I grew up Asian and will die Asian (there’s no “probably” there, duh.) Heck, I’ve never been outside of this part of the planet. So it’s interesting to find out how much Filipinos who grew up or were born in other countries have learned and experienced the Filipino ways. Not just Filipinos, but ASIANS.
I’m a full-Filipino by blood and nationality, so I am not exactly an authority in this area. But I think DOMICS and JO KOYare. Both are funny and they paint a picture of what it’s really like growing up Asian abroad.
(WARNING, though: There are some strong language involved in some of these videos)
Domics, whose real name is Dominic Panganiban, is a YouTuber-animator whose family immigrated to Canada years ago. In some of his drawings, he illustrated his experiences as an immigrant kid adjusting to other places.
This is a nice podcast he did with his fellow Asian friends (they aren’t necessarily all Pinoys…The girl is Chinese and at least one of the other guys is Korean). They shared what their elders are like, which sometimes confuse them. Dominic made it more entertaining by drawing stuff.
We Pinoys can definitely relate especially with Domics. For one thing, our father used to have my sister and I pull out white hair from his head and we were promised to be paid. And I certainly have a Pinoy nose, although no one pinched it (except myself when I tried to make it more “matangos” or pointy). I do actually appreciate my little nose now.
Here’s another from Domics that is about the Filipino last names. His in particular.
The Pinoy height…The struggle can be very real.
Now, Joseph Glenn Herbert, much more popularly known as Jo Koy, is a half-American Pinoy who grew up in the States. He is now a popular stand-up comedian known for his stories about growing up with a Filipino mom (truthful but hilarious!) and raising his kid. He grew up abroad, but Pinoys can very much relate to his kind of self-deprecating brand of stories.
He was referring to the famous mostly-Filipino Jabbawockeez.
Now, as a song from musical AVENUE Q says, “Everybody’s a little bit racist”. This reminds me of that.
The “Bicks Baporub” killed me, HA HA HAAA!!! We really do use Vicks!
Hope you watched them all and enjoyed. Most importantly, I hope you learned new things about us 😉
The Philippines is actually also known (if not more known) for its beautiful natural resources, particularly the 7,100-plus islands. It’s not all about Philippine politics, calamities, and tragedies. Oh, but many do know that already.
I’m not going to talk about islands for now, however. I just thought that would get your attention, ha ha. Rather, I’d like to share stuff regarding the country’s other best-known assets–the people. In fact, I’ve talked about it in The Great Philippine Experience:
“…many tourists seem to come back again and again…When it comes to the Philippines, it is not merely the sceneries and the wonders that attract tourists. More than these, it is the people and their rich culture that makes the Philippines a much-loved travel destination.”
But why just take our word for it? The better idea is to take these foreign missionaries’ words for it! They have stayed in the country for a long enough time to appreciate its people. Some have even enjoyed a certain level of fame, having somewhat become celebrities, for instance, the boys of the Hey Joe Show, “a multi-platform social media group dedicated to celebrating and exposing Filipino culture to a global audience”. They can tell you what to expect when you’re in the Philippines.
It’s various interview clips, so it’s long, but you can always skip some of them. Personally, listening to them made me realize more things and made me proud to be Filipino, despite all the negatives. I was smiling almost from start to end, even laughing sometimes. First guy here is Connor Peck from the show I mentioned.
FUNNY THINGS FILIPINOS DO (by Sumner Mahaffey of the Hey Joe Show, and he also joined I Love OPM, singing competition for 100% non-Filipinos singing local songs)
Some of the things Sumner says here are not mentioned in the previous video.
There are more things to explain how the Filipino is. Will share more in future posts.
Meanwhile, just like in any other country, one of the most important things when you visit is to learn the language. It is very important, though often neglected. But if you’re staying for a long while, it is advised that you learn the language. Speak, as the Pinoys do.
This is what Fil-American Wil Dasovich did when he came to stay in his mother’s native country. Wil is a popular vlogger (or YouTuber, if you may) known for talking a lot in the Filipino dialect called Tagalog.
But what sticks to most Pinoys’ minds is not only his American accent, but his weird Tagalog combos–he just simultaneously speaks in deep Tagalog, Taglish (Tagalog-English), sometimes hippie lingo, often beki (gay) speak without batting an eyelash. He explains why in the video below (I contributed the translation of the Filipino words, so from 0:09, those words were from me, simply enable captions). Nevertheless, I still encourage any foreigner or half-foreigner who wants to stay here for years to do what Wil did.
