Do Filipinos speak too loudly and in an annoying manner in public spaces?

A letter posted by a disgruntled Singaporean frustrated over being unable to get a bit of peace and quiet in a public bus singled out Filipinos in a post on the site The Real Singapore. The author of the letter who signed off as “H” described the “nightmare” of finding himself in a bus full of “Pinoy maids” on his way home after a tiring day…

Immigrant workers hangout in Singapore on their day off.
Immigrant workers hangout in Singapore on their day off.

To my horror, 90% of the passengers in bus 106 were Pinoy maids. I do welcome them to take our public transport as it helps to contribute to our GDP and SMRT’s revenue. Unfortunately, this Pinoy maids were talking so loud in the bus.

They joked and burst out laughing loudly. Its nothing wrong to joke and chit chat in the bus as Sunday is only their off day, however, they should be a little bit more considerate by caring for other passengers too. What I could heard in the bus was Phillipino language and I felt like I am taking a bus in Manila. Their voice were just as loud as thunderstorm (I believe many Singaporeans experience this before. Once a group of Phillipinos boarded a bus or train, your resting time on your journey back home is gone).

I observed throughout my bus journey to Orchard. The maids will push to board the bus, and the Singaporeans will always have to take another bus as either bus is full or if Singaporean manage to board the bus, they will have to stand near the bus door.

‘H’ went further and proposed this controversial solution to the problem:

I would like to suggest to Public Transport Council to provide private buses to cater to Pinoy maids islandwide for them to go Orchard Road as the current situation is extremely bad (too crowded in buses and trains along Orchard road even on Sunday morning and evening!)

This has not been the first observation made about instances of Filipinos talking loudly in a public place. But for some reason, this obscure post made waves. No less than deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte weighed Malacanang in on the matter

“I’ve been to other places as well and we do tend to observe proper comportment and behavior,” she said.

Could there be something about Tagalog and other Philippine dialects and the way these are spoken that tends to get under peoples’ skins?

Back in 2010 a case was filed by 69 immigrant Filipino nurses over harassment and discrimination allegedly perpetrated by their employer Delano Regional Medical Center in Central California. The nurses accused the hospital management of singling out Filipinos in a directive prohibiting them from speaking in Tagalog or any other Philippine dialect.

She said the hospital’s former chief executive vowed that “he would install surveillance cameras in nursing stations. Whoever is caught, they were threatened with suspension or termination,” Lamug said. “Sometimes, we were speaking English, but due to our accent and diction, they thought we were speaking something else.”

Although the hospital, near Bakersfield, employed a mix of bilingual employees speaking Spanish, Hindi, Bengali and other languages, managers targeted only the Filipinos and encouraged supervisors and other staffers to “act as vigilantes.”

The Filipino nurses won a $975,000 settlement in what was described as “the largest language discrimination settlement in the U.S. healthcare industry.” The hospital management remained unapologetic and its officials stated that “they did nothing wrong and settled only because it made financial sense.”

[Photo courtesy The Real Singapore.]


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113 Comments on "Do Filipinos speak too loudly and in an annoying manner in public spaces?"

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“Could there be something about Tagalog and other Philippine dialects and the way these are spoken that tends to get under peoples’ skins?” No, its the way they carry themselves in public places. Talking so loud and so very noisy you’d think there’s a gang or turkeys onboard the bus. They are just so inconsiderate. You can also see them in public places congregating. Oftentimes they obstruct the common walkpaths. I could send you a photo since its almost Sunday. Its not just the maids. Sometimes even pinoy professionals when in a group among fellow filipinos tend to be so… Read more »

What are maids talking about most often?

Could it be tsismis?

Something even Filipinos on home soil tend to be noisy about?

That would be dysfunction in action.


Singaporeans like many other people are annoyed at immigrants talking their jobs. Or fear an invasion by immigrant workers or something like that.

But hey. A bus only for Filipinos? Isn’t that actually a good idea?

It’s special treatment! Just what Pinoys want!


I am an OFW and there are instances when I ride public transportation in Dubai where a group of Indians, Pakistani, Sri Lankans or even Arabs like Egyptian talking loudly. Do I fault them or their nationaliy? NO! Because I know it is one coping mechanism for their homesickness!


Valte is there trying to endear her boss to those who view this as standing up for the underdog. If the boss was simply competent and fair he wouldn’t need such shameless grabs at popularity .

Hyden Toro

It is not our language of Tagalog…it is our civilities; and acting in consideration of others…we have always been like that: “me mentality”…

When Filipinos are in groups; they act like “flocks and flocks of birds”…a good American friend told me. They hate also to fall in line, to wait. Some break infront of others in the line. This is a Very Rude gesture.

