How to Obtain A Marriage Certificate: Colorado

In America, each State has slightly different laws for getting married.  For example, the names of the required forms are different, age requirements and acceptance of sexual orientation for marriage varies per state.  Marriage in the US actually depends on the courthouse or the vital records office in the local county where you are getting married.  In any case, you need to obtain a “marriage license” also know as a “marriage certificate”.

After you have the marriage license you can have a religious or civil ceremony. But you are not officially married until you have completed the marriage license.obtain-marriage-license

In Colorado you have the option to marry and get it solemnized by a priest, a higher ranking officials or get it solemnized by your self and your partner.  On October 07, 2014, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office issued final clearance for county clerks to start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The following guidelines apply to all individuals applying for a marriage license in the state of Colorado.

Valid forms of ID requirements:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate
  • Military identification cards
Age Requirements For Getting a Marriage License in Colorado: 

  • 18 and older – Does not require parental consent.
  • Minors (16 and 17) – Consent is required from both parents.
  • Minors (Younger than 16) – Consent from both parents and judicial approval (court order).

How much is the fee for obtaining a marriage license?



The fee is $30.00 (as of 2015). You can also order a certified copy of marriage certificate for $1.25.  Request for Marriage License/Certificate Copy Form here.

Where can I get a marriage license?

You can get your marriage and marriage license from the Clerk and Recorders Offices around Colorado.  They will issue your marriage license right on the spot if you decide to solemnize your marriage yourself. Witnesses are not necessary in Colorado marriages.

Social Security Numbers (SSN) are needed for marriage license applications. If you do not have an SSN, you have to submit a completed form of Affidavit Concerning Social Security Number during your application of marriage license. It may be notarized or signed in advance or signed in front of the County Clerk.


The person solemnizing the marriage shall complete the marriage certificate and forward it to the Clerk & Recorder’s Office within 63 days after solemnizing. Any person who fails to forward the marriage certificate to the Clerk & Recorder’s Office shall be required to pay $20.00 LATE FEE and an additional $5.00 Late fee may be assessed for each additional day of failure up to a maximum of $50.00. Completed marriage license/ certificate can be return  to:

El Paso County Recording Department

P.O. Box 2007

Colorado Springs, CO 80901- 2007


Prohibited Marriages

Marriage licenses will not be issued if:

  • One of the parties is still married to another person. All divorces must be final.
  • Marriage between the following are prohibited whether  Half or whole blood: ancestor and descendant; brother and sister; uncle and niece; aunt and nephew.
  • Marriage between cousins IS permitted in Colorado.
  • Marriage license applications issued by another state are not valid for solemnization in Colorado.





k1 visa interview questions

Below are some of the possible K1 visa interview questions that may be asked.  The amount of questions that they ask will vary.  An interview can last as little as 1 minute or it can last 30 minutes depending on how slow or fast you can answer and what the consular feels necessary.  In my own experience, I was asked 25 questions in 3 minutes. Preparation is the key to not missing anything that they ask. Goodluck fiancee/fiances!! And remember do not be nervous . :-)

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your petitioner’s name?k1-visa-interview-questions
  3. What is your relation to the petitioner?
  4. When is your petitioner’s birthday?
  5. When is your birthday?
  6. Where was your fiance born?
  7. Where does your fiance live?
  8. What are his parent’s name?
  9. What do they do for a living?
  10. Where does your fiance’s parents live?
  11. How did you meet your fiance?
  12. When did you meet in person?
  13. How did he (or you) propose?
  14. Have you ever been married before?
  15. Where did you first meet?
  16. How long have you been together?
  17. How many times did he visit you?
  18. How much time have you spent together?
  19. Where did the visit took place and when?
  20. When is the last time you have seen your fiance?
  21. Where did your fiance stay when he was visiting you?
  22. What can you say about your fiance?
  23. When will you leave for the US?
  24. What does your fiance likes, coffee or tea?
  25. If married, Do you have copies of your fiance’s divorce decree?
  26. How many times did he get divorced?
  27. What is the reason for his divorce?
  28. Does you fiance have any children? How many and how old are they ? What are  their names?
  29. When is/are their birthdays?
  30. Are you aware if he is paying alimony?
  31. Where do the kids live? with him or their mom?
  32. Are you aware of the kids set up and their agreement?
  33. What is your fiance’s living condition, does he live in house or apartment?
  34. Does your fiance have a house?
  35. Does your fiance live there?
  36. How much is his annual income?
  37. What does your fiance do for a living?
  38. How often do you communicate?
  39. What is the form of communication?
  40. Do you have your conversations, may I see?
  41. How many times have you traveled abroad? State the date and place of travel.
  42. Did you go there for work or vacation? And who was with you?
  43. Are you fully sure that you didn’t go there for work?
  44. Are you aware of what you are going to do after arriving in the United States?
  45. Where are you getting married?
  46. When do you plan to get married?
  47. If your husband cheat, what would you do?
  48. Are you planning to have children?
  49. Have you even been to the US?
  50. Have you ever applied for a traveling visa?
  51. (If you have been to the US before),what kind of visa did you travel in the US?
  52. Does your fiance have any brothers and sisters?
  53. Do you have brothers and sisters?
  54. Do you have other relatives living in the United States?
  55. Do you have your photos with you? Let me see it. ( put the dates and the locations of where the photos were taken)
  56. How long have you been corresponding with your fiance?
  57. Do you know if your fiance was married before?
  58. What is your fiance’s religious background?
  59. Does your fiance speak and understand your language?
  60. Do you speak and understand your fiance’s language?


