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Real fun with funny people

/ 12:57 AM January 23, 2012

So, it’s more fun in the Philippines. Why? Because Filipinos are a funny people.

Filipino parents call each other “Mommy” and “Daddy.”

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And the Filipino has relatives with names like Ai-Ai, Don-Don, Bong-Bong, Jun-Jun and Noy-Noy, Boy, Girlie, Baby and Cutie-Pie. He keeps a Sto. Niño shrine and a mini-altar in his living room. His house has a “dirty” kitchen and a “clean” kitchen. He has a piano no one plays.

He keeps a “tabo” in his bathroom. He takes a bath every day, or at least once a day. He uses a stone to scrub himself in the shower.

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He likes to eat with his bare hands with a knee propped up on the bench. He eats more than three times a day. He feels compelled to invite anyone, even a stranger, who sees him eating, “to kain tayo.” He always leaves a morsel of food on his plate at a party lest he appear famished. When dining out, he always fights with his companions over who will pay for the meal. He instinctively grabs a toothpick after every meal.

He hangs a rosary on his rear view mirror; treats traffic rules as recommendations, and street signs like “No left turn” or “No U-turn” as binding on everybody except himself.

He spends Holy Week either doing penitence or vacationing in a resort. He gets together with family at a loved one’s grave on All Saints’ Day to eat and drink and enjoy himself. At funeral wakes, he can crack jokes, play cards and drink beer without feeling irreverent.

He thinks that the Christmas season begins in September and ends in January. He unwraps his Christmas presents ever so carefully so he can reuse the wrappers and bows for next year. He touches his chin with his thumb when making the sign of the cross. He can’t make a purchase without haggling. He holds his palms together in front of him and says “Excuse, excuse” while passing in between people or in front of the TV.

He asks for the bill in a restaurant by making a rectangle sign in the air. He responds to a “Hoy” or a “Psst” in a crowd. He can use ambiguous words like “kwan” or “ano” and yet be perfectly understood by other Filipinos. He calls the waiter at a restaurant “boss” or “brod.”

He asks for “Colgate” instead of “toothpaste.” He wants to “Xerox” a document instead of “photocopy.” He refers to the refrigerator as the “ref” or the “pridyider.” He can sing and dance at the drop of a hat. He always rings a door bell twice, assuming that the first ring was not heard. He lets his phone ring twice before answering lest he appear overly eager. (Source: “You Know You’re Filipino If . . .” by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz)

Truly, a Filipino smiles all the time apparently for no reason at all.

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Yes, dear tourists, come to the Philippines where the real fun is and add more years to your life.

—BARTOLOME C. FERNANDEZ JR., 5431 Curie St., Palanan, Makati City

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