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Being Pinoy/Pinay

Filipinas– They make the best friends, lovers, wives. Too bad they can’t say the same for Filipinos.

Kayumanggi– (skin color)Neither pale nor dark, our skin tone is beautifully healthy, the color of a rich earth or a mahogany tree growing towards the sun.

Sing-a-long or Karaoke– Filipinos love to sing, and thanks God a lot of us do it well!

Pakikisama– It’s what makes people stay longer at parties, have another drink,join pals in sickness and in health. You can get dead drunk and still make it home.

Bahala na– We cope with uncertainty by embracing it, and are thus enabled to play life by ear.

English– Whether carabao or Arr-neoww-accented, it doubles our chances in the global marketplace.

Tabo– All-powerful, ever-useful, hygienically-triumphant device to scoop water out of a bucket and help the true Pinoy answer nature’s call. Helps maintain our famously stringent toilet habits.

San Miguel Beer and Pulutan– “Isa pa nga!”( one more pls.) and the Philippines’ most popular,world-renowned beer goes well with peanuts, cornik, tapa, chicharon,barbecue, sisig, and all manner of spicy, crunchy and cholesterol-rich chasers.

The sights– Banaue Rice Terraces, Boracay, Bohol’s Chocolate Hills, Corregidor Island, Fort Santiago, the Hundred Islands, the Las Piņas Bamboo Organ, RizalPark, Mt. Banahaw, Mayon Volcano, Taal Volcano. A land of contrasts and ever-changing landscapes.

Jeepneys– Colorful, fast, reckless, a vehicle of postwar Pinoy ingenuity, this Everyman’s communal cadillac makes for a cheap, interesting ride. If the driver’s a daredevil (as they usually are), hang on to your seat.

Tricycle and Trisikad– The poor Pinoy’s taxicab that delivers you at your doorstep for as little as PhP4.00, with a complimentary dusting of polluted air.

Po, opo, mano po– Speech suffixes that define courtesy, deference, filial respect — a balm to the spirit in these aggressive times.

Beaches!– With 7,000 plus islands, we have miles and miles of shoreline piled high with fine white sand, lapped by warm waters, and nibbled by exotic tropical fish. From the stormy seas of Batanes to the emerald isles of Palawan >– over here, life is truly a beach.

Dinuguan– Blood stew, a bloodcurdling idea, until you try it with puto. Best when mined with jalapeņo peppers. Messy but delicious.

Santacruzan– More than just a beauty contest, this one has religious overtones, a tableau of St. Helena’s and Constantine’s search for the Cross that seamlessly blends piety, pageantry and ritual. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to show off the prettiest ladies — and the most beautiful gowns. You will happen to see this events in some places and town in the Philippines at the month of May.

Balut– Unhatched duck’s embryo, another unspeakable ethnic food to outsiders,but oh, to indulge in guilty pleasures! Sprinkle some salt and suck out that soup.

Kamayan style– To eat with one’s hand and eschew spoon, fork and table manners >– ah, heaven.

Pinoy Hospitality– Just about everyone gets a hearty “Kain tayo!” invitation to break bread with whoever has food to share, no matter how skimpy or austere it is.

Pandesal– Despite its shrinking size, still a good buy. Goes well with any filling, best when hot.

Street food– Barbecue, lugaw, banana-cue, fishballs, IUD (chicken entrails), adidas (chicken feet), warm taho. Forget hepatitis; here’s cheap, tasty food with gritty ambience.

Cockfighting– Filipino men love it more than their wives (sometimes).

Dr. Jose Rizal– A category in himself. Hero, medicine man, genius, athlete,sculptor, fictionist, poet, essayist, husband, lover, samaritan,martyr. Truly someone to emulate and be proud of, anytime, anywhere.

Fiesta– Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow is just another day, shrugs the poor man who, once a year, honors a patron saint with this sumptuous, no-holds-barred spread. It’s a Pinoy celebration at its pious and riotous best.