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56 Signs That We Are Pinoys

It was ironic that it takes someone who is not a Filipino to inspire me to finish this list which I started last January 2015.

Who I am talking about? He is Kyle, a 26-year old Canadian who is trying to “Become Filipino”. His blog www.becomingfilipino.com is a chronicle of his amazing and amusing adventure and journey in the Philippines.  To quote him, “I love the Philippines and would be honored to be able to call myself “part Filipino.”” He is proud to be called by his Filipino name “Kulas”. Please check his post 25 Things I Never Did Until I Lived In The Philippines.

Most of the signs in the list came from the Stradmore notebook that I had in my office table for 5 years. I used it to write down minutes of the meeting and when I checked the first entry, it was June 8, 2010 and the last was June 7, 2012. It was of no use to me because the company that I used it for already closed down...but I do not have the heart to throw it away.
Here are the lists that I know most of us Pinoys will agree.
1. You nod your head upwards to greet someone.
2. Your other piece of luggage is a “balikbayan box”.
3. You use an umbrella for a shade on a hot summer days.
4. You collect items from hotels or restaurants as “souvenirs”.
5. For you a yellow light means “go faster”.
6. You turn around when you hear psssst…!
7. You were raised believing every Filipino was an aunt and uncle.
8. You use your fingers to measure the water when cooking rice.
9. You know its fun to eat with your hand and even have it down as a technique.IMG_0959 10. You wash and re-use plastic utensils and Styrofoam cups.
11. You own either a Karaoke, a magic sing mic or both.
12. You have a giant wooden spoon and fork hanging in your dining room.
13. You have a Santo Nino shrine in your living room.
14. You point with your lips.
15. You say “kodakan” instead of take a picture.
16. When they play “Anak” anywhere, your chest swells with pride and say that’s Filipino.
17. You use print rags from imported fashion magazines as cover of your textbooks and notebooks.
18. You have a “tabo” (dipper) in your bathroom.
19. You have a rosary on your car’s rear view mirror.IMG_038820. Your parents call each other “Mommy” or “Daddy”.
21. You think tuck out is the opposite of tuck in.
22. You’re standing next to eight big boxes at the airport.
23. You have a portrait of the Last Supper hanging on your dining room wall.IMG_2020[1] 24. You add an unwarranted “H” to your name: Jhun, Bhoy, Rhon, Sahmmeeh.
25. The food container in your “ref” contains three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing.
26. You dip bread in your morning coffee.
27. Your Mom puts sugar and hotdogs in her spaghetti.
28. Your living room wall is filled with framed diplomas and plaques of family members.
29. You do not try to avoid pedestrians.
30. You can’t make a purchase without haggling.
31. A meal is not a meal without a rice.
32. You have a fly swatter in your kitchen.
33. You have an Auntie Girlie, a Lola Baby, or an Uncle Boy.
34. Your car chirps like a bird or play a tune in reverse.
35. You can squeeze 15 passengers into your 5-seater car easily.
36. You’re on “Filipino Time”.
37. The Christmas season begins in September and ends in January.
38. You make the sign of the cross every time you pass by a church.
39. You know someone with a name that repeats itself, i.e. Jon-Jon, Len-Len, Jong-Jong or Bang-Bang.
40. A meal is best with patis, toyo, vinegar, banana, catsup, or bagoong.
41. You know that “OA” = overacting, “DOM” = dirty old man, and “TNT” = for the other kind of OFW.
42. Church is a must on Sundays.
43. You pronounce the following words as: hippopo-TA-mus, com-FOR-table, bro-CO-li.
44. You “open” and “close” the lights instead of on or off.
45. You cover your living room furniture with bed sheets.
46. When you don’t know what to say next, you say “you know”…
47. You say “for a while” instead of “please hold” on the telephone.
48. Your stove is covered with aluminum foil.
49. Your lampshades still have plastic covers on them.
50. You say “cutex” instead of nail polish.
51. You keep used batteries.
52. You were punished by kneeling on rice.
53. Your microwave, tv, computer, printer, toaster are hidden under quilted covers.
54. “Ano” and “di ba” regularly slip out during conversations.
55. You don’t own any food containers, only a cabinet full of used but carefully rinsed margarine tubs, take-out containers and jam jars.
56. You greet an acquaintance by raising your eyebrows.

This is just an initial list. In time, pictures and comments and other signs will be added.

The underlined numbers in red are the result of my self-assessment.

Feel free to leave your comments or to include other signs to add to the list.