Holidays are the time for Pinoy families to host extravagant get-togethers over mouth-watering food. While these reunions are fun, they can get uncomfortable too, no thanks to family members who make thoughtless, often mean, inappropriate remarks. With that in mind, here are some irritating statements we’re VERY tired of hearing at family gatherings. Maybe you casually send this article to your family GC so that one family member (you know the one) might just rethink their ways.
“Kailan mo balak magka-anak?”
This question comes with a lot of personal assumptions such as automatically assuming that a person wants to have kids. It may also assume that they’re physically capable for pregnancy.
In 2020, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) recorded a huge drop in recorded births — a clear indication that many Filipinos now choose to be child-free for various reasons. Even if you mean no harm, it’s still a very personal question and best left out of any conversation.
“Bakit hindi mo gayahin si [insert relatives here]. Alam mo ba, [insert relative’s accomplishments here].”
Relatives (older ones, mostly) who compare children to one another plant the seeds of never-ending competition and self-doubt at a young age. Instead of pitting relatives against each other, why don’t you build them up by acknowledging the good things they’re doing instead?
“Ang tanda mo na. Bakit single ka pa rin hanggang ngayon?”
There’s nothing wrong with being single, and at the end of the day, it’s no one’s business why someone remains single. People deal with singlehood differently. The bottom line: It won’t hurt anyone to be respectful so keep your questions to yourself.
“Magkano ang sweldo mo?”
Now, listen. Though it’s normal to want to know the details about someone’s job, it’s inappropriate to ask how much they earn. Unless you’re planning to enter a similar industry and are genuinely curious to know the typical salary range, one’s earnings are entirely none of your business. And honestly, you’d be surprised by the number of people who use one’s monthly paychecks to gauge how they’ll treat them. Not cool.
“Balita ko, marami ka na daw pera. Pautang naman ako.”
And speaking of sweldo, don’t ever, ever put someone on the spot, especially if it’s about money matters. It’s inappropriate to comment on someone’s life based on hearsay, and it’s even worse to borrow money in the middle of a family reunion where everyone is supposed to be having fun. There’s a time and place for everything, people. Deal with these things in private, not in front of everyone’s Noche Buena!
“Kailan ka mag-aasawa/magpapakasal?”
For many, especially women, marriage-related questions come with huge pressure. And believe it or not, some are perfectly fine without tying the knot. So, the next time someone shoots you with a “When are you getting married” question and you don’t intend to for a while, just say when our country has paid its trillion-worth debt or something even more ludicrous to satisfy their ~*curiosity*~.
“Uy, ang taba-taba mo na.”
Ever heard of the five-second rule? Therapist Dr. Desta, Ph.D., MS says it’s a principle where we should only comment on someone’s appearance if and only if they can change it within five seconds. But if not, keep whatever you’re tempted to say to yourself — and yes, that includes commenting on someone’s body, too.
Here are better conversation-starter alternatives: career opportunities, restaurant finds, upcoming trips — the works. Maybe we can give those topics a shot?
“Ay, bakit ‘yan ang course na kinuha mo? Hindi in-demand ‘yan.”
Dear judgmental Tita, everyone’s entitled to create their own paths as long as they aren’t hurting anybody. A person shouldn’t be ridiculed over what they’re pursuing just because they think you know better. If someone dreams to become a successful author, musician, or visual artist, (AKA what society deems as low-paying jobs) let them be. Besides, isn’t it nice to be remembered as that family member who always believed in them?