Allow us to boast a bit: Filipinos make great lovers and significant others. Years of living with grandparents, Catholic school, and watching our dads and uncles drink at family celebrations made us polite, courteous, and sociable (while hiding a dirty streak that would kill our mothers if they knew). But while getting attracted to Pinoys is easy, staying committed to them needs some work.
So, to those who plan to go Pinoy on dating, especially for our foreigner friends, here are 10 things you should know before going out with a Filipino.
YOU ARE NOW DATING HIS/HER ENTIRE FAMILY
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Yes, you are invited to (read: obligated to attend) your significant other’s cousin’s daughter’s preschool graduation. Yes, it is her granduncles’ 90th birthday bash and you are part of the apos' special dance number. Of course you will be shown old photos of your gf/bf as a child bathing in a bucket of water and regaled with stories from the war. Yes, you will be ogled at and made fun of at all these family events. Because you’re family now, too!
YOU WILL GAIN A MILLION POUNDS FROM EATING EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE LAST PIECE OF FOOD ON THE PLATE
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Prepare to be force-fed everything served on the potluck buffet table because it’s a super-special family recipe. You will never ingest as many carbs ever again in your life after one family dinner. Observe as well the poor-looking last piece of meat/pizza/puto on the plate—it will grow cold and neglected while everyone eyes it, before it is inevitably offered to you because you’re newest member of the family. And you won't be able to say no.
EVERY DATE WILL BE A CRASH COURSE ON CULTURE
Pinoys are notoriously proud of their heritage (#PinoyPride, 'yo!). What do you mean you’ve never tried turon with ice cream? Artistocrat barbeque? Seen Intramuros? Ridden the MRT? Every date is a step closer to your "Filipinization," then before you know it, you’re wearing a barong at her cousin’s wedding and you realize you know more about the country than you do about your partner.
YOU WILL NEVER BE ON TIME FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN
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Six months with your Pinoy partner and you will be texting your friends "On the way, five minutes" when you’ve really just rolled out of bed just like the rest of us.
YOU WILL FREQUENTLY TUNE OUT OF CONVERSATIONS
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Your partner and her friends and family will make a concerted effort to speak English around you, but a few minutes later, one person will just drop in a random Filipino word (which is apparently cannot be translated into English that easily) and it will unleash a flood of held-in Filipino. Don’t get offended when you hear the word "nosebleed" around you a lot.
TRAFFIC WILL TEAR YOU APART
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All it will take to transform your partner from the charming, lovable person that he or she is into a grumpy, foul-mouthed monster is a dose of Manila traffic. If you want to get to know your partner really, really well, sit with him or her through rush hour traffic on a rainy day. Preferably with your partner manning the wheel.
RICE WILL BE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
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Everything tastes better with a steaming cup of freshly cooked white rice. A rice cooker will be your favorite kitchen appliance because your partner will insist on cooking her family’s super secret recipes for adobo and mechado (Filipinos and their food, right?) for you, and they absolutely require rice.
YOU WILL START RESPONDING TO JOE
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Don’t take it personally, Joe. Even if you aren’t American, if you’re tall and white, you’re definitely Joe when you walk down a street not used to seeing foreigners. Grin and bear it.
YOU WILL TRY (AND FAIL) TO BEAR THE HEAT
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Finally, a country where you can wear your vacation gear all year round! Flip-flops and tank tops FTW!
YOU WILL BE DATING SOMEONE WITH MILD MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER
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For the most parts, Pinoys are malambing (see what we mean about impossible-to-translate Filipino words?) and amiable partners—they see to it that you’re cared for (read: well-fed) and happy, but you don’t know they’re silently swallowing down a crap ton of stress, anger, or fear (which may or may not be related to your relationship). So today’s happy, sexy, loving partner is (possibly) tomorrow’s train wreck that finally snapped due to a misplaced pair of shoes or a late MRT train. Blame it on our culture of just saying "Okay lang" with a smile as our insides turn to acid.