10 Things You'll Only Hear At A Filipino Family Reunion

Yup, you already know what to expect on the next riotous holiday family get-together.
by Jean Natividad   |  Dec 22, 2014
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There's no family reunion like a Filipino family reunion. It's loud, loaded with food, and teeming with presents and aguinaldo. We can't help but feel #blessed that we're such a family-oriented country. This makes all occasions, most especially the holidays, extra colorful.

On top of your list of holiday parties is probably your big family reunion. It's that yearly gathering where you don't recognize half of the guests; all you know is you're all related somehow. This time of the year can be all sorts of things—weird, awkward, confusing, but also fun and rewarding.

To get you a bit more excited for your upcoming family reunion, we put together common remarks you should expect to hear from various relatives.

  1. "Ay, ang laki mo na!" Your tita, whom you only see once in a year, only ever says this to you, well, once a year.

  2. "Mag-mano ka sa tito/tita/lolo/lola mo." And there are hundreds of them! It's quite tiring, but you totally get that feeling of being respected, especially after your nephews and nieces do the same to you.

  3. "Kaninong anak ka nga?" Because every Baby is your tita and every Boy is your tito, relatives can get confused when you greet them and they give you aguinaldo.

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  4. "Nagustuhan mo ba 'yung mga pinadala ko?" How can you not? Your favorite aunt from abroad always sends you enough clothes, shoes, makeup, and accessories to get you through all the holiday parties.

  5. "Anak, sing for your tito/tita." The youngest kids in the reunion always fall prey to this, but they sure don't mind as long as they get a little extra aguinaldo.

  6. "Kailan ba ikakasal si <insert name of cousin here>?"Eager aunts and uncles will always tease young ladies in the family. Even a little show of domestication can earn you a "Pwede nang mag-asawa!"

  7. "Buhay pa ba si <insert name of old relative here>?" This is a little shocking to hear, but in a huge family with relatives really young and really old, it's a little difficult to keep track of everyone.

  8. "Honor student 'yang anak ko!" Your mom and dad will always be proud of you. They take family reunions as their chance to make sweeping declarations about your wits and talents.

  9. "I did it my way!" or "You've lost that loving feeling. Whoa, that loving feeling." A Filipino family reunion with no karaoke is unimaginable, unacceptable, and utterly preposterous. After a few drinks, expect a drunken uncle to sing his heart out. 

  10. "O, kodakan na!" A youngster in the family will always be confused as to what this means. Towards the end of the party, someone always announces the photo op when families in color-coordinated outfits line up for snapshots. 

What happens at your family reunion? Leave a comment and share all the embarrassing details!

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About the author
Jean Natividad
Contributing Writer
Jean is a twentysomething freelance writer who enjoys squatting at coffee shops with her trusty laptop, favorite music, and book of choice. She's big on city living but always longs for the sea, sun, and sand.
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