Here’s a great article — “34 Signs You Grew Up Filipino” – which, on closer inspection, should be entitled “34 Signs You Grew Up Filipino in Los Angeles”. (It eventually becomes clear.)
Now, I’m not Filipino. I can’t even claim to be an honorary. But but my wife is a Filipina, gloriously so, and one daughter is (well, she has an American passport now, but you now what I mean – she grew up Filipino), and I’ve had a running joke that I’m “kalahating pilipino ” for at least 25 years.
So, how did I score on this?
Not sure how to score it, but I guarantee you, I get it.
My comments (are in parentheses).
1. This is a perfectly normal breakfast.
Spam, good. Eggs, good. Rice, obviously good.
(Okay, I confess …. I never thought Spam was normal. But I ate far more Spam in the Philippines than I ever did in the United States. I guess I did come to think it is almost normal. Almost.)
2. But this was your actual favorite breakfast.
MMMM TAPSILOG. Nom nom.
(Yes! Now here’s the truth. Of all the breakfasts in all the world in all my life….this is number 1. Ain’t nuthin’ like it. And how come I can’t figure out how to make garlic rice like that?)
3. And when all else failed there was always this.
Sweet bread for breakfast? Yes, please…
(Nope. I guess all else never failed. Can’t claim this one as my own.)
4. You have no idea how to make rice on the stove, only in a flowery rice cooker.
(You can cook rice on a stove?)
5. This was your “ketchup.”
The spicy kind was the best.
(Yes — but why do they call it Ketchup? It’s its own thing. Love it.}
6. You had a hundred pairs of “tsinelas” spread around your house.
Because you immediately took off your shoes when you entered the house.
(Yes …. but I thought tsinellas were rubber flip-flops, not these.)
7. The only name you were ever called by was:
Like, you’re not even sure your parents know your real name.
(Nah. Heard that a lot around the house. But can’t claim it.)
8. Their names are lolo and lola, not grandpa and grandma.
(Well yeah. In-laws.)
9. You know you had to “mano” every adult in the house before you were allowed to go play.
(I have Mano’d more than any other Kano I know. That rhymes.)
10. Which was no easy task because you had approximately 15 “titas” and “titos” growing up.
And half of them weren’t actually related to you.
(By marriage. Yes.)
11. Every year you sent a giant cardboard box to your relatives in the Philippines.
The contents of which were 99% Spam.
(Oh yeah. But we send multiple smaller boxes and Spam is just a part of it. Also Corned beef. Chocolates. Asthma medicine. Blood pressure medicine. A nice mix.)
12. You immediately turn your head when you hear these phrases.
(Yes and yes. And a Filipino “pssst” is the most noise-penetrating sound ever.)
13. This is how your mom points.
Hand me the “ano.”
(Yup. Completely. Well, not my real mom.)
14. Your Thanksgiving includes a few unconventional items.
Note the lumpia, rice, kare kare, pancit, etc…
(Of course. And yes, we no longer have Christmas Dinner — we have Noche Buena.)
15. Nothing makes your mouth water faster than the sight of pan de sal.
(Only before 7am in the morning. Best ever.)
16. Your family does most of its grocery shopping here.