PINOY is what Filipinos call each other. It’s an abbreviated term of endearment—you’re Pinoy from Pilipino, just like you’re Tisoy from mestizo, or Chinoy from Chinese-Filipino.
It’s a nickname, just like Ikoy is from Enrico, Minoy from Maximino and Ondoy is from Rolando. But now you’re Eric and Max and Rolly.
Pinay comes from Josefina, Monay from Simona, Pipay from Epifania. But you’ve become Jojo, Monette and Fifi.
You’re Juan de la Cruz and Mang Pandoy. You’re common tao, masa, urban poor, but also Don Jaime, Sir Ben Chan, Nora Aunor, Ninoy, Rizal, Bonifacio, Francisco Sionil José, Rio Alma and Nick Joaquin, galing-galing!
Born June 12, 1896, the Republic of the Philippines is a Gemini—good at connecting, good at loving-loving, good at interpersonal skills.
Filipinos like to yakap, akbay, kalong, kalabit. We use our lips to point direction, we go out sama-sama, we sleep side by side, siping-siping.
There’s lots of us to distribute around the world. (Also lots of relatives to support). In jeepneys you can tell your sad story and be consoled and understood. (So who needs to talk to trees and plants?)
Who has a kuya, a hipag, a bayaw, a bilas, a balae, a kinakapatid? Who has an inaanak, who shows up on Christmas Eve, because you’re the ninong or ninang?
The maids call her ate, the driver calls him kuya, but everybody else is tito and tita.
Citizen of the world
Who has a Lola Baby, a Tito Boy, a bossing called Sir Butch, his wife Ma’am Tereret, and a daughter named Kring-Kring?
The walang katapusang paalam of the Pinoy starts at the top of the stairs (kiss-kiss), descends to the landing (kiss-kiss), walks to the gate (kiss-kiss), ends at the car or bus window (flying kiss!).
The Pinoy lives in a condo, a mansion, a bedspace, a bahay-na-bato, ilalim ng tulay, Luneta and abroad, too.
He’s a free soul, a risk-taker, a citizen of the world. He’s in all the capitals and ghettos, bringing his guitar and his bagoong, his tabo, his lola and lolo.
A Filipino is singing her heart out in a musical in London, in a pub in Japan, dancing in Disneyland, playing a piano concert in Paris or conducting an orchestra in Sydney. Where there’s a beat there’s a Pinoy!
Look at that baggage, it must be a balikbayan box with pasalubong for everybody—sukbit sa balikat, pasan, kilik, kaladkad, sunong—from jacket to rosary, lipstick to scarf, lotion to holy water from the Holy Land. Remember your relatives before they make tampo forever. And their bilin—branded shirts and shoes on sale, digital camera, tablet, toy or trinket, don’t forget!
Hey, Joe, don’t envy me ’cause I’m brown. You’ll get broiled like a lobster from the tropic sun or the ultraviolet rays from your artificial lamp.
Just lucky, I guess, God put us all in the oven but some came out under-baked, some ended up burned, but me, I came out golden brown!
Hey, Christof, hey, David and Ann! Your Pinoy yaya will make your children gentle, more obedient, more prayerful. They’ll be wary of aswang, they’ll learn to love tuyo and sinigang.
We made the jeepney, the fluorescent bulb and the karaoke. We discovered balut, halo-halo, chicharon bulaklak, chicken feet “adidas.”
Our age-old holistic remedies and practices have been rediscovered, making us recover from ailments cheaper and faster.
The Pinoy is a linguist. As in. As if. For a while. Paki ganyan naman ang kuwan sa ano. Open the light, close the light. Don’t be high blood. If you’re ready, I’ll pass na for you.
I’m inviting you to my birthday, pls RSVP. Oo means yes, or maybe no, or I don’t know. If you press me I’ll try my best if my car is not coded, if it isn’t flooded or traffic, I’ll be the first to show.
Yes is no
Yes is also a nice way of saying no. Yes, hindi kita sisiputin. No, ayan na ako at ang barkada ko.
Please don’t ask a Filipino a question like that! He’s not so exact. He’s not so chop-chop. She will just flow with the current, with the event. Filipino time! Naku, huli din naman ang Kano!
The Filipino is a giver, he just hardens his stomach and his liver. Hardships of the Third World don’t dry up his optimism. Just makes him more feeling of the other guy’s lot.
Note that the domestic sends all her wages home to Tatay and Nanay. She is the Overseas Worker whose labor of the loneliness created the Katas ng Saudi. Miss you all!
The Filipino is fearless, bahala na actually means Bathala na, leave everything to God. Okay lang if I die, okay lang if I live. Okay lang if I suffer, okay lang, I’ll succeed.
Remember to be Pinoy. Enjoy!
Rewritten version from the “Pinoy Pop Culture” book by Gilda Cordero-Fernando and M.G. Chaves. Published by Suyen Corp., 2006
Women for others