I’m pretty sure you would know at least one Filipino in your life. We’re freaking everywhere. I’ve been to over 10 countries and in every single one there’s a Filipino there somewhere. Just to be clear, I’m not bashing my peoples but simply poking fun. We are genuine folk who have a really good sense of humor. Diamond in a rough. Believe me, we are even funnier in Tagalog. Belated Happy Independence Day, my beloved Pilipinas!
1. Say “HAAA?” when you can’t hear something instead of saying the more civilized “What?” or “Come again?” This is one of my favorite things that we Filipinos do. It has to be this Neanderthal sounding “HAAA?” instead of “Huh?” You should hear me and my friends trying to have a conversation at a crowded bar, we sound like a bunch of birds during mating season.
2. Interchange your Bs and Vs and Ps and Fs. You should also replace your THs with Ds. Another classic trait of Pinoys. Bictory, bideo (video) pirst, pinish, Pilipins, peyborit (favorite), what da puck, pader (father). I could go on for days. Yo, English is hard. Give us a break.
3. Use a spoon for everything. My American friends always give me shit about this. You would always see me using a fork with a spoon. It makes the most sense, really. Why would I not use this amazing man-made tool that is conveniently shaped like a mouth-sized shovel to push food to my face??? And I’m the stupid one? Shieeet.
4. Eat rice with everything. I don’t understand how people eat rice as a side. It really astounds me. For Filipinos, rice is 50% of the meal. The other half is the entrée, usually a kind of meat. That’s why we’re not usually grossly fat. Carbs and protein is what basically our diet consists of.
5. Make beso beso with everyone. Beso means “kiss.” I don’t even know how many cheeks I’ve kissed in my entire life over there. Saying hello and goodbye calls for a beso for practically every person in the room. Meeting someone for the first time also constitutes for a beso, I guess it depends on how comfortable you are with putting your lips on some stranger’s cheeks. If it’s an elderly long lost relative, it’s acceptable. If it’s the guy that delivers your Chinese food, probably not.
6. Call over the server at a restaurant with obnoxious hand movements. I’ve tried explaining this thing countless times to my American counterparts but I always just end up sounding like an idiot. I told you English is hard. See, us Filipinos are more private, internal people who respect each other’s personal space. We are the total opposite of American culture, we’re not ones to approach the other person first, ask a stranger how their day was, and say everything that’s on our mind. Don’t get me wrong, I like this American trait. Sometimes. I just basically hate people, so this will never be my thing. People probably hate me too because of this, but I can live with that. So going back, servers back home will not approach your table every now and then checking how your food is or asking if you need anything. They respect our privacy so they will only come when needed. And how would they know, you ask? You would have to wave your hands in the air like you were drowning to get their attention. The first time I did this was back in Chicago with my best friend Keri. She looked at me in horror and demanded me to explain what the f*ck I was doing. I was like “What??? What did I do???” She told me I looked like a crazy person. We don’t do that shit in America.
7. Point at things using your mouth. In relation to making a fool out of yourself at a restaurant, us Filipinos also use other body parts to point something out. Use your mouth by puckering it up and pointing in the general direction of where something is. I eventually grew out of this comical habit when I moved to the States because it kept giving people the wrong impression. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.
8. You can always have something done for you for a price. During my trip last Christmas, I got a rental car for the first few days. I went to Makati, the Central Business District, it’s like the third world Wall Street, to have lunch with my sister and cousin. I guess I forgot how cramped everything is back home that I accidentally scratched the front bumper trying to squeeze out of the tiny parking spot. I panicked and didn’t wanna lose the P5,000 safety deposit at the rental place so I drove down to Evangelista, a long avenue of auto shops next to each other. I paid P500 to have three guys buff and paint over the scratch.
9. Not being afraid of what you put in your mouth. I bet that’s not the first time you’ve heard that before, slut. I’m kidding. One time during a trip to Vietnam, I ordered pigeon at a restaurant. I brought back the head to show my co-workers and everyone freaked out and thought I was some sort of house cat bringing back my master my first kill. In case you didn’t know, pigeon looks and tastes just like chicken. A chicken that ate a lot of dirt. Back home we have a lot of interesting street food, fried chicken intestines are my favorite. If you don’t know what I’m talking about and haven’t tried then you shouldn’t judge, mmkay?
10. Be a fan of Pacman. Oh how could you forget ol’ Manny Pacquiao. If you’re Filipino, you must love him by default. He’s practically half the reason why the rest of the world knows about our country.