Filipinos: Happy & Social
Filipinos are such a friendly and social group of people. I’m beginning to understand why it takes so long to get anything done. Besides the traffic, laid back attitude, bureaucracy and inefficiencies they love being social. Before flying down to Coron I wanted to open a bank account on the mainland. Thankfully, I had my aunt to guide me through the process.
As soon as we entered her bank we were immediately greeted by the staff. We sat at the bank manager’s desk and they brought us cold glasses of mango juice. As we sat filling out and signing form after form one by one employees would drop by and start chatting. They were catching up with my aunt and very curious about me. I didn’t know she was a ‘rock star.’ By the time we left I was viewing someone’s holiday pictures of their trip to Batanes on their cell phone.
My aunt is a ‘foodie’ of sorts so we thought it would be a great treat to cook a nice meal as appreciation for the hospitality she’s always shown us. Besides, it was also our anniversary and we wanted to celebrate with the family. My two uncles, his wife and my cousin also live in the same house so we knew we would be cooking for them as well. Filipinos are known for their close family ties so it’s common that households are made up of lots of family members old and young.
We went shopping at the nearby SM grocery store. As we gathered our supplies we asked my aunt how many of us would be eating. She started counting, “Tito Ross, Tita Inday, Roanne, Tito Boy, Tita Nida, Tito Magno, the house staff, the driver, the staff at her internet cafe store. Seventeen people.” Holy cow! I had envisioned a nice plated dinner to showcase ‘the Chef’s’ skill. Suddenly it became a simple and rustic buffet lunch.
So far the people we’ve met have been friendly, giving and hospitable whether they’re Filipino or Expat. The Filipinos love to laugh and joke around while being curiously formal at the same time. Yet it’s the simple people, like Vince our tricycle driver, who have a kind of naive honesty whom I find the most endearing.