Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Flight : A novel by Jose Dalisay

I'm 30 pages in, but from what I can tell. Jose Dalisay is good writer, ... like a really good one. I feel like such a failure of a Filipino for never hearing about this guy, his writings, or his books, but apparently, he's won multiple awards, lectured at multiple universities around the world, and is director of some literary program at some University

I feel like destiny brought me and his book together. From the very beginning, even though I didn't quite know it myself, I feel like my purpose in starting this "Filipino" blog was to bring myself closer to a culture that at times seemed distant to me - and yet by birthright, is a part of who I am, even though I don't quite understand it. We look at History, and while sometimes change and evolution can be a positive thing, it can be sad to witness a loss of what once was.  Maybe it was in vain that I started this blog, trying to find my connection with a culture that maybe was slipping from me. Maybe no one reads this. Maybe no one cares. I don't know

But, I found his book at the library...just by wandering around and letting Fate lead me to it. Like I said, I'm only 30 pages in, but I feel like even within the first pages, Dalisay has made me feel more connected with this Filipino side of me. Its a good feeling.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Typhoon in the Philippines ...and being Self Absorbed

It took my husband (who's not Filipino) mentioning the typhoon in the Philippines for me to be aware of it's devastation

Husband: "Man, that sucks what happens what happened in the Philippines.
Me: Yea I know
H: Have you heard anything from your family
Me: No
H: You haven't asked you're dad how they're doing?
Me: No...
H: That's bad...

The truth is, I can be so self - absorbed sometimes, unaware of what's going on with anything else except with what's in my own little bubble. But I feel like that's a symptom that affects a lot people that live within most westernized cultures, especially the United States. While it is a blessing that we live in a country that protects us from a lot of things, it inadvertently causes us to regard a lot of the worlds happenings as "oh, that's quite unfortunate", but "what am I going to wear to work today?" or "this barista is taking so long with my coffee order". I know, it really isn't an excuse, it's just a sad truth to the way things are.

Now, as I read the news headlines and see pictures of the devastation, I come to the realization in being self-absorbed and not aware of what was going on,  I am such a horrible person, especially since this typhoon hit my motherland, the place where my ancestors are from. If it hadn't been for some descendant deciding to migrate to another country for a better life, me - or some version of me, would probably be dealing with the tragic damages of the typhoon.

It is especially unfortunate when natural disasters hit 3rd world nations who were already poor to begin with. I mean, people were probably living in shanty homes and now you take away that away, as well as the materials they would need rebuild that shanty home?  How do you rebuild nothing from a storm that leaves you with less than nothing?

Anyways, I hope everyone keeps the Philippines in their thoughts and prayers, because as we're going to our jobs, taking hot showers, eating hearty breakfasts, there are people out there who just lost everything. I will definitely being keeping that in mind today.




Sunday, November 10, 2013

Goldilocks Bakery and other Gifts from the Mama

Wow, it's been a while since I wrote in this blog. The honest truth : I have been having writer's block. Particularly when it comes to this subject of 'Filipino'.

I started this blog, thinking - yea, this is something I could write infinite amounts of entries on, but lately -had not had a lot of inspirations. I think it's because I don't hang around my parents a lot, or a lot of Filipinos in general . Or maybe I haven't had the opportunity to think about this sort of stuff... I don't know.

Anyways, I don't know if I wrote about this or not, but my brother and I got my parents tickets to California a couple of months ago for their birthdays, which they just came back from a couple of days ago. 

"Mom," I said before they left. "Can you get pastillas at Goldilocks? 

For those of you who don't know what Goldilocks is, it's a Filipino bakery that has a chain of bakeries in the Philippines and the US. In the US, the bakery has a ton of locations in California, skips over Oregon and Washington, and then there's one in Canada. Which, what the hell Goldilocks? How the hell are you going to skip over the Northwest and then have a spot in Canada? That's messed up. 

But I digress. 

So I ask my mom for pastillas before she left of California. Honestly, I didn't know that the candy that I wanted was called pastillas.  I remember is a friends mom getting them a kid and liking them so much that they left a lasting impression on me, 15 years later. So I googled 'milk Filipino candy' and pastillas came up in the search and so requested that from my mom. 

