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When Filippinas call you 'Uncle'

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When Filippinas call you 'Uncle'

Postby MrMan » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:13 am

I'm in my 40's. My family are friends with a Filippina family that have a number of grown daughters. One of them is about 18, the prettiest one out of the whole bunch. When I say hi to her she says, "Hi, uncle."

I appreciate the fact that the girl is polite and respectful. She seems like a really sweet girl, too. But her calling me 'uncle' makes me feel a little old. But it's fair enough. My children are younger than she is, but I do have nieces older than her.

I was wondering how men around my age or older react if you go the Filippines and young women call you 'uncle', especially those guys dating girls in their early 20's. Do those girls call you 'uncle'?
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Re: When Filippinas call you 'Uncle'

Postby Zambales » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:40 am

I've never been called Uncle and I'm in my 40's. My ex Filipina's niece and nephew use to call me papa followed by my name though.
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Re: When Filippinas call you 'Uncle'

Postby davewe » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:43 pm

MrMan wrote:I'm in my 40's. My family are friends with a Filippina family that have a number of grown daughters. One of them is about 18, the prettiest one out of the whole bunch. When I say hi to her she says, "Hi, uncle."

I appreciate the fact that the girl is polite and respectful. She seems like a really sweet girl, too. But her calling me 'uncle' makes me feel a little old. But it's fair enough. My children are younger than she is, but I do have nieces older than her.

I was wondering how men around my age or older react if you go the Filippines and young women call you 'uncle', especially those guys dating girls in their early 20's. Do those girls call you 'uncle'?


This is just the English equivalent to what Filipinos call each other. If you are older the younger one calls you Kuya (for men) or Ate (for women); uncle or aunt would be a close approximation. That's true even if the age difference is tiny. These are terms of respect and endearment and do not refer to actual relationships, nor do they indicate a large age difference necessarily. If the person is younger they will be called dai. Same idea; it's a term of endearment.

Now if she starts calling you lolo (grandfather) then I'd worry :)
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Re: When Filippinas call you 'Uncle'

Postby publicduende » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:23 pm

MrMan wrote:I'm in my 40's. My family are friends with a Filippina family that have a number of grown daughters. One of them is about 18, the prettiest one out of the whole bunch. When I say hi to her she says, "Hi, uncle."

I appreciate the fact that the girl is polite and respectful. She seems like a really sweet girl, too. But her calling me 'uncle' makes me feel a little old. But it's fair enough. My children are younger than she is, but I do have nieces older than her.

I was wondering how men around my age or older react if you go the Filippines and young women call you 'uncle', especially those guys dating girls in their early 20's. Do those girls call you 'uncle'?


I agree with Dave, "uncle" or "tito" (in Tagalog) is just an endearing term. Since you are primarily friends with her parents, this is the way she sees you. If you had met her on a dating site and had no association with her family, she would have called you "sir" (at first) and then just by your name with intimacy growing.

One very sweet thing I like about Filipino culture, everybody is potentially an extension of their close family. Cousins are "kuya/ate" and "bunso" (depending whether they're older or younger), so brothers and sisters, and close family friends are either "titos/titas", uncles or aunties, or "lolos/lolas" if they have roughly the same age of their grandparents.
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