Culture, Customs and Advice

When one hears that the Philippines is a “Catholic/Christian” country, one might envision the general populace being “negative” or frowning upon Jews or Judaism. The opposite is actually the case. Most Filipinos don’t even know what “Jewish” is. They seem to only recognize the “labels” of two religions; Christian and Muslim.

Few even know what the Muslim religion is either, although it is viewed with a media-supported negativity in general. The political problems that sometimes occur with a few small Muslim groups in the far south islands of the Philippines tend to foster that overall feeling.

When a vast majority of Filipinos ask you if you are Catholic (the primary religious group in the country) and you inform them that you are Jewish, they smile, nod their head, and say; “ok”. They don’t know what Jewish is, but the inner feelings are that as long as its not Muslim, it isn’t bad.

Some of the Baptist Christians are vaguely aware of the Jews association with Jesus, so they seem to feel that someone being Jewish is positive as well.

The Philippines is actually one of the few rare countries on earth that can be honestly deemed; “Jew-Friendly”.

Ironically, there are a few Palestinians living in Angeles City, as well as a small community of Lebanese living in Manila. They generally keep to themselves and pose neither problems nor concerns.