What Canadians Think of Filipinos
PhotoCredit: Ate Loida
Canada is truly a multicultural country. In fact, in Winnipeg, you could consider that the 3rd language is Tagalog because of the number of Filipinos living there (about 1 out of 10 Filipinos in Canada call Winnipeg home). In the company that I am working on, we have something called the “Culture Club” where we talk about the diversity of different cultures of different countries. In one conversation, we had a topic where we talked about “Filipino Stereotype”. That’s my first time to engage in that kind of conversation that’s why I didn’t know whether to defend an argument or just agree so that the talk would be over. Anyway, here are some of the things that they mentioned about what they think of Filipinos: Note this small sample size doesn’t represent all.
They heard that we Filipinos have this infamous habit of always being late. Well, it’s not something to be proud of but it’s true. I still don’t know why we have that attitude and can’t get rid of it, but here in Canada, time is of great importance, it is better exercise punctuality since it’s also a good thing to give respect to time.
My thought: In the Philippines, it’s 80-20. 80 percent of the people still have that attitude, but in Canada it is 20-80.
“Filipinos love Asian car brands”
I thought, I have a Nissan, my brother-in-law has a Honda, and my friend has a Mitsubishi. My answer is, “you’re right.” Majority of Filipinos use Asian car brands probably because most cars back in the Philippines are owned by Asian companies and most Filipinos would rather buy Asian car brands since they deem it as more trustworthy. However, some still drive American car brands but not that much.
“You eat rice every day? Every meal? Wow, you’re crazy!”
A meal is not a meal without rice, every Filipino knows that 😉 They also say that Filipinos live longer and more healthier because we eat rice.
Canadian: I love rice, I eat it at lunch and maybe at dinner too, but come on guys, rice on breakfast? Only Filipinos do that 🙂 Even merienda consists of rice 😛
Filipino: hahaha, yes, we mix anything with rice. *states Filipino dishes with rice*
“You take a bath every day? Even it’s too hot or too cold?”
Filipino: Not anymore hahaha, but I believe most Filipinos, especially the newcomers, still do even in winter.
Yes, coming from a tropical country where the air is humid, it’s in our nature to take care of our personal hygiene by regularly taking a bath every day even in the harsh cold weather of Canada.
“Every Filipino can sing”
*sigh* *deep breath* That was hard to answer since I’m not really a singer and they might ask me to sing but yes, speaking in presumption, almost every Filipino can sing. We are a race gifted with golden voice and that is something to be proud of!
“Why are you noisy?”
Maybe because we are always happy. Philippines may not be the happiest place to live in but I believe, we Filipinos are the happiest people on earth (even though a survey only ranks PH as 5th happiest country in the world). This is probably due to the fact that we Filipinos generally have an amazing personality plus a unique culture. *wink wink*
“You love to use acronyms”
Hahaha, I don’t even know what to say, maybe it’s just because we used to shorten some words whenever we send text messages. At first, they didn’t want to believe it so they tested US with some acronyms.
CR for Comfort Room
DI for dance instructor
DOM for dirty old man
TNT for “tago nang tago”
KJ for kill joy
KSP for “kulang sa pansin”
OA for over-acting
TL for true love
BF for boyfriend
GF for girlfriend
“You’re related to everyone”
If you’re here in Canada or anywhere abroad, everyone you know is like your own relative. This is generally because of our friendly attitude because we treat our acquaintances as if they are family. Plus, most of the Filipinos who are in Canada are here because of family sponsorships and petitions to immigrate eligible relatives that’s why our connections are infinite.
“You need to feed everyone”
Ah yes, that is innately Filipino. We Filipinos are renowned for our world-class hospitality and that transcends beyond food. We Filipinos are also used to preparing excessive amounts of food for visitors, is it perhaps because they are scared of rumors spreading that they are short of food? Just kidding.
Actually, there are still a lot of Filipino stereotypes that exist out there, the examples above are just the ones that they mentioned but anyway, all of these are distinctly Filipino characteristics and whether or not it is positive or negative, we accept it with open arms because that’s what we are. That’s what makes us Filipinos. We bear it because it is our identity, and being a Filipino is truly truly something to be proud of!
In addition, here are some of the stereotypes that are undeniably Filipino! Can you spot yourself in one of those?
