“When you’re with Filipinos, you’re with family.” Such was the tagline to a recent TV commercial aired in Canada a few weeks ago. The statement definitely bears some meaningful truth - whether you're Filipino or not, you'll always find a companion in a Filipino, because inclusiveness has forever been a pillar of the Pinoy way (and Filipino culture altogether).
READ ALSO: 40 Things You’ll Hear A Filipino Say
Growing up as a Filipino is a truly a unique experience. If you're Filipino, or have Filipino friends, you're bound to recognize some (or all) of the following points; even if just by association:
Note: The following list may apply more to Filipinos who grew up in North America during the 90's.
You were sometimes a little shy explaining to your friends at school what you had for baon.
TFC was the soundtrack to your entire life.
Your parents would always make you offer tsinelas to all your friends when they came over.
Grade 11 and 12 were expensive years for you because of all the debuts you had to attend.
Your mom probably served your friends spam and rice the morning after a sleepover.
Or maybe even corned beef.
You were upset when Melissa R. didn't become the next Pussycat Doll.
And when Jessica Sanchez didn't win American Idol.
You called your older siblings kuya or ate in public and would be teased for it sometimes.
Taglish was the primary language used in your household.
You attended a fam jam regularly, and the house was always packed no matter how small it was.
A pile of sneakers at the entrance, a Magic Mic and tons of food meant you were at a Filipino party.
You were a member YFC or knew someone who was.
Making friends with other Filipinos was a natural instinct.
You had a YouTube phase with Gabe Bondoc, Passion, Brian Puspos and Joey Diamond.
Having to mano all of your relatives at the start and end of a fam jam.
Your lola swore by Vicks Vapour Rub as the best remedy for colds and the flu.
Sending balikbayan boxes and wishing the stuff inside them were yours.
You never spoke of the tabo.
Lumpia was always a surefire hit with your non-Filipino friends.
You know at least one Tito Boy and one Tita Baby.
And you might also have a cousin or friend named Bong.
You sometimes slipped up and asked to "open" the lights, the TV, or the air-con.
Pacquiao fights and Miss Universe were very important occasions on your parents' calendar.
Your parents wrapped the remote controls in your house in plastic.
Regular ketchup and banana ketchup are two of your favourite condiments.
You have a sizeable collection of bootleg Filipino DVDs and PS1 games.
"Get me the ano" followed by a pout of the lips still confuses you.
Your parents always broke the sound barrier with their loud phone or Skype conversations.
Regular spaghetti was hard for you to eat because you were used to sweet spaghetti.
You changed into your "home clothes" as soon as you got home from school.
Polvoron was a common pasalubong that you received.
Your love life was always under scrutiny by your relatives.
Halo-halo remains as one of your dessert obsessions.
You've probably tried papaya soap at least once.
Because you wanted to be a mestizo like Anne Curtis or Gerald Anderson.
You still break it down to the Ocho Ocho or Spaghetti Pababa.
Nieces and nephews are always running around everywhere causing a ruckus.
You have that one tita who always led the line dances at parties.
Some people assume you can sing, dance and play guitar just because you're Filipino.
You know someone who can actually sing, dance and play guitar who's Filipino.
Close family friends who aren't your blood relatives are still your titos and titas.
You've been confused for another Latin or Asian race.
The biggest plot twist of your life was discovering sewing supplies in those cookie tins instead of cookies.
You convinced yourself that almost anything can be a sawsawan (even condensed milk).
A section of your house was set up as a shrine or altar.
Your dining room had a painting of The Last Supper or giant spoons and forks on the walls.
Sticko, Yan Yan, Pocky and Hello Panda were some of your common purchases as the Asian grocery.
You knew it was a Filipino household if it had parols hung up on its windows.
Most of the points on this list made you smile in agreement.
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