She comes back on from her trip, and not only gets me the requested candy, she gets 4 containers of it, two spaceshirts from this museum she went to, a huge bag of ensyamadas, a huge bag of mamon - French sponge cake, 2 bags of space food, and a hello kitty blanket. I swear, when she was unpacking her suitcase it was like Christmas.

"omg," I said, wide eyed like a little kid. "what am I supposed to do with all these food?!"

"Eat it," my mom said matter of factly.

So, that is what I'm working on right now, eating a bunch of Goldilocks pastries before it goes bad. I have until November 12th, the "Best By" date on the packaging. I brought some to work to share with coworkers, but I still have a lot more at home. Ay soos!

A little snippet of everything my mom got me.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Your Husband..Is he Cattolic?....and other Questions of an Auntie.

My Aunt called me up a few days ago; I hadn't talked to her in years. This particular Aunt is my dad's older sister and is just as foreign and FOB as my dad, if not even more so.

She called because she didn't have my dad's new number. Apparently, she was one digit short:

Ay sos, he did not tell me de last number was de six. I only hab 6 numbers... plus de area code.

She then made idle chit chat, asking me how I was, did I have any kids (no I have dogs), how come I didn't have kids ..."bumbai u get too old" (me: thanks auntie, ill keep that in mind).

And then came the question on the husband.

Auntie: is he Cattolic?

I found it funny that she asked that question as growing up it was one of the top 2 questions asked whenever I told my mom or relative I was dating someone (which was probably like 3 times...I don't have that impressive of a dating resume)

It was always in always this order:

1. Is he Filipino?  (In this case. .no)
2. Is he Catholic ?

Responding 'yes' to question no. 1 was an automatic assumption that the person in question was Catholic, unless otherwise indicated, which in that case would then cause disapproval (because what kind Filipino wasn't Cahtloic?) Answering 'no' to question 1 automatically led to being asked question 2, and if question 2 was a 'no', you would get a raised brow response of  'mmmmmmm....not Cattolic. how come? ...how will u raise your kid?' response. Which would then cause disapproval and some chis-mis (gossip) among other relatives 

yea, she is dating somebody... but he's not CATTOLIC! ::insert shocked gasped reactions:: 

And then, the next time you would talk to your other relatives, they would bring up this 'shocking' fact

Relative: I heard you hab a boyprend.. and he's not CATTOLIC?'
Me: uhmm...
Relative: mmmmmmm.... aye na ko (oh my God!)

Thank goodness my husband passed the 'Catholic test' with my Aunt, because there would have been some chis-mis going around that would somehow have ended up being heard by family I had never even met in the Philippines. Which, I don't care if it did, but still.. kind of funny.

My Aunt moved on to other questions about my husband:

Auntie: Oh, I heard he's a pilot 
Me: he is?  
Auntie : I heard he's a pilot
Me: He's an engineer .. he used to work at Boeing... he used to design structural fixes for planes

I think I lost her with 'engineer' because at the end of my explanation of him not being a pilot, she just said "Oh.". And where she got that 'pilot' rumor? I have no idea. Probably from my dad, telling her my husband works with planes, and my Aunt automatically thinking oh, he must be pilot.. and just going with it. lol. That's my family for you. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Filipino Parents ... and Technology

It's one thing having to explain current technology to an older person.  It's another thing having to explain technology an older Filipino person.

... Like my dad.

Of course, I don't claim to be a tech-genius or anything. I mean, I've had my S3 for about a year and I still find myself struggling with it's functions.

Husband: You know your phone can do fingerprint scanning, right?
Me: What? no waaay!

Perhaps that puts me in the same category of those technologically challenged old people who I am venting about (in which case - that would make me a hypocrite) But at least I can turn the tv on  -which seriously, with all the buttons and remotes that you end up having - I think turning on the television can be considered a win, although some people (like my husband) would argue that while I may have turned the television on, per se, I may not have turned it on correctly because I inadvertently may have turned the sound system off in the process of turning the tele on. 

But enough about me and my lack of technological savoir (sp* French for savvyness? I'm  trying to sound high cultured, but I don't know if it's working). At least once a month, my dad calls me up like I'm some sort of IT specialist, and asks me how to do random stuff that - I think - are basic things a person of the 21st Century should understand or be able to figure out: like how to change a ringtone, how to change a font, how to open a webpage....

