10 Fun Facts about Filipinos

1. We love rice.

It’s quite common for Filipinos to have rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Tired of rice yet? Never! Even our dessert is made of rice.

My mom would scold us if there’s no freshly made rice round the clock since not having rice made is a catastrophe!


2. We are the Latinos of Asia.

People dancing cha-cha on the streets, my uncle playing his Spanish guitar, and attending mass with family and friends are some of my memories while living in the Philippines.

Many people are often confused that Filipinos have Spanish last names and that’s because we were colonized by Spain for more than 300 years. When Filipinos and Latin Americans get to know each other, both groups tend to find that they have so much in common.


3. We point at things using our lips.

It might be weird and confusing for non-Filipinos to see. But try it yourself, and you might find it to be quite efficient.


4. We party a lot!

Life’s not one big party but many big parties when you’re a Filipino. Seems like everyone celebrates their birthdays. And of course, in the usual Filipino style there’s always a LOT of food.

Attending a Filipino party is like going to a complimentary all-you-can eat buffet that still allow you to do take-outs after you’ve stuffed yourself already.


5. Your nurse is probably Filipino

It has been a running joke in many Filipino communities especially in North America that at least one member of any Filipino family is a nurse. Even the Filipino-American comedian, Jokoy, remarks this on his comedy skit, stating:

“I became a comedian, which is totally against the grain when you have a Filipino mom. If you have a Filipino mom, that is not the career choice you’re supposed to have…My mom wanted me to be a nurse!”

His mom continued by saying that “All your aunties are nurses, your cousins are nurses…”

It has been estimated that Filipino nurses make up about 25% of all overseas nurses worldwide making Philippines the largest supplier of nurses.

If you’ve ever wondered if you’ve ever met a Filipino person, then think back to the last time you were at a hospital, that Asian, Polynesian looking nurse with a Spanish last name is most likely Filipino.


6. We eat with our bare hands!

Sure, most of the time you see Filipinos eat using spoon and fork, but that’s what we use when we’re out in public. But when we’re home with our families, nothing make the food taste better than using our bare hands.

To the surprise of our Asian neighbors, we also don’t use chopsticks. My Vietnamese friend learned this the hard way when she invited me over her house.

She handed me chopsticks to use with the noodle dish, and before we knew it, the chopsticks had flown across the room to where she was standing.

We bursted into laughter and she never offered me chopsticks again!


7. We do the “mano po”

This is a hand gesture where someone younger take an elderly person’s hand and put it on their forehead while saying “Mano po”. Respect for those older than you especially parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles is very important in the Filipino culture and this is one common way Filipinos show it.

If you are seriously dating a Filipino person and meeting her parents for the first time, this will definitely earn you points.

Just make sure you watch YouTube videos on this and practice beforehand to not make it awkward.


8. We love to SING!!!

See that shy quiet, Filipino kid. Show him a stage and he’ll transform into a world class entertainer!

Magic Mic, a smart microphone, not to be confused by a similar sounding popular American male stripper movie, is present in many Filipino households all around the world.

It’s actually a Filipino entrepreneur, Roberto del Rosarios, who holds a patent for the karaoke sing along system.


9. Yoyo is Filipino

It was a Filipino immigrant, Pedro Flores, who popularized the yoyo when he came to the United States and established the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company producing hundreds of thousands of yoyos daily. In Flores’ yoyo design, the yoyo is able to sleep (spin more) and this became a precursor for many other yoyo techniques. He hosted demonstrations and competitions creating great interest that helped make the yoyo one of the most successful toys ever that is still popular today.

Although the term yoyo is Filipino, no one knows who invented the first yoyo. Some speculate that it could have come from ancient Greece or China, but no one knows for sure.


10. We eat 10x a day!

Because it’s really hot in the Philippines, people wake up pretty early before sunrise. Some might have coffee or tea first thing in the morning. Then a couple hours later have breakfast, followed by lunch, then meryenda (official snack time), and dinner.

If you’re a night owl, then you can start the cycle of eating all over again.

So, 10x might be an exaggeration, but we do eat a lot!

Filipino parents are constantly offering their kids food asking Kumain ka na (Did you eat) and even when you reply that you have, they’ll still urge you to eat more.  My siblings used to joke that “we eat after we eat, then we eat some more.”

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