– Your parents call each other “Mommy” and “Daddy.”
– You have relatives whose nicknames consist of repeated syllables like “Jun-Jun,” “Ling-Ling,” and “Mon-Mon.”
– You have four or five names.
– You greet your elders by touching their hands and putting it to your forehead.
– You always kiss your relatives on the cheek whenever you enter or leave the room.
– You follow your parents’ house rules even if you are over 18.
– You live with your parents until and at times even after you’re married.
– You make your children sing and dance to amuse your friends and relatives.
– You decorate your living room wall with your family’s framed diplomas and plaques.
– You keep a fly swatter in your kitchen.
– Your kitchen table has a vinyl tablecloth.
– You recycle shopping bags as garbage bags.
– You keep a tabo in your bathroom.
– You eat with your hands.
– You eat more than three times a day.
– You use your fingers to measure the water you need to cook rice.
– You eat your meal using a spoon and fork.
– You cut your meat with a spoon or fork.
– You think sandwiches are snacks, not meals.
– You feed all your visitors.
– You always cook too much.
– You bring baon to work everyday.
– You wash and re-use plastic utensils, styrofoam cups, and aluminum wrappers.
– Your pantry is never without Spam, Vienna sausage, corned beef, and sardines.
– You love to eat daing or tuyo.
– You prop up one knee while eating.
– You eat your meal with patis, toyo, suka, banana catsup, or bagoong.
– Your tablecloths are stained with toyo circles.
– You love sticky desserts and salty snacks.
– You eat fried Spam and hot dogs with rice.
– You love “dirty” ice cream.
– You love to eat, yet often manage to stay slim.
– You grab a toothpick after every meal.
– When dining out, you always fight over who will pay for dinner.
– You put hot dogs in your spaghetti.
– Everything you eat is sauted in garlic, onion, and tomatoes.
– You order a “soft drink” instead of soda.
– You eat rice for breakfast.
– You get together with family at a cemetery on All Saint’s Day to eat, drink, and tell stories by your loved ones’ graves.
– You think Christmas season begins in October and ends in January.
– Your second piece of luggage is a balikbayan box.
– You collect items from airlines, hotels, and restaurants as “souvenirs.”
– You feel obligated to give pasalubong to all your friends and relatives each time you return from a trip.
– You can’t make a purchase without haggling.
– You use paper foot outlines when buying shoes for friends and relatives.
– You point with your lips.
– You greet one another by raising your eyebrows or tossing your head.
– You hold your palms together in front of you and say “excuse, excuse” when you pass in between people or in front of the TV.
– You scratch your head when you don’t know an answer to a question.
– You smile all the time for no reason.
– You ask for the bill at a restaurant by making a rectangle in the air.
– You cover your mouth when you laugh.
– You respond to a “Hoy!” or a “Pssst!” in a crowd.
– You’ll answer “Malapit lang!”–no matter the distance–when asked how far away a place is located.
– You prefer to Mercedes Benz as “chedeng.”
– Goldilocks is more than a fairy tale character to you.
– You refer to power interruptions as “brownouts.”
– You say “rubber shoes” instead of sneakers, “ball pen” instead of pen, “stockings” instead of pantyhose, “pampers” instead of diapers,”ref” or “prijider” instead of refrigerator, “Colgate” instead of toothpaste, “canteen” instead of cafeteria, and “open” or “close” instead of turn on or turn off (as in the lights).
-You always leave your shoes or slippers outside the doorstep.
– You use an umbrella for shade on hot summer days.
– You prefer sitting in the shade instead of basking in the sun.
– You like everything imported or “state-side.”
– You love ballroom dancing, bowling, pusoy, mah jong, billiards, and karaoke.
– You hang your clothes out to dry in a laundry line.
– You have a relative who is a nurse.
– When you’re in a restaurant, you wipe your plate and utensils before using them.
– You can squeeze 15 passengers into your five seater car without a second thought.
– You wave a pom-pom on a stick around the food to keep the flies away.
– You always ring a doorbell twice, assuming that the first ring was not heard.
– You let the phone ring twice before answering, lest you appear overly eager.
– You laughed at every single one of these statements and couldn’t believe how true they are! 😀