Monthly Archives: February 2011

How to Tell if Someone is Filipino if You’re in Singapore

If you’re in Singapore, you’d never feel as much homesick as being somewhere else in the world. It feels like you just took a short bus ride and dropped off at Makati. Everywhere there are Filipinos, and it’s really not rocket science to decipher if the person in front of you is Pinoy.

First, let’s put all the stereotypical physical characteristics of Filipinos behind – short, brown skin, and (no offense) not so sharp nose, and move on to things I think are very common to most — I’m not saying all — Filipinos.

1. Eye contact. If you’re walking down the street and at the same time looking at people’s faces, it’s quite sure that the person who maintains eye contact with you is a Filipino. Or someone who finds you cute. But there’s something with Filipinos and eye contact. I think we give it to others too much. Or one reason would be: Filipinos here are always in search of the feeling of Home, and it brings much joy to find someone of the same race in a melting pot country. I don’t know for others, but that’s the case for me. I just look at people’s faces, and when they look back, I just give out a smile.

2. Weird Walk. This is quite evident if the person in inspection is walking by his/herself. If you’re in the Philippines, you would describe this behavior as, “Parang naglalakad sa buwan!” Just this afternoon while walking at Orchard Rd, I saw this girl walking and, it seems, absorbing as much as she can from her surroundings, like looking up at the buildings WHILE CROSSING THE STREET! And by that I said, “Pinoy ‘to!” And I was right, of course.

3. Hesitance To Speak. I, too, is guilty of this. Haha! When someone approaches me and speaks to me in English, all I can produce is a shy nod and an expression of extreme surprise, like the feeling being caught doing something silly. The other day, I was at a cinema and there was this girl standing behind the counter. I approached her and I said Hi. She didn’t respond. She just looked at me, perhaps judging if she should speak in Tagalog or what. Or maybe she’s preparing for whatever I will say next so she would understand every word that comes out of my mouth. I do that, so that’s one of the plausible theories.

4. The Clothes. And this one goes for the women. Haha! If someone in the street is wearing a semi-fit t-shirt and wearing BLUE MAONG PANTS, and with a shoulder bag across the chest, then 99.9% she’s PINAY!

5. Jay Walking. Coming from a country where traffic rules are regarded only as mere SUGGESTIONS, I am not surprised that they do it even here in Singapore. It’s like we’re always in a rush. And there’s also the thing that we all know as “Filipino Time,” because we’re most of the time running late from work.

Okay, five is enough for today and I’m too sleepy to even continue. I’ve only been here for 2 weeks, and I think there are more I can add to this list as time goes by. For now, I’m off to bed. Goodnight!

(No time to proofread, sorry)