  • Do not be nervous.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Practice for days before the interview.
  • Answer honestly and do not keep changing your answers.


Things I have only known after moving to USA

In 2014, my mind was made up in immigrating to the US.  I was anxious, happy and excited all at the same time.  I have learned a lot of facts as a new comer.  Here are some of the things I have learned since I came.

The “STATES”.  You don’t really consider the name “United States” much if you have never lived in the U.S. Each state is like its own country and many are completely different from each other.  Some have very different weather like Alaska where half the year is a dark winter and Arizona which is a huge desert with 120(f) degree weather.  Altitudes are diverse with some states like Colorado in mountainous elevations of 6000 feet and Louisiana, as state that is at or below sea level in some areas.  The populations and land areas vary from state to state.  For example, Rhode Island is a very small state while California has more land area and people than many countries.   moving-to-usaThe racial demographic is

different because you can go to the Midwestern states and not see many Asian people but if you go to China Town in San Francisco, California there are mostly Asian people.  And if you go to Miami in Florida or East L.A. in California you will hear a LOT of people speaking Spanish.  People even behave different in each state.  People in Hawaii are pretty laid back and chill while New Yorkers tend to be very fast pace and worldly.

Big difference between North America and South America. moving-to-usa Ok, you may already know this but many people who have never been to America do not give it much thought.  What are the differences between South and North America? How come it is divided but both are called America.  It is strange.  North America contains “United States of America” and “Canada” while South America contains countries like Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru and many other countries.

First world problems.  Americans complain about issues that someone from a developing country would not consider a problem.  They are first world problems because they are not issues you would have the opportunity to complain about in most developing counties. moving-to-the-united-states Issues like:  Cannot find your car among a sea of cars in the mall’s parking lot, or bought the wrong kind of milk, or getting the wrong brand of filtered water, or the store is temporarily out of iPhones or “slow” Internet connection.  In developing counties, most people don’t have cars. They are lucky if they have any kinds of milk (or a refrigerator), sometimes there is no clean water to drink and most people cannot afford an iPhone. One example from my own life is my husband complaining about the “Heavy traffic” that lasted for 2 minutes.  In the Philippines when we say heavy traffic, that means being stuck for 20 minutes to an hour with wheels NOT moving.

People are nice in their own way.  In the American Midwest, it is not uncommon for random strangers to greet you in the street.moving-to-usa  They might say, “Good morning.” or “Good Afternoon” or even strike up a conversation with you.  I always thought Americans were cold but no they are not. They just tend to mind their own business.  Many people here are very nice.  So far, I can see that many are very good at socializing and show amazing manners in public.

Opening doors for each other. immigrating-to-the-us In the US, there is a custom where people open doors for each other.  If you are walking out of a store, and someone is right behind you, no matter who it is you are expected to keep the door open until they grab it or walk through.  It is consider rude to let a door slam in someone else’s face.  In the Philippines, this is usually done only for pregnant women, elders and disabled people.

Giving way to pregnant woman or with children.  In walking anywhere in town, if there is a woman with kids or pregnant, always give way and make them pass first. My husband said that a few times as I kept forgetting. In ph, we give way to disabled and elderly.

HUGE Variety of food. moving-to-usa Since there are so many cultures represented in the U.S. there are so many types of cuisines from all over the world.  Americans take the dish and “americanize” them.  The results of Americanization may vary.  Sometimes it makes the food better and sometimes worse. I guess each is a matter of opinion. But the great thing about the adoption of other cultures food is that Americans REALLY, REALLY appreciate the authentic and original dish.  So restaurants that cater to that demand do well in the US.

