mukha (face)

ENTRY # 17

Face Appearances are very important and not losing “face” (mukha) in front of others is extremely important. There is a marked distinction between public and private lives and what is discussed. Top Filipino Smile A smile can be the response to almost everything from the funny to the catastrophic An awkward situation can be diffused by smiling back. With the frequent natural disasters and political upheavals, a smile and hope for a better future was often all that was available. Do not be offended if your maid, who has just broken a family heirloom, comes to tell you about it, smiling all the while. She will not be mocking the situation and it is important to keep a cultural perspective in those times! Top Yes Like a smile, the Filipino “yes” can be difficult to interpret. It too is tied to “face.” You will be told yes when: 1)the answer really is yes 2)the answer is no, but no one wants to say no to you 3) you werent understood, but to protect your face or theirs, they say yes.” Or 4) the answer is maybe or perhaps combinations of the above. A casual “yes” to an invitation may not be a true acceptance but rather a desire to be polite or agreeable. Generally, the invitation should be reissued more formally a second time.

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