1. You have a red blouse or shirt that you wear to everyone's birthday.
And when you wear red, people think you're going to a birthday (even if you're not).
2. You spent your summer vacation working in your family business. Like, your hardware store.
Also known as instant internship!
3. Your parents are frustrated you can’t speak the mother tongue.
So they send you to Taiwan or China during summer breaks to immerse you in the culture and to force you to learn Mandarin. You never perfect it.
4. You don’t have black clothes and if you do, you can’t wear them to a family gathering.
Because black is for mourning, and you're supposed to be celebrating long life!
5. You still get nightmares about not being prepared for your Chinese quiz.
Because you'll be disowned (figuratively) if you get a score below 95.
6. You still do mental multiplication in Chinese. Di-it-di, di-di-si.
It's easier! Although, when it comes to bigger numbers...there are other Chinese ~*secret*~shortcuts.
7. You call elders uncle and auntie.
If they're family, it depends on the order of their birth. A'pe, D'pe, Sa'pe.
8. You have American names, specifically American presidents for boys. Your parents also love to put "-son" as a suffix to a perfectly good name.
The presidents’ names are for parents who want their sons to become great leaders. The "-son" suffix is to denote that what you have is a son. Thus, Dennis = Dennisson; James = Jameson; Richard = Richardson; Washington = Washingtonson (True story).
9. When you go to Hongkong, some stranger in the streets just starts talking to you.
Damn it, you should have done better in Chinese class.
10. When your college barkada always gives the menu to you when you eat at a Chinese restaurant.
Because they secretly just want you to say Chinese food names.
11. Incense sticks aren't just for aromatherapy—they're your line to heaven.
...or at least to the afterlife, where you can complain to your dead relatives about so-and-so. Or make wishes.
12. College prospects are usually La Salle (for Business Management), UP Manila (for Medicine), or UST (for Engineering).
Went to Ateneo? Your course was Management Engineering, noh?
13. You already knew how to speak three different languages by the time you were six. (Filipino, English, Chinese)
Plus, one dialect if you had a yaya who was Bisaya.
14. You couldn't have boyfriends until the day you graduated from college (or Med School).
And then, as soon as you graduated, your parents started hounding you about finding a suitable husband or you're going to grow old and die alone.
15. You have a resting sleeping face.
You got reprimanded in class for sleeping, but you were just squinting to take down notes. (Again, true story.)
16. You’re not used to parents who say “I miss you” or “I love you.”
But they show you their love through their actions. They provide. They send you to the best schools. They get your favorite food. They give you angpao.
17. You realized late in life that your adobo is actually fake.
Real adobo does not have boiled egg and sweet sauce.
18. You secretly wish your last name had more than one syllable.
But then again, you had it easy in kindergarten, when you were learning how to write. Ha!
19. At some point in your life, you owned a jade bracelet.
Or a jade pendant. Or a jade ring.