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Millennials in the Philippines: Who are they and what

do they do? by Jastine Valeriano

“Millennial.” You may have seen it in social media or heard it on TV. You’re puzzled, clueless as to
what this word means. In the Philippines, Filipino millennials or “Fillennials” is now a thing. Let us tell
you who “millennials” are, what do they do, and why they are called as such.

According to an article published by TIME Magazine, millennials are consisted of people born from
1980 to 2000. In America, they are the biggest age grouping in history. Made up of mostly teens and
20-somethings, these are the people who are already in college and part of the workforce. However,
every country has a different millennial grouping. Simply put, they’re the Generation Y. It was authors
William Strauss and Neil Howe who are credited for naming the “millennials.”

Millennials in the Philippines are described as those who are social media-dependent and also, the
“selfie” generation. Many things describe what a millennial is. According to The Week, millennials are
usually spendthrifts. Millennials in the Philippines are known to usually spend for luxury goods which
leave their bank accounts shaken—the reason why they are also described as “broke.” Millennials are
also described as narcissist, making them known as the “Me, Me, Me Generation.” However, there
are also good attitudes which millennials possess: being politically and socially-engaged. Compared
to other generations, millennials have their say about issues and are more involved with politics.

When it comes to entertainment, millennials in the Philippines are usually seen spending time online,
watching YouTube videos. Millennials usually have the latest apps, watch the latest TV series, and
are into the latest hits. According to a Philippine Star article, millennials in the Philippines do not
usually read newspapers. Instead, they have Google for information or Waze for road directions.

Another set of description that best fits millennials are: upbeat, lazy, narcissistic, materialistic, self-
expressive, fun-loving and liberal. They also have a short attention span. But if you talk to them about
the things that interest them (e.g. tattoos, trivia, gaming, movies and the likes), they’re really one to

Aside from the age difference, millennials have their own personalities. According to Time, millennials
have a mantra of “Challenge convention.” This means that millennials seek to find better ways of
doing things. When millennials were babies, technology was already available. According to, 56% of millennials are usually the ones to try new technology, making them
a target of many businesses for their products. A whopping 75% of them want to travel abroad yet
again making them a target for travel-related goods.

They’re also known to be career-shifters, jumping from one field to another, seeing making career as
“self-discovery.” According to Mr. Jos Ortega of Havas Media Ortega, millennials are characterized in
different identities. “Who they are on Facebook may not necessarily be who they are in real life, on
Instagram, or on Twitter,” said Ortega. Diversity is what makes a millennial and they have different
versions of themselves depending on what they want to show the world.
10 Signs That You Are A Typical Filipino Millennial

Well, here are ten signs that will affirm the fact that YOU 5. #LoveWins stories cheer your
really are a typical Filipino millennial.
10. You hate it when people bash It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gay, bi or
millennials. whatnot, but you sure are one dope ally who will defend
LGBTQ+ rights no matter what happens.
You don’t understand why people of different
generations always pick something bad about 4. Romantic relationships are not
millennials. As in you have no clue why they always
have something to say about you and your age group. your priority.
On top of that, what bothers you most is the fact that
they can’t even spell it right at times. You’re okay with having a partner, but you’re just as fine
without one. You don’t see being single as something to
be sad about because you believe that there are far
9. Anything artisanal, organic or more important things in life than your relationship
handmade excites you. status.

You love things that take extra effort to make, especially 3. You genuinely care about the
when they look so beautiful they’d pass as art. Double
points if the product is plant-based or made from organic environment.
materials. And hey, it’s a sure buy if it’s handcrafted,
hand pressed or handstitched. You think twice about using plastics and say no to
straws for the turtles and other animals. You prefer using
eco bags and other organic materials to help preserve
8. You love anything and everything nature. Your heart hurts knowing that pollution is
local. destroying natural attractions.

