For any Filipino stepping into Australian borders for the first time, there is so much to be surprised about. Especially upon stepping inside an Australian home, there are so many things that would look for but fail to see, making them wonder, “How do they survive without them?”
The funny thing is, when Australians visit Filipino homes, they find all sorts of oddities than could leave them feeling amused or weirded out. In the same amazed manner, they would probably find themselves wondering, “How do they survive with all these?”
Indeed, stepping inside an authentic Filipino home could leave any foreigner feeling a little disoriented.
To Australians planning to visit the Philippines, this list should prepare you for things that could shock you.
For Filipino readers, this list should give you something to smile about, something that would remind you of the things you had to live with when you were still back home.
- Recycled ice cream containers
It’s not surprising to peek inside the freezer in ay Filipino home and seeing tubs of ice cream lying around.
Don’t be deceived though, because these containers do not have ice cream in them. More often than not, you’ll find pork, beef, or chicken inside, as these tubs are sturdy enough to use as storage.
- Newspapers and used bottles
Yup, you’ll find scores of old newspapers and bottles in every Filipino home mostly because these can be sold to neighbourhood junk shops by the kilo.
As for the glass bottles, they can be sold per bottle, or can be returned to small convenience stores in exchange of the deposit paid for them when they were first bought.
- Stand fans or desk fans
It doesn’t even matter if you enter a medium-income home, or a house of somebody who is well off. There is definitely going to be a fan or two lying around.
The Philippines is known for its tropical climate, so it’s normal for people to find something that could help them cool down. Sure, some homes have air conditioning. But you just can’t compare the calm, quiet cool that your AC brings to the hair-blowing wind that a fan can give.
Besides, Filipinos used fans for a number of different thigs as well. Not only do they serve as great hair dryers, you can use them as a clothes dryer as well.
- Rubber slippers
Sure, you call them flip-flops back where you’re from. In the Philippines however, we simply call them as tsinelas.
When Filipinos are at home, they would always be more comfortable walking around in rubber slippers. It’s not just because of the fact that these slippers are comfortable to wear. These slippers are also great for killing a passing cockroach or two.
- Wooden spoon and fork display
Nothing says breakfast, lunch, or dinner better than a spoon and fork bigger than your youngest child hanging on the dining room wall.
Many have attempted to find out what these are for and why they are always found in Filipino homes, but the answers are yet to be discovered.
- The Last Supper
Also gracing every Filipino home’s dining room is a framed representation of the Last Supper. Some are carved into wood, while some are embroidered into cloth. Some stick to the usual painted canvas, while some are more practical and would rather get the cheap poster.
It doesn’t matter what it’s made of, though. As long as you’re eating in a Filipino home, you would have to bear having Jesus and the twelve apostles watching your every bite.
- Sto. Nino and other religious statues
Majority of Filipinos are Catholics, so it will not be surprising that a lot of homes would have that religious touch regardless if they go to mass every Sunday or not.
Among the most popular of all the religious figures you would see would be the Sto. Nino (the child Jesus), while a lot of homes would also have figurines of the Virgin Mary or the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph).
- Tabo or dipper
When it comes to Filipino bathrooms, only a few have bidets in them. Instead of bidets, you would often find a pail or a drum filled with water and a plastic dipper for you to use.
And no, the tabo is not just something you use in the toilet. This is the same thing that Filipinos use to take baths, as tubs are not as common here and a lot of old-fashioned Pinoys see taking showers as a waste of water.
- Rice cooker and rice dispenser
Where Australians do not regard rice as a regular part of their daily diet, Filipinos could never survive without rice. In fact, almost every Filipino dish is patterned to be served with rice.
Because of this, almost every Filipino home has a rice cooker and a rice dispenser. For the more modest homes however, a regular storage bin is fine as far as keeping rice is concerned. Some are also talented enough to cook rice over a stove, or even over an open fire.
- Graduation pictures and diplomas
It’s every Filipino parent’s dream come true – being able to send their kids to school and seeing them graduate from college.
Because of this, they have acquired the habit of having every graduation picture and diploma framed and hung on walls. This is their version of a trophy case, a wall that allows them to silently brag that they worked hard enough to pay for tuition all the way until the end.
Seeing this list can make any foreigner laugh or shake their heads in disbelief, while Filipinos abroad would probably smile and remember the good times they had back home.
Without a doubt, this list shows just how unique Filipino culture truly is, a mark that sets every Filipino apart from all the others.