Please, don’t call me Sir


What is the first thing that demarcates a Filipino from the Philippines and say, a Filipino Singaporean like me, somebody born and bred in Singapore? Somebody embraced by all things Singapore.

Page-10-imageNot to sound too full of myself, I posed the question to Filipino Singaporeans like myself and Filipinos I admire and who I have learned to trust to give me an honest response. There were a number of cogent answers: One, true Singaporeans love their food spicy; Filipinos do not. Perhaps, a few do, but with a degree of circumspection and caution. Okay, that’s a useful observation, watching the eating habits of others.

What else? Singaporeans speak a fractured form of English, also known as Singlish. Filipinos make do with Taglish, while some, perhaps to please their Singaporean sweethearts, try to pick up Singlish, with hilarious results:

Filipino girl: “You want me go Orchard Road? What time good for you?”

Singapore man: “No lah, I come pick you up.”

“Eh, you drive? What car you drive?”

“Mercedes, why –”

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