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Scrapping “Filipino Time”: Five Reasons Why You Should Never Be Late

I admit I’m not the best person to write this article, having grown up and grown accustomed to what we call “Filipino Time”, or this culture of always being late. I have a few non-negotiables when it comes to punctuality though, and it usually involves work appointments (in those instances, I’m rarely late) mostly because the professional consequences of tardiness can be costly, but for more personal appointments, you’d be lucky if I arrive less than an hour late.

Which is probably why, in a sense, I’m also the best person to write this piece, because it reminds me of the reasons why it is important to always be on time. So, in this article, we’re giving you five reasons why punctuality is important, and why it’s time to scrap the culture of “Filipino Time”.

1. It shows respect and consideration for others. In a culture where being respectful and considerate of other people is of paramount importance, being punctual with appointments shows that you appreciate the other person’s time and presence. Constantly coming to appointments late basically boils down to bad manners, and makes it appear as if you think your time is more important than the other person’s.

Wasted Time

Being late means you are wasting another person’s time. Photo taken here.

2. Being late for appointments translates to less time for the other person to enjoy his life. The average person only has 672,000 hours to spend before he dies. A third of that will be spent sleeping, so really, a person will only have about 443,520 hours before he croaks. That’s not a lot. So it’s important that we don’t waste the other person’s very limited number of life-hours by making him do things he’d rather not do, which would include waiting for you.

3. It shows that you are disciplined and dependable. Being punctual shows that you are disciplined enough to exercise some control over your life, and that people can always depend on you during crucial moments. Always being late would just make people think of you as careless and undisciplined.

4. It gives a good impression. Or at the very least, it doesn’t leave a bad one. Your family and friends might be able to chalk up your habitual tardiness as a “personality trait” and laugh it off, but colleagues, bosses, and (especially) potential employers will hate you for it. Don’t sabotage your career and professional relationships with something that can easily be remedied.


Live a stress-free life. Photo taken here.

5. It makes for a less stressful life. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably always stressed out every time you have an appointment because of the fact that you know you’re going to be late. Every little delay (traffic, looking for the car keys, getting a cab, etc.) is magnified and makes you feel even more stressed. This sends you on a shame and stress spiral, which is further aggravated the moment your family/friends/colleagues text or call you for updates on where you are, what time you’ll get there, etc. etc.

The stress is not worth it, especially when a little time management can make your life that much easier. Leave the house earlier for your appointment. Your body, and sanity, will thank you for it. As personal time management author Alan Lakein once said:

“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.”

Feature photo taken here.