Real Talk

“My kid Wants To Date a Chinoy!” Here’s What You Need To Know

Chinoys are every bit of Chinese as they are Filipino. They have the best of both worlds.

When your kid brings over a friend or their partner, you’re usually expecting someone who’s the same race as you: Filipino or Chinese. But when that person walks through the door, you find out they look like neither! They’re fair, have almond-shaped eyes, and they look very different from your typical Filipino! That, dear parents, is what we’d like to call a Chinoy.

What are Chinoys?

You’d think the word Chinoy is some weird slang that came out of thin air, but we’ve actually been using it for a while. We shortened it to Chinoy (or sometimes spelled as Tsinoy) because saying Filipino-Chinese or Chinese-Filipino is such a mouthful! We’ve been living among them for years, even idolizing some of them because they look amazing on TV. Look at Kris Aquino, she’s a mix of Chinese and Kapampangan which makes her Chinoy!

What is a Chinoy’s life like?

A schedule jam-packed with celebrations

Usually, new culture means lots of cultural conflicts, right? Not for Chinoys! Chinoys are familiar with both Filipino and Chinese culture so they won’t have problems adjusting. But what they will have a problem with is their schedule! Like, there’ll be times they have to attend three family dinners one after the other because their ancestors died one after the other. Or, it was their ancestor’s funeral one day, then it’s their Lola’s birthday the next day, and then it’s their ahma’s birthday.

2 New Years in a Year?

Speaking of celebrations, they also celebrate New Year twice a year! How does that work? One’s on January 1, your typical New Year’s Eve then, there’s Chinese New Year in February. And both cultures agree on the same thing: every celebration needs food, food, and more food. We’re also not talking about your typical Sweet and Sour Pork and Siomai for the Chinese New Year. They have Smoked Duck Rice, Oyster Omelette, Fresh Lumpia, and probably more funky dishes like Soft-Shelled Turtle Stew and maybe a couple of frog’s legs …

Speaking different languages is normal

With all that food pouring out on the table, they can probably tell you the names of all the food in three different languages: Chinese, Filipino, and English! Being Chinoy means they always have to be ready to speak in another language depending on where they are. Big Chinese celebrations mean they need to speak in English, Mandarin, or Hokkien depending on which generation they’re speaking to. When they’re at Lola’s house, it’s English or Tagalog. Sometimes, even Spanish. How have they not gotten a headache from swapping languages all the time?

Can a relationship with two contrasting Asian cultures work?

Over the years, it has. Some even have five generations of Chinoys already! But what really tells you if your kid and the Chinoy person will have a good friendship or relationship is how they’re willing to compromise for one another. But a genuine relationship — whether it’s a friend or partner — always needs communication and understanding from both sides.

Love our article about Chinoys? Find out more about Tsinoys through our local artists!

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