Not just through hashtags like #chooselocal, you really 2. You’d rather travel than buy
go the extra mile to support homegrown brands and
products. You believe that even just a small purchase is material things.
a big help for start-up local brands.
Instead of shopping for luxury bags and expensive
perfumes, you go for adventures and explorations. You’d
7. Renting a place is better than rather spend your hard-earned money traveling and
buying one, or so you think. immersing in different cultures, and you can’t wait to visit
the sights and destinations our country has to offer!
You’re basically not a fan of settling down in just one
place because you feel like the world is so big that it’s a 1. Genuine happiness is more
bad idea to stay in one city for too long. And you say
things like I want to keep my options open when important for you than anything else.
somebody asks about it.
For you, a good salary, a fancy car or an impressive job
title means nothing if you’re not genuinely happy with
6. You know how to #hustle. what you do. You skip jobs, you start passion projects
and you face your fears as part of your constant pursuit
Juggling two to three jobs at the same time? Yeah, that’s of happiness.
you. Aside from your day job, you have part time and
semi-parttime side hustles. You know better than just
relying on your monthly salary. Not only that, your
ultimate career goal is to ditch the 9 to 6 schedule and
just work anywhere you want.
sun molded millennials to confront age-old
Pinoy millennials problems in new ways.

The philosophy of having so many options and

seek to change being attached to the hip to technology extends to
the working youth's attitudes towards company
loyalty, alleged entitlement, need for validation, and
the world, find making their labor mean more.

"Twenty-six percent of the Filipino youth want to be

meaning in work remembered as a person who has changed the
world," Monsod said, citing the McCann study.
By RIE TAKUMI, GMA News "This is greater than 16 percent in 2011."

Millennials, or young adults aged 18 to 34, Borromeo explained that millennials, who are
compose more than half of the current Philippine notorious for leaving the workplace often and early,
workforce, data from the Philippine Statistics will remain with a company if they feel their work
Authority as of January 2018 show. helps them contribute to the world.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, "The other thing is may hinahanap sila more than
millennials in the US are on track to be the most money. Naghahanap sila ng meaning, ng purpose
educated generation in the job market. sa trabaho nila," he said.

Yet they are still stereotyped as disloyal, entitled, Borromeo continued, "That's why kung feeling nila
and attention-seeking. 'yung kompanya nila, 'yung trabaho, does not align
with 'yung purpose nila sa buhay, they will not
In addition to this, 43.2 percent of youths aged 15
hesitate to leave."
to 24 and 31.1 percent of those aged 25 to 34 are
unemployed as of January 2018, according to Though 69 percent of youths wish to focus on
the Philippine Statistics Authority. themselves, focus groups discussions in the
Philippines revealed that Filipino youths include the
Former University of the Philippines professor and
country in this "selfishness."
economist Winnie Monsod tackled this
contradiction, among others, with Gino Borromeo, However, Class C, D, and E youths are more
vice president and chief strategy officer of conscientious about quitting their jobs, owing to
advertising giant McCann, in the latest episode of their greater obligation of working not only for
GMA News TV's Bawal ang Pasaway aired themselves, but for their families.
"Generally, 'pag mas low 'yung income, mas
Borromeo's data were derived from McCann Truth pinanghahawakan nila 'yung trabaho nila kasi
Central's Truth About Youth, the result of a yearly kailangan nila 'yun. They have to survive. Literally,
global survey and focus group study that aims to 'pag 'di sila nagtrabaho, wala silang iuuwi. Mas
paint a clear picture of millennials. conscientious sila," Borromeo said.

Loyal (to certain ideals), expectant, Growing up in a technological age that created new
and valid jobs that could not exist even just 15 years ago —
Youtubers, anyone? — also made youths aware
While some things never change — such as the that they can find new sources of income with a
need for youths to find themselves, find their swipe on their phones.
people, and their place in the world — growing up
"Reflection 'yan ng bagong realidad. Sila 'yung
with near-unlimited access to everything under the
lumaki sa generation na mas maraming options
para kumita ng pera, magkaroon ng career," he Eye-to-eye conversations with youths are the same
said. as with other age groups, but with a tendency to be
more emphatic and agreeable.
Millennials are often overwhelmed by choices; so
much so that 80 percent of Filipino youths But as positive as that sounds, Filipinos have
compared to the 73 percent global average are rightfully earned the nickname "peenoise" for the
more likely to seek guidance from their parents. vitriol they spout online.