Back in my Multiply days, I started a series that I called Filipino 101. It was short-lived because, for some reason, I got side-tracked. It was fun, though, and I think it is high-time I restart that.
In How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way, I touched on Philippine history. There, I mentioned that for nearly 400 years, we were colonized by Spain. I did not mention much about language, however. But if you have ever heard a conversation or read exchanges between Filipinos, you’d probably be thinking, “Wait a minute. Was that Spanish?” Chances are, you’re right.
Becoming (Sort of) Spanish
Hard as they could, the Spaniards denied teaching their language to the Filipinos. But 400 hundred years is quite a long time to keep everything exclusively. The indios who were more well-to-do were able to afford an education denied to the lower class. That was how they learned Spanish or Español/Kastila.
Meanwhile, many Spanish terms and phrases used for everyday-things became normal everyday-terms, like the following:
Cómo estás? – “How are you?”, but we say “Kumusta?/Kamusta?” or “Kumusta ka?”
mesa/la mesa – table
cubiertos – utensils (“kubyertos”)
ventana – window (“bintana”)
silla – chair (“silya”); the local word is “upuan” or seat since “upo” means sit, so it’s a thing to sit on
pero – but
escuela or escuelas – school (“eskwela” or “eskwelahan”); the local word is “paaralan”, from the root word “aral” or study, so it’s a place for studying
para – for or to be able to (“para”/“para sa”); the local word is “upang”, but hardly anyone uses that in normal conversations
compadre – usually used for a male friend or companion (“kumpadre”/“kumpare”), especially when one is godfather to another man’s child, making them “co-fathers”
“Pare” is the most commonly used version to refer to or call a male friend, although sometimes, that can be used also to address a male stranger in a friendly manner (ex. “Pare, could you tell me where the mall is at? I’m new to this place.”), or in a sarcastic/annoyed tone (ex. “Pare, are you kidding me?”)
Comare/comadre or “kumare” is the female version BUT, online dictionaries say it is either Italian or Portuguese
camiseta – shirt (“kamiseta”), but in the Philippines, it’s usually a sleeveless and collarless shirt worn especially if it’s hot
Those are just some examples of Kastila words we have come to consider as Filipino ones. In fact, it has been so long that many of us don’t know or realize they are not ours. That explains, though, why many of us are able to pronounce Spanish well (at least those who do mind how to say it). We are used to the sounds. In some parts of the country, they can even speak the language well enough.
Meanwhile, when the parents of today’s middle-aged went to school, long after the Spaniards were gone, learning Spanish was a requirement. It isn’t now, that is why Filipinos can’t normally converse in that language.
Nosebleed because of Spokening Dollars
If you hear “spokening dollars” anywhere here, it refers to any English speaker. Yes, we love to coin amusing words and phrases like that. Speak in direct English and they may jokingly exclaim, “Nosebleed!” That means, “Oh my goodness! I can’t understand you. You’re making my nose bleed!” Sometimes, it’s a pure joke, sometimes, it’s really their way of letting you know they can’t understand you.
Today, English is the requirement in school and remains our second language. We learned this from the Americans after they helped drive away the Japanese during World War II. That is why many who grew up until the ’90s are good in American English. What happened to the next generations is another story.
Similar to the Spanish language, we have taken to using many English terms. We count in English, sometimes curse in English (the F- and S-bombs, especially the latter), even address the Christian god in English (“Lord”) when we pray.
Here are several English words we use:
Hello — “Hi” is common enough, but is less used
Good morning/afternoon — “Good evening” is known, but also less used; “Good day” is hardly used except by English speakers
appear – It doesn’t mean what you think. Here, when someone says “Apir!”, you high-five (don’t ask me why)
Many words sound too old-fashioned that we prefer the foreign ones, or they have no direct translations at all, like “refrigerator”.
In our ancient alphabet called baybayin, which we now try to revive, there are no characters that represent the following: C, F, J, Q, V, X and Z. Therefore, characters that sound the nearest to them are used when writing, though it depends on the words being written. In addition, we have the character “Ng”.
Our long-accepted modern-day alphabet does not have those, too. We used to call our ABC the ABaKaDa. (If you’ll play that vid above, you’ll hear how we read and pronounce words, especially “Ng”, which always baffles foreigners). Around two decades ago, they created the new Filipino alphabet and incorporated the English letters.
