Author’s Note: The beauty of this article lies in its humorous and satirical nature. Therefore, while it does convey truths I, as a writer, want to convey, it must be read from that point of view. Enjoy!
Chinese-Filipinos have a unique identity, no doubt about it!
Although we Chinoys are Filipino in the sense that many of us were born, raised, and nurtured here in the Philippines, not to mention the fact that we do love this country, we are also Chinese by ethnicity and culture. In addition, we Chinoys are all unique; we have different talents and what not.
BUT there are also a lotta things we share in common! More than we might think, actually! Below is a list of just 12 of them. Without further ado, here they are:
1) White Flower: The cure to absolutely everything
It doesn’t matter whether you have a headache, stomachache, or maybe even a heartache because the ever-trusted friend White Flower will always be there for you! (Will always be there for you.. Sana all..)
In fact, White Flower is SO commonly used by Chinoys and non-Chinoys alike that we will dedicate a future article just for it. For now, let’s keep it at that: White Flower’s the way to go.
2) Presence of Chinese Medicine at home
Pei Pa Koa: Very familiar among Chinoys
Since we talked about White Flower!
Let’s be real: a number of Chinese medicines don’t taste good. But that doesn’t mean they’re not helpful! There are scientific studies that back the effectivity of Traditional Chinese Medicine and, while we ought to not accept everything as gospel truth all the time, openness to other forms of medicine besides Western medicine would do the medical community a lot of good.
3) Tikoy for CNY and mooncakes for MAF
Ah yes, it’s once again Chinese New Year! For Chinoy college and maybe not-so college students, the familiar phrase starts popping up from non-Chinoy friends, “Pahinging tikoy?!” Please, Chinoy homes aren’t tikoy factories…
In all seriousness, though, I think this is a recognition of our Chinoy culture: we eat tikoy during Chinese New Year and mooncakes during Mid-Autumn Festival. We should be proud of it!
4) You do either of these at home:
No further explanation needed!
5) WAIT, don’t forget this
You recycle all your tupperwares and transform your cabinet into tupperware land!
6) You know who this is
Seriously, can you be a Chinoy music fan and not know who Teresa Teng is? Impossible!
Who can forget Yueliang Daibiao Wo De Xin (The Moon Represents My Heart)? Such a classic, innocent, and wholesome Chinese love song.. Truly, truly timeless!
7) You have the ability to use 3 or 4 different languages in just 2 sentences
Here’s what I mean: “How’s the food pala today? Ho jia ba?” Two sentences, 3 languages! Another example: “It’s been 2 months since last tayo nagkita ah. May howe na ba?” Sound familiar, single people?
We Chinoys are so linguistically capable that we can understand English, Tagalog (or Cebuano and the like, depending on where we’re from in the Philippines), and of course, our ancestral Minnan (often called “Hokkien” or “Fookien”). Cheers to diversity!
8) You know the struggles of 作文
Whether you’re from Chiang Kai-Shek (where they’re known to have amazingly difficult 作文) or from Xavier School (where students are known to start compositions with a 我家有几口人 sentence just to lengthen an essay), you know the struggles of compositions!
But we find a way around it anyway. Case in point: 我家有五口人：有爸爸，妈妈，姐姐，妹妹，和我。我爱我的家。爸爸妈妈爱我们。Don’t say you’ve never done something this. I was there, too.
9) You have a go-to list of Chinese restaurants for birthday celebrations
So it’s angkong’s 90th birthday. Everyone’s happy, there’s gonna be a big cake, and… you’re going to that same Chinese restaurant you went to when it was amma’s birthday.
Or if not that, some other very familiar Chinese restaurant! For our Chinoys in the Greenhills area, it’s easily either Gloria Maris, Choi Garden, and before it closed in the area, Lugang Café.
Speaking of birthday celebrations…
10) You automatically know what color to wear
I mean, it’s automatic: red clothes! Not green, not blue, not yellow, and most definitely not white… Unless you wanna get your amma mad.
Traditional Chinese belief holds that the color red wards away evil. Whether we believe that or not, red is definitely a symbol of happiness and celebration!
11) Strict parents
Planning on going on a hang out? Not before the parents know who exactly you’re going to be with first! #MayCurfewNaIyan
Seriously, to my fellow young Chinoys reading this, we might have good laughs when we talk about these things and that’s fine! We don’t mean to be disrespectful. Plus, our future children will probably be more sophisticated in making fun of us anyways, so we might as well have fun while we can.
12) But loving parents
But ultimately, we Chinoys know that our parents just mean the best for us. It’s tough love, but it’s love that nurtures, cares, and molds!
So, to end, how many were you able to relate to?
This listicle isn’t exhaustive, and to be honest, that it isn’t exhaustive is the beauty of it. Why? Well, that just means there’s so much more to Chinoys than meets the eye! Our identity is indeed so unique, and we must always treasure that!
Photos Credits: SCMP, Booky, CGTN, oxyt.lily-james.org, Says, Chinoy Online Community, Interior Design, Tabloid Nyata, Zomato
About the author:
Aaron S. Medina is a writer for CHiNOY TV and a member of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, a leading China Studies think tank. He likes writing, culture, theology, and watching Chinese dramas on Netflix! Follow him at https://www.facebook.com/aaron.joseph.s.medina