You’re Either a Filipino or Married to One if…
Not only have I spent many years living around Filipinos, I’m an American man married to a Filipino woman. I’ve adapted some of her traits.
It comes with the territory and from getting involved with her side of the family as well as her family friends. I recently stumbled upon a list of “truth-isms”, written by someone at BakitWhy.com and posted on an obscure Facebook page. As usual, I don’t know how I found that Facebook page since I wasn’t looking for anything on it.
I’ve commented on the “facts” the best I could, immediately below them. My comments are italicized.
You know you’re a Filipino if…
I’m not Filipino, but I’ve been told I’m “Filipino-ized” (as opposed to a Filipino who is Americanized). Here are the “facts” I can comment on:
- You answer to “Pssst!!”
Yes, I find myself answering even when I mean not to.
- You point with your lips.
A habit I picked up from my wife, who’s a Filipina.
- You have relatives whose nicknames consist of repeated syllables like Ling-Ling, Bong-Bong, or Che-Che.
- You have uncles and aunts named Boy, Girlie or Baby.
Yes, and local languages that mean the same thing - Inday and Intoy.
- In your dining room there’s a picture of “The Last Supper”, and on either side of it are a giant wooden spoon and fork.
My previous house had the picture, but not the eating utensils. I don’t have one in my house now and I don’t intend to.
- You use shopping bags as garbage bags.
What else are you supposed to do with a hundred shopping bags after a grocery run? You don’t have to be Filipino to use common sense.
- You keep a “tabo” in your bathroom.
Yes and washing with water works better than wiping with toilet paper.
- You eat with your hands.
I don’t, but my wife sometimes eats with her hands. I notice more people using spoons today.
- You know a meal isn’t a meal unless there’s rice.
So says my wife, but I don’t agree.
- There’s always SPAM, Vienna sausages, corned beef and sardines in your kitchen cabinets.
Not always, but most of the time.
- Your relatives sing karaoke when they come over.
Most of the time.
- You don’t get grossed out by balut.
I got over that a long time ago, but I still won’t eat any eggs with legs.
- You always take your shoes off when you enter a house.
Only if I’m wearing flip-flops.
- You know what the “chocolate sauce” in dinuguan is actually made of.
Yes, and you’ll never find me touching pig blood… ever.
- You’ve ridden in a tricycle that doesn’t need peddling.
That’s what they call the motorcycles with covered sidecars.
- Goldilocks is more than a fairy tale character to you.
It’s actually a very popular bakery.
- Your mom or dad came from a family with at least 10 children.
9 actually, on my side. 11 on my wife’s side.
- You own a “walis tambo”.
Yes, it’s one kind of broom.
- You like all the following: Sinigang, Nilaga, Tilapia, Dinuguan, Pansit, and Lumpia.
Only the pansit and the lumpia. I don’t care much for fish and I hate animal blood.
- You know that the American version of “come here” is palm-up, fingers waving toward the body, but the Filipino version is palm-down, fingers moving toward body in sort of shoveling motion.
The American version is considered an insult.
- You nod backwards to say yes.
It took me years to figure it out.
- You raise your eyebrows to say yes.
It only took me a few days to figure this one out.
- You can measure the water for cooking rice with two fingers.
Something else I learned from my wife.
You could be married to a Filipina if…
I’ve been married to a Filipino (Filipina) for more than 35 years. I don’t think being “married” is necessary in this context. Just living with a Filipino for a while will have an effect on you.
- You’re expected to be able to read her mind just by watching her eyebrows move up and down and which way her lips are pointed.
This is absolutely true.
- Even the ketchup tastes weird… very weird.
Banana ketchup doesn’t taste like tomato ketchup and that’s a fact.
- You throw a party and everyone is fighting to chop the leathery skin off a dead pig.
Let them fight over it. I can’t even stand the smell of roasted pig.
- The rice cooker is on 24 hours a day and uses up 50% of your electric and food budget.
50% is a bit of an exaggeration.
- The first time she’s pregnant you have to go out at 4:00 in the morning looking for some weird type of greasy sausages, green mangoes and bagoong.
Not at 4 am…
- Her favorite sauce is called patis, Americans call it turpentine.
Fish sauce is nasty, but not quite turpentine.
- Other than eyebrow raising and lip puckering, her next most expressive form of communication is grunts and pssst’s.
- Your kitchen table has a merry-go-round in the middle.
It’s called a “lazy susan”. I’ve never had one, but I want one.
- Your in-law’s first visit lasted 5 years.
- She might not have had a second pair of shoes growing up, but she’s rapidly making up for lost time.
I think all Filipinas are Imelda Marcos wannabes.
- Everything in your house is “name brand”.
They were until I taught my wife the economy of generics.
- You learn to like rice, even plain.
- She may only tell you she loves you once in a while. But, she shows you that she loves you in everything she does and says.
This isn’t funny. It’s true.
Image Attribution: OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in July 2014.
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