Kabayan 101: Stuff we're known for

Kabayan 101: Stuff were known for

By Alvin R Cabral

Published: Sat 3 Sep 2016, 4:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 3 Sep 2016, 7:54 PM

See those delivery trucks with those boxes ready for shipping? More often than not, they're from Filipinos eager to send stuff back home. Called balikbayan boxes - "balikbayan" a noun meaning "coming back to the country" - these cartons of various sizes are most popular leading up to the Christmas holidays. They create a crush at Philippine ports! It doesn't matter how much it would cost or how difficult it is to squeeze everything in; the smile and happiness of waiting families makes it all worthwhile.
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The "three stars and the sun" emblem has become an iconic representation and identifier of Filipinos. It was coined by the late king of Philippine rap, Francis Magalona. Aside from apparel, you'll commonly see this slapped on vehicles - which means if you're a Filipino driver and see one on the road, give way for your kabayan's sake!
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And speaking of Yuletide, Filipinos start decorating their places with all things Christmas as soon as the "-ber" months arrive. In the Philippines, Christmas trees, Christmas lanterns (parol), dancing lights and other eye-catching decorations are staples for the season of giving. As a matter of fact, many families allow the decor to stay well into January - and even into February. Why remove it when it looks so "puhrty" (or maganda, as a kabayan would say)?

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