The first time it happened I had no idea why.

My Filipino worker didn’t show up on a random Friday.


Later I learned it was Chinese New Year.

Still weird…

The next year it happened again.


Turns out, Chinese New Year is kind of a big deal in the Philippines.
Julia, one of my content writers, wrote:
Some of you may have encountered VAs who asked if they can take Chinese New Year off. It seems weird right. We’re Filipinos. Why would we be celebrating Chinese New Year?

The reason for this is because a lot of us Filipinos actually have strong Chinese ancestry. If you’ve seen your VAs in video calls or social media, you’ll see that some of us look Chinese. Some of us might even have Chinese names. Some of the richest Filipinos can trace their ancestry all the way to mainland China. Even our national hero, Jose Rizal, is Chinese Filipino.

The Chinese have been trading with Filipinos long before the Europeans landed on our shores and a majority of those who emigrated here have assimilated. It’s been estimated that 25-30% of Filipinos have Chinese ancestry. And many of them still insist on practicing old traditions for good luck, like Chinese New Year. 

(Julias daughter at the mall on on Chinese New Year)

It’s this Friday, February 12.  Expect some people to take the day off.