Growing Up Filipino

Growing Up Filipino

There is simply nothing else like it.

Everyone is a part of a certain group of race, ethnicity or culture. It becomes such a huge part of identifying who you are as an individual. While some may be ashamed of it, many people take tremendous pride. I am Filipino. I was born and raised in the Philippines. The Philippines is located in South East Asia. It was colonized by the Spaniards for more than three centuries which is why the Filipino culture is heavily influenced by Spanish culture. In addition, there are various cultures which have impacted us as well such as American and Malay culture, making our culture, norms and traditions undoubtedly unique.

With that being said, here are some signs that you grew up Filipino:

1. Someone might ask you: "If you're Asian, why do you have a Spanish name?"

Maybe it might have something to do with the fact that the Philippines was under Spanish rule for approximately 300 years? Why? Is there something wrong with an Asian having a Spanish name?

2. Having a nickname far from your legal name

Filipinos normally have lengthy names. So, our parents/family members give us nicknames either from our given name, our physical appearance or our personality.

3. Being asked: "So, are you Chinese? Korean? or Japanese?"

People often ask me whether I am Chinese or Korean. Sorry to disappoint everybody, but there other Asian countries too, you know?

4. You: Where's the ____?

Mom: *points with lips*

We point with our lips to give immediate direction. Pointing with our fingers and verbally giving directions take too much time and energy. Besides, how would you point to something when your hands are full from carrying something?

5. Unconsciously responding to "pssst" or "hoy"

For Filipinos, saying psst or hoy is a way to grab someone's attention.

6. "Bless or Mano po"

Filipinos will take the elder's hand and place it on their forehead as a form of showing respect to our elders.

7. Shoes should always be placed on the shoe closet or near the door

You don't want to drag the dirt and germs from your shoes around your house now, do you?

8. Using tsinelas (flip flops) inside the house

You might have at least two pairs of tsinelas. One is for inside the house. One is for outside the house. Don't get them mixed up or else your parents will scold you!

9. Greeting your visitors with: "Have you eaten yet?"

For Filipinos, offering guests something to eat or drink as soon as they walk in the door is a way of being hospitable.

10. Your childhood drink:

No other chocolate drink could ever compare to them.

11. Jollibee will always be #1 in our hearts

Have you ever tried a Chicken Joy from Jollibee? If not, I suggest you do so ASAP because you're seriously missing out.

12. You're used to being on Filipino Time

Majority of Filipinos love to take their time when getting ready for an event. Better late than never, right?

13. Instead of using tomato ketchup, you used banana ketchup

It is much tastier than tomato ketchup anyway.

14. The best way to beat the heat is by eating Halo-Halo

Halo-Halo is one of the most famous desserts in the Philippines. It is composed of shaved ice, evaporated milk, ube (purple yam) ice cream, leche flan, sago (tapioca), boiled sweet beans, gelatin and various fruits. Don't knock it til' you try it.

15. What's a Filipino party without Karaoke?

Filipinos love singing. It doesn't matter if you're out of tune. What's important us is that you're having fun!

16. When you're supposed to leave a party, but your parents end up talking to other people for another hour or two

Then you end up saying goodbye to everyone for the second or third time.

17. Most Filipinos have a painting/picture of "The Last Supper" in their dining room

Majority of Filipinos are Catholics and Christians. "The Last Supper" is one of the most important events in the Bible.

18. You know you're in trouble when your mom yells out your full name

Your full name is composed of: first name, middle name, mother's maiden name and father's last name. And for your mom to make an effort to say all of that only means one thing: you're screwed.

19. Pinching your nose so that you'll have a "long and sharp nose"

As a child, I was told to pinch my nose everyday. EVERYDAY. If not, my mom would do it for me from time to time.

20. Being told: "Study first, boyfriend/girlfriend later"

Education is important and tuition fees are not cheap. Relationships can wait until you graduate. Well, that's what they all say at least.

21. Jumping at midnight on New Year's Eve

It's no secret that Filipinos (or Asians in general) tend to be shorter when it comes to height compared to other ethnicities. And there's nothing wrong with that. Although, the majority prefers to be taller than their actual height. So, during New Year's Eve, we have a belief that kids (and some adults) should jump as the clock strikes midnight in order to grow taller.

22. Public toilet = CR (Comfort Room)

In America, public toilets are commonly known as restrooms. In the Philippines, we refer it as comfort room or CR for short.

23. Playing traditional Filipino games

Luksong Baka

Luksong Tinik



I think this is way better than being in front of a screen all the time. These games prove that you don't need much materials in order to have fun.

To some foreigners, our traditions, norms and beliefs may seem a little odd, but I am proud of them and I would not trade my experiences of growing up as a Filipino for anything else.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

Popular Right Now

35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments