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Tuesday, July 20, 2004
(this is abstracted from an issue from The Philippine Star 19 July 2004 entitled:"LIVING ALIVE" by Dero Pedero)

Filipinos are weird. Okay let's be kinder and say they are different.Filipinos are usually uncertain and undecided. They have a penchant for staying in the gray, non committed area. Then they say yes or no, they actually mean maybe. They'd really rather answer you with a maybe(baka or yata)than with a yes or no.

Sexually Ambiguous Pronouns

Another oddity in the Filipino Language is that Tagalog hasnot pronoun that directly translates to he or she(in Spanish el or ella)The pronoun siyarefers to both he or she.Furthermore, the Filipino language also has no one-word equivalent for daughter; the word anak (child) refers to both sexes.

For this reason, many Filipinos interchanged the pronouns he and she when they are said in English. Some even have the difficulty in determining whether to say "maa'am."Strange but it is true! So next time a waiter calls you "maa'am" and yo are a male or vice versa, just smile and say, "Its' a Filipino oddity".

Everyone is a Tito or a Tita

The daughter of balikbayan (a visitng overseas Filpino) friend complained and said "Why is it in this country, I have so many uncles and aunts? Everyone is a Tito(Uncle) and Tita(Aunt)?"em>

In another extreme case, there was a scoeity matron who was addressed by a lady as tita.Fuming, she replied:, "Why, do I know you? Are we related? how dare you call me Tita!"The matron insisted that the young lady had no right to be familiar with her, addressing her as tita.

At a recent party, a youngish friend called an older lady, titaand she got offended and said: "I'm not that old!".

On the other hand, I have a friend who gets slighted when he is called by his first name and prefers to be called titobecause he feels esteemed and respected.

With these various reactions, what's a young person to do? We all know that tito and tita have taken the place of older titles of respect like ka, manong, manang, mang, and nana.In Filipino culture, the elders are given utmost respect and honor when talking to them, young people have to insert the word po every so often, in deference to their seniority.(The word pohas no direct English translation; in the United States they call you by your first name even though you are already 95 years old)

More Language Oddities

Two names that are very common in the Philippines are Maricon(short for Maria Concepcion) and Pido,In spanish, Maricon means homosexual and Pido means Fart.

Drinking soda in a plastic bag! ( I am told this is actually a third world oddity, not exclusively Pinoy).

Pointing with the lips. (are we lazy to gesture with our hands, instead we use the mouth to point with instead?)

Putting coins in one ears.(How's that for an environmetally friendly coin purse)

Long nails on the pinky of little finger. (The better to pick the nose and ears with Ugh!)

Psssst! (Blowing or sucking in air to make noise to attract attention.)

Rubbing a handkerchief on or kissing the feet of statues of saints. (This was during the outbreak of SARS)

Calling waiters BOSS (Who ever started this should be banished.)

And of course, the definitive balikbayan boxYou can tell if the traveller is a Pinoy from the telltale (or shall I tell-all) balikbayan box. As if the box is not weird enough, what's inside the box is even weirder "corned beef" like as if we dont have corned beef in the Philippines.

A Light Moment

At a restaurant, an American guest was flabbergasted whent he waiter asked:"Have you pinis, sir?"Of course, he meant, "have you finished (eating), sir? so he could take away the plate.Filipinos, especially those who speak the Pampango dialect have difficulty differentiating the pronounciation of "P" from "F"
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:53 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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