Filipina Tampo: What You Need to Know

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filipina silent treatment

Filipinas are typically known for being very friendly and hospitable people; if you feel that they are withdrawing their attention and affection for you, it must mean that they are having “tampo” in you. Filipinos are very thoughtful but sensitive, and every small gesture of yours may hurt them. Still, since Filipinos are nonconfrontational, you can sense something wrong when they withdraw themselves away from you.

Tampo is a Tagalog word that means a Filipina will not entertain you and ignore you for something that you did wrong. Tampo is all about silent treatment. This attitude is a way to show disapproval or dismay of something your partner has done.

“Tampo” has already been part of the Filipino culture. Though it may have no direct translation, the closest to it is “sulking” or “to sulk.”

If you have a Filipino friend or partner, you should read this article to be enlightened about what “tampo” is and how to deal with it.

Tampo is basically pouting or sulking, there are a few reasons why women often sulk. One reason may be because they feel like they are not being heard or appreciated. When you don’t take the time to listen to your partner, it can make them feel unimportant and disregarded. Another reason may be because they are constantly comparing themselves to other women.

But for Filipinas, when they “Tampo,” it starts abruptly and for usually no apparent reason. Yes, there is no Western equivalent to this.

To anyone who does not know what tampo is, you will instantly understand the meaning of this term when you marry a Filipino woman. It’s best not to forget it for your own domestic harmony and sanity.

Common Causes of Tampo

Jealousy/Being Jealous

If you look at another woman for a bit too long, I guarantee you that there’s a good chance a tampo is coming. Yes, and you know it!


Filipinas can start to tampo when you are very busy and have no time with her. She will feel underappreciated or ignored or simply not getting their way.

If you notice your Filipina partner starting to sulk more often than usual, it’s important to try to understand what might be causing them to feel this way so that you can help make the situation better.

Cultural Misconceptions

This is the number one cause of “tampo” in interracial relationships. Maybe you joked or said something that was too rude at their expense. Or it could have offended her by not trying the Filipino food she cooked.

Hurt Feelings 

Obviously, hurt feelings are at the core of why Filipino people go into “tampo” mode. However, while they express this kind of trait, they describe it adversely and fall within rough gender lines.

Women tend to show their “tampo” and their hurt feelings in a certain way, while men show their “tampo” in other ways. The Filipino men will still talk to you, somehow, but you know that they are holding something back or that there is some sort of uneasiness or discomfort, whereas women would totally shut you out. 

Tampo: How To Deal With It

  • Talk about it: Filipino women are not big on this because they are typically not confrontationalYou should talk about this when she’s calmed down and a few days have passed. This is one of the reasons why this trait exists in the very first place and why Filipinos consider it to be normal. How you deal with tampo says a lot about you. And, of course, Filipino men have the habit of pulling a tampo as well.
  • Let your partner or girlfriend know that you are sorry she felt that way, but confirm that you had no idea that anything you or anybody else did was causing her to hurt. 
  • Help her understand the situation. This is no way for a committed married couple to behave like this. Either the tampo stops, or the marriage is basically doomed. They are hurtful and very destructive.
  • Encourage her to tell you everything about what she thinks and feels about things daily. Let her know that you want to know because you care about her. Let her see that telling you is actually easy. It leads to positive outcomes.
  • Make sure you also do the same thing. Tell her your feelings too. Both good and bad.

You Both Need To Agree To Work Toward A More Communicative Relationship

Most foreigners consider sulking to be childish because they believe it is a way of avoiding responsibility or conflict.

They may also see sulking as a form of manipulation since the person who is sulking is usually trying to get something from the other person. That may be true, but you are also constrained by your own prejudices. Look at it from the perspective of your partner.

Think about how she grew up in a culture where it’s actually normal to withdraw from certain situations and people that genuinely hurt her feelings. She might believe that voicing how she feels is something that she should stay away from. 

However, there’s a different way to deal with misunderstandings too. Encourage her that before she goes into this trait, there’s always the option of talking to you about it first. Just try your best to assure her that you won’t take it the wrong way.

We all know that successful relationships are based on being open-minded and communicating. All kinds of relationships take consistency to get to that point. Especially the interracial relationships.

Wrapping Up

Filipino men use these same “ways” to handle tampo as well. Sometimes, they also take it too far by apologizing even if they did not do anything wrong. You really don’t want to go there. Right? It will normalize the habit to the point where this trait could be used as manipulation. But, hey, this isn’t always the case, but it does happen.

The goal here is to meet each other halfway. Just make her feel that tampo is not an inconvenience to you. Make the time to talk about it at the end of the day, and develop some positive habits.

And hopefully, dilemmas will get nipped in the bud rather than building up and being a source of misery. And work hard to make this a thing of the past.

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