Yeah, I'm sure there are stereotypes of Asian people. - James Iha
I’ve been to all our Filipino friends’ flat. We’ve also been invited by parents of my daughter’s classmates to their apartment. One thing I’ve noticed is that there are four things that are similar among pinoy families. A typical Filipino household have a karaoke machine, a rice cooker, a “tabo” and “patis”. In fact I got them all.
I bought a DVD player with a multi-region capability and it has a karaoke built-in as an added feature. I don’t sing unless I’m strumming a guitar and I hate that “highlighted” words dictating the tempo. But my wife love’s it. She occasionally exercised her vocal chords and only stopped when our child broke the microphone. But on parties, karaoke is introduced by Filipino hosts to entertain their guests.
As for our rice cooker, it’s a convenience. It freed my wife to do other chores. We used to cook our rice conventionally. But when our daughter arrived, she occupies most of my wife’s attention that Mommy sometimes overlooked her cooking and we have to eat “tutong”.
Some of us prefer to take a bath using “tabo” rather than the shower. During summer, water here is so hot that we store it in containers to cool over night before using it in the morning. That’s where “tabo” comes in handy. Besides that water is rationed all over the city. It comes only every four days that we have to hoard it in 30 gallon pails in case our reservoir runs dry before the next ration.
I don’t know about other pinoys, but “patis” (fish sauce) is a permanent element in our dining table. Sometimes I spread it on rice, mixed it with vinegar and chili as a dip and also use it as seasoning.
To an outsider, it may sound peculiar. But for pinoys, without these, something seems lacking. It’s like having dinner without rice.