Thursday, September 09, 2004

"Hoy! Tssssst! 10 Things You Didn`t Know About Filipinos"
Courtesy of Celena Cipriaso on asianavenue.com

10. We`re a unique Asian mix. So many people have often thought - what`s with Filipinos being Catholic and having the Spanish surnames? Over the years, Filipinos have suffered the stereotype of not being "Asian" enough. While our culture has more similarities to Spanish cultures and American culture, it`s because the Philippines was a Spanish colony for 300 years and a colony of the United States for almost half a century. But in our ethnic mix, aside from the Spanish influence, is also a background of Malay and Chinese. Filipinos are the specialty chefs of culture. We have takes all these different cultural flavors and mixed them into our own special recipe of what makes us uniquely Filipino.

9. We are the Drama Queens. Filipinos don`t necessarily partake in the stereotype that all Asians are emotionally reserved. Many Filipinos will attest on how ma arte ma arte (melodramatic) we can be. In our culture, we love family feuds, soap operas, and balling our eyes out during Filipino melodramas. We love to take center stage in the spotlight and hog the mike during karaoke (further information on this subject on #5 of this list). For example, a little known fact is that the artist Prince is a quarter Filipino - the movie Purple Rain definitely has a flavor of Filipino melodrama.

8. Oh, do we love to tsismis (gossip)! To gossip is an age old family tradition in Filipino family circles. Like tabloid journalists of the oral tradition, Filipinos love to be the first one to tell a juicy scandalous story or event just to spread good news like wildfire. If you tell your mother at 5pm that you`re getting married, by 5:30pm your fifth cousin removed living in a small village in the Philippines will know the news.

7. To Filipinos, nothing says I Love You better than a new DKNY t-shirt bought on sale at Marshall`s. We love to express ourselves in consumer ways. My childhood is filled with memories of escorting our visiting relatives to outlet malls because it was always more important for them to buy souvenirs for the extended family than visit the White House in D.C. Also consider the Christmas season in Manila, which will be begin as early as September. My family from the Philippines has often told me you will start hearing "Silent Night" blaring through the malls right around Labor Day, a nice reminder that you have four months more to shop for the season!

6. Filipinos are the Party Animals. Filipinos love nothing better than throwing a party. As Erwin Falcon of A Partnership so appropriately describes it, "They`ll come up with any excuse to throw a big shindig. If Lola just got brand new dentures, it`s time to throw a party and invite every single person on the planet, buy a big fat lechon (roasted pig), and drink San Miguel beer."

5. We are Karaoke Kings. As performance artist Rich Kiamco says, "The Japanese might have invented karaoke, but the Filipinos RULE it!" Many Asians will find this statement highly debatable, we really believe we have the best pipes and will prove it to you by hogging the mike for the rest of the night and belting "Wind Beneath My Wings" with all our melodramatic fervor.

4. Filipinos will dance anywhere to anything. Young or old, you will always see Filipinos dancing at a party. From the young Pinoys break-dancing to the latest Jay Z to the oldest Lola in the room line dancing to "I Will Survive." Filipinos will find the rhythm in any song to dance to.

3. Filipinos discovered how the eighth wonder of the world is the Roasted Pig. The very best Filipino occasions will have the big fat luscious lechon to feast upon. We love the curly tailed animal so much that we will eat anything on it from its crispy ears as a snack after lunch to pouring dinuguan (cooked pig`s blood with pork) over rice. The pig is really the tastiest animal in the world.

2. Filipinos love to exercise their faces. Without words, we creatively use all aspects of our face for different forms of communications. We say hello by lifting our eyebrows or nodding as a greeting. We point at certain objects, not with our fingers, but with our mouths. If you see a Filipino pursing their lips towards you, they are not trying to pucker their lips for a kiss. Most likely, they are pointing at you and gossiping about you.

1. We`re progressive and inventive. Not many people know the Yo-Yo was brought to America by our very own Pedro Flores. Not many people know that the Philippines is one of the few nations that has had not one, but two female presidents. The nation received an award from the Nobel Laureates Foundation in 2001 recognizing People Power; a non-violent movement that peacefully overthrew the government.

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