An Etiquette Guide For Hanging Out With Foreigners In Boracay

8 July, 2024

Planning your first Boracay itinerary? The island, regarded as the one of the world's most beautiful, hosts more than a million local and foreign tourists each year. According to latest figures, more than 1.7 million tourists visited Boracay in 2016, 10.6 percent higher from the previous year. The top foreign visitors were from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and the US. When you join a Boracay party, don't be surprised to see people from various parts of the world.

Before flying to the world-renowned tourist destination, know the do's and don’ts in dealing with new foreign acquaintances and friends. Here's an etiquette guide for hanging out with the global crowd.


Introducing yourself

Hanging Out Global Crowd Introduction

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Why do people from different countries fly to Boracay? One enticing reason is its vibrant night life. The island is dotted with hotels, resorts and bars that host parties all year round. Local and international bands and DJs grace these happenings, drawing in flocks of party goers from everywhere. Boracay's party scene is in full blast between March and June, so make sure you're up for all-night dancing and drinking when visiting in summer.

When meeting new people in a Boracay tourist spot, it's important to make a good first impression. Take note of how to make eye contact. Looking someone straight in the eye is an expression of sincerity in Western cultures, but it's considered rude in many Asian cultures. These are strictly observed in business settings. In social events, you can briefly look at a person's eye while introducing yourself, then smile. You can establish eye contact once in a while especially when establishing a point. Observe them, whether they're comfortable in keeping eye contact, and subtly try mimicking their action.


Hanging out in resort pools

Hanging Out Global Crowd in Resort Pools

Photo courtesy of Alta Vista De Boracay

Is there a tourist spot in Boracay for the laidback vacationer? Although the island is known for its rave parties, there are places for people who are not fond of raucous festivities. Alta Vista de Boracay, a premier hotel on one of the island's highest peak, features world-class amenities for the relaxed tourist. You can enjoy a glass of chilled fruit juice on Dinara View Deck with a mesmerizing 360-degree view of the island. You can also have a relaxing dip in the infinity pool overlooking Boracay's breathtaking landscapes.

Observing swimming pool decorum is important in making new friends in Boracay. You wouldn't want to offend people for wearing inappropriate outfits or splashing. Take note of required swimwear because most pools prohibit t-shirts and denim shorts. Have a shower before dipping in and use the toilet if you need to. Avoid offending other pool users by following rules and being sensitive of others.


Talk light

Hanging Out Global Crowd Talk Light

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What are the top things to do in Boracay while on a budget? You can explore neighboring islands or trek Boracay's peaks. Navigating the great outdoors is a favorite activity of many foreign tourists. You will meet a lot of Americans and Europeans in stops and campsites. Some come in groups, others travel solo.

When hanging out with foreigners, be sensitive about your choice of conversation topics. Although Westerners have a more liberal perspective compared to Asians, there are matters that they don't feel comfortable discussing with others such as their age and professional life. Avoid topics on politics and religion with new acquaintances, if you can. Keep the subjects light such as on music, films, and other areas of interest.


Speak in English

Hanging Out Global Crowd Speak in English

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How would you feel if people speak in a different language in front of you? Not good, right? Well, don't do the same thing to foreigners you meet in Boracay. Speak in a common language, which is English, and don't make fun of others in front of them. It's rude and you can't assume that they don't understand the local language.


Take it slow with the food challenges

Photo courtesy of Alta Vista de Boracay

Do you remember the viral videos of foreigners eating balut and other native delicacies? They're funny and entertaining, but don't assume that all foreigner are up for a food challenge. Don't put them in an awkward or embarrassing situation especially if you're planning of taking photos or videos. Ask them if they're willing to try strange foods before serving them durian or isaw. When recommending local foods, suggest clean and safe choices. One of the most common diseases foreigners contract overseas, especially in Southeast Asia, is diarrhea and stomach flu. Apart from the jokes, give them a good impression of Philippine cuisine. Introduce foods that will make them remember the country in a positive light.


Ask before you post

Hanging Out Global Crowd Ask before you post

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When taking photos and/or videos of new people you meet, or even of family and friends, have the courtesy to ask for their permission first. Not everyone is okay with having their activities documented in another person's gadgets. This also goes with posting photos and videos online. Remember: what goes online, stays online forever. “Anything we choose to upload, tweet, reblog, favorite, and “like”, is going into an endless record, one that will be very, very hard to erase,” says Meredith Fineman, founder of FinePrint. Be sensitive of others' privacy concerns. Ask before posting.


Respect others' personal space

Hanging Out Global Crowd Respect Personals Space

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The concept of personal space vary in different cultures. Researchers identified South America, the Middle East and Southern Europe as “contact cultures” or whose people stand closer and touch more than the “non-contact cultures” of Northern Europe, North America and Asia.

The basic etiquette guide for hanging out with a new crowd in Boracay require knowledge in how to handle personal spaces. When shaking an American's hand, avoid standing too close. But don't be surprised if you get a hug from a new Argentinian friend.

Boracay, a tourist destination with a global reputation, is a melting pot of cultures. People from various parts of the world fly to the island for its amazing spots, mouthwatering dishes, and exhilarating outdoor activities. Aside from planning your Boracay itinerary and expenses, do a bit of research on how to deal with a multicultural crowd.