From our hospitality and generosity to our strong family ties, Filipinos have a lot of pride when it comes to our customs and tradition. But there are a few that some Pinoys can definitely live without. Netizen @mayplanoba asked Twitter to share their opinions on any Filipino habits, practices, or customs that might get them canceled.
Unpopular opinion about Filipino customs/traditions that will get you pic.twitter.com/s0pVlSD6T2
— mayhotcakeba (@mayplanoba) June 20, 2022
Online Pinoys had A LOT to say. Many of the so-called “unpopular opinions” weren’t actually unpopular, but we gotta appreciate the discourse. Here are just a few that came up.
Whether we’re meeting friends or family, we’ve heard this excuse so many times already. Filipino time is the unfortunate tendency of Pinoys to start an event or arrive at a meetup much later than the agreed-upon time (usually half an hour or more). Sure, not all Filipinos have this habit, but there are enough Pinoys doing it that the term “Filipino time” has warranted its infamy. It’s 2022; we’ve tolerated Filipino time long enough. Let’s learn to respect each other’s time, yeah?
the so-called ‘filipino time’ is not funny and something we should not be proud of https://t.co/pnQ28NBAFj
— 공민호 (@tentastir) June 21, 2022
Ninong and ninang culture
When someone asks you to be a ninong or ninang, you can expect that you’d have little ones asking for pamasko/aguinaldo and birthday presents every year. But nothing more beyond that. But that’s not really what being a godparent should be all about. From being a role model to the child and a stand-in parent in case of their absence, the role has been downgraded into a gift-giver. Filipinos have lost the meaning of the godparent practice over the years, and it shouldn’t have been like that.
Gagawin kang ninang/ninong tapos hanapan ka lang ng pera tuwing taghirap sila or kpg pasko and they expect for you to pay shit for them..
We’ve misinterpreted the actual meaning behind godparents as Filipinos. Don’t tell me I’m not the only one who think it’s fucked up. https://t.co/hpLgDe5Xcx
— Kaye Gee |💚💛❤️ #Life (@MissAlmostAlice) June 21, 2022
On the surface, the culture of panliligaw seems sweet and romantic. But when you look much more closely, you’ll see a lot of underlying issues within it. For one, instead of getting to know each other, one party does most of the courting or panliligaw, while the other is expected to accept the gifts and efforts with a smile.
And if the other party already said no, it’s still socially acceptable for a manliligaw to continue pursuing them in the guise of courtship just to get a yes. The person rejecting the manliligaw even sometimes ends up being the bad guy in the story. As one netizen said, the culture of panliligaw is just a person “amplify[ing] effort to impress, so it’s not the usual things that you do.”
Panliligaw is a primitive practice. It’s very patriarchal, it thrives on inequality. Instead of getting to know each other and making one’s self known to the other the best way each one knows how, they start a dance of guessing and waiting–inauthentic and fake. https://t.co/otgZmTnIH8
— Mike (@chubbaldy) June 21, 2022
Using too much “po” and “opo”
Most Filipino kids learn to use “po” and “opo” early in their life. These two words denote respect, often used when talking to people older than you are or people in a position of authority. And it’s not wrong to be respectful. But sometimes, in the quest to maintain the social hierarchy, Filipinos excessively use the “po” and “opo”, and it just becomes a redundant word that adds confusion to storytelling. Or it elevates the addressee to a whole other level and brings down the addresser. It may even sometimes be used with sarcasm or contempt, which evidently defeats the original purpose of the word. So at this point, the words “po” and “opo” don’t really need to be the only sign of respect we use in conversations. We could just be, you know, calm and respectful.
So many “po” in a single sentence, especially in long-winded stories! Minsan hindi ko maintindihan ang sinasabi dahil sa dami ng “po”! One should be enough every paragraph!
— Cyra (Sigh-ra) Africa 🇵🇭🇺🇸 A Work in Progress (@CyraAfrica) June 20, 2022
Defining beauty according to Eurocentric features
We’ve seen this so much in beauty pageants over the years. While our beauty queens are proud to be Pinoy, it’s undeniable that most winners have features that adhere to the western standard of beauty. In recent years, winning contestants who look distinctly Filipina are so rare that we could probably count them on one hand. Even in everyday life, we see people placing more value on white skin (see: the flood of whitening products in the market) and high nose bridges (see: the surge of post-op content on Tiktok), both of which conform to Western beauty standards.
what’s the purpose of celebrating Filipina beauty in pageants if all the winners are the ones with Eurocentric features anyway https://t.co/xwGZ0ncVHR
— blobsk (@dominosfknpizza) June 21, 2022
Prioritizing the English language
Much like the western beauty standards most Pinoys value, a lot of us also put a premium on speaking the English language. To be fair, English is considered the global language, and speaking it is a necessary skill to get around the world. But unfortunately, the prioritization of the English language often comes at the cost of our very own languages.
Some Filipino parents would rather talk to their kids in English as their first language instead of our own Filipino. So when the kids grow up, they have a hard time grasping Filipino and other local languages and dialects, and they might even be accused of being “pretentious” or teased for their unusual accent when speaking Filipino.
I think yung bagong culture ng raising your children to be just english speakers is weird… it literally does not do your child any good https://t.co/ydkTD684Dq
— v (@gaylittlechuu) June 21, 2022
Ever got roped into performing at a Christmas party? Whether you’re with family or officemates, you’ve probably been asked to sing or dance at a party at least once in your life. Unfortunately, it’s a tradition widely practiced in most households and offices.
Forced extroversion on everyone, e.g. everyone is forced to participate in office Christmas party’s dance competitions/presentation, forced to join the bigger group during gatherings, etc, otherwise masama kang tao/walang pakisama/mahirap pakisamahan if you said no https://t.co/516dSy2tlo
— The Autonomous Region of Rhea 👩🏽🎤 (@RheaCatada) June 21, 2022
And it’s one that can become dangerous, especially when it comes to kids. While asking them to sing and dance might be okay, things are different when adults ask kids to kiss or hug people they’ve never met before, even if they’re relatives. This could blur the lines of consent for them and erase the lesson of stranger-danger from their minds. So can’t we stop this tradition already? Again, it’s 2022.
i just remembered this but forcing kids to kiss or hug relatives they don’t know and never met is weird… you’re teaching kids that their consent is not important and they still have to do those things even though they are not comfortable https://t.co/ydkTD684Dq
— v (@gaylittlechuu) June 21, 2022
“Ang taba mo na.” “Kailangan mo ng exercise.” “Ang payat-payat mo! Kumain ka nga!” Have you ever heard these phrases or other similar variations from your relatives? You’re not alone. At family gatherings, Filipino titos, titas, and other relatives like to chime in with uncalled-for comments that may be considered outright body shaming. Young Filipinos who are constantly subjected to this eventually end up with lower self-esteem and negative body image that they carry with them throughout their life, and families should have put a stop to it yesterday.
the normalized bodyshaming within the family is the one of the major reasons on why there are so many children suffering from low self-esteem.
“concerned” lang daw sila sayo kasi ayaw nilang mabully ka sa labas when in fact the real bullies are the ones inside your home 😬 https://t.co/zjL1slsaZ0
— cae • d-97! (@pcaewhy) June 21, 2022
What’s your own unpopular take on Filipino custom or practice that would get you canceled? Share them with us below.