This is a recollection of a previous article I wrote on Tsinoys. It dealt with the book compilation “How Tsinoy Are You” published by tsinoy.com and Anvil which listed the cultural peculiarities of the Chinese in the Philippines. Even though they are getting more modern each day, the local Chinese – like those close-knit Koreans- retain their own unique identity as a social nucleus in the Philippines.
Here are some traits which distinguish the Tsinoys. Your contributions are welcome:
– Tsinoys don’t like it when they’re called “Intsik”
– Newly-married couples are pressured to have a son because sons are expected to inherit the family business and take care of their parents in their old age
– White is a color of mourning and signifies death. As much as possible, going to wakes is avoided.
– After eating in a lauriat, it is normal for some guests to belch just to show they’re full and satisfied with what the host served.
– Male tsinoy names usually ends with -son as in Wilson, Emerson and Kingson.
– Mahjong is their favorite game
– They have a piano in the living room that no one plays
– Misua, boiled eggs and peanuts or cashew are their preferred breakfast on their birthday
– Keeping a pet turtle is a no-no because it is believed to slow down business
– Their first-aid kit (and acne medication) is a small bottle of “pe hwe iyu” also known as White Flower
– Their Rx for cough is “ki-pe-lo’ while for stomachache it’s Seirrogan
– Older people usually give out “ang paos” during birthdays and Chinese New Year
– They count every centavo that comes in and out of their wallet
– They speak Chinese at home, speak Filipino with friends, and write letters in English
– Anything with number 8 is viewed as lucky
– Common courses for young Tsinoys are Engineering or Computer Science for the males, and Commerce (major in aaAccounting) for the females
– Tsinoys who are 30 and are still single live with their parents
– Their food vocabulary consists of kiampong, cha-pong, am-beh, cha-sio, ma-ki-mi, hee-chee, and ma-chang.
Related read: 40 ways to know if you’re Tsinoy
Very informative Ajay 😉 Add info – 168 means “One road to progress.” They usually buy their personalized car plates to get this number. That also expalins the name of the Chinese mall in Divisoria.
And although I wasn’t able to verify this, someone once told me that Tsinoys require their kids to make their first million by age 18.
Thanks for this extra info Jane. I do know of some Tsinoy pals wo have 888 for their car plate number.:wink:
haha, really? they don’t like being called intsik?
thanks for this info ajay…
i’m no chinese but i love kiampong, sarap din siao long pao, at kuchay dumplings nila.. especially in ongpin.
Rx for sore throat.. pei pa kwa
Yes Vina..their blood boils when they’re called Intsik:razz:
You reminded me of the xiao long bao Eric..sarap ng soup sa loob di ba? If your surname is Dee, you must be Chinese, hmmm
Umm… they go to Xavier (for the boys) and ICA (for the girls)? I know you’re right that they don’t like being called intsik… I think it’s derogatory. Myself, people call me intsik because of my eyes though I don’t have a single drop of Chinese blood… I don’t mind it at all. 🙂
read my comments please
Uhm, your point’s well-taken Gyzmo. But what do you propose should be our alternative to “Pinoy” “Tsinoy” and even ‘Tisoy?”:grin:
i finally got a daytmie shift with weekends restdays.. this simply means i have more time for binondo food trip!!!
may nabibilhan ako dumplings dun.. as what my chinese frend told me. its authentic daw. thats the REAL dumplings should taste like.. i know the place.. but the prob is the ownser speaks only in Cantonese. as in Zero english kaya turo-turo ang style sa menu. ehhehehe malapit yun sa san lorenzo school.
sarap din kiam pon sa mezzanine cafe.
and the Tea eggs! chicken eggs boiled in tea leaves.. sobrang sarap.. para syang aphrodisiac. ehehehe
Ung friend kong chinese always tells me to take pei pak koa everytime na may ubo ako. Pwede rin iyong liquid or candy.
pauline ng says
hi! im looking for robert co ng sr. if anyone who has info email me at email@example.com. he’s the father of my husband, they havent seen or meet each other since birth. thank you
168 means success all the way.
here are some:
1. You have a Chinese name but no one’s ever called you by it since high school.
2. Mahjong is your number 1 game.
3. You think the center of life in the Philippines is within the 3-mile radius of Binondo Church.
4. When doing math, you mumble the Chinese multiplication table.
5. Your evaluation is limited to ‘not bad’ (bwe-phai) and ‘good enough’ (ham-ham).
Food, food, food
6. You greet guests with “Have you eaten?” instead of “How are you?”
7. You know how to eat with chopsticks, spoon and fork, and your bare hands
8. You hate to waste food even if you’re totally full.
9. You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing.
10. Today’s rice is tomorrow’s fried rice.
11. You have to eat misua on your birthdays.
12. If you can’t pick up a fish/meat/squid ball using chopsticks, you stab it. If you can’t stab it, you use your hands.
13. Your stomach has been trained to take on an 8-dish lauriat.
14. You wipe plates and silverware in restaurants with napkins before you use them.
15. When seated around a Chinese lauriat, you insist back and forth that other people take the first serving.
16. You’re used to riding the kalesa in Binondo.
17. Your house has a big, red gate.
18. You were required to help out in your parents’ store/business/office during weekends, summer and Christmas breaks.
19. As a child, you looked forward to the dragon dance in Ongpin or your subdivision.
20. Your ama force-fed you with growth balls.
21. Every major decision in your household was consulted with a feng shui expert.
Love and Friendship
22. Almost all of your friends are Tsinoys.
23. Your Pinoy friends ask tikoy from you, and they’re more excited eating it than you are.
24. Your Pinoy friends asks for the Chinese translation of ‘I love you” and some expletives.
25. Your parents ask for your boyfriend or girlfriend’s full name in Chinese, birthday and the time of birth.
26. You count every single centavo that comes in and out of your wallet.
27. You have a hard time explaining your entrepreneurial principles to others.
28. The first reaction of your new Pinoy friends is: “Mayayaman ang mga Intsik!”
29. In one sentence, you mix Filipino, English, and Fujian without realizing it.
30. You speak Chinese at home, Filipino with friends, write letters in English.
31. You affix “-la”, “-lo” to your Pinoy/Taglish sentences.
32. You affix “ba”, “naman” or “pa” to your Chinese sentences.
33. Your parents tell you to “eat” instead of “drink” your medicine.
34. You say “hugas ng picture” instead of ”’pa-develop ng picture.”
35. You understand Fujian, but can’t speak it; you know how to write Mandarin, but don’t understand it.
Traditions and practices
36. It’s a mortal sin to wear black or plain white.
37. You pray to your ancestors using joss or incense sticks.
All in the family
38. Your house has giant pictures of dead relatives, and it smells of incense the entire day!
39. Your grandparents are unable to pronounce your English name so they call you by nickname.
40. Your parents, grandparents and older relatives like the color red; you hate it.