We were not brought up rigth by our parents, I think. Not proper sympathy and consideration to others. This is the reason, our country is in a mess…

e. navasero

Talking loudly is an international phenomenon. Just come to Canada, take a bus or skytrain and you’ll notice that people of every color do the thing. It may be cultural, force of habit or loss of hearing.
One can either admonish the loud “speakers”, say something or grin and bear it.


Singapore should pass a law forbidding loud talking in the bus. Those who will be caught will pay 300 SGD.

Problem solve 🙂

Yeah, I was in a Metrobank in Cebu City, and a group of call center people were getting their payroll, and they were talking so loudly in Visaya. The customers were getting irritated, and I got up from my seat and walked to a quieter part of the bank. The Managers were aware, and so were the security guards, and tellers, but nobody in charge said anything to quiet them down.What good are the guards if they can’t maintain a comfortable environment. Well, at least they open and close the doors. I can understand a McDonalds or a 7-11, but… Read more »
Erasmo Mallillin
I am a Filipino and I lived in London for 40 years using the London Underground train stations (the “tube” as Londoners call it.) Passengers in the “tube” talk loudly and in different dialects and languages with all the body language, gestures, facial and eye expressions and no one bothers because it is a public enclosure and therefore it becomes noisy because of the varied verbal accents, intonations and elocutions while other passengers quietly read magazines, newspapers or using earphones and headphones listening to all forms of airwaves. I feel that this singaporean passenger feels very privelege in his or… Read more »
mariaedithanstitutes part of our humanity. There are some jobs where the workers are required to stay quiet or we keep quiet to focus or concentrate. Sometimes, we don’t get to speak for long hours. Domestic helpers are often left alone most of the day. Factory workers do the same routinary procedures day in and out. Many of the chores we do rob us of our humaneness, being treated like a “cog in the machine” or robots. During work breaks and day offs, we talk to regain and recover our humanness, to remind us that after those backbreaking tasks, we are… Read more »

The first sentence should be. Language constitutes part of our humanity.


First impression still counts. If a group of Filipinos act rude/unprofessional over a group of foreigners then I can’t blame the latter if they think we are a rude nation indeed. Still, people should not base their assumptions just because of a “few bad eggs.”

Another commentator here also said that talking loud in public isn’t just a Filipino thing: I see Chinese and Koreans do the same when they are in a large group most of the time when I go to public places.

neil tristan yabut

what the argument missed is that speaking in filipino or any other philippine language/dialect is not the same as speaking loudly


I also tend to generalize before. But my father(a man of few words) who worked for almost a decade in Saudi, told me that the Indians are the “loudest”. I also experienced several times on my way to work a lot of “loud” Chinese inside the elevator.

Jim DiGriz
I think Filipinos in general are noisy, because they are already damaged by noise. The things that are acceptable here with regards to noise would get you into serious trouble in other countries. There is constant noise surrounding here. Car blowing their horns (prohibited in Europe within City limits), singing Karaoke as loud as possible at 2 in the morning, entering boutique shops where you think you stepped into a Disco, sitting on a Bus and the Music is blaring in your ear, et cetera. I think Filipinos are suffering from noise damage. It is also not connected to poverty… Read more »

Maybe to answer benigno’s question “do filipinos speak too loudly and…..”, the answer is an honest yes. But to insinuate that we are the only race with that unique “attribute”, then that is a definite no.

“Manners maketh man” In a wider context, I would say filipinos overall would come out well compared to many nationalities travelling/being abroad. Much as i love singapore, i think this attitude says more about the inability of singaporeans to adopt a work hard/play hard life balance, be more worldly, less arrogant, and chill sometimes. Filipinas at lucky plaza on a sunday brighten up the locale, and the filipino club in orchard towers is a great place on a sunday. Generally, the americans have the worst reputation as tourists, but rapidly being caught up/overtaken by the chinese Germans at a buffet… Read more »

That was educating libertas! Nice one.


Think about it when your neighbor videokes as loud as he can in the middle of the night even if you and the other neighbors are puyat and need to sleep. Filipinos may have a special case of inconsideration when it comes to their making noise.

JT Jerzy

This Singaporean douchbag is another one of those idiots that doesn’t understand that PUBLIC PLACES are for PUBLIC DISCOURSE. Anything short of ‘disturbing the peace’ is acceptable behavior.

Tell this douchbag ‘H’, if he wants peace and quiet that he should go to the god damn LIBRARY!!! He has no right to tell people not to talk on public transportation, none what-so-ever…even if they are a bunch of annoying Filipina bitches, that are cackling like a bunch of cranky old hens.