Prepackaged Preservatives. united-states-life Convenience is sold in packages. I am talking about frozen foods, canned foods and microwaveable foods.  You can eat Cordon Bleu even if you cannot afford to go out to a fancy restaurant. They sell it all in Walmart, King Soopers or Safeway.  It may not be as good as the one in your favorite restaurant but it’s already a great deal for someone who does not cook well.  Many vegetables and fruits are sold in a can.  I would say it is so easy here to be unhealthy.   The good news is that it is very convenient.  The bad news is that it is not always healthy.


courtesy of

courtesy of

The contrast between human size in South East Asia and America is huge.  Obesity is like an epidemic disease in the US and you can see it everywhere. To say that it is extreme is an understatement.  With the convenience of fast, cheap, junk food available everywhere, it is easy to see why so many here are overweight.  It takes more willpower to say now to the extra salts and sugars.


Kindness is a natural thing to do.moving-to-usa It’s like a trend. There are so many charitable institutions and organizations here.  Again, something Americans really take for granted because you don’t see this a lot in developing countries.  It is so visible to the public and advertised in the magazines and TV.  It comes natural to most people here in the US.  I hear a lot about sites such as and kickstarter where people are donating to help not only inventors, innovators and small business but individuals in need.

Everyone has a car. unnamed  Cars are so common here that it looks so strange to see someone waiting for a bus.  I always thought there must be a deep reason why they have to catch a bus.  A car here is affordable if you have a job.  Gas is cheap. And it is a must to have a car because everything is far away.


More Opportunity for Less Effort.

courtesy of:

courtesy of:

In the Philippines even if you have a high level degree it is possible to remain jobless.  The competition for even average jobs such as fast food is so fierce that many have to go to another country on a limited visa to have an income that will support two generations.  In America, I noticed people can get a decent job with a decent salary even if they do not have a college degree.  Having one is only a choice but not the main focus.  Americans can have the option to be successful or not but still gain respect. In the Philippines, you gain respect for your achievements in life.

Some extremely negative people lost in first world problems would say that the “American Dream” is dead and gone.  But from the perspective of an immigrant coming from a developing country, it is easy to see that not only does the opportunity to still exist to live comfortably in the U.S. but there is still opportunities for great success for anyone willing to work hard.  You can blame others for your misfortune and make excuses about why you cannot achieve.  Or you can “keep your eyes on the prize” as one great American gospel song chimes.  For immigrants lucky enough to come to America, appreciation and gratefulness are often what we feel after experiencing life in the United States.

It is the year 2015.  America remains a play ground for those who are willing to innovate and make big dreams come true.  The American dream exists but not for the lazy, not for the complacent, and not for the negative.. for these poor, broken people there is no “American Dream”.  The American dream is only for “the great” and being great is a choice you can make every day one step at a time.

Adjustment of Status checklist

We are going through the Adjustment of Status process.  Below is an Adjustment of Status Checklist for the K1 process.

Processing times: 5 months – 1 year

The first step of AOS is to submit the completed i-485, Adjustment of Status document along with the fee which is currently $1070.  After the submission of your application, USCIS will then send your case number.  Your case number can be used to check the progress of your application online through their website:

For immigration related questions, you may call USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 FREE

Adjustment of Status Checklist- K1

$ 1,070.00 Money order or Personal Check payable to U.S DHS i-485 fees $985 + $85 biometrics fee : Photo sample
1 copy e-Notification of Application to receive an update via mail or text when they receive your application
1 copy Cover letter, showing the list all the papers you sent
set, 6 pages . Form I 485  Application to Register Permanent Residence : Photo sample
1 photocopy NBI Clearance
1 photocopy Birth Certificate
1 photocopy Non- Immigrant visa page – Photo sample
1 photocopy Passport page -Photo Sample
2 pcs 2×2 colored passport style photos : Sample
1 photocopy Vaccination Supplement : Photo sample
Form G-325 A Biographic Information
Form I-864 Affidavit of Support
Evidence of Eligibility
Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
Form I-131 Application for Travel Document
 Mail your package USCIS Chicago LockboxFor U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:USCIS
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

For Express mail and courier deliveries:

Attn: FBAS
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

If your application for adjustment of status is denied, your decision notice will let you know your appeal rights.  Not every decision can be appealed.  Generally, if your decision can be appealed, you must file the appeal within 30 days of the service of the decision. You may also be able to file a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider. Both appeals and motions are filed on Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.  See here for Appeal and Motions


Uk marriage visa and fiance visa

Uk marriage visa and fiance visa

The fiancé/fiancée /Spousal visa process and requirements in the UK are similar to that of the US process.

