While I’m grateful that I’m married to my wonderful Indian Hubs and currently residing in one of the best cities in the world (Dubai), no matter how diverse the culture is in the place where we are at, there are still things that I want to inculcate into the lives of my kids about our Filipino roots.
– These are the things that I want to educate my kids about being a Pinoy –
1. Importance of doing “Mano po” to elders
As a sign of respect, we have been thought to greet elders by taking their right hand and while bowing, touch their hand with our forehead. This is a major sign of respect to the elders and is one of the things that I want my kids to learn, do and pass on to the next generation. For me it signifies that if I do this to my lolo, lola, uncles, aunts it shows that I am honoring their presence and a sign of asking for their blessing. Now who doesn’t want to be blessed?!?!
2. They can enjoy traditional Filipino games like Nanay/tatay, saw-saw suka, bato-bato-pik, piko, langit lupa, tagu-taguan
They can ditch iPad, youtube, etc and have fun playing these games, just like the olden days! Oh I loved playing these with my sibs while growing up! It kept us engaged, active and connected to our friends. I don’t want my kids to grow up just staring at a screen and let them live a “coach-potato” life.
3. Basic Tagalog words
I’m not sure I’m doing a good job with this one, I think I need to re-enforce this at home, I told Ate Juliet (PA to the kids) to talk to the little Munchkins in tagalog. They should learn basis tagalog words as this will be a plus point for them when they grow up, they can work as translators specially if they know different languages and they get to understand any “secret” conversations!
4. Ninangs and Ninongs are like their 2nd Parents
They should value their Ninongs and Ninangs not just during Christmas, Birthdays or sponsors when they get married, but also when they need tuition fees, hahahaha. Kidding aside, they can actually look up to them for advice, council, mentorship, etc. Importance of the roles of Ninangs and Ninongs should be highlighted.
5. Bargaining and haggling is a skill to master
They should learn how to make “tawad”, not in the mall but in Karama (local shopping area in Dubai) or use their charm to get a good bargain. This will come handy when they travel on their own specially in touristy places, where they hike up the price when they know you’re not a local! Bargaining is definitely one of the million things that we Pinoys are good at!
6. Picture pa more!
Taking lots of pictures is ok, specially when traveling to remember places we’ve seen, people met and memories made, BUT not with their daily food! I’m a foodie but not to this extent! I would understand if that’s your bread and butter to take pictures of your breakfast, lunch, dinner and meriendas in between, but if not, then let’s take it easy on the camera during meal time!
7. Know the Philippine history and not the current chismis
It’s important that they learn the Philippine history so they know what Pinoys have gone through and can identify with our Kabayans. But I might have to leave this one to my Indian hubby as he’s more knowledgeable about Philippines than me, including current political news, except for chismis!
8. Kayumangi is the original Pinoy skin color before gluta or chinchonso were discovered
Is chinchonso still available? Anyway, this one actually started because Gaby thought that Pinoys are fair/white and she feels that her brown skin is from her Dad, I’ve cleared the air!
9. Sticking with the 6am, 12noon & 6pm meal times should be part of their healthy lifestyle
More time to digest food before they go to bed. Oh and I should also teach them that snacking smaller portions 3x a day is totally a plus! People laughed at me when I used to religiously eat on time, but what they didn’t know is, that’s the Filipino secret of staying fit! Who’s laughing now?! (Well, I actually need to go back to this routine!)
10. Enjoy life like Pinoys but be wise in spending and investing for the future
It is unspoken custom that we Pinoys “Live for today” with our spending, while growing up I’ve seen this in a lot of families I’ve interacted with. While I don’t see anything wrong with spending all our hard-earned money in that expensive bag or lavish vacation sometimes (talking to myself here), thank GOD I’ve learned how to save up for rainy days. Peter’s unspoken Indian culture is “Live for tomorrow“, I’ve seen a lot of Indians save up and not enjoy what they earn at all, that’s the other extreme. So to take the best of both worlds, I’m teaching my kids to “Live for today, with a view of a beautiful tomorrow” when it comes to handling their finances. Enjoy life, spend money BUT think about the future and save up!
How about you? We’d love to hear from you, do you know of other Pinoy culture, tradition that you think is worth passing on to the next generation?
Our little girls were dressed with F&F party dresses and H&M princesses shoes.
The little Man was wearing top & pants from Old Navy and shoes from RL.