Confused Filipino Kid

Here's the scenario, your an American born Filipino kid with immigrant parents from the Philippines who are lovingly always trying to trick you into eating chocolate meat then teasing you with superstious stories back in the Philippines. Stories of little people running around in the jungle and if you step on their house you'll have bad luck, and of huge vampire bats flying around looking for little kids to eat into the night. Now you feel like you never want to go to the Philippines. You ask your white friends in the neighborhood and they think you're talking about Holloween or something.

Somewhat confused about your Filipino identity you search for stories your parents and relatives told you about, there’s nothing. You get the impression that being Filipino is insignificant and you want to favor your American identity.

Clothes Pin on the Nose

Now you feel like you want to shred everything about being Filipino. You put a clothes pin on your nose hoping to make it more pointed like your white friends. You stay out of the sun hoping your skin turns lighter and something your mom even reinforces. You apply whitening lotion and a clothes pin to your flat nose before you go to bed. When you wake up you look in the mirror and all you see is a clean brown face with pinch marks on your flat brown nose. Then you wonder if maybe you fit in better in the Philippines.

Culture Shock

You finally visit the Philippines and ready to soak in the culture you look around and something doesn't look quite right. Some of these people are walking around with umbrellas in the sunshine. You read advertisements for whitening creams and lotions on store windows. You're ready to practice your Filipino phrases and discover they speak English just as good as you do even sounding somewhat more intellectual.

Now your mouth is wide open, wow what happened? Have they gone totally wannabe white too? You experience a different kind of culture-shock and realize that all you have hoped to assimilate into being Filipino has been turned upside down. You feel like a foreigner again.

A bit perplexed on your way back home you ponder the question of who do I identify with? You begin to realize your American heritage is lacking your Filipino identity and it's time to go back home and start contributing to the culture in the Filipino way.

But what is being Filipino? Where did we come from? How and why did we come to America? You need to start from the beginning.

Table of Contents