You Know You’re Filipino If…

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This book is a “Pinoy Primer” selected and edited by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz.  These are funny and heartwarming traits Filipinos are known for, wherever they are in the world.  🙂

I wish I could put the entire book in this post but it will take too much time and effort, hehehe.  You should get the book especially if you have foreign friends who seem to be baffled by your quirky habits. :mrgreen:


Family Matters – You know you’re Filipino if…

  • You’re related to everyone.
  • You have uncles and aunts named Boy, Girlie or Baby.
  • You have relatives with the letter “h” slipped into their names, as in Jhun, Mhike, Bhen, and Sahmeeh. 😆
  • You have relatives whose nicknames consist of repeated syllables, such as Jun-Jun, Ling-Ling and Mon-Mon. 😆
  • The prospect of sending your elderly parents to a nursing home is inconceivable.
  • You abide by your parents’ house rules even if you’re over 18.
  • You live with your parents until – and at times even after – you’re married.
  • You demand that your children sing and dance to amuse your friends and relatives.

Where We Live – You know you’re Filipino if…

  • You decorate your living room wall with family’s framed diplomas, certificates and plaques.
  • You decorate your dining room wall with a giant wooden spoon and fork and a picture of the Last Supper.
  • You keep a Sto. Niño shrine in your living room.
  • Your house has a “dirty” kitchen and a “clean” kitchen.
  • You keep a tabo in your bathroom.

Health and Hygiene – You know you’re Filipino if…

  • You shower at least once a day.
  • You use a stone to scrub yourself in the shower.
  • You prescribe ginger brew and salt mouthwash to treat sore throats.

The Way We Eat – You know you’re Filipino if…

  • You eat with your hands.
  • You eat more than three times a day.
  • You think a meal is not a meal without rice.
  • You don’t need a knife to cut your food.
  • You think sandwiches are snacks, not meals.
  • You feel compelled to greet anyone who sees you eating with the words “Let’s eat.”
  • You swing your legs when you like the food.
  • You like sweet spaghetti.
  • You love “dirty” ice cream.

There… these are all I could write down at the moment.  There’s plenty more where these came from.  You can grab a copy at any National Bookstore outlet.  It’s published by Tahanan Books. 😀


Mga Tambay sa Tabi-Tabi

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Mga Tambay sa Tabi-Tabi roughly translated as loafers/idlers hanging out on the streets/street corners is a graphic book by the artists collectively known as Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan [INK] or Kids’ Illustrators if I’m not mistaken.

Alright, translating this book from the vernacular into the universal language — English — is pretty hard for me.  It’s just hard to find the literal translation of some Filipino words and when you have translated some of these to another language, the impact simply diminishes. 😦

But do not let this translation issue deter you from getting the book.  There is an English translation right under the descriptions of the creatures so the book can reach a wider readership. I am quoting descriptions here verbatim so I won’t have a hard time with the translation thing. 🙂

The book is a collection of creatures of Philippine folklore, some of which are scary; others annoying and others laughable.

Here are a few of the more popular ones:

1. Ani-Ani

Resembling humans in appearance but standing usually about eighteen feet tall, the Ani-Ani comes out during the new moon.  It has the ability to shift its appearance into a carabao, a horse or a pig.  It may usually be found smoking while sitting on a branch of a large tree like the talisay, and it usually likes blocking the path of night travelers.  A distinctive feature of the Ani-Ani is its strong goat smell.

2. Batibat

The Batibat dwells in holes in tree trunks, and even after the tree trunk had been used in the construction of a house or the fabrication of a bed as a post, the Batibat continues to live in the hole.  The Batibat is the bearer of nightmares.  It sits astride a sleeping victim, who has had too much to eat or drink.  Its short weight is enough to suffocate a person to death.  They say that the victim must bite his thumb or wriggle a toe during a nightmare to drive the Batibat away.

3. Bawa

In the sky, in a cave called Calulundan which hides behind a curtain of blue smoke, lives the dragon Bawa.  This gigantic bird rarely leaves its cave dwelling and when it does, it is because it is extremely hungry.  But of all things, it likes to eat the sun or the moon, or both; which inevitably results in an eclipse.  To stop the Bawa, people must make noises, or placate it with music or food offerings.

4. Berberoka

The Berberoka is a deceitful creature.  While lying across the river, it sucks in all the water to make it appear shallow and create a false dam.  Then it slowly releases the water to drown the unsuspecting victim which he will then eat.  The Berberoka is a huge ogre that despite its power and size, has a morbid fear of crabs.

5. Calanget

They say that a farmer always needs to seek the permission of the Calanget before he could use a field, since the dwarf is considered the true owner of the land.  The Calanget lives in a mound in the forest or in the ricefield, and he never hesitates to inflict illness on anyone who will dig up or upset his mound.  The Calanget is short, with a large head, and is often barefoot.  It dislikes ginger, pepper, vinegar and food with salt and spices.  And they say that when a witch tries to communicate with it, it replies with a whistling sound.

Note:  There are about 60 creatures that you can read about in the book.  The pictures here are poor representations of the actual graphics in the book.  It was published last year by Anvil Publishing.

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