Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Stuff Fil Am People Like

In the great tradition of the popular blog "Stuff White People Like" and its spawn "Stuff Educated Black People Like," and inspired by "Ask A Filipino", here is a critical, serious, and scientific list of stuff Fil Am people like (not in any particular order).

#1 Sushi
This satisfies the Asian part for Fil Ams. The rice and soy sauce are natural ingredients they are used to. Just add pork, grease, and vinegar and it'd be a barrio fiesta for them.

#2 Picture taking
Fil Ams love taking pictures of each other, even redundantly in the dance club. This custom dates back to when white people took pictures of them a century ago.

#3 Free sandwiches. Not this.
Fil Ams will gather around free food in general, so be cautious if your multicultural org's resources are limited.

#4 Latino Culture
This usually comes in the form of salsa dancing. Move out the way when "Esa Morena" is played at one of their debuts.

#5 Hawaii (Yes, that is Jasmine Trias)
This satisfies Fil Ams claim to be Pacific Islander (minus the whole genocide thing, of course).

#6 Afro-American culture
Fil Ams' fascination with Afro-American culture goes way back when David Fagen and African American Buffalo Soldiers helped Filipinos fight against American colonizers. They honor him through corn rows and sporadic copula absence.

#7 Sportin dark colors

#8 Rockin big shades (sorry Krish)

#9 Sportin bright colors

#10 Choreographed Dancing
These Fil Am dance troupes usually consist of an absurd amount of dancers, moving uniformly. Uncle Sam says: "You're easy to control. Yet, oh so funky."

#11 Pageants
Through consent or coercion, Fil Ams are socialized to participate in extravagant pageants. This relates to #2 and #14.

#12 New York
When you ask a Fil Am where they are going to vacation, they will usually tell you "I really want to go to New York" if Hawaii is not an option. This relates to #7 because of New York's connotation with hip hop culture. Coming largely from the suburbs, Fil Ams will grab any opportunity to be urban.

#13 Basketball (5'10" and under bringin the thunder)

#14 All-you-can eat buffets
Fil Ams tend to gravitate to all-you-can-eat buffets. This phenomenon relates to American consumer influence in the Philippines, like indulging in choice, variety, and extravagance (and endless cheddar-baked biscuits).

#15 Extended college life
But likely not this.

#16 Being late
Fil Ams are always late, even for job interviews. At some Filipino masses, you will notice church starts at fifteen after the hour. Too bad it doesn't end fifteen minutes early, when Fil Ams tend to leave after bread time.

#17 Head wraps and Kufi caps
This is a gesture to their Muslim and African roots. This kind of relates to #6.

#18 The idea of revolution
Fil Ams love proclaiming the need for revolution (while wearing dark or bright colors and a head wrap). Actual revolution, however, is kind of scary.

#19 The sound of vinyl scratching
Wicky wicky wicky. Got your attention (like a dog whistle)?

#20 Loitering in large groups

This is especially true after a Fil Am youth group or club meetin and usually takes place in parking lots. This phenomenon is related to #10, with less body movements.

#21 A Tribe Called Quest
When "Scenario" comes on in the club, you betta duck cuz Fil Ams will bug out. Why do Fil Ams like ATCQ? It might be Ali Shaheed Muhammad's fresh beats or the resonating, non-threatening Afrohumanist rhymes. Or maybe its because they are a "tribe."

Any more?



Unknown said...

Fil Am people love....

1) Using fork and spoon - yes, fork and spoon combination with your fish and rice works so well it envies our fork stabbing brethren like the lunch monitor in Canada who had scolded at a 7-yr old pinoy for his fork & spoon skills

Unknown said...

Fil Am people love..

1) Imitating their parents and grandparents' accents - yes, these people love to poke fun at their own parents by exaggerating tagalog sounds in the english vernacular. this is where they get the joke, "you kannut hung out wit him cuz he SIN-I-GANG!" this ritual is often used as an endearing experience while they poke fun at their family who struggle in adapting to the oppressive monolingual system of English, Fil Am children end up not learning their parents language and then wonder why their parents don't understand them.

cheryl said...

you forgot fashion shows. PSA fashion shows. this shit is funny as hell. THANKS MARK.

I love the leaving after communion part.

Anonymous said...

fil ams love...

FADS - why is every community get-together the fashion event of the year?

Breakin' in the living room - suburban bboys and bgirls unite! may not be the best at math but we sure know our six-step.

Being cool with non-Asian people - look at me! everyone loves me!

Quoting Rex Navarette - "Puck dat hamsterr!"

