“Uy tumaba ka ha!” (Hey, you gained weight). Shhh! Stop saying it starting today. Here are 11 words to avoid in a Filipino reunion you should always remember.
One of the cultures of Filipinos is that they are family oriented. This is the reason why Filipinos love to hold family gatherings. Family reunions are one of the most special events in Filipino culture. A family reunion is where family members gather together. We usually look forward to it because we tend to see other family members like our grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and other relatives.
Filipino family reunions are usually grand and meaningful. Family gatherings usually happen during holidays like Christmas, New Year, or Undas (All Saints and All Souls Day). During a big family reunion called salusalo, Filipinos usually serve a lot of food and eat together. Of course, a Filipino family reunion will not be complete without karaoke, singing karaoke songs while belting high notes that will be enjoyed by the whole family.
Since it’s a family reunion, conversations, which are referred to as “kumustahan” in Filipino, cannot be avoided. Some of the usual topics are love life, career, achievements, politics, and others. When we say conversations, it’s not just about updates about each family member; sensitive topics might also be brought up.
So, in this blog, we will list down some words you should not say at the next family reunion. This might not apply to Filipino family reunions but to other cultures as well.
Words To Avoid In A Filipino Reunion
Family, unity, togetherness, and love – this is what family reunions should symbolize. It’s a chance to see our relatives to strengthen their familial connection after a long time. It should be a time to have fun, revisit memories, and enjoy the company of each other. Family reunions should not be about bragging or criticizing one family member over another.
But no matter how we want things to go smoothly and peacefully in a family reunion, it’s inevitable that sensitive topics could be brought up and might result in a family member being hurt. So, here are some words to avoid in a Filipino reunion.
“Hey, you gained weight!”
Tagalog: Uy, ang taba mo na!”/ “Uy, Tumaba ka!”
Giving a comment about the physical appearance, like a weight gain of a family member, is the first on the list. Pretty sure that they see themselves every day, so you don’t need to be the one to point out the changes in their physical appearance.
We are now in an era where appreciating our own bodies means a lot. Everybody is beautiful in their own way. Remember, according to Dr. Desta, Ph.D., MS’ five-second rule, “only say something about someone’s appearance if they can change it in less than five seconds.”.
“Hey, you’re so thin.”
Tagalog: “Uy, sobrang payat mo!”
Some might think that being thin is something that people should be grateful for. But you have to know that there are thin people out there who are suffering from being thin. For whatever reason it may be, commenting about it should also be avoided. You might not know that this family member is battling a serious problem only they would understand.
“You’re already old enough. Why are you still single?”
Tagalog: Ang tanda mo na ha? Bakit single ka pa rin?
Is there anything wrong with being single? There are lots of people who are single by choice, and they are perfectly fine being one. People take being single differently. So, in the next family reunion, keep yourself from asking this question to your single relative. Refrain from being a matchmaker and advising them to use dating apps to look for a boyfriend/girlfriend/special someone. Many Filipinos believe in the saying “In God’s perfect time” and “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”.
“When are you getting married?”
Tagalog: “Kailan ka magpapakasal?”/”Kailan ka mag-aasawa?”
Have you ever felt the pressure of getting married by the age of 25-28? You’re lucky if you have not so please do not utter the question “Kailan ka magpapakasal?” to your relative. Many Filipinos, especially women, feel pressured when they are asked marriage-related questions. Well, here’s a word for you. Life is not a race.
Every person has their own timeline. A person should not be a slave to the timeline set by society, especially nowadays when earning for a living is really hard. In fact, there are Filipinos who are already okay with just living together and not tying the knot. Of course, it will raise a debate about being a Catholic and practicality, but the very least you can do is avoid asking this question.
“When do you plan to have children?”
Tagalog: Kailan mo/niyo balak magka-anak?
