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The Best Things About Filipino

What is being a Pinoy all about--aside from pointing with our lips and having an action star for our President? We talked among ourselves and we tried to come up with the 100 best things about being a Pinoy. Okay, okay! So, the idea is not so original, after all, the Philippine Sunday Inquirer Magazine already published their 100 Best Things in their centennial issue. But we tried to do this on our own, without referring to the SI's article (really!).

We hope that these will make you smile and will make you laugh. Above all, we sincerely hope that these things will make you proud of being a Pinoy.

1. Simbang Gabi. Nine dawn masses during the Christmas season. Attended by the religious, the people with panata, the uzis, and the girl and boy watchers. Of course, Simbang Gabi is not complete without the mouth-watering bibingka and puto bumbong sold outside the church.

2. Tabo. An absolute way of identifying a kabayan in a foreign land.

3. Po at opo. Shows the importance and respect accorded to the elderly and the authority. Children in the Tagalog areas are taught (trained?) to say po and opo before and after every sentence.

4. Tingi-tingi. Where else can we buy one tablespoon of Star margarine, peanut butter, or matamis na bao? Or a 10 ml shampoo and a five gram toothpaste in a sachet?

5. Sawsawan. Patis, toyo at kalamansi, suka at sili. Spices up ordinary dishes and gives one freedom to experiment with various concoctions. What better way to stimulate the appetite? Hmmm!

6. San Miguel Beer. Considered to be one of the world's best. Para sa Pinoy, iba ang may pinagsamahan.

7. Kakanin. Puto, kutsinta, sapin-sapin, suman sa ibus, bibingka, puto bungbong, maja blanka, bico, atbp. What would fiestas, Pasko, Bagong Taon, at Pista ng Patay be without these native delicacies?

8. Kutkutin. Butong pakwan, kalabasa, kornik, at mani. Sa lamayan, sa handaan, sa inuman, o sa kuwentuhan, kutkutin ang kailangan.

9. Parol. The Pinoy symbol of the Star of Bethlehem. Bright and colorful, the parol adorns every household during the Christmas season.

10. Pambahay. Ang isang Pinoy, naka-amerikana man sa opisina o kaya'y naka-uniporme sa eskuwela, ay siguradong magpapalit sa duster, puruntong, o kaya'y t-shirt pag-uwi ng bahay. At 'di tulad ng mga dayuhan na ang tsinelas ay sapatos pa rin, ang tsinelas ng Pinoy ay Spartan, bakya, o kaya'y abaca.

11. Song translations. Foreign song hits translated to Filipino to become more madamdamin.

12. Dirty Ice Cream. Well-loved by Filipino children, the dirty ice cream is pedalled from one household to another. This ice cream comes in the usual cones and sometimes, on bread bunwiches. It costs cheap and has a variety of flavors - cheese, mango, avocado, chocolate. Name it and the Mamang Sorbetero has it!

13. Balut, penoy. Balut is the luscious embryo of ducks. Penoy, on the other hand, is also duck egg but without the baby duck. Both are Pinoy delicacies and both are very nutritious. As they say, "Ang balut at penoy ay pampalakas ng tuhod".

14. Choconut. Who could ever forget Choc-nut, the sweet mini peanut butter bars which give everyone, young and old alike, delight? As they say, once you get to taste it, there's no stopping your asking for more!

15. Sabong. The Filipino term for cock derby, sabong is a favorite Pinoy past time, especially in the rural communities. It has its own mechanics and rules which make the game more exciting.

16. Ninoy Aquino. A model of bravery and self-sacrifice, he is certainly one Pinoy whom we can be truly proud of. He has uttered the words "A Filipino is worth dying for" and has thus proven this by offering his life for the Filipino people.

17. Sing-a-long. This is a clear proof of the Filipino's love for music. Everywhere you go, may it be in bars, in small restaurants or even in carnivals, you'll always find a sing-a-long machine (which can be considered as the modern version of juke box stations). Just drop a coin or two and pronto!!! - you'll hear the latest songs on play.

18. Christmas season. We are the folks to observe the longest Christmas season. And why not? The spirit of giving and sharing is in our hearts.

19. Soap operas. Flor de Luna, Gulong ng Palad, Anna Luna, Mula sa Puso. Long before the telenovelas became hits in t.v., these soap operas captured the interest of the Filipino viewing masses. With themes tackling the ups and downs of life, these programs continued to touch and influence the lives of many.

