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Words of wisdom from the ‘titas’ of Manila

Take heed and listen to the voice of experience.

“You better learn how to cook or else your husband will leave you!”

“Wait until you taste my adobo.”

“Your place is so plain! Why not try printed curtains?”

Welcome to the so-called “titas of Manila” zone where offbeat life lessons are given – whether you like it or not. They come not from your mother but, rather, titas (aunts) which may also refer to someone older though not necessarily of blood relation. These titas might be women you connect with at the office, the gym, or even in post-graduate school. We all have different kinds of titas. In fact, you might even be one yourself.

Titas mostly specialize in dishing out “food for thought” about home and family. Solicited or otherwise, you can count on titasto have an opinion about how you run a household, dress up, or even raise children. Their words may come off as intrusive, yet we know that deep within (some deeper than others), they are said out of genuine concern – or at least we’d like to think so. That said, have you heard a tita of Manila share these tips with you?


1 “Huwag tingi-tingi ang bili!”tita

Buy home staple items in bulk.

Take-home food from a tita’s house will always be well-packaged because they never seem to run out of aluminum foil or plastic cling wrap.As experienced consumers, they know it saves to buy family-size or commercial-size portions.Take a page off the tita playbook by procuring toilet paper, paper towels, tissue, toothbrush, batteries, and canned food in bulk.


2 “Hugasan mo yung bote, pwede pa yan sa fiesta.”  Recycle anything you can put to good use.

Your take-home food was placed in an ice cream container. The sauce was likely in what used to be a peanut butter jar. Together, Tita placed them in a recycled paper bag. Our titas of Manila can probably wrap anything for you to bring home. Keep a considerable amount of recyclables in your home. They come in handy, especially when you attend potluck supper or lunches, or give food to the less privileged.


3 “Next month, 30 percent off na ‘yan!” Wait for items to go on sale!

Titas never like impulse buying! Learn some restraint and avoid instant gratification which can ruin your budget for the month. Recall what items you are really targeting to purchase – those you have long needed and really wanted. Waiting for sale season can help delay added spending. Who knows, by the time you come back, you realize it’s not worth splurging on after all!



4 “Bakit bibili ka pa? Tayo na gumawa!”

Leave it to Tita to be confident of her skills and pass the coolness onto you. No need to go to the mall for your child’s United Nations costume. Tita will probably won’t mind if you borrow her Japanese silk robe or the piece of cloth she bought from her trip to Thailand last year. If she volunteers to teach you her polvoron recipe, agree to it! Learning homemade dishes and proficiencies like cloth making are dependable skills for the rest of your life.


5 “Ilayo mo kaya yung tablet sa anak mo?” Encourage interaction in your kids.

The years have taught titas to realize the value of spending quality time with family. Relive your childhood adventures with your kids with an afternoon session of patintero. Enjoy a walk around your village sans earphones. We are all trying to lessen the time we spend online. Be a good example to your children.


6 “Magtipid ka.” Save for rainy days.

Your new bag will not get all cheers from a tita of Manila. She will likely ask you how much you got it for, and why you bought it. Then she will remind you of your 10 other bags. When she notices you are gaining weight, she will remind you to prepare healthy baon at home instead of always eating out. She will support her case by telling you about her unforeseen hospitalization or when she contributed to your tuition fee. You know she is right about ensuring you have backup resources.


7 “Huwag iasa lahat sa yaya!”Do you share of chores at home.

There are tasks you can still do even if you have an entire army of house help at home. Carry your weight around the house; it’s a good form of exercise anyway. Family meals are more memorable when you whip up a signature dish. Your room will be more functional for you if you are on top of organizing it..