executive feels that telling the truth might embarrass or offend, he or she will often beat around the bush. In this context, “yes” doesn’t necessarily mean “yes.” The word “yes” could also mean “maybe,” “I guess that’s what you want to hear,” “Perhaps someday,” “I have no idea,” or “No.”


“Many meetings in Manila seem positive and productive, fueled by the adrenaline rush of money to be made, and sure to lead to great and wonderful things. All too often, the projects under discussion never get off the ground as the parties involved move on to other projects. This is usually because some participants were reluctant to show their reservations in the first place; they wanted to go along with the group consensus and share your fervor. While this has the short-term advantage of everyone leaving the meeting with a pleasant buzz, the longer-term consequences include puzzlement, frustration, and resentment.”


—from “Filipino Business Norms, Etiquette and Style”