Apply Outside the UK.  You must apply for residency to the UK outside the UK unless you are engaged to an EU citizen.

Marry within 6 months.  Upon engagement, a foreigner must marry within 6 months of being in the UK. This is actually more time than what is given in the US (90 days).

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courtesy of

Must meet your fiancé/fiancée.  You must have met with your future spouse.  So this may block some arranged marriages in which the couple has never met.  For US, you must have met within 2 years.

Apply for UK Marriage Visa.  After marriage, you should apply for a marriage visa.  This will allow eligibility to work.  In the US, the fiancé/fiancée has to apply for an Adjustment of Status.

16 and 18.  The overseas fiancé/fiancée must be at least 16 years old and the UK sponsor must be at least 18.

Dependents.  Children of the fiance who are minors (under 18) are allowed entry into UK as dependents if it can be proven that there will be serious problems if they are not allowed.

Intent to live together.  The couple must intent to live together as husband and marriage visa

Less than 4 years together.  If the married couple has been together less than 4 years, you will be granted a probationary period of two years.  If you remain married, you can then be granted “indefinite leave” to remain in the UK.  Couples married over 4 years are eligible for indefinite leave (if they pass the “Life in the UK” test).

Sufficient Funds.  The UK citizen must possess sufficient funds to take care of his/her + spouses living expenses (and dependents if applicable).  There must be a suitable place for them to live in the UK.

UK Clearance.  Overseas spouse should apply for entry clearance before entering the UK.

3 Yeas to UK Residency.  After 3 years the overseas spouse (living in the UK) can apply of UK citizenship.


Where were the homeless during the popes visit?


photo by:

photo by:

15-19 January, 2015 Pope Francis visited the Philippines.  He saw a record 6 million loving follower flooding the streets to greet him and attend mass.  He saw one of the most dedicated and loyal nations of Catholics in the world adoring him.

But what he did not see were the hundreds of beggars in the streets.  The Philippines government made sure they were out of sight, hidden from the pope.  They put them into luxury accommodations during the Pope’s sermon on compassion for the poor.

homeless-pope-visitThe world criticized the Philippines government for admitting that hundreds of homeless people were taken off Manila’s streets and put into luxury hotels during Pope Francis’s recent visit, when he preached compassion for the poor.

Renato Reyes, secretary general of the leftwing group Bayan, criticised the decision, saying the government was “whitewashing poverty”.

The visibility of the level of poverty happening to his most loyal followers might have inspired more visits.  Perhaps it would have inspired a fundamental change in the attitudes on poverty which continues to be the greatest issue in the Philippines.


how to get a new social security number

How to get a new social security number for US K-1 fiance 

After your arrival in the US, one of the most important things you need to do is get a social security number (SSN).  It is also one of the requirements for your i485 status application. Without it, your application will definitely go pending. Having a Social Security Number will enable you to get a job legally within the US.  Getting a SSN is also an important first step for getting things like bank accounts, credit, and ID cards.

Social Security Offices are found in each state.  It is an easy 1 day process. There is no fee just a simple application. There are only (2) requirements for getting social security card for fiance/fiancees (3 for married applicant):

getting social security number

getting social security number

1. Passport – bring you passport during the application. Photocopied passports are not accepted.

2. I-94 – download the form here, fill out the basic questions asked about your name, passport number and print it out in a short size bond paper.

3. Marriage Certificate - this will be given to you by the clerk if you get married in the Clerk and Recorders Office. You have to show the original copy.

Getting married before getting your SSN is a good idea because if you don’t, you will have to return to the Social Security Office to change your last name.  It’s very inconvenient since your fiance/husband may have to drive for you there twice.  If you get married first, your name is already changed when you get your social security number, so you only need to go once.20141103_145750

So I got married first then went there the same day to get it all done.  We arrived, got a priority number, filled out the 5 pages of SSN papers, prepared the requirements in my hands and waited for my number to be called.

When your number is called. The social security officer will ask you basic question and confirm your identity. You will also be informed that your social security number will be delivered to your home address within 7-10 working days.

