Posted in Just Filipino

Just Filipino 98 | Pasko sa Pinas (Christmas in the Philippines).

I don’t know in your country, but in the Philippines, Christmas has been on the air since last month. Christmas lights are everywhere. We hear Christmas songs played on the radio. Big department stores already have their annual holiday sale.

Most Filipinos are Christians with about three-fourth of the population being Catholics. This is the reason why Christmas is a very important holiday in our country.

In the Philippines, we observe Christmas between the months of September and February. Now, that’s a long celebration, don’t you think? We start our preparation for the Yuletide season on the first week of September. We start counting down the days ’til December 25.

At home, during the first week, my mom would retrieve the Christmas tree that we’ve been using for four years. She would then assemble it in the living room and decorate it with an old Christmas light which some bulbs are already not working. She does not want to replace it with a new one because according to her, it’s not necessary. She used to tell us that Christmas is not all about the ornaments but our family to celebrate it together. Because of this, I always make sure to come home every Christmas eve. 

Here are some Christmastide traditions we have in the Philippines that every Filipinos always come home to:
— Christmas caroling (singing Christmas carols in your neighbors’ front door and receive some treats)
— Misa de Gallo – a novena of dawn Masses from December 16 to 24 (Christmas Eve)
— Noche Buena (when the family gathers together to eat and share some food)
— Christmas parties and exchanging gifts
— parol (lanterns made from bamboos, woods or recycled materials)


How about you? How do you celebrate the Yuletide season in your place?



Photo Credits: Google Images

Posted in Just Filipino

Pointing With Our Lips | Just Filipino 99

Hello, everyone! This post is my second entry to Just Filipino category on my blog. For more information about the qualities of a Filipino, you can click on the category located on the right side of my blog or you can also make use of the search area. 🙂


Pointing with our lips is another distinct quality of us Filipinos. Don’t misinterpret a man or a woman puckering his or her lips to be asking for a kiss. Or else you’ll be in trouble.

We usually point with our lips when giving quick directions. When someone asks for a certain place, we just pucker our lips towards the direction and say “Over there, the next corner.” And please be warned: it means what you’re looking for is quite far from where you are. 😀

Sometimes, when we want to say that something but we are embarrassed to say it aloud, (say something is on your head or shoulder, or your fly is open) we just point with our lips with our eyebrows raised to make you aware of it.

Knowing some of these gestures doesn’t hurt. It’s better to be aware of these to keep yourself from trouble. 🙂

Anyway, ’til next time. Stay in touch to know more qualities of a Filipino. Keep safe!


Posted in Just Filipino

“Po” and “Opo” Greeting | Just Filipino 100

Here is my first entry for the new category: Just Filipino 101

‘Po at Opo’

One distinct Filipino way of showing respect is using ‘po’ and ‘opo’. When addressing someone older or of higher rank, we affix “po” to the end of phrase or sentence. The word “po” alone does not have a meaning. But when added to a phrase, it shows formality and used as a sign of respect.

  • For example, “salamat” is thank you in Filipino. So we say, “salamat po” to an elderly if we want to say thank you.

“Opo” on the other hand, is used to affirm to an elderly. It’s like saying saying ‘yes Sir/Maam’.

  • For example, an elder asks you if you’re okay. You say, ‘opo’, if you are!


“mano po”

The picture above is another gesture of showing respect to our elders. This is our form of greeting or accepting blessing from them. It is similar to hand kissing, we bow and bring our elder’s hand to our forehead and say “mano po” at the same time.  🙂


So, what do you say? Can you share to us how you show respect and greet your elders in your country?

Posted in Just Filipino

Just Filipino | 101

Hello, everyone!!!

I’m happy to introduce to you a new category on Side by Side. It’s called Just Filipino. I’ll be sharing here 100 distinct qualities of a Filipino from positive to negative.

Let’s start here:

Filipinos (Filipino: Mga Pilipino) are a nation and ethnic group native to the Philippines that share a common Filipino culture and speak the Filipino language or one of the Philippine languages. According to the 2015 Census, there were 100,981,437 in the Philippines and about 10 million living outside the Philippines.

A number of Filipinos refer to themselves colloquially as “Pinoy” (feminine:“Pinay”), which is a slang word formed by taking the last four letters of “Filipino”and adding the diminutive suffix “-y”.


As mentioned, there are about 10 million Filipinos living outside the Philippines, which means they could be near you. However, most foreigners have difficulty recognizing us because we look physically similar to people from other Asian countries. So , yeah, how would you recognize a Filipino?

A tip from a friend: bring all your Asian friends to karaoke. The one who does not stop singing is the Filipino. 😀 Hahah.


I hope you’ll enjoy this category. I’ll see you then. 🙂