For me, personally, I thought that was stupid. Why? Because they were trying to fix something that was not broken. They said it’s because we now use words that make use of the English letters. But that’s because they’re just English words we’ve come to accept, and silly coined words that either do not mean anything or are bastardized versions of otherwise legit terms. I find it as some kind of dumbing down the people more. We used to be Pilipinos and our language, Pilipino, but somebody got the brilliant idea to use F instead.
The ABaKaDa: A, B, K, D, E, G, H, I, L, M, N, Ng, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, Y
Ang Makabagong Alpabeto (The New Alphabet): A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Ṅ, Ng, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
Da Ep, Fee, Bee en Bee
When it comes to the Filipino’s English accent, diction and pronunciation, that’s where you’ll most probably have a problem. So it’s better to know now.
Many of us understand very simple English. Some speak it very well. Some write it well but are too shy to converse with it. And there are those, shy or not, who have the Ep and Fee Syndrome–you tend to unintentionally get your Fs and Ps mixed up. (“It’s a nown pact dat feefol will olways rimember.”) And many of us do not see the difference between the B and the V when we speak. (“Da bidyo is berry good, Beronica.”)
I’ll let Pinoy Boy Mikey Bustos show you how it’s “done” with the very first viral video that made him famous to Filipinos.
Alright, I’ve shared a lot already. Next time I do Filipino 101, expect some basic vocabulary lessons. Meanwhile, I leave you with this other vid which is funny, but very true of Filipino parents 🙂
When I started my whole blogging journey from years ago, to promote the country–my country–had been one of my goals. Well, promote in my own way. I wanted people of other nationalities to see Filipinos in a positive light, not just always in the negative:
Yes, we are third-world, but we do have well-educated “Pinoys” (Filipinos).
No, we’re not terrorists just because we’re Pinoys, and what a few of us do, they do not necessarily define the Filipino.
Yes, we are Asians, but we’re not all Chinese, although there are “Chinoys” (Filipino-Chinese).
Yes, traffic does suck big time in the metro. (Sure, that’s not positive, but you can either choose to be positive or suffer a heart attack getting mad at traffic, right?)
But it was a more personal blog, too, and I ended up pouring my heart out sometimes and showing too much of my opinionated side. Both were not really bad, plus such fell under my rights as a blogger and an individual, except I was not able to do more.
Now that I’m in WordPress, it has rekindled this urge to let others know what Pinoys are about. I have been slowly trying to do that, except my efforts are still lacking, IMO. So I am to amp the effort some more. And while I aim to promote the Philippines, I will not be so pretentious as to deny anything negative that is going to be brought up. I’d rather explain it clearly than lie or avoid any negative questions that may arise. I’d rather you hear the truth from me.
So in connection with this, I am going to post more Pinoy-related stuff here and all links can be found on my soon-to-be-added page called PH Box. I have already posted a few Pinoy-related stuff before (such as my recent explanation on why Pinoys are said to be good singers, in connection to David DiMuzio‘s vlog post) so the links to them will be there, too. There’ll be articles and blogs. I will be sharing videos, too, that I can find.
Vlogs from popular vloggers like Mikey Bustos (Pinoy) of PinoyBoy Channel and his #MabuhaySquad, Wil Dasovich (half-Pinoy) and the rest of the #VlogSquad, and Kyle “Kulas” Jennermann (Honorary Pinoy) of Becoming Filipino channel, and some others will be shared from time to time. Feel free to check out their vlogs now, if you want.
So for “opening salvo”, I am sharing this viral video called 8 Days in the Philippines. This is by Nuseir Yassin, a.k.a. Nas, known for the videos he creates for Nas Daily, particularly his travel vlogs. Eight minutes seem long, but I promise you, you won’t regret watching it. It shows some of the good in this country, as well as some of the bad.
Now, just to let you know more of my people, here’s a kind of intro from comedian-vlogger (not to mention, Canadian Idol alumnus) Mikey Bustos, known for his parodies and wonderful efforts to show the Filipinos to the world. He does a Moana parody, so check it out! 😉
Any questions about the stuff you’ve seen here, like do we really all speak English? Just ask. I will answer honestly 🙂
Oh, and (not) sorry for the many links because we do have to give credit to people, correct? 😉