Borromeo said companies that offer leadership So much so that 22 percent of youths admitted to
training, mentorship, and further education have leaving negative comments about somebody they
better retention of their youthful workers. know online, higher than the 16 percent average for
the Asia Pacific region.
What youths do not seek, however, is coddling, nor
an automatic boot out the door if they stumble. "'Yung ibang Asian countries, in real life, mas
matapang sila. Hindi sila nahihiyang sabihin 'yung
"You allow them to fail, because failure is a good kanilang nararamdaman. Tayo baliktad. In real life,
lesson," Monsod remarked. medyo mabait, maamo. Kaya 'pag tinanggal 'yung
mukha, naging anonymous ka, lumalakas ang
Social media as an extension loob," Borromeo concluded.
Belying stereotypes, youths began abandoning Truth About Youth derived its data from a global
Facebook for social media platforms that allow for research study with quantitative interviews of over
direct interactions with friends such as Snapchat 33,000 people (11,000 between the ages of 16 and
and Instagram. 30) in 18 countries and focus groups with over 500
Interacting in these spaces, and other social media young people between the ages of 15 and 28 in 29
sites, offer youths "a rehearsal space" and a way to markets. —KG, GMA News
communicate with their peers while doing activities
normally accomplished in public spaces.
Cultural trends changing how Work

Filipinos behave  The desire to migrate and the rise of middle

class among overseas Filipino workers
By: Chiqui Escareal-Go, Josiah Go - (OFW).
@inquirerdotnet  The expanding number of call center
workers and their odd working hours to
It’s the season for planning in the marketing
conform to working time abroad.
industry once again and it is good to remind
 The vanishing breed known as househelps.
stakeholders that contrary to popular belief, when
 The desire of senior citizens to have second
consumers make a choice, they do not decide
based on just the product, place, promo and price.
Below is a list of cultural, social, personal and
psychological factors observed in the Philippines  The increasing role of women in the
that may change the course of your marketing workforce due to better education and social
plans in 2018. They are included in our forthcoming equality.
book “Principles and Practices in Marketing,” which
 The increasing number of millennial women
is set for release before the end of 2017.
who do not know how to cook nor cook as
well as their moms.
 Women have become more liberal when it
Home comes to their sexual and relationship
behaviors (including promiscuity).
 The absence of parents in a third of homes
and the increasing role of schools in Communication
instilling values.
 The social disorders associated with the  The emergence of cheap smartphones.
increasing absence of parents in the lives of  People relying more and more on free
their children (drugs, child sex abuse, teen texting via apps such as Line and
pregnancy, among others). Messenger.
 The change in the boundaries and  The reemergence of voice calls, thanks to
sequence of love, marriage, sex and family. features from apps like Whatsapp and
 The rise in the number of single parents. Viber.
 The trend towards late marriages and  The continuing shift of advertising from
smaller families. traditional to digital.
 The upgraded role of music as surrogate  Owning multiple mobile phones.
companion.  We have become more accepting of foreign
 The rise of “adultescents” (a play of the cultures (American music, Korean pop and
words adult and adolescent). They are also television shows, Indian yoga, Chinese feng
called the Peter Pan generation, or the 30- shui, Japanese anime).
something adults who are still single and  The swelling number of netizens and their
without kids, mortgages and responsibilities. reliance on online tools to keep in touch.
 The rise of stay-at-home “housebands”  Opinions are shaped not just by watchdogs,
looking after children and house needs. but also by strangers in social media.
 More men becoming purchase decision-  The openness to talk to strangers and fellow
makers of grocery products (the customers.
mansumers).  The emerging consciousness of people to
 The increasing ratio of people 40 years old self-organize and help others in times of
and above wanting to take control of their natural disasters.
Technology Lifestyle

 The increasing reliance on tech-based  The demanding lifestyle of the working class
solutions to manage personal life and work. leading to stress and lack of sleep.
 The rise of omnichannel.  The growing consciousness for planning
 More online activists are creating noise. discretionary time.
 The rise of virtual reality and augmented  The desire to buy new gadgets and spend
reality. on travel.
 The frequent visit to malls as instant
Shopping escape.
 The increasing influence of online  The increasing dominance of point-of-
celebrities like bloggers. purchase activities (packaging, display,
sampling, etc).
 The middle and upper class condemning
non-environment friendly products and  Expansive food knowledge, instead of
practices. owning expensive cars, as a sign of
 “Tingi” (small portions), sachets, “lista”
(credit) and “four-gives” installment style of  The use of visual communication like emojis
payment will always be popular. and memes.
 Value brands and private labels are Buying preferences
becoming patronized. These include SM
Bonus, National Book Store’s Best Buy,  Shifting priorities—from ownership to
HBC’s personal care products. access (like car sharing).
 The openness to try new brands, including  Knowing the importance of skin care, not
generic drugs or alternative health just owning good cosmetics.
 The continued growth of microfinancing


 Relying more on deliveries (for food,

medicine, car batteries, LPG, etc).
 The increasing preference for smaller store
 Convenience stores as go-to for fast food.
 The growing popularity of multilevel