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Because a lot of Chinese-Filipino families can be strict with tradition, dating a Chinoy can be quite an adventure. So many rituals to learn about! So many Achie and Shobe and all them new words! And if you’re the Chinoy dating a well, non-Chinoy, you and your SO are up for some serious scrutiny from the ‘rents and the aunties and the uncles. Below are eight signs that define Chinoy-dating. Love it or hate it, it’s actually very interesting, and cute.


1. The great “kai shiao.” If you’re single, family gatherings mean enduring the topic where your relatives try to figure out who to set you up with via the traditional “kai shiao,” or The Introduction. This could be a good thing because your date doesn’t have to go through the rigorous approval of the family, but it REALLY MATTERS that your relatives have taste.

2. The Great Wall becomes a question. As in: “May Great Wall ka ba?” This is the first thing your friends ask you, and this could also be a sign that the person asking is verifying if they could court you. *wink wink*

3. When your family members find out you’re dating someone, the first question they’ll ask is… “What’s their family business?” Because you know, it’s their business to know these things.

4. There are no titas or titos. Just aunties and uncles. In the same way that Filipinos call everybody tita and tito, so do Chinoy kids call everybody auntie and uncle. Now, if you’re serious about this relationship and you plan on going long-term, a quick guide on Chinese family vocabulary:

  • Achie- older sister
  • Ahiya- older brother
  • Shobe- younger sister
  • Shoti- younger brother

5. A beso is a no-no! Remember, physical interaction among the Chinoy is limited. Feel free to make mano your SO’s family members. But please, a beso is a no-no!

6. When you visit his/her house for the first time, you’ll probably smell Chinese incense. Don’t twitch your nose or act weird. Also, if you’re going to visit him/her, don’t forget to bring food.

7. Stock up on red clothing. Because you need to wear red in every celebration and black and white clothing is a HUGE no-no!

8. Brush up on Chinese family traditions. Watch the video below:

Illustration: Madel Crudo


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