20. Pinoy Komiks. Aliw, Hiwaga, Liwayway. Long before international magazines like Glamour, Vogue, Teen, etc. came out in circulation, these Pinoy publications were printed and suited for the needs of the Filipino masses.

21. Ano, kuwan, eh. These are the expressions Filipinos use when they find themselves at a loss for the words. It is common to hear a Filipino saying "yung ano-" or "yung kuwan" at the middle of a conversation. Amusing, isn't it? These 'word-gap-fillers' certainly work. What's amazing is that we manage to understand each other even when we're not certain about what the other is talking about!

22. Halo-halo. A very delicious refreshment that offers a variety of native sweets. Halo-halo is more than just a desert, it is a meal in itself.

23. Multo, kapre, tikbalang, manananggal, tik-tik, duwende. Spooky creatures that added spice to our childhood adventures. Stories about these grotesque creatures never fail to amaze us.

24. Jeans. Comfort is a very important factor to consider when we're expressing our fashion statement and there's no doubt, we find comfort in jeans.

25. Hilod. Long before loofah invaded the Filipinos bathrooms, hilod was the available "scouring pad" of our bodies. It just proves that we Filipinos value personal hygiene.

26. Darna, Dyesebel, Cap't Barbel, Lastik Man, Kenkoy. They are the Filipino superheroes who were created by the imaginative minds of Filipino cartoonists and artists. Initially introduced in print media, these characters also appeared in television when special cartoon shows and movies were created for them.

27. Kamag-anak. A Filipino has hundreds of kamag-anak. Filipinos value kinship so much that we acknowledge even the "pamangkin of the pinsan of the bayaw of the kapatid...."

28. CJ de Silva. If da Vinci or Van Gogh were still alive, they would truly hail this very young painter who is, well, a Pinay.

29. Sarao jeepney. A showcase of the Filipino ingenuity, the jeepney is the assembled remnants of World War II. You have to agree with us, it's much more economical to ride jeepneys, especially in these days of economic slump.

30. Tricycles, sidecars, pedicabs. Thank God for these vehicles which can squeeze in at even the narrowest "eskinita" in our country and for the pedicab drivers who furiously pedal to bring us to our destinations.

31. Philippine Eagle. This magnificent, royal, and endangered bird is Filipino, too. Now, if only we could save them from extinction.

32. Terno, baro't saya, Barong Tagalog. One of the unique and best ways of representing the Pinoys abroad.

33. Paeng, Akiko, Lydia, Bea, Onyok, Eric, etc. They make their fellows Pinoys and Pinays gleam with pride and hope that we will soon be recognized as champions in the Olympic games.

34. Resilience. Spanish colonization, American rule, Japanese invasion, earthquakes, typhoons, Martial Law, coup d'etats, El Niño-we have seen them all, we have survived them all.

35. Padala. This is the Filipino system of delivery or door-to-door remittances. It is usual to hear an OFW asking a companion to drop an item or two for his family back at the Philippines.

36. Nora at Vilma. Celebrities who have the largest circle of LOYAL fans. We should thank them for gracing the Philippine cinema and stage with their charisma, extraordinary talents, and unique beauties.

37. Dolphy. The greatest Filipino comedian of all times. Pidol is the longest living, too.

38. Sarsi. You're not a Filipino if you haven't had a gulp of this sarsaparilla. Known to many as the Filipino root beer, Sarsi has a distinctive Filipino taste.

39. Jollibee. The Filipino version of McDonald's, this food chain has captured the taste of the Filipinos with its specialties like the Yum, the Champ, and the palabok fiesta. Tayo nang magpunta sa Jollibee at langhapin ang sarap dito!

40. Divisoria. Divisoria offers a variety of items to choose from at very, very low price-shoes, shirts, bags, textiles, candles, toys. Name it and Divisoria has it!

41. Bahay-Kubo. The traditional humble homes of Filipinos in the provinces. This structure, which is made from materials like pawid, kugon, and nipa, manifests the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Filipinos.

42. Siesta. When the sun is at its peak, what else can one do? Well, we ordinarily spend our afternoons taking a break from school or office work or even from household chores by snoozing. We have devised a way of alluding the heat of the noonday sun. Thank heavens, there's such a thing as siesta!

43. Balikbayan Box. They say that Filipinos are inherently generous, especially when it comes to giving pasalubong and other presents. Well, this is one of the clear proofs that we surely are generous! Balikbayans come home with 2 x 2 x 2 ft boxes filled with corned beef, shampoos, and bars of soaps, which are to be given to their relatives and friends.

