10 questions commonly asked by Filipinos to Filipinos in Dubai

from the movie, Dubai
Ever wonder how Filipinos get along quickly, and how they seem to develop affinity?

Filipinos are known to easily mingle with their fellowmen. Because living abroad means having to deal with different emotions, the sense of belonging(ness) is one of the essential needs we look for. We want to connect instantly, not necessarily make a long-way friendship.  We seek people who we can talk about common things, especially'emotional' things.

So how does a connection begins? These 10 questions are the common conversation starters:

2. Taga-saan ka sa atin?
EN - "Where are you from in the Philippines?"
Finding a fellow Filipino is a relief. Finding someone who hails from the same place as yours is a comfort. You would get along.  The situation is like you're talking about the same movie you just watched.

3. May kakilala kang ___?
EN - "Do you know someone named ___?"
And then this question follows because someone tries to create a family tree. Kidding. Someone wants to know if you are connected 'deeply' by means of common (popular) friends. We want to prove again that we live in a small world.

4. Sa'n ka nagtatrabaho dito?
EN - "Where do you work here"?
Someone wants to know if you do the same job, if you're under the same field, because he's interested to take the acquaintance further and discuss more about 'work'.

5. May opening ba sa inyo?
EN - "Are there job opportunities in your company?"
And possibly, someone wants a padrino to get a job (and he wants to work with you). "Just send me your CV, and will let you know if there's an opportunity" is what your reply would be, most likely.

6. Ano lahi ng boss mo?
EN - "What's the nationality of your boss?"
Someone investigates. Because he have preferences about who to work with. One may have bad experiences with other nationalities that, unfortunately, he tends to generalize it.

7. Ilan kayong Pinoy dun?
EN - "How many Filipinos work in your company?"
Someone's checking if he will be okay in case he works in your company because it's more fun with more Pinoys (daw). Feels more homey I guess.

8. Matagal ka na dito?
EN - "How long have you been here?"
Someone wants to know how credible or not you are - that your stories about Dubai are reliable and from personal experience.

9. Sa'n ka dito, magkano renta?
ENG - "Where do you stay here? How much do you pay for rent?"
Stalking? Not really. Just canvassing (read: comparing) if you've got a better place to stay than what he got in terms of rent cost and probably accessibility and amenities nearby.

10. Sino'ng kasama mo dito?
EN - "Who are you staying with?"
Someone might be wondering if your family is here or if you are already in a comfortable circle of friends. Because if not, he may want to start connecting with you.  Sometimes, it's a fishing question, if your wife or husband is here with you :)

...and of course, the opening question is...

1. Kabayan?
EN - "Are you one of us?"
Someone's looking at you with an intense eye contact yet doubtful (kahit pango ang ilong mo), inspecting your facial features in a snap. And to validate the gut feeling, he will blurt out... "Kabayan?"

The 11th question could possibly be... "Ano'ng pangalan mo?" Some people find it more comfortable to ask the name if they already feel at ease with the 'former unknown.'

We may be complete strangers back home, but we try to get along in the foreign land and create a bond. This kind of acquaintance feels so good. Hope it stays this way forever, not only in Dubai but anywhere in the world we may be.

But beware, there's one introductory question that provokes controversy, and you may want to avoid it... GUSTO MO MAG-KAPE? :P

* Part 1 of 4: It is 'Buwan ng Wika' or Month of the Native Language in the Philippines and we look at what Filipinos in Dubai say...

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