As a family-loving culture, Filipinos will certainly find ways to meet up with relatives safely. Now that pandemic restrictions are starting to ease, Pinoys are truly looking forward to what is about to come — reuniting with their families.
Along with family reunions, you might have to face yet another hurdle — meeting the titos and titas once again.
For the younger members of the family, it’s not just a reunion with loved ones — it’s also a reunion with your tito and tita’s usual greetings.
While this can be scary at times, you are never alone. Here we list common lines that every pamangkin probably encountered at least once:
1. “Wow, dalaga/binata ka na!”
Every Pinoy kid has definitely heard this once from a tita or a tito. This is because some relatives rarely attend reunions — but when they do, they definitely emphasize their surprise as to how much you’ve grown.
Traditionally, family reunions are done at least once a year during national or religious holidays — and attendance isn’t always perfect.
Some family members could be an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and couldn’t come home, while some have other priorities that need to be attended to.
At the end of the day, though, it is all the same greetings: “Wow, dalaga/binata ka na!”. To make matters even funnier, it usually comes with “Huling kita ko sayo, binubuhat pa kita!”, implying that you were still an infant the last time they saw you.
Nevertheless, this is a warm welcome from the titos and the titas — and hey, they’re just really surprised and proud of your growth, physically and everything else in between.
2. “Kaninong anak ka?”
The older titas and titos might ask you this, especially if you come from a very big family. All the farther relatives may be hard to remember especially when you do not get to meet them often.
Naturally, when titos and titas with an age meet you, it’s also most likely they don’t remember you. Either they last saw you as a child and couldn’t remember you, or they never really met you at all.
For others, it can be scary to introduce yourself to older relatives. However, this is also an opportunity to *lowkey* create a good image of yourself in the family. You can tell them who your parents are and a very brief fast track of how much you’ve grown — typically what you do and how you got to the reunion.
A bonus would be — letting the titas and titos know the positive things you’ve heard about them. Who knows, you might end up as their favorite pamangkin.
3. “What are you wearing, hija/hijo?”
Coming from a very conservative generation with religious and patriarchal roots, it is understandable that titas and titos may greet you with immediate comments about your clothing.
Sometimes, it can be related to your skirt being short, or your haircut not being styled according to your “gender”.
This can be offensive and hurtful when hearing it at times, but it is best to understand the tito and tita’s standpoint. Nevertheless, keep wearing what you want. Reunions are only once a year, but you are yourself every day.
4. “Kailan ka mag-aasawa?”
The older titas and titos probably got married early during their time, so they could be expecting the same from their nieces and nephews.
Correspondingly, for the pamangkins in their 20s, there is also sort of an expectation that marriage is “in the works” or “in the mind” — so much that it has become a greeting already.
In comparison to the dating trends among the young generation, many millennials and gen Zs find it difficult to get married in their early to mid 20s. Some would rather prioritize their personal well-being or careers, which is why this question seems a little bit hard to answer.
Worry less, though — your cousins may have been greeted with this too. So the next time you have a reunion, make sure to draft a group response with your cousins.
5. “May boyfriend/girlfriend ka na?”
One of the classics — if you’re too young to get married but old enough to date, this question is the natural “hello” for titas and titos in reunions.
Usually it comes with a follow-up question, asking if there’s a manliligaw, or any dating prospects. If you’re lucky enough, a tita will even offer to introduce you to their friends’ child who’s in a similar age as you.
Titos and titas might just be in their Marites mode, or they just genuinely care about your lovelife, but nonetheless this is probably a sincere question.
6. “Join ka wine night, ha!”
For the young-at-heart titos and titas — drinking is probably the best way to spend time, and most especially with their pamangkins. So before the reunion actually starts, they greet you with an invite: an invitation to drink, typically wine for the titas, and beer for the titos.
This is usually an invitation to get in touch with the latest family chika, or just an opportunity to relax and have fun conversations with relatives.
If the situation allows, they sometimes hold surprise activities while drinking, much for the happiness of the younger members of the family, like you.
7. “Hoy, tumataba/pumapayat ka.”
The most iconic of them all and every tito and tita’s favorite greeting — it’s either you’re growing healthier, or you’re getting slimmer as you age.
Every pamangkin must have heard this, and this is probably the most relatable line out of all that has been listed here. While this can be very trivial for the titos and titas, the younger generation may not take it as lightly as it seems.
When you hear this, own your body and show off your beauty. So the next time they meet you, they know how else to see you apart from your body. Mindset ba, mindset?
Pinoy reunions can be chaotic at times, but still fun and fulfilling. Most typically, it ends with “Message me on Viber, ha!” — like the real titos and titas they are.
So before your family arranges your post-pandemic reunion party, make sure to download the tito and tita apps and prepare your scripts for a flawless response to their incredible greetings.
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