#TitasofMnl: How to Graciously Respond to “Tumataba Ka” and Other Tita Comments

Tita Comments. Coming soon to family reunions near you.

tita (aunt) is more than just a familial relative. Being a tita is all about the attitude. She is more than her Longchamp bag, platform sandals, and signature oversized sunglasses-used-as-a-headband look. She is what she says and how she carries herself.

Titas are usually amusing, quick-witted, annoying, prying, but endearing, all at the same time. This is why, regardless of their age, or if they have any nieces or nephews, any person who says or does anything becoming of a tita, is, by social definition, a tita.

Without further ado, and with recommendations from peers and other relatives, here’s a list of tita comments to expect during family reunions and how to respond. Oh, and we recommend wearing one of Gang Badoy’s Tita Shirts for good measure.

titas of manila cover

11. “It’s too bad you didn’t pursue medicine. We would have had a doctor in the family!”

Other variations include other professions that can take years of study and practice.

Possible responses

Safe: “Yes, but I’m happy at my current job now.”

Honest: “I was pressured at a young age to choose a career. I just said I wanted to be a doctor so everyone will stop bugging me.”

Witty: “Ikaw nalang tita, para magka-doctor tayo sa pamilya.” (“You do it instead, tita, so then we’ll have a doctor in the family.”)

10. “Your cousin is gay? Tsk tsk, sayang na bata.”

(“Your cousin is gay? Tsk tsk, that’s too bad.”)

Uh oh, unless you want to get into a heated debate with your more conservative relatives, do not engage!

Possible responses

Safe: “At least he’s happy! Oh, where does he work again?” (just change the topic, it’s better for everyone)

Honest: “Sorry tita, but I’m all for equality.” #LoveWins

Witty: “OHHH NAW, YOU DIDN’T!”

tita 4via Pugoffka on DeviantArt

9. “Kailan ka mag-kakaboyfriend/girlfriend?”

(“When will you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”)

Discussions about love life will always get people talking. Except for awkward nieces and nephews who don’t want to discuss their love lives (or lack thereof) with their nosy relatives.

Possible responses

Safe: “When I’m ready, I’m really busy with school/work.”

Honest: “It’s so hard to tell with the current guy/girl I’m dating, it’s all mixed signals, okay!!” </3

Witty: “I’m still in a relationship with myself, tita.”

8. “Kailan ka mag-aasawa?”

(“When are you getting married?”)

For the more mature ones out there, you won’t leave a family reunion without being asked this question at least 5 times. This will usually be followed by “Kailan ka magkaka-anak?” (“When will you have a child?”)

Possible responses

Safe: “Di ko po alam. Nag-iipon pa po.” (“I don’t know, I’m still saving up.”)

Honest: “When I meet my soulmate. HUHUHUhugot.”

Witty: “I’m still married to myself, tita.”

7. “The son of my amiga is a doctor, lives on his own, he’s gwapo, and he’s single. You should get married!”

Boy, that escalated quickly.

Possible responses

Safe: “Thanks for the offer, tita! How’s your amiga pala?” #SEGUE

Honest: “I can’t make an informed decision until I’ve done some online investigating.”

Witty: “Arranged marriages are a thing of the colonial era, tita.”

tita 1via Some E-cards

6. “How do you turn this thing on??”

Just help out your poor tita!

Most adults like to buy new toys and gadgets that are hot and out in the market, but they won’t always know how to use them. What’s the use of user manuals when they’ve got their own live tech support? (read: their “techie” nieces and nephews)

5. “You’re going to drive? Seat belts everyone!”

Here come the tita jokes!

Possible responses

Safe: “Hahahaha! Hahaha… Ha.” (Just laugh..)

Honest: “Maybe I should drive terribly on purpose and make them feel carsick by pressing hard on the brakes, making sharp turns, and driving painfully slow? Who’s got the last laugh now?” *evil laugh*

Witty: “I heard the same joke from dad over and over, tita. You two are certainly related.”

tita 2via GMA Network

4. “What are you wearing??”

For them, your outfit may usually be too revealing, too conservative, too loud, too black, too what-have-you. Tell me what you want from me, tita, tell meeeee!

Possible responses

Safe: “Well, I take inspiration from my favorite actor/musician/artist.”

Honest: “What am I wearing? Oh nothing, just something that took me 3 hours to pick out.”

Witty: “It’s called style, tita. Cultivate some.”

3. “My waistline when I was your age was 24 inches!”

She was fabulous then, and she’s still fabulous now. And you can bet she’ll be parading this fact around the room. After all, sexy is an attitude, not a number.

Possible responses

Safe: “You look even better now, tita!”

Honest: “Uhh. Congrats?”

Witty: “Not anymore, tita. Not anymore.”

2. “Wow, dalaga na marunong na mag-make up!”

(“Wow, you’re a lady now, you’re wearing makeup!”)

I think it’s a relatively known fact that your older relatives will always endearingly see you as a 5-year old.

Possible responses

Safe: “Ngayon lang naman po ako mag-ayos.” (“I dolled up just this one time.”)

Honest: “I need my eyebrows to be on fleek, okay.”

Witty: “Yes, womanhood comes with a hefty make-up bag.”

tita 3via Disney Studios

1. “Tumataba ka.”

(You’re getting fat.)

Ah yes, the number one most tita-est line of all. No niece or nephew has been spared from comments about weight gain or loss mainly because it’s easily the first thing people notice. Why you gotta be so cruel, tita? Huhu.

Possible responses

Safe: “More to love!” or “Because I love to eat!”

Honest: “Maganda naman ako.” (“I’m still pretty. And you?”)

Witty: “Ikaw rin tita, tumataba na.” (“You’re getting fat as well, tita.”) or “I can see you’ve put on the perfume I gave you as a gift…and 10 pounds.”






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