Friday, February 19, 2016

Interracial Marriage Funnies

Being part of an interracial marriage is fun(ny). Brian and I have learned a lot about each other's backgrounds through the years. While he loves the Filipino culture---the positivism, resiliency and hospitality---there are some things that puzzle him about his foreign girl and her background.

Whenever he asks for explanations on certain things that are unfamiliar to him and I have no reasonable answers to them, I always chuck it to, "It's the culture." Well, here are a few cultural funnies that B has come to accept:

1. Filipinos love food



Because what's not to love?

"Have you had anything to eat?" is probably my culture's version of "Hello! How are you?" That's how we greet each other. Food is central in our lives. When B first visited the Philippines, this is something that he immediately noticed. Every relative or friend that he meets gives him a huge hug followed by the question, "Are you hungry?" or "Let's eat!" Being the kind soul that he is, he couldn't find it in his heart to say no to the offerings. One night, he came up to me and asked, "Miles, is there a polite way of saying stop shoving food down my throat here? I do not know how to say no so I eat everything even if I am full!"

Yes B, you will break hearts and shatter self-esteem if you reject our food.



2. Terminologies
When we started living together in 2014, B discovered that there is such a thing as Filipino English.

Miles: B, can you put this in the ref?
B: What is a ref? Oh... You mean fridge?

Miles: It's so hot, let's turn on the aircon!
B: Are you referring to the AC?

B: Where is it?
Miles: .....
B: Miles? What's wrong?
Miles: (Using my pursed lips to point to the direction of the item)

Note: Filipinos are notorious for using their lips to point at things. 

3. Breakfast 
In the Philippines, we eat breakfast like champions. A normal breakfast consists of beef with rice, hotdog with rice, dried fish with rice, spam with rice, Spanish bacon (tocino) with rice ... Heck, anything with rice... Or even, anything at all --- leftover meals make wonderful brekky! So, it surprises B to see me fully load my tiny frame with so.much.carbs. at 8 in the morning.

B: Are you seriously having bacon and rice for breakfast? Who does that?
Miles: Approximately 98 million people... living in the Philippines.

4. The love for photos



1st of 10 shots of the same image. Check out my uncle taking a photo of the photographer --- that's some serious inception right there...

Every time friends and family get together over dinner/lunch/brunch/snacks (food!) you can always bet that someone will immediately call out, "Picture!!" and no, it does not end with just one snap. Someone else would want an original copy in their own mobile phone instead of just grabbing the first photo --- so, it is common to see a waiter hold approximately 5 phones to take 5 identical photos (sometimes 10 photos, because, you know, you need a "safety shot" in case the first image does not come out well.)

B: Why can't they just share the first photo to everyone?
Miles: Because it does not work that way...

5. Everyone is related

B: Why do you call your mom's friend's bestfriend's godmother's neighbor "Aunt" when you guys are not even related... And you guys only just met?
Miles: Uhmmm... It's just how it is?

6. Boy-Boy, Girlie, Jun-Jun, Baby, Jeck-Jeck are real Filipino names used by adults

B: I feel weird calling your 40 y.o. aunt "Baby."
Miles: It's all in the mind.

If you're a Filipino who is part of a multicultural relationship and have something to add, let me know!
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