Having a child is a blessing, but do not expect that everyone in your family wants and should have one. Did you know that from 2007-2012, the birth rates of women in their 20s and 30s dropped by 30%? In 2020, there was a huge drop in birth rates, according to the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM). So, what does this mean? Many Filipinos now choose not to have children, and there are many reasons for this.
There’s research about why many Millenials don’t want to have kids. Here are the reasons:
- Who would want to raise a child in a broken world?
- Pregnancy is expensive and stressful for the body.
- Millennials are the most educated and underpaid in history.
- They are scared of being unable to provide the same opportunities they had.
- There are way too many of us.
- Career or kids?
- It’s easier to have pets.
“Why did you take that course? You won’t be earning a lot of money there.”
Tagalog: “Hala, bakit ‘yan ang kinuha mong course? Walang pera diyan.”
Nursing? Medicine? Engineering? Accountancy? Law? These are just a few of the courses that some Filipino parents force their children to take because they will earn a lot. Education is a very big deal in the Philippines. Graduating from college is an opportunity to secure a job that will help you improve your quality of life.
You have to remember that it’s one’s whole life and future that we’re talking about. Choosing a course should be based on one’s skills, passion, and talent. So, avoid questioning your relative’s choice, of course, based on the money they can earn. Remember, if you do what you love, you will never have to work again.
“How much do you make?”
Tagalog: Magkano ang sahod mo?
It’s okay to take an interest in knowing what’s your relative doing in their lives and job. But, asking about how much they make is not appropriate. There are people who based their treatment on one family member on their monthly salary and that’s not okay at all. Unless you wanna apply in the same industry that they are working with then, you can just ask for the range, not their exact salary.
“I’ve heard that you’re already rich. Can you lend me some money?”
Tagalog: “Balita ko mayaman ka na ha? Pautang naman!”
So your relative is earning a lot of money, what makes you think that he has the money to lend to anyone in the family? Well, firstly, a family reunion should be a time for bonding and having fun not lending someone money. Secondly, you should never believe things you just heard from someone. Most of the time it’s not true and you don’t know what the person’s priorities are.
“Why don’t you wanna go abroad?”
Tagalog: “Bakit ayaw mong mag-abroad?”
It’s true that OFWs are known to be great workers and that they are earning more than here in the Philippines. But, don’t expect that everyone wants to be one. Many Filipinos are already happy and content with their job here in the Philippines. Some of them do not want to be away from their families so, don’t ask this type of question. You may open the advantages of going abroad but leave the decision-making to your relatives.
“Why don’t you be like [insert relative’s name here]?”
Tagalog: “Bakit hindi mo gayahin si [pangalan ng kamag-anak]?.
Comparison – who enjoys being compared? Well, relatives, mostly older ones, tend to compare their children to their other relatives. Aside from plats competition at a very young age, it creates an instant division in a family who are supposed to be helping each other up. Just like what the title of the movie says, “Every child is special.”
“During our time [insert great comparison of your relative’s experience and the present]”
Tagalog: “Noong panahon namin [pagkukumpara ng noon at ngayon]
Comparing the younger generations to older generations is also one of the words to avoid in a Filipino reunion. At a family reunion, you’ll meet your whole family and sometimes, there will be relatives whom you’ll be meeting for the first time.
Some of the things that people at young age hate to hear from adults are the comparison of the past and present. Of course, it’s a new generation, and many things have already changed, including fashion, culture, language, etc. Accept that the only permanent in this world is changing.
Planning A Reunion With Your Filipino Friend? Learn Tagalog Now!
Imagine how great it is to be reunited with your Filipino friends and talk about life updates in fluent Tagalog. Sounds fun, right? Well, good thing that the Ling app got it all covered.
With the Ling app, learning Tagalog won’t feel like a burden. You can enjoy and have fun while you are learning. Learn from lessons developed by language experts and native speakers. Audio recordings, games, quizzes, grammar explanations, and dialogues are provided. With this, you’ll surely develop your language skills and achieve fluency in record time.