– the day's happenings in perspective –

“Are You Filipina?”

a little bit late to discover this post, but I feel what’s inside the hearts of Filipinos who became adults somewhere….

Holoholo Girls

October is Filipino Heritage Month and the one month of the year when I reflect upon being part-Filipino. It’s not as if that’s lost on me during the rest of the year; I am reminded every time I look in the mirror, but since I have identified as Native Hawaiian for the better part of my life, the month of cultural introspection certainly allows for much-needed perspective.

When recently emigrated people ask if Iʻm Filipino, the conversation usually plays out like this:

Stranger: “Are you Filipina?”

Me: “Yes.”

Stranger: “Ahh! Where is your family from in the Phillippines?”

Me: “Ilocos.”

Stranger: “I know Ilocos!” then speaking in Tagalog or Ilocano

Me:  “I’m sorry. I was born here, but my family is from Ilocos.”

Stranger: “So you aren’t from the Phillippines?”

Me: “No.”

Stranger: “And you don’t speak Filipino?”

Me: “No.”

Stranger: “Oh.”

They are disappointed. For me, I use the term…

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