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7 Signs that You're in a Filipino Home

Do you still keep plastic spoons and forks from fast food restaurants?

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Photography: Rene Mejia

How can you tell that you've entered a Filipino home? Since most of us have lived with these things for as long as we can remember, we have probably never even noticed them. However, once we grow older and visit other countries, we start to realize what made our own houses, condos, and apartments different from other places around the world. 

Here are 7 signs that you're in a Filipino home:

  • bagwa hanging above the front door

Many Filipino families hang a bagwa above their front door for protection. Some families also hang a crucifix or an image of Jesus and Mary.

  • Shoes around the floor mat

Another sign that marks the entrances of Filipino homes? Shoes near the welcome mat! We usually remove our footwear and put our house slippers on so we don't drag dirt into our private haven.

  • Stuffed toys on a shelf

We have also noticed that many of our parents seem to have a penchant for displaying teddy bears and other stuffed toys. They often use these to decorate our living areas and bedrooms.

  • A "Last Supper" artwork in the dining area

Most Filipino dining areas would not be complete without a "Last Supper" print on the wall. Many families look for something similar to the Leonardo da Vinci painting in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan.

  • A wooden spoon and fork on the wall

A wooden spoon and fork is another common sight in Filipino homes. Oversized utensils are often used to adorn one of the walls in the dining area.

  • Plastic spoons and forks from fast food restaurants

If you are near the kitchen, you may want to check the drawers and cabinets. Chances are, you will find a few pairs of plastic spoons and forks from different restaurants. If your mother is anything like mine, you might also see used plastic bags and empty ice cream containers!

  • tabo and balde in the bathroom

We can't finish this list without mentioning the humble tabo and balde! Amost every Pinoy uses a set for washing up and taking baths. Although many of our homes may now have modern designs, this classic combination will always have a special place in our bathrooms.  

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