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7 clues that you are a Filipino, from Pasalubong to Pambahay!

For a Filipino living abroad, there are always things about our culture that non-Pinoy friends will simply never understand - you know, those little things that help make the Philippines what it is are. So if you just catch yourself daydreaming about lounging on palm-lined beaches, then you will surely identify with the following 7 Filipino quirks and traditions:

1. You miss the white sand at home

At home, weekends and holidays are great for lounging on white sandy beaches and dipping your toes in crystal clear water. It is even more special when you are there with family and friends and enjoy a picnic with freshly grilled meat and seafood, ice-cold drinks and sweet, ripe mangoes. That is really miles better than the cloudy Mediterranean!

2. Pasalubong always end up in your shopping cart

You don't just buy souvenirs for yourself, but above all for family and friends back home. Each pasalubong (souvenir) is carefully selected and then carefully packed in a Balikbayan box and sent to the Philippines. In December, millions of these boxes, sent by Filipinos around the world, reach the mailboxes there.

3. You wear Pambahay at home

When going out, you know exactly how to dress smartly, but once you get home the dress code is completely different - a tattered old T-shirt, sweatpants and slippers. Everything that is old, relaxed and comfortable does its job - it doesn't matter whether you look terrible in it, as long as it's cozy.

4. You eat sawsawan every meal time

You cannot do without a sawsawan dip at any meal. Mang Tomas (pork liver sauce) for crispy, juicy Lechon (suckling pig) and Bagoong Alamang (salt-fermented shrimp paste) for Kare-Kare (oxtail stew). Of course there is also patis (fish sauce), suka (vinegar), soy sauce with calamansi (Filipino lemon) and banana ketchup!

5. Every celebration is a good reason for Handaan ...

Food is at the center of our lives and that is why we celebrate every occasion with a handaan, a feast. It doesn't have to be huge amounts of food every time - it just means that we always get together with friends and family to really celebrate everything: birthdays, anniversaries, christenings, the purchase of a new house, a new job ... or even, when you leave a job behind!

... karaoke shouldn't be missing, of course!

When everyone has eaten and talked enough, of course it's time for ... karaoke! Our love for singing comes from the endless television singing competitions that we have all watched. We all secretly dream of one day becoming a famous singer. Fortunately, in karaoke, it doesn't matter how good or bad it sounds, as long as you have a lot of fun doing it!

6. You have Pamahiin, no matter how illogical it may be

You still believe in Pamahiin no matter how superstitious it is. Never go straight home after a wake or the spirit of the dead will follow you. Don't clear the table if someone hasn't finished eating, or that person will never be able to get married. And siblings are not allowed to marry in the same year, otherwise one of the marriages is doomed!

7. Christmas starts in September!

The Philippines has the longest pre-Christmas season in the world, and it's never too early to get out the Christmas decorations and decorate your house! You can hear Christmas carols as early as September, when you are just starting to plan for the Nochebuena (Christmas dinner) and the gift list. Well, you can never be prepared early enough!

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