44. Pasalubong. Ang ina-abangan ng lahat-ang pasalubong. Pumunta man sa ibang bansa, sa kabilang barrio, o sa kabilang kanto, kailangan may dalang pasalubong.

45. Pagmamano. Respect for the elders can be shown in various ways. Pagmamano is THE Filipino way.

46. Bayanihan. Put simply. It's pagtutulngan sa oras ng pangangailangan.

47. San Lorenzo Ruiz. The first Filipino saint, he is an exemplar of courage and martyrdom for the Catholic faith. Thank heavens we have him for a saint. At least now, we can be assured that someone up there is praying for the Filipino people.

48. Kapit-bahay. He lives outside of your house, he's certainly not an outsider to your family. He's someone you frequently chat with when you have nothing else to do at home. You share your blessing with him, even your family's viand for the day. Yes, that's your friendly neighbor.

49. Filipino folktales. Who could ever forget the intrepidity of Lam-ang, the struggles of Malakas at Maganda, and the salient idleness of Juan Tamad? Well, these are the stories Filipino children grew up with. Passed on from generation to another by word of mouth, these folk tales continue to enrich the heritage of the Filipinos.

50. Bagoong. Who could ever say no to manggang hilaw topped with mouth-watering bagoong? Well, I can't.! Bagoong, one the Pinoy's specialties, is made from small fishes or shrimps. Despite its not so attractive appearance, bagoong simply is irresistible.
100 Best Things About Being a Pinoy

51. Tropical fruits. Mangga, saging, dalanghita, lanzones, siniguelas, papaya, tis-an unending list of fruits to choose from. This is certainly one of the best things we can offer especially to those foreigners who never had a taste of these succulent fruits.

52. U.P. The Philippines' premier state university, U.P. is known for producing intellectual, vigilant, and patriotic citizens.

53. Kapwa. A word that can't be translated because this is unique to Pinoy's culture. We don't treat others as strangers but as people we can identify with, as people who in some ways all connected with us.

54. Magsasaka. Being an agricultural country, farming is the foundation of the Philippines' economy.

55. Filipino dances. Tinikling, Pandanggo sa ilaw, Itik-itik. These Filipino dances exhibit the innate gracefulness of the Filipino.

56. Samalamig. Sago't gulaman, melon juice, buko juice. Siguradong pamatid uhaw.

57. Mayon volcano. Considered as the eight wonder of the natural world, Mayon Volcano has a perfect cone shape and smooth slope
58. Streetfoods. Fishball, isaw, kikiam, banana Q, maruya, turon, adidas, bituka, dugo, laman-loob. These are the foods that can be seen along the streets. Tasty and delicious, these are truly Pinoy.

59. Filipino singers. Lea, Regine, Monique, Pilita, Ka Freddie. The Pinoys are very musically-inclined. And these world-renowned artists are the proofs of it.

60. Filipino actors and actresses. Nora Aunor, Philip Salvador, Vilma Santos, Albert Martrinez, Lea Salonga. Though we only have a few internationally-acclaimed actors and actresses, their awards still show how talented we Filipinos are.

61. Jose Rizal. Some say he is the greatest Filipino ever. He fought with his pen and not with his strength, which is far, far more powerful.

62. Larong Pinoy. Patintero, sungka, piko, tumbang preso, sipa, chato. Thses games show the creativity of the Pinoy mind. Long before arcade games came into being, these games were already played and enjoyed by our lolos and lolas.

63. Pilots and seamen. Pinoy pilots and seamen are the best in the world. I, for one, would not hesitate to trust my life with them.

64. Lupang hinirang. The Philippine national anthem. The march that shows the love of every Filipino to their mother country.

65. Ate, kuya, tito, tita, lolo, lola, manong, manang. We use these words although the people we address to are not our relatives. These show how much respect we give to elders.

66. Turo-turo. Turo-turo are food stands that are seen along the streets. Their menu of homecooked meals are on display and customers point (turo) to the food they want to eat, thus the name. Fods in these establishments are cheap and delicious.

67. Chicharon. Chicharon is anything that is deep fried, very crunchy, and dipped in vinegar. Pinoys are very fond of this delicacy.

68. Sinigang . According to one writer, sinigang is the best viand to represent the Pinoy. Sinigang is a blend of spiciness and sourness that will certainly make mouths water.

69. All Saints' Day. The celebration of the Pista ng Patay in the Philippines is very festive. People spend days in the cemetery. This tradition manifests the respect the Filipino has for the dead.

