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Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako How Would You Know If You Are in a Filipino Party?
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Written by Jesse Jose   
Saturday, 28 March 2009 08:37

T his is so hilarious, but true. It was sent to me by Ed Navarra, a fellow club member of an all-male, BARAKO-types only, known as “DOMs.”   

 

And because of this article’s Filipino-ness, I wish to dedicate it to all my fellow DOMs, but most especially to Don Azarias, Chicago’s most vocal Fil-Am community leader and the most prolific among the members of our most exclusive club. 

 

It’s clean reading … clean enough, I am sure, even for non-members of the DOMs Club.  Here it is.  Enjoy.  It’s titled: “How would you know if you’re in a Filipino party?”  

 

Editor’s Note: The real author or authors of this humorous narrative are unknown. 

 

W hen: You’re an hour late and there is still nobody else there!   

 

There’s enough food to feed the Philippines.   

 

You can’t even get through the door because there’s a pile of 50 pairs of shoes blocking the entrance. 

 

You see a huge fork and spoon on the wall, a framed picture of the “The Last Supper," a huge Santo Nino, and a barrel man (or Buddha).   

 

They start singing “Peelings” on karaoke … or you hear a male voice on the karaoke trying to emulate Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”  Or, they play “Achy-Breaky Heart” over and over again. 

 

Or when everybody seems to have their own magic mike with “their” songs …. 

 

The living room is tiled, not carpeted, because the furniture has been cleared out for karaoke and dancing.  You’re told only to walk on the plastic floor runners. 

 

You’re greeted by a Tita Baby and/or a Tito Boy 

 

The piano in the living room is just there for decoration and to display framed family pictures on.  No one really plays the piano at the house, unless you count that one piano lesson the parents forced on one of the children to go to when that child was eight. 

 

And when you enter, you “mano” half the old crowd and when you leave, you have to say goodbye to EVERYONE that’s related to you as a sign of respect that you end up saying hello and goodbye for a total of 30-40 minutes. 

 

Or when you hear an Uncle traumatize one of the female cousins by saying, “Oh, you’re a big girl now!” instead of, “You’re all grown up!” 

 

And you have an Auntie that likes to grab your “thing” and calls it a “little birdie” or “pitotoy.” 

 

The older men are in the garage playing posoy-dos, the women are in the kitchen gossiping, the other people are in the entertainment room singing karaoke, and the kids are outside the streets running around unsupervised by any adults. 

 

The drunken uncles in the backyard don’t even bother going to the bathroom to take a piss … the rose bushes are designated to be the community urinals. 

 

And when the old U.S. Navy retired Ilocano “Manongs” see old friends at the party, you hear: “UKI NAM!  LONG TIME, NO SEE!  SHEE…it!” 

 

There’s a goat-meat pulutan being cooked. 

 

There’s a crazy woman with a camera going around the house snapping away and yelling, “Uy peeeeek-chuuuur!” 

 

Parents expect their children to be great friends with their friends’ kids just because they (the parents) grew up as best friends back in the Philippines. 

 

Parents also like to show off how talented their kids are by forcing them to sing or play an instrument in front of guests. 

 

Someone tells you how much weight you’ve put on since they last saw you, and then hands you a plate and says, “go ETTTTT, go ETTTTT!” 

 

Or someone, an Auntie or a Manang asks you, “Did you ETTTTT?” And you say, ‘Yes, Auntie, I am full!  And she says, “We hab kanin … you ETTTT!” 

 

Or someone is encouraging you to eat the “chocolate meat” (dinuguan). 

 

There’s a token white guy there in the party that’s responsible for bringing one of your aunts over from the Philippines by marrying her. 

C hances are the hottest-looking chick there is only 14-years-old … and she ends up being one of your cousins. 

 

The aunties like to show off their “designer" Louis Vuitton and Coach bags that they secretly bought at a swap meet in the Philippines. 

 

They constantly ask you if you have a gf/bf, or if you’re married yet … and when you say “No,” they’re like “Oh, why not?” and then they just so happen to know someone to hook you up with that’s “perfect” for you ... 

You see banana ketchup. 

 

* Editor’s Note: Apparently this part of the narrative does not happen in Bicolano-American households. For to many Bicolnons, Tabasco is their equivalent of the ketchup. So, don’t ask them what they use for Tabasco. To read more of the Bicolano traits, please click on this link, Top Twelve Reasons for Telling If a Filipino Is a Bicolano 

 

The lumpia (spring roll) is gone in five minutes and they’re frying up another batch. 

 

Relatives will ask you where you work and if it’s a retail job or if you workat an amusement park, they’ll ask you if you can get them a discount. 

 

S omeone is always in the kitchen constantly cleaning up, and you’re not sure if she’s the maid or a relative, so you greet and kiss her or them on the cheek anyway, just in case . . . 

 

After the party, you’re helping out clean up and your auntie tells you, “Anak, put the kwan next to the ano.” 

 

The house is full of uncles and aunties that you aren’t even blood related to. 

 

When you say, “PSSSSSSSSSSTTT…” out loud, everyone turns to look because it’s the universal way to get a Filipino’s attention. 

 

Last but not least: They have the Pacquiao fight on the illegal cable boxes on the 70’ LCD in the movie room, the 10-year-old 50’ CRT in the living room, the 15-year-old 30’ tube in the breakfast nook, the 20-year-old 15’ tube in the kitchen, the 30-year-old 13’ tube in the garage and the little portable by the BBQ grill … because TVs are never retired in a Filipino household, they merely get demoted to whichever room doesn’t have a TV yet … then it ends up in the balikbayan box to be sent to a relative back home.  Only then it becomes the main TV at the house again …  

 

Ang Pilipino, kakaiba at unique talaga.  JJ 

 



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Last Updated on Saturday, 28 March 2009 08:54
 
Comments (1)
1 Saturday, 28 March 2009 20:31
Jesse,
A lot of your readers from the Chicagoland area, myself included, had a grand time reading your column. This is, indeed, a true article that comes to life in describing the Filipino-Americans' way of life in these United States. Almost everything presented here can depiict the Filipino ways be it Ilocano, Bicolano, Tagalog, Visaya or whatever region the characters are from. Maybe you should start doing this from now on. Have your readers send you articles that reflect Filipino ways as we do it in whatever situations they are portrayed. Mabuhay to you and Bobby Reyes!

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