Asian dishes – Tandoori Chicken + Dal +Basmati rice

From all over Asia you will find spicy exotic variety that any intrepid food adventurer will enjoy.  The meal that I am sharing today is an Indian dish that has a perfect blend of taste.  It is mildly spicy yet very healthy meal.  With a delicious serving of Lentil beans that are high in fiber and protein with Iron and Magnesium.

This chicken recipe is marinated with yogurt and spices and is perfect for dinner with basmati rice!

Asian dishes – Tandoori Chicken and Basmati Rice



  • 1 lb chicken drumstick, skinless
  • 4 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chicken masala or 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper


  • Basmati Rice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 C Basmati rice
  • 3& 1//2  water
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 1 C lentil beans
  • 3 C water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 big tomato, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp pepper



1. Marinate chicken with yogurt and the other listed ingredients.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Place the marinated chicken on a baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

*tip: you can use aluminum foil on baking pan to help with cleaning later


4. Wash basmati rice.  Add water, butter and salt .

5. Boil the lentil beans until it gets soft *3 C water.asian-dishes (2)

6. Saute onion, tomatoes, serrano peppers, and ginger. Add the remaining spices, salt and seasoning. Add the boiled lentils. Add a cup of water if texture is too sticky. You can also add a little bacon/pork belly to give it a richer taste. asian-dishes (3)

7. Check if your chicken is cook and serve with rice. This combination is perfect with Dal.




Top 7 questions of filipinas marrying foreign national

Top 7 questions of filipinas marrying foreign national

I know that people have plenty of sizzling questions regarding Filipinas marrying foreign nationals. There are many factors that Filipinas do not really care about in terms of marriage and relationships.

What I have found is that cultures differ drastically on each issue.  Some issues that really matter to foreigners may not matter much to Filipinos (and vice versa).  For example, to most American women under age 25, marrying a guy over 40 is a HUGE issue, but for filipinas what matters more is the guys background and stability not his age.

We have received a lot of questions about foreigners marrying Filipinas.  This post is a collection of those questions and their answers.

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Does age matter to filipinas? People say Filipinas marry guys of all ages.  Yes! that is true. Why?  Filipinas do not really make it an issue to marry a guy who is twice her age. Filipinas typically date a guy not for his age but for the potential of being with a man who can be a provider.  Generally, for a woman to give stability in her home, she needs a stable partner.  It may sound simple but this is a missing element in the Philippines.  A huge portion of men in the Philippines cannot (or will not) provide for their family.  That is the main reason why Filipinas started marrying foreigners.

Are Filipinas gold diggers? marrying-a-foreign-nationalJust like any other nationality, there are are some bad apples.  Some foreigners have a bad perception of Filipinas because negative actions of a few. Decades ago, when Americans came to the Philippines they were meeting bar girls.  Many bar girls are gold diggers.  So getting married is more of a business transaction and love has nothing to do with it.


marrying-a-foreign-nationalHow can you tell if your Filipina is real? There are a few ways that you can tell if your Filipina is real.  For one thing, if she does not ask for money immediately upon meeting you! Lol I think this should be obvious.  This happens a LOT online due the unbelievable number of scammers.   Second, you know she is real if she makes her self available anytime you call, message, or email.  If your Filipina does not disappear for a day or two without contact that means it is real. Third, if your Filipina always asks “did you eat?” or “What did you eat?” I know it sounds strange, but in the Philippines it shows that someone really cares about you.  Filipinas who loves their partners will seldom miss that question every single day.

dollar to peso exchange rateIs providing money to your Filipina part of the culture?  No it is not. However, if your Filipina is very poor in the Philippines, then yes it may be necessary to provide for her so she won’t starve to death.  Unfortunately, poverty is rampant due to over population, corruption and calamities.  You can only understand the level of poverty if you have been there.

Do Filipinas like black guys? No. I am sorry to tell you this but they just don’t like dating black guys. They are not turned on by black guys.  Many would prefer white guys. It is just their preference of a guy.  It is not that Filipinas are racist.  Mainly the reason for this is many Filipinas are brown skin and they want to have lighter skin.  So they love to see people with white skin as it is rare.  In the Philippines, when a person has lighter skin, it is cool and it means they are from upper class since it used to be that laborers are always exposed to the sun.  It used to be an indicator that you are from the lower class.  BUT there is a few who are insanely into black guys exclusively.  So there are a few who date black guys and love black people’s skin color and appearance.  It’s funny that black music and style is popular in the Philippines but filipinas prefer their guys to be as white as possible.  It is like that in most of South East Asia.  We talk more about this here.

