Monday, July 07, 2008

Being Pinoy

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.


  1. Is the water rationing common to all Saudi cities and towns?

    I agree with the rice cooker. But count me as one of those who don't have a karaoke at home. Although I have a tabo too, I prefer to use the shower. I have patis but I use it sparingly. I only use it when I eat "sinigang". :D

  2. Kulang ko lang yung karaoke. Bawal kasi maingay sa Japanese neighborhood. Kahit nga sound ng TV kontrolado. Nakakahiya kasi sa mga kapitbahay mo na parang mga multo sa katahimikan.

  3. blogusbox you mention Tabo but you fail to mention panghilod he he ...

  4. panaderos, re: water rationing, yes pards and it's worst during the summer months. Hindi kaya nang desalination plant nang Jeddah.

    r-yo, Ay dito basta weekend, yan ang pastime nang mga pinoy. Lalo na yung mga sa housing compound kasama nang home-made lambanog.

    ed v., wala ditong magandang bato na panghilod. Hindi katulad sa atin marami sa pampang nang ilog. Kaya face towel nalang ang ginagamit namin.

    BTW, welcome back. Mukhang busy ka this past weeks ah.

  5. Even in the most luxurious hotels in the Philippines, although they have bath tub and shower, Filipino Guest always bring Tabo. So the hotel management decided to consider having Tabo in bathrooms cause they realize that most of their guest left tabo when they check out.

  6. L Bulakeno, I goes to say "Old habits die hard", even for those who can afford, di ba. ; )

  7. Blogusbox, I went for a tweek weeks vacation in Philippines and Im too busy going around meeting relatives and friends and of course food trippings ....

  8. ed v., I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation. Mabuti naman at hindi naging hendrance si Frank when you where there.

  9. hahaha... astig ah! yan ang pinoy! yung mga kotse kaya may mga stuff toys din?

  10. donG, meron akong kilala. Halos hindi mo na makita ang likuran sa rear view mirror sa dami nang stuff toys : )