There are some key aspects about our culture and hosting parties you should know. First of all, be prepared to feed your guests. Not only feed them, but have enough for them to take some food back home. You see, when you invite a friend, you invite their family. For those other family member who can not make it, you are feeding them too. It is an expectation that when you go into any Filipino household, that there is always food available. When you have a party, you are basically sharing your generosity. Not only that but Filipino’s really enjoying cooking and eating. It’s in our blood, it’s in yours too. That is the thing you have to know about our people is that we are a kind, thoughtful, and hospitable culture. Never forget that.
We love to entertain. Our people have it in their blood and soul to entertain. Whether it be through song or dance, we like to mimic our idols. For those that can afford it, we have homes that have entertainment in mind. A big kitchen, a formal living room, or a nice big backyard for barbecuing. It’s what we do, it’s who we are. Growing up there were always kids around. You will never find a party without kids or food. There is always something to do for everyone. For adults, they had Blackjack or Mahjong. For kids they had the playroom or Monopoly. When it’s your turn to entertain, be prepared to have something to do for everyone.
In our case, partying and entertaining has been challenging. First of all we don’t have the amount of friends and quality of friends that my parents had. Now-a-days everyone is busy. In fact, we don’t even have any Filipino (or Turkish) friends that we can really call friends. Maybe because of where we live or because we are just as busy. All my friends live in the Bay Area. Of course we have your God Parents Leah and Gemma, but they too are busy.
Second of all, it’s financially hard on us to have parties every so often as my parents did. They both worked. In our case, it’s just me providing for all of us, including Minik and Candy. Thank God, however, that we have Costco. Costco was not around when I was growing up. We did most of our shopping on the military base or at the local grocery store. When I was living with my grandparents, your great grandparents, the military base was open to them because Lolo (grandpa) was a war veteran.
So while partying and entertaining is in our blood it has been difficult to do because of our lack of friends and finances. However, for the times that we did have parties, we did it in the spirit of our culture. Your Turkish side is not any different. They are a people of love and generosity. They open up their homes and treat you like family. It’s who we all are, it who you are.
While growing up I was never hungry when visiting friends. As I said, Filipinos always have food. Parents would ask every 5-10 minutes, ‘are you hungry?’ If you said ‘no’ it didn’t matter, cause they would prepare something anyway. It is an insult to refuse. I say that again, it is an insult to refuse. After visiting the same household over and over, I just made myself the part of the family and opened the refrigerator whenever I wanted LOL.
The thing about Filipino families is that they always want you to feel at home. When you come through the door, you take off your shoes, you make something for yourself to eat, and you respect the elders. When you party, you party with people you treat as family. Don’t forget that and don’t forget who we are as a people and as a culture.
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