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11 June 2018 04:24 pm

Ten things and practices that Filipinos have contributed to Qatar!

Sonkie
Sonkie
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June 12, 1898 is written down in history as the glorious day when the Philippines gained independence from the Spaniards' 333-year rule. More than 60 years after freedom was declared (in 1962), the 12th day of June has officially become the country's National Day.

In Qatar, Filipinos are enjoying the fifth spot as the most populous expatriates community—with several of them part of Doha's multi-diverse workforce. The approximately 275,000 Filipinos residing in Qatar at the moment also makes the tiny GCC nation the fourth-largest destination for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) worldwide.

With some Filipinos being residents of Qatar for almost 50 years now, the Kabayan community has immensely influenced the locals' and it's fellow expatriates' way of living in a great way.

We've listed the first ten things that come to mind and—whether you're Filipino or not—we hope that you can relate from them!

1. Their way of eating

Filipinos in Qatar try 'Boodle Fight'

Filipinos are some of the liveliest people on Earth. You won't see a single one eating alone in a restaurant as they always prefer eating altogether—sometimes even with bare hands!—in a humongous dining table! And because Filipinos are also known for their utmost hospitality, they always try to welcome people from all corners of the globe to join them munch their delectable dishes including Chicken Adobo—the Philippines' signature dish! If you're new in Qatar and you come to notice that there lots of restaurants in here which offers 'Eat All You Can' and 'Boodle Fight' services, there's only one bunch to thank—the Kabayans!

To know the Top 5 restaurants offering Boodle Fight options in Qatar, click here.

2. Jollibee—every Kabayan's comfort food stop!

Jollibee Qatar

Another food-related entry as Filipinos are well-known foodies is the world-popular food chain Jollibee. This place, which serves the sinful and aromatic Chicken Joy, currently has five branches in Qatar and is planning to expand to more branches in the future as even foreigners and Qatari locals admit that they can't resist a bucket of freshly-fried Chicken Joy matched with a platter of sweet and cheesy Filipino spaghetti. The food chain is a real trademark of being a true-blue Filipino as foreign expats would sometimes prefer calling a Filipino guy by the food chain's name rather than the usual 'Kuya' (brother), which is really funny.

To know the Top 5 Filipino dishes in Qatar and where to find them, click here.

3. Their drive to save extra Riyals

Sale in Qatar!

When it comes to discounts and sales, Filipinos take the lead by really trying to tuck everything in for the most affordable price. Their motto is: "If it's not plenty, then it's not worth the penny!" This mindset paved way to the birth of the 'Buy One Take One' and 'Bundle Pack' culture that many other nationalities are enjoying now. How bright are our Kabayans?

4. Their unmatched customer service

Filipina crew in Qatar!

Have you ever been to a shop or restaurant where a Filipino crew suddenly greets you with Mam (for female) and Sir (for Male) instead of the usual Boss or Madame? Well, if you've experienced this, it just means that they care for you the most and that you're their top priority! Even in the corporate world, Filipinos are well-reputed to be one of the most trustworthy employees and this fact resonates to every field or industry in and beyond Qatar.

5. Coffee shops started operating for 24 hours because of them!

Filipino guests at a 24-hour coffee shop in Qatar
(Source: Future Vision Cafe Qatar's Facebook)

Did you know that even before the State of Qatar has become so adaptive to progress, not a single coffee shop operates for 24 hours in Doha? The idea came to life mid-2013 when millenial expatriates—not just Filipinos!—started flocking the country. As years pass, we see more and more Filipinos staying up all night in various round-the-clock cafes—especially during weekends—just to sip coffee, laugh non-stop, and sometimes, play boisterous party games as if they rented the whole place! Now that's the real definition of being a Filipino!

6. Many restaurants are now offering Karaoke services just for the Kabayans!

Filipino Karaoke night in Qatar
(Source: Future Vision Cafe Qatar's Facebook)

Besides Mediacom—a portable Philippine Karaoke machine popular among Filipino expatriates in Qatar—having fun outside while singing with a microphone in one hand is also one common way to tell if someone is from the Philippines or not. They say that Filipinos are one of the best singers in the world and since Karaoke bars are not plenty in Qatar, most entertainment boxes can be found inside late-night restaurants and cafes where you can just grab the mic after you finish your meal and sing your heart out. And guess what, most food outlets won't charge you for Karaoke-ing until dawn as long as you will keep on ordering food and drinks from them!

7. Zumba has become a Friday morning habit!

Zumba in Doha, Qatar
(Source: Filipino Fitness & Health in Qatar)

Once you drive along the Corniche on a wintry month and spot colorful slobs dancing to the beat, then we're pretty sure that most of them are Filipinos! But be well-informed that just because the organizers are Kabayans, doesn't mean that other nationalities are not welcome to join. Wherever country you're from, always remember that you're more than welcome to join the party—just make sure to come in your in a neon-colored OOTD and you're all set to dance!

8. Volunteering has become a thing!

Filipino volunteers in Qatar

There are about 146 Filipino organizations in Qatar, and several of them focuses on one core aim: to make Qatar a better place to live in through sharing and doing good deeds. In order to make their vision come to life, these Filipino associations hire volunteers who are willing to render work without expecting anything in return. Beach clean-ups during the winter and Iftar drives during the Holy Month of Ramadan are some of the organizations' activities wherein volunteers are very much welcome to participate at the time of their liking.

9. Their affinity for selfies which has gone miles!

Filipinos in Qatar 24-hour coffee shops ion Qatar

If there's one thing that Filipinos are expert at besides eating, it would probably be pointing a camera at themselves to take epic selfies. We know that this has been going on in Qatar for many years now and Filipinos can't take full credit for its rise, but for the strangest reasons, only them can insert as many heads as possible all in one frame and as Qatar keeps up with the trend, so as their co-expats who are trying to beat the Kabayans' selfie record.

10. Their infectious smiles!

Filipino expatriates during the 2018 Color Run at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.

Does this last entry need further elaboration? Filipinos are now an essential part of what Doha has become and as they continue to multiply, Qatar and the rest of its multicultural people are having more reasons to smile and live life to the fullest.

We're wishing our beloved Filipino community in Qatar a Happy 120th Independence Day!

What other influences do you think Qatar has acquired from the Filipino people? And did this list make you admire the Filipino community in Qatar even more? Drop us a line in the comment section below and also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!