BECAUSE Chinoys or Chinese-Filipinos are usually forbidden to date somebody who doesn’t have Chinese blood, they have found a way to search for a special someone on their own dating site.
Sean Jerrold Esteban, a millennial Chinoy, started a Facebook group that’s exclusive only for the Fil-Chi community to help them look for dates.
Its name is “Fil-Chi Kaishao Group,” which is non-searchable on Facebook. You cannot join it unless you’re invited by someone inside the group.
“Kaishao” is a Hokkien word that means “introducing” or in Tagalog “pakilala.”
Esteban established the “Fil-Chi Kaishao Group” in April 2020 out of boredom during the pandemic. He also wanted to “kaishao” a friend to someone.
“I decided to just create a group as a joke and added my personal friends. And surprisingly, everyone found it amusing and joined the group and added their own Fil-Chi friends,” he said.
The group features the profiles of single Chinoys.
The profile includes the name, photo, age, the school they graduated from, occupation, and hobbies.
Some profiles also provide information about certain restrictions, such as if the Chinoy has strict parents. Most of the details provided are intended to help the members find “the one.”
The group also functions as a hub to “auction off” friends, cousins or whoever you want to help find their special someone.
Members post and promote profiles of their friends on the main page or the comments section.
The Facebook group now has over 20,000 members. And if one browses through it, many of the members post profiles of their friends or relatives who they want to help find a date.
Esteban said he is okay with members sharing profiles of other Chinoys in the community because the assumption is they could vouch for these people.
“People can post their friends basically kai-shao-ing their friends to other fil-chis in the community, the basic premise is that you wouldn’t be kaishao-ing your friend if you don’t vouch for your friend. And in the same way, the people who comment on the profile wouldn’t be kaishao-ing their friends there if they couldn’t vouch for them as well,” he said.
It is an added layer of security, he said.
“So it works both ways in terms of adding a layer of sense of security, knowing the tight-knit Fil-Chi community wherein you wouldn’t get away with kaishao-ing bad people since most, if not all, your friends and relatives are there as well. It helps in limiting bad actors in the group as well,” he said.
All adults welcome
When he created the group, it was supposed to be accommodating only those between 25 to 45 years old who are single. But he later adjusted the age limit to anyone who is 18 and above, as long as there is consent from the person whose profile will be posted.
And in all fairness, the group has been effective for some.
There are some individuals who ask the administrators to take down their profiles because they had already started talking to someone from the group.
He also said that some individuals who have found their person in the group prefer to be anonymous.
“Some chose to remain anonymous since some of them found their partners now through the profiles posted,” he said.
Some also find other single people in the comments section where members post photos of their friends who are single.
But is there a difference between a dating app and this Fil-Chi dating group?
Esteban said the group doesn’t have technical features like the real dating apps. It was just like any other Facebook group, he said.
But when it comes to helping Chinoys find a special someone, it has been a success.