The Chinese Lady and the “Good Family”

My niece, Michelle,  was walking home the other day through our subdivision in Iloilo  and passed up a group of workers. She didn't take the shuttle service and saved her "Dad" and "Tita" seven pesos. The guys were part of an army of landscapers and other laborers employed throughout our development. When my niece arrived home, I heard her chatting away  animatedly to my asawa and her twin sister, April.scan

But Michelle always babbles on continually like Alvin the Chipmunk on shabu,  so I didn't give it much thought. Later on, my asawa walked into my room, headquarters for "PhilippinesPlus," to tell me that one of the workers had followed Michelle part of the way home on his bicycle. I immediately perked up.

"He didn't bother her, did he?" I asked. "No," my wife replied. Seems he was wondering who the nice "Chinese lady" was that the guys always saw walking with my nieces. Michelle informed the man that the lady in question was her tita (aunt) and that she was Filipino and not Chinese. DSC

Even with my spouse's darker tan and classic Filipino nose, many people in the Philippines believe she is Chinese. Her father has Chinese ancestors but he was born in the PH and has spent his entire lifetime here. 

The worker also told Michelle that we are a "good family." We always talk to all the workers when we go by and are very friendly. He informed my niece that many of the residents do not even return their greeting. 

I was pleased to hear the positive report about us, and dismayed, but not surprised, to hear that some folks did not even speak to the laborers. I have said many times that I am no better than anyone else and no one is better than me.

I will show you respect unless you give me reason not to. I personally don't care if you're President Aquino or some worker cleaning the CR at SM City. I absolutely will treat you the same. I believe we are all the same in God's eyes. And that, Brothers and Sisters, is today's sermon.


the sermon


    • Nice photo, Randy. Yep, I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell your asawa is Filipino. I can spot the Korean kids here now because of their very light complexions, but there’s a lot of Filipinos that appear Chinese like my asawa. My wife has lost over ten pounds since moving back to the Philippines, Randy. She’s eating healthier since she goes to the market and buys fresh fish every couple of days and isn’t exposed to all the fast food that we’ve got back in the States. Me? I lost 15 pounds when we first moved here over three years ago, but put that back on. Now with my hour daily walking routine, I’m trimming some of that fat off. Plus, I haven’t had a Pale Pilsen for awhile, but I’m meeting my American expat friend, Scott B, and newcomer, Stuart, today. I don’t plan to do overdo it, however. My asawa informed me that when I went to previous expat meetings (not with Scott B) I would always come home rowdy. As you married guys out there know, it’s always wise to listen to your asawa. 😛

  • Todd


    Your wife reminds me a lot of my first fiance. My first fiance was 1/8th Chinese. As you know there is a lot of Chinese heritage in the filipines. Nothing wrong with that!!!

    On to another point, it is not hard to tell through your writings that you, your wife, and the kids have their acts together. The fact that you all seem to treat people well is a great reflection on who you are as a person.

    Isn’t it amazing how far just being friendly and respectful can get you in the filipines.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Todd. I cannot begin to tell you how disciplined and hard working my asawa is. Starting at the age of seven when she working on the rice farm, up to today, at age 47 (almost 48) working side-by-side with our “hot” laundry lady. We both try to instill that sense of respect into our nieces and our nephew living with us. Disrespect in ANY form is not tolerated.

      And you’ve got it, Todd. Be friendly and respectful, follow the “Golden Rule” and treat your neighbor the way you want to be treated, it works wonders.

  • Papa Duck

    My G/F’s late mother was half chinese. She grew up poor in Northern Luzon. Her late father came from an upper class family. But they instilled in her good values and to treat everyone with respect. You can really tell her parents did a wonderful job raising her as a only child. She was not spoiled one bit.

    • That’s good your G/F’s parents instilled those values in her, Papa Duck. It all starts with the parenting, as far as I can tell. A person can come from the harshest environment or live in luxury, but if your parents haven’t taught you the right path in life, you’re headed for trouble down the road. Fortunately my parents instilled those values in our family. I’m just trying to carry on their tradition with our nieces and nephews.

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