marrying-a-foreign-national”When you marry a Filipina, You marry her family too ”.  In many lower income families, “when you marry a filipina, you marry her family” becomes the truth.  This is bad because the family will expect the guy to help them out too which can jeopardize the relationship and give an extremely bad impression of the bride.  What complicates things is that family is a HUGE part of filipino culture.  Many fathers expect more from their daughters than their sons so when they get married their fathers are involved.  Which means that if the father won’t like the suitor then their is no future for that love affair.  And if they don’t like the groom a wedding might get canceled or dads won’t give their blessing to their daughters. For filipinas, it is very important because we respect our parents very much. We believe that a permission and blessing from parents will bring us luck and guidance in getting married.

marrying-a-foreign-nationalLast but not the least, ”FIlipinas marry all kinds of races”.  It is true.  Color of skin preferences aside, Filipino people are very open to other races and nationalities.  Unlike some other countries there is not huge underlying racist tones in the culture so you find a lot of racially mixed people overwhelmingly accepted in the Philippines.  If you look at the history of the the Philippines, it is clear how it became so mixed. You will see variations of Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Americans, Greeks, Europeans and more. Filipino are curious about  other cultures.

Traditions in Philippine Culture

Many traditions in the Philippines culture go back 100’s of years.  Filipino culture is a mixture of old Spanish Catholicism and indigenous filipino traditions.  The synergy of such diverse traditions coming together is a testament of the strength and adaptability of the filipino people.

Giving is a big part of the tradition of Philippines culture.  It’s a little different from other cultures. Filipinos are very attached to family.  Here are a few examples:

Aguinaldo sa Pasko (Christmas gift) – During Christmas, everyone in the family is expecting to receive a gift from the family member with the higher income.  Employers are expected to give bonuses to their employees.  God father and god mothers (Ninong at Ninang) are expected to give gifts to godchildren. Everyone is happy on Christmas since everyone gets to share it with family and friends. We also gather during Christmas Eve. We dress up, make plenty of food and greet each other at 12 midnight.

photo by:

photo by:

Pasalubong – Pasalubong are gifts that you bring to family, friends and relatives from travelling somewhere.  It can be food, souvenirs or clothes. They will always expect you to bring something when you arrive home.

philippine culture

philippine culture

Giving respect upon seeing or meeting elderly relatives - We are expected to show our greeting by bowing and placing the back of their hand on our forehead.. its called ”Mano”. It is to show respect to them. philippine culture

Sharing and Preparing food and drinks – Upon arrival of the guests, Filipinos always ask if they have eaten regardless of the time of the day.  For example, when the visitor arrives before lunch time, snacks are served.  They might offer soda, juice,coffee, tea, biscuits or bread.  While the guest is eating the snacks, the host is already preparing lunch.philippine-culture

New Year - When I was young we would wear polka dots to bring in the New Year.  I’m not sure if other people still do it, but in my family, my grandma used to make us wear polka dots shirts in New Year’s Eve. We used to buy 13 fruits that have a circle shape and place it in the center of the table. We also gathered coins.  We place the coins in pockets, in jars, in cups or whatever container will allow you to shake them and make noise.  The noise of the coins and fireworks are to scare away evil spirits and eliminate bad luck.  Some people turns their faucets on around the house a few minutes before New Year as it symbolizes wealth (it is originated by Chinese Feng Shui that filipinos believed in).  Filipinos commonly celebrates New Years Eve with family members. We also make lots of food to serve in the table as it symbolizes abundance.philippine-culture-traditions

Putting chicken blood on the forehead during birthdays - This tradition is more practiced in provincial areas where people raise chickens. During birthdays, my father used to put fresh chicken blood in our forehead with the same chicken we are cooking for the celebration.philippine-culture

Not eating pork on Black Friday, Saturday – The Philippines population is mostly Catholic so people are religious. In Catholicsm, it is tradition to fast and not eating pork.  Black Friday is the symbol day that Jesus died.  We  make sweet dishes to eat it with. Grilled food is also not encouraged on this day because people believed that it can cause some facial burns.  Eating dried fish is also not good on Black Friday.philippine-culture-trditions

Occasions, Gatherings and Celebrations - During special occasions such as celebrations and gatherings where there is lots of food, it is common for the host to pack you food to take home with you.  It is rude to refuse the offer so your only option is to take it when they hand you a bag of left over.  Also your Filipino family waiting at home, will expect you to bring packed food from the Celebration you went into.philippine-culture

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