You’re Either a Filipino or Married to One if…

Josie 2014 - Filipino Filipina Not only have I spent many years living around Filipinos, I’m married to a Filipino (Filipina) and I’ve adapted some of their traits.

It comes with the territory and from getting involved with her side of the family as well as her family friends. I recently stumbled upon a list of “truthisms”, written by someone at and posted on an obscure Facebook page. As usual, I don’t know how I found that Facebook page since I wasn’t looking for anything on it.

I’ve commented on the “facts” the best I could, immediately below them. My comments are italicized.

You know you’re a Filipino if…

I’m not Filipino, but I’ve been told I’m “Filipino-ized” (as opposed to a Filipino who is Americanized). Here are the “facts” I can comment on:

  • You answer to “Pssst!!”
    Yes, I find myself answering even when I mean not to.
  • You point with your lips.
    A habit I picked up from my wife, who’s a Filipina.
  • You have relatives whose nicknames consist of repeated syllables like Ling-Ling, Bong-Bong, or Che-Che.
  • You have uncles and aunts named Boy, Girlie or Baby.
    Yes, and local languages that mean the same thing – Inday and Intoy.
  • In your dining room there’s a picture of “The Last Supper” – and on either side of it are a giant wooden spoon and fork.
    My previous house had the picture, but not the eating utensils. I don’t have one in my house now and I don’t intend to.
  • You use shopping bags as garbage bags.
    What else are you supposed to do with a hundred shopping bags after a grocery run? You don’t have to be Filipino to use common sense.
  • You keep a tabo in your bathroom.
    Yes and washing with water works better than wiping with toilet paper.
  • You eat with your hands.
    I don’t, but my wife sometimes eats with her hands. I notice more people using spoons today.
  • You know a meal isn’t a meal unless there’s rice.
    So says my wife, but I don’t agree.
  • There’s always SPAM, Vienna sausages, corned beef and sardines in your kitchen cabinets.
    Not always, but most of the time.
  • Your relatives sing karaoke when they come over.
    Most of the time.
  • You don’t get grossed out by balut.
    I got over that a long time ago, but I still won’t eat any eggs with legs.
  • You always take your shoes off when you enter a house.
    Only if I’m wearing flip-flops.
  • You know what the “chocolate sauce” in dinuguan is actually made of.
    Yes, and you’ll never find me touching pig blood… ever.
  • You’ve ridden in a tricycle that doesn’t need peddling.
    That’s what they call the motorcycles with covered sidecars.
  • Goldilocks is more than a fairy tale character to you.
    It’s actually a very popular bakery.
  • Your mom or dad came from a family with at least 10 children.
    9 actually, on my side. 11 on my wife’s side.
  • You own a “walis ting ting”.
    Yes, it’s one kind of broom.
  • You like all the following: Sinigang, Nilaga, Tilapia, Dinuguan, Pansit, and Lumpia.
    Only the pansit and the lumpia. I don’t care much for fish or I hate animal blood.
  • You know that the American version of “come here” is palm-up, fingers waving toward the body, but the Filipino version is palm-down, fingers moving toward body in sort of shoveling motion.
    The American version is considered an insult.
  • You nod backwards to say yes.
    It took me years to figure it out.
  • You raise your eyebrows to say yes.
    It only took me a few days to figure this one out.
  • You can measuring the water for cooking rice with two fingers.
    Something else I learned from my wife.

You could be Married to a Filipina if…

I’ve been married to a Filipino (Filipina) for nearly 30 years (January 2015 is the 30-year mark). I don’t think “married” is necessary. Just living with a Filipino for a while will have an effect on you.

  • You’re expected to be able to read her mind just by watching her eyebrows move up and down and which way her lips are pointed.
    This is absolutely true.
  • Even the ketchup tastes weird… very weird.
    Banana ketchup doesn’t taste like tomato ketchup and that’s a fact.
  • You throw a party and everyone is fighting to chop the leathery skin off a dead pig.
    Let them fight over it. I can’t even stand the smell of roasted pig.
  • The rice cooker is on 24 hours a day and uses up 50% of your electric and food budget.
    50% is a bit of an exaggeration.
  • The first time she’s pregnant you have to go out at 4:00 in the morning looking for some weird type of greasy sausages, green mangoes and bagoong.
    Not at 4 am…
  • Her favorite sauce is called patis, Americans call it turpentine.
    Fish sauce is nasty, but not quite turpentine.
  • Other than eyebrow raising and lip puckering, her next most expressive form of communication is grunts and pssst’s.
  • Your kitchen table has a merry-go-round in the middle.
    It’s called a “lazy susan”. I’ve never had one, but I want one.
  • Your in-law’s first visit lasted 5 years.
    10, actually.
  • She might not have had a second pair of shoes growing up, but she’s rapidly making up for lost time.
    I think all Filipinas are Imelda Marcos wannabes.
  • Everything in your house is “name brand”.
    They were until I taught my wife the economy of generics.
  • You learn to like rice, even plain.
  • She may only tell you she loves you once in a while. But, she shows you that she loves you in everything she does and says.
    This isn’t funny. It’s true.
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