15 Questions that Every Filipino-American Has Been Asked At Least Once

And suggested responses for each one! By Julia Termulo, FINDink Contributor

1. Can you speak “tag-a-log?”
It’s /təˈɡɑːlɒɡ/ or tuh-ga-lug. And no, I can only understand it.

2. Why do you have, like, four names?  
My parents just had a really difficult time picking only one name, so they went with all of their favorites.

3. Your mom’s a nurse, right?
No. She’s a software developer. My aunt is, though. Or rather, the entire side of my father’s family works in the medical field. Why would you just assume that my mom’s a nurse?

4. Are you Mexican?

5. But like, if you’re not Mexican, why is your last name Lopez?
There’s this like, super cool dude named Ferdinand Magellan. He brought chicken adobo from Spain to the Philippines and they all went CRAZY. From that point on, Filipinos became obsessed with Spanish culture. It’s totally not because of centuries of colonization or anything like that.

6. Are you a halfie?
First of all, thank you. But no. Full Filipino.

7. Are you actually Asian though?
Yes. Don’t let the brown face fool you. East Asians, in fact, are NOT the only denomination of Asian! You learn something new everyday.

8. Why don't you point with your fingers instead of with your lips?
My hands are always full. Typically with ensaymada or chili cheese-flavored Boy Bawang. 

9. Where is the Philippines?
Right next to the B- on your report card for sleeping through that lesson on Magellan during your 7th grade social studies class. Also, I’m pretty sure I just went over this?

10. Asian or Pacific Islander?
This question marks a contentious debate among Filipinos and I’m not really looking to get into that right now. In short: Asian. But don’t tell my mom I said that because she’ll fight me on this.

11. Why are you always late?
Filipinos are SUPER talented so we’re very accomplished members of society. If we’re fifteen minutes late, it’s because we’re busy doing Great Things. Definitely not because of this stereotype called “Filipino time” which is totally untrue and in no way an accurate reflection of punctuality among the Filipino community.

12. Why do you guys like karaoke so much?
We’re just really good at singing.

13. Why can't you use chopsticks?
Because Filipinos traditionally use forks and spoons...or their bare hands. It's just most efficient. Okay honestly I'm just really uncoordinated. 

14. What's balut?
A really cool and delicious dessert that you should definitely try. Its presentation is a bit unsettling but don't worry about it! It tastes great.

15. Will you marry me? We can have the wedding in your home country!
1) I have never lived in the Philippines 2) Divorce is illegal there so no thanks 3) I literally just met you?


Disclaimer: The views of the author do not necessarily represent the views of FIND, Inc.