Though the U.S. has some perks over the Philippines, there are some things that you can only get back home. Thankfully, we can run into the occasional Filipino store tucked away in corners all over.
1. Halo Halo
Straight off the bat, we have to throw in this Frankenstein monstrosity. It's not everyone's go-to drink, but if you're Filipino, this probably appeared more times in your childhood than you realized.
What's in Halo-Halo? A lot.
- sweet red bean (munggo)
- sweet white beans.
- coconut gel (nata de coco)
- macapuno (gelatinous coconut string)
- Fresh or canned jackfruit, cut into chunks.
- Shaved ice.
- Evaporated milk.
- Ube ice cream.
2. Jeepneys a.k.a transportation buses
Car Salesman: *slaps roof of car* This bad boy can fit so many people.
I swear, each jeepney in the Philippines is one of it's kind; no two will ever be alike. They're so eye-catching and demanding of attention, and you can even hop right in through the open-ended back of the bus. They're actually a lot cozier than they look. I haven't really seen anything like these guys in the US.
3. The boats
These guys were the best. You'd hop on one and just drift off to the next island that held even more adventures. If you wanted, you could sit on the arms at the sides and dip your legs in, but don't fall off. It was even more remarkable when you were able to look over the edge and see the group of fish swim right under the water.
4. You catch yourself singing, tone deaf (like me) or not.
Tone deaf or not, being a Filipino means feeling the need to make some type of music, either with your mouth or your hands and just moving to some type of rhythm. The Philippines are filled with a myriad of talented people. Anyone else remember those long karaoke filled nights? The worst part: You were told to go to bed, so you had to try and sleep through the loud partying right outside your door.
5. The Sights™
I wish I had the words to describe the variety of gorgeous views of the Philippines, but alas. All I can give is this gorgeous video that compiles pretty much a majority of the scenic views that happen 24 hours no matter where you look. I promise they are a lot better in real life.
6. The amount of seafood consumption
If it wasn't some form of chicken, beef, or pork, it was going to be a whole lot of crab, octopus, squid, tilapia, and shrimp with vegetables.
7. Your mom would point with her lips.
And you sure as hell better get it. Why is she telling you to get the remote by her feet? We don't ask.
8. What were you called as a child more than your actual name?
And when you were called by your actual name, you probably did something you shouldn't have... Whoops.
9. TFC was THE channel
No matter what time it was, this was more than most likely on the T.V. Those dramas had some subpar graphics looking back, but hot damn if the horror movies didn't keep you up at night. I still remember that the first Filipino horror movie I saw was Shake, Rattle, and Roll 8 which starred several different stories of creepy monsters slaughtering people. Ugh...
10. Jollibee was your McDonald's
If you thought it sold just burgers and fries, you're mistaken. It sold burgers, yeah, but it sold spaghetti, hot dogs, rice, breakfast; it was as tasty as you can get.
No matter where a Filipino is though, they will always hold that Pinoy pride. No matter how far away they are from the Philippines or how long it's been since they were last there (if ever), it will never change that they are Filipino. The Philippines isn't exactly booming economy wise, but it holds a certain familial relation that's hard to find anywhere else. It's gorgeous, it's fun, it holds so many memories and adventures waiting to be touched into. Any Filipino I have met in the U.S. automatically leads to an immediate connection.
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