Any Australian who’s dating a Filipina would tell you that just as they have a unique brand of beauty, they also have their own sets of quirks that make them 100% Pinoy. Being a Filipina, after all, is more than just the black hair, the tanned skin, and the warm smile.
It all goes deeper than that.
Here are a few signs that you’re dating a true blue Filipina:
Her bond with her family is unbelievable
Some get overwhelmed, while some welcome the idea of having more people to call as their family. Regardless of how you’re going to look at it, having a Filipina girlfriend would mean weekly family lunches or dinners with every imaginable family member they have.
If their family is far away, this means that they would have to spend a few hours each week just catching up. It’s not even necessary for anything huge to happen, like an announcement that somebody’s getting married, or a death in the family. They can spend hours just talking about who so and so is dating, or about how one of the dogs got pregnant.
She has a different definition of family
If you’ve gotten used to the idea of classifying people as ‘immediate family’ or ‘extended family’, brace yourself for a real shocker. For Filipinos, family is family, no ifs or buts in between.
This also means that on those family lunches and dinners that we were talking about earlier, don’t expect just a mom, a dad, a brother and a sister to be there. You would also have to expect a few titos (uncles) and titas (aunts), a cousin from your dad’s mom’s side, and the brother of the husband of an aunt’s friend.
It’s a good thing that younger generations also skip out on a lot of Filipino superstitions. Otherwise, you’d have to watch your step all the time as almost every single gesture you make could mean something bad.
Despite the more modern thinking that younger Filipinas have adopted, there will still be a few superstitions lingering that you would probably find weird. Some would avoid sleeping after taking a bath for example, because they were told as kids that this would make them go crazy. Whether they believe it or not doesn’t matter – it has just become a subconscious practice for them, much like not leaving the table while someone is still eating, or that person will never get the chance to get married.
She’s crazy resourceful
Used gift wrappers. Shopping bags. Ice cream containers. Water bottles. Name it, a Filipina can recycle it. They can also find quick fixes to a lot of things, like ripped dresses, broken heels, and other sudden booboos. They would often have an extra safety pin somewhere, or some tape. Especially if she belongs to a generation that grew up watching MacGyver on local Philippine TV, then she would probably have a few tricks up her sleeve.
She sings her heart out
Remember that we’re not saying she can sing well (although a lot of Filipinas DO have the gift of voice) – only that when she sings, she sings her heart out.
It could be while she’s taking a shower, or while she’s cooking one of your favourite meals. A Filipina always has a soundtrack playing in her head, setting the mood for whatever it is she’s doing. And yes, mention karaoke and you’ll see her hogging the mic in no time.
Filipino cuisine is really something. It’s a mix of a whole lot of flavours, with some Chinese, Spanish, American, and other cuisines mixed into it.
If you have never tried Filipino cuisine though, don’t be put off by the smell. Yes, almost everything they eat smells weird to an Australian, but go beyond what your nose tells you and try to take a bite or two. Trust me. It may leave a weird sensation in your mouth the first time you try it, but that’s just a few of your taste buds savouring the strong flavours that they probably aren’t used to. Their Adobo, Sinigang, and other native delicacies are definitely to die for.
She eats like a guy
It’s somehow refreshing to see a girl eating as much as any guy you know. She does come from a culture that eats rice morning, day, and night, so it’s not really surprising considering how much carbs they put into their bodies (often with very little effect to their weight).
This, of course, is a welcome sight for guys who have gotten tired of seeing girls make such a fuss about calories and pounds and watching them whine about imaginary flabs that they gained when they took one bite too much.
Did you forget your anniversary? Didn’t notice the new haircut? Failed to answer her calls? Didn’t say ‘I love you’ before ending the call? Better brace yourself, because here comes the dreaded ‘tampo’.
Tampo is a Filipino term that does not really have a direct English translation. It’s a mix of different emotions and reactions. She sulks in one corner and pretends that you’re invisible. Ask her a question and you’ll hear a low growl similar to the sound you’ll hear from a threatened dog. In extreme cases, you might also see a few plates flying around.
Knowing how to calm her down when she goes into this state is a huge plus for guys, as the tampo usually gets worse the longer it takes for you to figure out what’s going on. It can involve saying sorry a million times and giving her a tub of ice cream, or anything else that would make her happy, like a box of chocolates, a fancy dinner at her favourite place, or a shopping spree.
She knows how to take care of a guy.
There’s a reason why the Filipino people have always been known as a hospitable bunch. They welcome anyone and everyone into their homes and are ready to feed, entertain, and take care of their guests.
This is the same mentality that Filipinas have when it comes to their boyfriends. They’ll be more than happy to have a home cooked meal ready for you when you get home, and would even be ready with a massage after a long day. No, this is not a way of showing you that they are beneath you in any way. It’s just their own way of showing you how much they care.
Of course, you can’t exactly generalize an entire culture. Filipinas have become a lot more modern and liberal over the years, which means that you may come across a few Filipinas who may not behave the same way as others do.
Despite this, you would still see a tell-tale sign or two that would give you a slight peek at the traditional Filipina within them. Whether it’s with the way she eats or the way she reacts to your little faults, the culture they have grown up in will always find ways to come out.
Special thanks to Peter Claus for the main image.