70. Banaue Rice Terraces. Banaue rice terraces is one of the best sights in the Philippines and is considered to be the eight wonder of the modern world. The rice terraces showcases the perseverance ingenuity of the Pinoys.

71. Fiestas. Fiestas are celebrated in respect for the town's patron saint, usually thanking the saint for a prosperous harvest. Everyone is welcome in every house and there's no limit to what you can eat.

72. Basketball. Basketball is a very popular game in the Philippines. Fans would kill and be killed for the sake of its favorite team.

73. Lambanog. Why drink tequila when there's a cheaper, not to mention, tastier alternatives available?

74. Hospitality. Pagiging magiliw sa bisita is a Pinoy trait that can be easily observed. Everyone is welcome and very much taken cared of.

75. Paglalamay. Filipinos pay their last respects to the deceased as they spend sleepless nights praying for and watching over him/her.

76. Festivals. The fun-loving nature of the Pinoys is manifested in the different festivals for which they spend much time, effort, and money celebrating.

77. Panliligaw. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, and live happily ever after, right? Not quite! In panliligaw, it's boy meets girl, he serenades her, brings her flowers, chocolates, and the like, serves her family, confesses his love for her....What happens next is up to her.

78. Tuba. The all-time favorite of manginginom in lands where coconut trees abound.

79. Kalesa. A very romantic mode of transportation, the kalesa was introduced by the Spanish.

80. Yoyo. Not only children but also adults play the yoyo. There are competitions where the players display their expertise by walking the dog or rocking the baby.

81. Beaches. Want to go to a place where the sun, sky, sand, and sea come together in perfect harmony? Look no further.....beaches in our country offer all these and more.

82. Tuyo. A very popular food for breakfast. Much more delicious than bacon especially when eaten with sinangag and kape.

83. Tiangge. The best thing about tiangge is the tawad, thus one can get her desired item at a lower price. It is a department store out of the mall.

84. Kamayan. If the Europeans have spoon and fork, the Chinese and the Japanese have chop sticks, we Pinoys have our hands.

85. Pamilya. One of the amazing things about the Pinoy is the importance we give to our families, be it our family of orientation or our family of procreation.

86. Education. Filipinos value education very much that parents prioritize their children's education. Kahit na magkabaon-baon sa utang basta makapag-aral lamang ang mga anak.

87. Relatives and kababayan abroad. The best refuge against loneliness, discrimination and confusion in a foreign place. Distant relatives and fellow Pinoys readily roll out the welcome mat even on the basis of a phone introduction or referral.

88. Pagtuturo sa nguso. People it's rude to point but there's no rule about using one's nguso, is there?

89. Tsismis. Pinoys know that they belong if they're being talked about OR they talk about others, i.e. if they make tsismis about one another.

90. Pan de sal. Flour plus salt equals the best tasting bread in the planet.

91. Walis tambo at walis tingting. Cleaning materials that has lots of uses. Not just for sweeping the floors and dusting but also as pambambo for naughty kids.

92. Pakikisama. Because of our kapwa concept we Filipinos deal with each other in a special way. It is more than just joining or conforming to somebody or something, it is adjusting our lives in order to establish mutual trust.

93. Merienda. Having a five or six meals a day could really be called a feast. Because Pinoys like meriendas so much, many delicious "short order foods" were created like the kakanin, champorado, a variety of lugaw, a variety of mami, and a variety of refreshments.

94. Original Filipino Music. The Filipino music is very rich and very unique, very Pinoy.

95. Philippine Airlines. The Asia's first airline, and being the first means being the first best.

96. Yaya. It is undeniable that a Pinoy yaya and her alaga enjoys a deep emotional attachment. Often, yayas serve as second mothers.

97. Filipino Artists. Luna, Amorsolo, Manansala. Filipino artists are heroes for their arts are used not only for the public's entertainment but sometimes, also to express patriotism.

98. Damayan. Admittedly, the Filipinos has a very low voting rate. Some say the Pinoys are apathetic about the state of the country. But come earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoeruptions, and you will see Pinoys helping their kababayans.

99. Gayuma, agimat, anting-anting. Filipinos just love stories about the supernatural. So is it any surprise that many believe in agimats, anting-antings, and gayumas?

100. Bahala na. In contrast to what others believe, Bahala na is not mere fatalism, it is a "come what may" attitude which means that a Pinoy will face whatever problems he might encounter.

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