Naming their cliques - nope, not a gang, not a dance crew, just a random group of friends but yet you call yourselves CPC, LBP, PFP, SF Crew, 201 Clique etc.

Anonymous said...

Getting mad dark in the sun - Fil Ams love tanning to shades of brown socially unnacceptable in the PI and especially after their parents chide them, "hey! you're gonna get too dark!"

Anthony C. Ocampo, Ph.D. said...

I will add:
1. Claiming every person on the television as Filipino - Whether it's actual truth (i.e., Rob Schneider, Cassie) or urban legend (i.e., Richard Gere is actually half Filipino and was born "Richard Guerrero."), Filipinos LOVE it when they can claim someone on American TV is a fellow Pin@y!

2. Asking strangers if they're also Filipino - "Pilipino, ka ba?" My friends of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran always have stories of going to the bank or the store and the Filipino teller or cashier asks them if they are Filipino. I always tell them to say yes so they will get a freebee of some sort.

3. Being related to everybody - From the post office man to your mom's co-worker at the hospital, everyone is a Tito or Tita.

4. Smiling/laughing for no reason.

5. Treating people like they're ACTUALLY their best friend - I've heard from non-Filipinos that their Filipino friends treat them like they're the only person on the entire earth one minute, only to find out they have like 50 other best friends already. :(

6. Bowling - Enough said.

When I think of more, I'll add!!

Anthony C. Ocampo, Ph.D. said...

Omg, I can't believe I forgot this one:

7. The "Todo-todo" - Sometimes the only song played at a Filipino party. Usually replayed several hundreds of times. When there isn't a party, "D.I." titos teach Todo-todo #1 through #5 to their nephews and nieces so they have people to back them up when they go to rival family parties.

8. The Achy Breaky, Electric Slide, and other Line Dances - It's Electric! Boogie-woogie-woogie-woogie!

Unknown said...

1. collecting any and all of the chinellas and/or sew-in panty (if youre a girl) that your lola or relatives bring back from the P.I. as if that the only thing that they make there because it makes your lola happy that you "like" what she got you.

(love and miss you, lola)

2. going to the commisary (because your family is in the military) and it's cheaper (off base:$5.00, on base: $4.97) to stock up on ketchup, corn beef and equal to send to the Philippines in a balikbayan box. therefore, maxing out on the allowed weight for luggage at the airport. and when they go to check your luggage when coming back from the Philippines all they find is dried fish, hopia, longanisa, and ash trays carved into tt's.

3. living at your parents house when theyre old and grey and your starting to get old and grey, but they still treat you like your 10.

4. knowing youre the best shade of brown God put on this earth-because youre Filipino!

Unknown said...


Breakin' in the living room - suburban bboys and bgirls unite! may not be the best at math but we sure know our six-step."

---lots of dirty socks sessions saluting to that one!

We also love...

1 - Balut. Or premature-born half hatched duck eggs, we love to crack open and eat this little duck while it may freak out your neighbor, this is serious street-business back home. This delicacy is also shared with our Vietnamese brethren "Vit Lon" which goes great with beer and lemon seasoning.

2 - chismis aka "gossip" whether true or untrue, this is what I call the informal auntie news network that informs people of latest job prestige, kids in college updates, newborn babies, deaths in the family, international news affecting filipinos, and whats on sale at the local flea market, mall or grocery store

Anonymous said...

Fil Ams People Love...

Journey - At least with new Pinoy lead singer Arnel Pineda! They found him on YouTube and raised some eyebrows from die-hard Journey Fans. No matter, Journey Rocks.

MV said...


neat. here is a cool link for the band and lead singer you're talking about:

Anonymous said...

Haha. Dope list. Don't know why I didn't think of coming up with this.

Some things you forgot:

-Jordans (ubiquitous in the Bay)
-Casinos, especially the Indian/Native American ones that give parents the convenience of not having to drive to Vegas.
-Having a time share or a vacation home in Vegas (not me, but it seems like I know more than a handful of folks whose parents have either; corresponds with the previous one)
-urban street wear/the Hypebeast kind

Morose said...

much love on this a month late... however, i must ask that you put the okina between the two i's. it's like spelling hawai'i wrong. peace!

Anonymous said...

where was this list all my life? love the comments, too.

practice said...

Hoy... i saw your trailer for your film "Hip Hop Mestizaje". I also saw you said to hit you up to see the whole thing. So i was wondering... what do i gotta do to see the whole thing?

Hit me back meng!

MV said...

practice, what's your email? i think i have most of it on youtube. you just have to "friend" me on youtube. My account is mrk310.