Filipinos have a habit of mixing humor with seriousness to the term “Filipino Time”. This is described as naturally being late regardless of how properly set the schedule is for a meeting, event, or activity.
What is Filipino Time
“Filipino time” is a colloquial term used to describe the cultural norm of arriving late in the Philippines. It is a stereotype that suggests that Filipinos are not punctual and tend to run on a more relaxed sense of time.
While not all Filipinos adhere to this cultural norm, it is still a prevalent idea in the country. The origins of the concept are unclear, but it may have developed as a way of coping with the country’s poor infrastructure and transportation systems, which can cause delays and make it difficult to arrive on time.
Impact of “Filipino Time”
The impact of “Filipino time” can be significant, particularly in work or business settings. Chronic tardiness can lead to decreased productivity and can harm the professional reputation of individuals and companies.
It can also cause inconvenience and frustration for others who are waiting for the late individual to arrive. In some cases, it can even lead to missed opportunities, such as job interviews or important meetings. Additionally, perpetuating the stereotype of Filipino time can perpetuate negative perceptions of Filipino culture and contribute to discrimination and prejudice against Filipinos.
Even government agencies are becoming concerned about how tardy Filipinos can become. The delay can range anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes or even longer. And this is not just among ordinary people. Professionals like doctors can also be notoriously late to their appointments, rendering booking systems irrelevant. Schools impose punishments on students for late arrivals but the habit doesn’t seem to go away even after enduring such rules in school.
There are, however, remedies to avoid the bad habit of “Filipino Time”. Practicing these better habits will make you more professional and disciplined.
How to make Filipino time a past habit
Accept the mistake as a latecomer.
The first step to changing the bad habit is to admit that you are a constantly tardy person.
Tell yourself that you’re missing out on opportunities and losing the trust of people around you because you always come late and do not take time seriously. Next, tell yourself that you wish to change the bad habit and will strive to come on time from now on.
Set the alarm earlier.
If you have a meeting at 9 am, consider various factors such as the total time you spend getting dressed, eating breakfast, and traveling.
Also, be prepared for fortuitous events like thunderstorms and floods. Never underestimate the time you spend on preparation activities. It is better to be early than late. Ideally, you should wake up 2 to 3 hours before the deadline.
Avoid overburdening yourself.
Do not accept invitations that do not suit your schedule.
Keep a calendar or logbook where you can write down all your meetings and scheduled activities for the week or month. Do not make unrealistic goals and give yourself extra time between activities. It’s recommended that you stay composed for every meeting or date, and not huffing about during the event because you’re trying to catch your breath.
Don’t take time for granted.
Avoid wasting your time doing unnecessary things. If you should spend time on social media sites or watching TV, the time it properly by setting an alarm.
Keep in mind that you only have 24 hours in a day and you spend about a quarter of it sleeping. If you have trouble spending more time than needed on different tasks, practice timing yourself in each activity until you establish the habit.
Be optimistic you can overcome the bad habit.
Think of the rewards and benefits that you can have by being on time. You will look very professional in meetings or job interviews.
Also, think about the bad experiences you had when you were constantly late. Compare the feeling of being prepared several hours in advance compared to cramming because you didn’t time and schedule your activities properly. These should inspire you to do better and show up on time.
Be mindful of the time you spent on certain things.
Meeting people spontaneously is one of the reasons why Filipinos tend to be late. They spend too much time talking and doing things that weren’t intended in the first place.
If you happen to meet an old friend on the street, talk for 3 to 5 minutes then immediately let him know that you’re supposed to be somewhere. Schedule an appointment or get together on another date. Don’t feel bad about having to tell someone you need to go or are in a hurry. List it down on your logbook as always.
These healthy practices will eliminate the bad habit of “Filipino Time” in just a few weeks. You will discover new privileges and will be respected by colleagues and friends for being on time. By doing so, you are showing respect to other people’s time, and getting rid of a dubious characteristic Filipinos are infamous for. We only have 24 hours a day to use. You don’t want to waste it waiting for people, right?