1.

When going away on vacation, a normal mom will pack everything in suitcases.
A Filipina mom will carefully pack clothes, personal belongings, and perishables in several cardboard boxes that she covers in packing tape, with your address sharpied on all sides.

2.

Dinner parties thrown by normal moms involve you playing with one or two other kids your own age, followed by a sit-down meal.
When your Filipina mom (or one of her Filipina friends) throws a dinner party, the oldest child ends up babysitting everyone else’s kids while the moms gossip about you (in Tagalog, especially if the kids don’t speak it. Or, even if they do).

3.

Normal moms sign you up for soccer.
For Filipino moms, it’s all about BASKETBALL, despite the fact that you’re 5’2″.

4.

When gesturing at something, a normal mom will extend her index finger and point it in the direction one is supposed to look.
A Filipina mom will pucker her lips, and point said pursed lips in the direction one is supposed to look.

5.

After telling your normal mom that you would like to pursue a career in the performing arts, she will urge you to consider a more secure, lucrative career instead, such as finance or law.
Your Filipina mom has been priming you for the spotlight since you could first walk. She’ll be thrilled that all those dance lessons are paying off. If you want to become a lawyer, that’s cool too, just don’t expect to get out of dance class.

6.

When growing up, a normal mom will teach you lullabys, nursery rhymes, and choreography to cute songs like “I’m A Little Teapot” or the “Hokey Pokey.”
“Lullabys” taught by a Filipina mom will consist of learning the lyrics and choreography to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” (or, for some of us older folks, learning all the words to Shaggy’s “Boombastic”), which you are then made to perform for EVERY visiting guest, whether they are friends of the family, your teenage crush, or the FedEx guy.

7.

Normal moms will cook rice by measuring perfect rice/water ratios out with measuring cups.
A Filipina mom will condemn such practices as being for amateurs, and will simply check rice/water ratios by sticking her middle finger into the pot and making sure the water reaches the first joint. For some reason, it always comes out perfectly.

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8.

A normal mom would never be caught dead singing karaoke with you, save for a very rare, very drunk occasion.
You and your Filipina mom have your own repertoire of pitch-perfect songs, and have memorized what numbers to punch in to sing them on your cutting-edge home karaoke machine.

9.

When you misbehave, a normal mom will give you a stern talking-to and a timeout.
If you misbehave with a Filipina mom, she just takes off her flip flop and spanks you with it.

10.

When going out for the night, normal moms will tell you to be careful, have fun, and to call if you need anything.
After a lengthy lecture about the dangers of the world and how “Tita JayCee’s daughter’s friend was kidnapped from the mall and sold into sex slavery last week,” a Filipina mom will tell you to be careful, stay away from drugs, and be home for your 8pm curfew. On a Friday night. When you’re 30.