10 Things You Will Find In A Typical Filipino Household

by PrimaryHomes

May 05, 2021

The everyday Filipino is always going to have such a colorful and vibrant personality. Typically, Filipino people tend to have very optimistic and positive outlooks on life. This is a very impressive feat considering that the Philippines is a developing nation with a very high poverty rate. However, in spite of all of the adversities that the everyday Pinoy might face, they still manage to find as many reasons as they can to smile and laugh. And one of the things that Filipinos tend to laugh about is our own culture.

It’s no secret that cultural identity is a very important aspect of Filipino life. To a lot of Filipino families, establishing and maintaining traditions are very important. There are just certain cultural aspects of the typical Filipino family that must always be carried out and never questioned. However, that doesn’t mean that these cultures and traditions are immune to comedy as well. In fact, you might chuckle at the fact that so many of these cultural traits of a typical Filipino family aren’t exclusive to your own.

It’s evident that there are certain cultural ties that bind all Filipino families regardless of economic or educational background. It’s evident in the way that a Pinoy is always going to turn their head when they hear someone say “Pssssst” in public. It’s also evident in the way that someone always shouts “Wacky naman!” after a group photo is taken. It’s also evident in the way that people replace terms for common nouns with brand names instead. “Uy! Pa-Kodak ta na!” as a reference to the popular photo-printing company that was popular in the 90s. That company hasn’t even been relevant for the past two decades and it still finds a way to stay in modern Filipino vocabulary.

This is how attached Filipinos are to their culture. But the most compelling evidence of a unified Filipino culture would be the everyday items that you find within a typical Filipino household. And this is precisely what this article is going to show you. If you grew up in an ordinary and traditional Filipino home, it’s very much likely that you will have seen these things lying around and you might have never given them any second thought. It was so normal for you to see these items in your home. And if you paid a visit to the homes of any of your friends, you might have seen these objects there as well. However, if a foreigner stepped into your home, then they wouldn’t really be familiar with a lot of these things because let’s face it… a lot of these items are uniquely Filipino. 

Walis Tingting

The famous Walis-Tingting. Sure, now that people are becoming more and more modernized, the traditional Filipino broom that is made out of coconut midribs are becoming a rarer sight to see. In fact, in most modern Filipino homes, it’s more likely that you would see those robot vacuum cleaners that just wander about on their own. However, if you grew up in the 90s or even the 00s, you will have seen this broom being used by your yaya or your lola in the afternoons whenever they were trying to clean the house. 

Plastic Bag Collection

These days, sustainability is very much on trend. More and more individuals are becoming more mindful of the carbon footprint that they leave behind. Naturally, we all want to care for our mother earth and that’s why the environmental sustainability movement is really starting to gain prominence. However, not too many people are aware that all of the traditional titos and titas were practicing sustainability way back even before it was cool. In a traditional Filipino household, it’s likely that you would find a box or a cupboard that’s just filled with different plastic bags from supermarkets, clothing stores, or groceries. You just never know when a plastic bag could come in handy. 

Painting of The Last Supper

As many people know by now, the Philippines is one of the most prominent Catholic countries in the world. In fact, based on recent statistics, around 90% of Filipinos identify as having a Christian faith. The Philippines is also celebrating 500 years of Catholic presence in the country in 2021. It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that Christianity is something that is deeply embedded in Filipino values. If you take a look around a typical Filipino household, you will find all sorts of remnants of Catholicism there. One of the most common examples of such remnants is The Last Supper. The painting was originally done by Leonardo Da Vinci during the Renaissance period. But it’s easy to assume that not even Da Vinci could predict that his masterpiece would become a staple in ALL Filipino households. 

Paper Calendar With Red and Blue Font

In the age of smartphones and computers, why do people still use mechanical watches to tell the time? Well, a lot will say that there’s a certain charm that is associated with being able to look at your wrist to tell the time. Can the same be said about that paper calendar that you probably have hanging in your living room or your kitchen? Well, regardless if it’s charming or not, you’re bound to find this paper calendar with red and blue colored fonts in most Filipino homes. Heck, you might even find this in local bars, barbershops and carinderias.

Coconut Husks

Who needs an electric buffing machine in your home when you can make use of something cheaper and sturdier instead? There’s a reason why people call the coconut the fruit of life. From its meat, you can nourish yourself. From its strong leaves and wood, you can create sturdy structures. And from its husks? You can make cleaning devices, apparently. Just add a little floor wax to the bottoms of the halved coconut husks and you have a makeshift floor polishing tool. 

Old Photo Albums

Regardless if you’re Filipino or not, nostalgia is a bug that can hit anyone. And when it hits you, it hits really hard. Fortunately for Filipino families, this feeling of nostalgia can only be enhanced by leafing through old family photo albums which are present in all Pinoy homes. You can even learn a lot about the oldest members of your family and what life was like for them back in the day by taking a peek at their version of this age’s Instagram feed. 

Plates With Flower or Fruit Decorations

Minimalism was never trendy in traditional Filipino households. This is the reason why Filipino homes tend to be very colorful and oversaturated with all sorts of objects in varying shapes and sizes. Even mundane kitchenware must carry some kind of color or unique design with it. It’s only in the Philippines wherein you will find a lot of the plates decorated with colorful designs of fruits, vegetables, or even flowers just to add more color to one’s eating experience. 

Catholic Altar

Again, as has been previously mentioned, the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country. And this fact is evident everywhere you go in the country – but most especially in Filipino homes. It’s actually very common to walk into a Filipino home and find an altar there. These altars are typically filled up with idols, statues, rosaries, prayer books, images, palm leaves, candles, and bibles.

Electric Fan

The Philippines is a pretty hot country. The archipelago rests just a little above the equator and that means that we get to really feel the heat of the sun during the day. So, it’s normal for any Pinoy household to have cooling devices to minimize the effects of the heat. For well-off modern families, air-conditioning units are a must. But it’s practically standard to always have an electric fan at home. During mid-day, when the heat gets a little too unbearable, it’s typical for kids to ask their lolas to prepare their favorite iced beverages while they sit in front of an electric fan to cool down. 

Fruit Paintings or Ornaments

There is a real obsession that exists with Filipinos and their fruits. Perhaps, you could attribute it to the fact that the Philippines is a tropical country that is blessed with a variety of different fruits. When you explore a Filipino dining area or kitchen, it’s likely that you’re going to find a few fruits like bananas, apples, oranges, or mangoes on display. However, you’re going to have to take that extra step to inspect these fruits even further because a lot of Filipino families put out ornaments in lieu of the real thing. Maybe it’s superstition or maybe it’s just a cultural thing. Whatever the case, remnants of fruits must always be present in a Filipino household. 

Final Thoughts

So, what do you think? Did you have a lot of these things in your home when you were growing up? Do a lot of these things still exist in your home now? Are there certain items that you feel like we missed in this article? Share this post to your friends and talk about what kind of childhoods you had growing up with your Filipino family. 


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