How to Respond to Your Relatives' Off-Limit Questions: The Reunion Edition
Reunion season is just around the corner and that means we’ll once again encounter the ever-dreaded questions about career, love life, and more from our beloved titos, titas, lolos, and lolas.
Before you sulk in one corner and end up questioning your existence when you get home, here are some tips on how to answer and survive that get together:
Question 1: Kumusta na? Saan ka na nagtatrabaho? (How are you? Where are you working?)
In the age of millennials and freelancers, this could be a difficult one to answer. There is a greater population of the new generation that prefer working in startups and small companies instead of large corporations. It would require a tedious explanation of why you’re always at home, working with five different companies.
Naturally, there would be a follow up question of why you won’t work in big companies. "Don’t you have dreams of becoming a manager?” says your tita while she pushes her eyeglasses up her nose and pagpaypay ng mas malakas.
Answer: Mention a company you’re working with that they probably know if you’re a freelancer. Tell them about the cool things at work (regardless of how dreadful work can sometimes be) if you’re a full timer. Maybe redirect the question and talk about the cute guy at the office (who doesn’t really even exist).
Question 2: Siguro mayaman ka na! (You must be rich already!)
You’ve impressed them with your work, of course they’ll tease how rich you must already be.
Answer: The easiest answer to this is, a “Hindi naman po” in a suggesting tone with matching soft giggle on the side. Keep them guessing.
Question 3: May boyfriend ka na?/Kailan ka mag-aasawa? (Do you have a boyfriend already?/When are you getting married?)
Lola just doesn’t seem to understand your wanderlust and constant soul searching. Just because you’re in your 20s doesn’t mean that you have to rush to get married or even just find a boyfriend especially when the only last names you aim to own are Lauren, Lagerfeld, Jacobs, Ford, and Vuitton.
This is the question you might drag back home to think about but don’t worry, you can get out of it.
Answer: I have three choices for this. Take your pick:
a.) Hinihintay ko pa po ang “The One” (I'm just waiting for "The One") - though this might lead to a follow up of “nako baka naman maghintay ka sa wala” ("You might just be waiting for nothing.") but most often than not, relatives would agree that you wait for the right guy.
b.) Nagpapayaman pa po ako (I'm too busy getting rich) - 12/10 recommend this answer. Always.
c.) Wala po./Wala po sa plano. (No./I don't have plans.)- Just be honest and leave. It’s not like they have a choice, right? Plus, they ask this almost every year. *eye rolls*
Question 4: Kailan kayo mag-aanak? (When are you having babies?)
For our married girls out there, here’s one for you. This is a pretty sensitive topic as couples have their own stories and choices as to when, how, and why they’re not having babies yet.
Answer: If your relatives throw this card at you, just say you’re trying your best. The conversation might turn a bit suggestive but you’re all adults and that could lead the discussion somewhere else.
Question 5: Tumataba ka yata/Bakit ang taba mo na? (Did you gain weight?)
THE MOST DREADED QUESTION OF ALL.
Answer: Tell them “Sign of prosperity. Madami po akong pangkain” or better yet, hit them with a “Parang kayo rin po”.
At the end of the night, just think of how your relatives are there to throw these questions on the table and keep things interesting. Surely, you’re not the only pamangkin/apo around.
You don’t have to pretend you’ve got your whole life together and impress them. Perhaps they still remember you as the little girl running around in diapers and all they want is to know how you are doing now.
It’s a perfect time to rekindle bonds and know more about your kin. Maybe even find out where you inherited your stubbornness and beauty.