In my dealings with other expats here in the Philippines, one subject that comes up regularly is that it is hard for us to tell the age of people here in the Philippines. Some people look much younger than their physical age, while others tend to look older than they really are. It seems that it is just hard to tell for certain how old a person actually is.
I know one expat who is a single man, and he tells me often that this is a real problem for him. As a matter of fact, this person has resorted to actually checking the ID of any potential dating partner to verify the age before he actually dates the person! He does this because he is afraid of actually dating somebody and then later finding out that the person is much younger than he though. That could turn into a good way to get into some serious trouble, and I don’t blame this fellow for his caution.
Personally, because I am married, I don’t have this same problem, but still, I often have trouble telling ages of people here. Part of it is because people here are generally smaller than people in the USA where I come from. So, when you see somebody who is very small, you cannot automatically assume that the person is a child.
Often times, I will meet a Filipino that is young looking, and in the back of my mind I will be trying to judge what their age is. In my mind, the person looks like they are only 14 to 16 years old, yet in reality I will often find out that they are much older, sometimes as much as 23 to 25 years old! That is nearly 10 years difference from what I thought they were! Because of this, you have to be careful saying things that may give away the age that you are estimating they are, otherwise you might say something embarrassing.
Another thing that I find is that sometimes you will meet somebody who is much older than they appear! This generally happens if the person is quite poor and has lead a tough life. If the person is 25 to 30 years old, they often may look 40, even older! I remember one time when I had an employee that I thought was around 50 years old, and it turned out that she ws 28! Now, that is a major difference.
Now, there is also a flip-side to this. I often find that many Filipinos are unable to judge the age of foreigners! I am 46 years old, but people often mis-judge my age. Almost anytime that I meet new people, they will ask how old I am. My response is always the same – “How old do you think I am?” The answer is generally 25 to 28 years old! Now, I just cannot see how somebody would possibly think that I am 25. Maybe they are just being kind by saying that, but honestly, I have heard it so many times, I can’t imagine that so many people would give the same answer, and I can only figure that they have as much trouble judging ages as I do with them!
Have you noticed the same that I have?
How about the girl in the photo, can you tell how old she is?