It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Or not, because some Filipinos dread that annual family reunion. You know, the one where an influx of awkward questions is somehow a tradition?
So, how do you respond to awkward questions? Luckily for you, we have an answer to that. Here’s your guide on how to survive the yearly Christmas gathering.
Awkward Question #1: “May boyfriend/girlfriend ka na ba?” (Or if you already have one), “Kailan kayo ikakasal?”
English translation: Do you already have a boyfriend/girlfriend? (Or if you already have one), “When’s the wedding?”
We have all heard this or some other variation since time immemorial.
For some reason, whether out of genuine concern or the need for plain ol’ gossip (chismis), titas and titos are oddly invested in our love lives.
Let our response be: Di pa po ready. (“I’m not ready yet.”)
For this question, you can be as straightforward as possible. Just say that you’re not yet ready for a relationship or marriage.
Our personal lives are no one else’s business but ours. Besides, it’s also not like you are inviting your entire family to your wedding. Haha, just kidding. (Or not.)
Awkward Question #2: Bakit ang laki-laki mo na? Or the more common “Uy, tumaba/pumayat ka!”
English translation: You gained/lost weight!
For some reason, commenting about people’s weight has replaced a proper greeting.
While you may notice changes in someone’s appearance, especially after not seeing them for a long time, it’s often best to just keep quiet – unless you’d be complimenting them.
Let out response be: Masarap po kasing kumain. (I like eating!)
Any remarks about one’s physical appearance are plain unnecessary. (Tag them under socially awkward questions and comments.) There’s nothing wrong with either gaining or losing a few kilograms.
In fact, weight fluctuates and all healthy body types and shapes should be celebrated!
Awkward Question #3: Ano nga trabaho mo? (With a side order of) Di ka ba mag-aabroad?
English translation: What do you do for a living? And, do you have plans of working abroad?
Ah, yes. This is one of the most awkward questions that feel like a sucker punch to the gut, particularly for those working in any creative field.
The older generation tends to have a more “traditional” outlook on careers—they assume that all jobs in the creative field don’t pay well. They also tend to have this outdated belief that working in front of a computer for eight hours a day is just “wasting time.”
What they might not know is that you could be earning higher than they imagine.
Let our response be: Petiks-petiks lang po. (“I’m just hanging around.”) And for the “working abroad” question, you can respond with, “Mamimiss ko po kayo.” (“I’ll miss you/everyone.”)
No, but really. It would probably take you a lot of time (which means staying longer than you would want to at these family dinners) to explain what it is that you do.
It might not even matter in the end. Some of your relatives might still hold on to the belief that being a doctor, nurse, lawyer, engineer, etc. is the only way to success. (Not saying that these careers are not fulfilling, but there are also a ton of options nowadays.)
So, there you have it—a list of awkward questions one usually receives from nosy relatives during Christmas gatherings – and how to go about replying to them.
Of course, you have two ways to go about things. You can be snarky and sassy (remember to use humor!) about it or you can be diplomatic. However, do choose your battles wisely.
And if you are thinking of starting fresh for the new year, you might want to head on to Remote Staff’s job listings. The job board is regularly updated, so make sure to keep an eye out. Good luck!