Christmas is the season when family gatherings are a-plenty. Reunions only mean two things: a lot of food and facing your titas and titos who have a lot to say—which is always the case in any family party.
But that’s the joy and beauty of Pinoy family reunions, isn’t it? What makes the festivities more memorable and exciting is the unique traits of every relative in attendance and whether we like it or not, we have to hear about the same thing every year.
Here are things you hear in every Pinoy family reunion:
“Tumaba ka ata?”
You try so hard not to get pikon, but it’s tough when you hear it every year. And it’s always from the same titas who are hefty themselves or offer you ridiculous amounts of food.
“Why are you still single?”
It’s not enough that you hear it from friends you meet once in a while, you have to hear more of it from your own blood. Relationships are always a central topic in conversations and you will not be spared from it, especially if you’re in your mid to late twenties.
“Remember that time when you were…”
They love bringing up the past. You’ll never hear the end of that one embarrassing thing you did when you were 7. Even until you’re in your 30s, as long as they can talk about it, they will. Doesn’t matter how long it’s been—it is forever etched in your family history.
“I know someone’s pamangkin perfect for you”
If you’re the single one in your family, there will always be a tita who will play matchmaker. She will tell her kumare who has a son or daughter your age and will set you two up. The thought is nice, sure, but it’s awkward when it’s your family deciding your fate in love.
“How come your Facebook posts are like that?”
You know how titas and titos or your parents leave the most random and embarassing things on your Facebook posts? This will come tenfold when they confront you face to face.
Whether it’s your bikini pics or party pics, they will have some sort of hot take about it. And you’ll have no choice but to sit there and take it in. Afterwards, you can change your settings to hide your posts from them.
“When will you get married?”
If you’re in your late 20s, whether you’re single or not, you will have to eventually hear this question. There should be a template answer for this but we usually just smile and quietly slip away into oblivion, hoping they won’t come after you.
“Who’s that boy/girl in your pictures?”
They will pry about your friends and relationships. After all, if you don’t see them often, they will of course get curious about the people you’re always with. They want updates about your dating life because they love stalking photos and posts of their pamangkins on social media.
“Gandang bata, mana sakin!”
This is what they greet you with as soon as you come in. It’s a staple greeting for every kid, apo and pamangkin in the clan. Even if you’re not sitting in the kids’ table and have moved on to the adults’ table, you will probably still hear this and they’ll always beam with pride when they say your good genes is thanks to them.
“Mag-mano ka, kapatid ng pinsan ng lola ng tita/tito mo yan!”
Admit it—you don’t know half of the people in big family reunions. You vaguely remember the faces of people you’ve only met once when you were 5 years old. Your parents will make you engage in conversations with distant relatives you’ve never met in your life and before you know it, you’re in the middle of a circle of unfamiliar faces.
“You sing right? Sing naman for your lola!”
Ah, the Magic Sing portion is here. When you were 7, it was fine because they’d give you money for it. Now that you’re an adult, there’s really no reward to look forward to other than your entire clan clapping for your tone-deaf self. They’ll take videos of you singing too so that they can share it on Facebook. But hey, your grandparents are happy, so it’s fine!