Wondering what’s the situation with tipping in the Philippines? Then you’re definitely in the right place because we will tell you all about the tipping etiquette in the Philippines!
Is it compulsory, who should you tip, and what’s the usual tip amount are all the things we’ve covered in this guide to tipping in the Philippines. Read on to learn more about the customs and norms in the island country, so you can be fully prepared for your next trip to the Philippines!
The Philippines don’t really have a tipping etiquette, meaning that you’re not expected or obligated to tip anyone you encounter during your travels. Tipping is more common in touristy locations of the island country, but mostly because the tourists are used to giving tips.
Locals rarely leave a tip in the Philippines, and even when they do, it’s usually just a 20 peso bill. Keep plenty of those handy if you want to leave tips to service providers in the Philippines and you’ll be good.
Also, this means that you might be expected to tip for services and places that are usually frequented by tourists – hotels, tours, and bars/restaurants. But keep in mind that tipping is by no means compulsory anywhere in the Philippines, and if you don’t feel like leaving a tip, you absolutely don’t have to.
You shouldn’t tip airport staff because there are very strict rules that forbid them from taking any presents (or money) from travelers. That’s for the usual airport staff – baggage porters are an entirely different story.
They mostly rely on tips to get paid since their services are completely optional. These are the people who will take your luggage all the way from the conveyor belt to the taxi area, and there is a porterage fee you must pay if you want to use their service. However, they receive only a small portion of that fee and the rest goes to the airline.
Feel free to tip them 20-50 pesos, and even more if you’re feeling generous or you think they deserve it because you had a lot of luggage.
Tipping in hotels in the Philippines is not compulsory but it is welcome. It’s not usual to tip a security guard or the front desk personnel, but you can tip the bellboys, concierge, waiters, and housekeepers.
If you’re staying in a lower-rated hotel, tipping is really not expected. However, if you’re staying at a five-star hotel or a premium resort, then you should tip the service providers as much as you would if they weren’t hotel staff. Tip the waiters, masseuses, housekeepers, and pretty much anyone you want, and the usual 50 or 100 peso bill should do the trick.
If you can tip only one person while you’re in the Philippines, it should be your tour guide. They work long hours for very little money, and even a small tip can really help them out.
If you book a tour through your hotel or a large agency, you should tip the tour guide with cash on the spot. You’ll be paying the tour fee to the agency, and they’re the ones who take care of paying the tour guides. So, if you want to give a tip to your tour guide be sure to give it to them directly and don’t just overpay the bill – it’s likely that they won’t see a peso of that money if you do.
The standard 50-100 peso tip works here as well. Just make it a tip per person, especially if you’ve hired the guide for a larger group.
If you hire an independent guide, you can negotiate a tip directly with them. Have them include it in the bill, hand them a 100 peso bill when the tour is complete, or just overpay for the tour a little. Just be sure to give them the tip in cash, since they’re not charged on your card in the Philippines like they are in some other countries.
Tipping at hair and nail salons in the Phillippines is not obligatory or compulsory, but it is much appreciated. If you feel that you received excellent service and you want to reward your service provider, you’re welcome to leave a tip.
The usual tip for hairstylists in the Philippines is around 100 pesos, which is equal to about $2. It’s a much lower tip than in most other countries, but that’s what is common in the Philippines and you should avoid tipping too much.
Some people might get offended if you start to give out 500 peso tips, particularly if the tip is much higher than the actual cost of the service. While tips are always welcome and appreciated, nobody likes to feel like they’re receiving a handout.
Nail technicians usually get lower tips than hairstylists, if they get anything at all. Anywhere between 50 and 100 pesos is more than okay, but anything more than that is too much.
It’s worth noting that you should tip your service provider directly, and not just give extra money when you’re paying the bill. Whoever is at the register can just take that money for themselves, so be sure to hand the money directly to the person you want to tip.
Service providers at spas don’t expect tips, but you’re more than welcome to leave some extra money if you were extremely satisfied with the service and you want to show your gratitude. Anywhere between 50 and 100 pesos should be enough, or you can tip 10% of your total bill.
If you are not at all satisfied with the service, just don’t tip the providers. However, it’s worth noting that this won’t necessarily imply that you aren’t really satisfied with the service, simply because most spa workers rarely get any tips in the first place.
Tipping in restaurants in the Philippines is not expected, but it is fairly common. Some upscale restaurants in the bigger cities will usually have a service charge, which is pretty much the tip included in the bill. When there is a service fee on the bill, you don’t have to tip your servers anything.
It’s generally better not to tip anything when there’s a service fee, since there’s no guarantee that the tip money will actually go to the wait staff. It’s entirely plausible that the restaurant will just take that money, so you’re not really helping anyone when you’re tipping on top of a service charge.
When there isn’t a service charge, you can tip the wait staff if you want. The standard tip is some 10% of the bill, so start from there. Tip the 10% if you’re entirely satisfied with both food and service, but feel free to tip less if something wasn’t up to your standards.
It’s worth noting that tips aren’t charged to your card if you’re paying with one, so be sure to have some cash handy if you plan to leave a tip for good service.
Tipping taxi drivers and tricycle drivers is pretty common in the Philippines, and even more common than tipping in restaurants and salons. Most taxi drivers just round up the cost of the drive – if the taxi meter says 233 pesos, you can just round it to up to 250 and you’re good.
If you’re satisfied with the service and you want to show your appreciation to the taxi driver, a larger tip is always welcome. Anywhere between 20 and 50 pesos is the norm in the Philippines, but you can be as generous as you like, especially with the exchange rate. Remember that 50 pesos is less than $1, so tipping 100 pesos certainly wouldn’t dent your wallet too much, but it would mean a lot to the cab drivers.
Uber drivers and similar ride services don’t really expect a tip. Your ride is charged to your card, and if you want to tip them, you should have some cash handy and just tip them the same you would a taxi driver. If the traffic was pretty hectic or you feel that the driver went above and beyond for you in any way, hand them a 100 peso bill and don’t look back.
Tipping food delivery drivers is not very common in the Philippines. Most locals don’t tip them, and you are in no way obligated to do so if you don’t want to. The drivers won’t hold it against you since they’re not really used to receiving tips.
If you want to tip the driver because you feel they went above and beyond with the service, the standard tip of 20-50 pesos is enough. However, if you’re trying to express your dissatisfaction by withholding the tip, it’s worth noting that the message likely won’t get across since food delivery drivers aren’t really used to receiving tips.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.