Some previous personal inquiries:

Win, win, win, WIN! - (me: yea) what time is the Seahawk game? 

Win, win, win, WIN!  -(me:  mmmm) - how come when I dial your number, your picture shows up, but when your brother calls - there's no picture?

Win... win, win, WIN! - (me: yea?) how come the DVD player is not working? 

A lot of times, I'm like, I don't know dad - I don't know what you did, I'd have to be to fix there.

Occassionaly, I feel inclined to help him troubleshoot his problems, but immediately regret it when I'm having to repeat myself a bunch of times.

A recent call made to me:

Dad: Win, win, WIN! how to I log into my email
Me: What's your email providor?
Dad: What? 
Me: What's you're email provider? Where do you get your email? ahoo? Gmail?
Dad: Oh.. oh .. Yahoo
Me: Ok.. what's you're email address?
Dad: Ano? HuH? 
Me: Email Address - you know - where you get your emails
Dad: oh.. BenXXXX@yahoo.com
Me: okay - put your email address in the space that says 'yahoo id'
Dad: ano?
Me: 'YAHOO ID'
Dad: oh... wait .. wait. .wait a minute.. yahooo id..
Me: Dad.. it says 'yahoo id'

At this point I'm talking loudly so that other people in the office can hear me and I begin to remember why 99% of the time I try not to take his troubleshooting calls at work.  During one conversation where I was trying to walk my dad through something,  a coworker was like are you talking with the dry cleaner ? 

No, I replied. It's my dad. 

With my dad not being very good at communicating his in English, there almost always is a breakdown in communication. It can get frustrating,  but I try to maintain my patience by reminding myself that he's old.. and Filipino, two things that factor in the reasoning of why communication can be so difficult with him, and which can't really be changed. As an example, his English hasn't gotten better despite 30 something years of living in America, and undoubtedly it will stay the same, but it is what makes my dad, my dad. I tell myself that when I get old I will never be that technologically challenged and call my kids up to walk me through things that should be simple, but given my track record with technology - I probably will. So I try to keep that in mind when walking my dad through stuff, but this patience thing is a work in progress.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The 4th of July and Lumpias

I hate it when, after going grocery shopping and having unloaded everything you've bought, you realize that you forgot to buy an ingredient for a dish that you're making.

And it's always something small (like chocolate chips), but vital to the dish. (Because how are you supposed to make chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips?)

Grocery shopping for a 4th of July shindig was no different. I went to the grocery store a total of 3 times.  The first time I bought most of the ingredients, forgot a handful of them so the next day had to stop at a specialty Asian store for some other one. As I was starting to cook, I realized I forgot to buy ranch so had to go back a 3rd time just for ranch.

I should probably develop a more efficient grocery buying process so I only have to go to the store once... I'm working on that.

As I stood in line to buy my ranch dressing (and ginger ale and bbq sauce, which I realized I needed to get while at the grocery store) the cashier was eyeing me weirdly, like he was trying to figure out something. He was a young kid, probably in high school, or just out of high school. Profiling him just based on his looks, he looked like he was into math, chess, and anime cartoons; he maybe played tennis, but if he did, probably never made it to Varsity; if he did have a girlfriend, she probably was one of those little Asian girls who had thick round nerd glasses and who liked to read books about vampires and magic.

"I'm sorry," he finally says. "I can't seem to figure out your nationality"

I don't know why knowing other people's nationality is important to other Asians. There have been countless times where Asian people have asked me that question.  'White' people don't really care since we supposedly all look alike (or do they care and I just don't know it?), but I feel like Asian people have to distinguish other Asians.

"Filipino" I respond. I can feel us having a bonding moment as he was Filipino as well.

"Are you making lumpia for the 4th?" he asks.

"Why yes I am"

"Me to."

We had another bonding moment as I swiped my card to pay.

But why not make lumpia for the 4th? I mean, sure we can have burgers and steaks - classic 'American' dishes, but I'm Filipino, I'm American, and I like lumpias. Besides, America is a melting pot of different cultures, the food should reflect as such.

I was going to make an analogy between food  and European monarchs who kept within royalty when reproducing: cousins married cousins, brothers married their dead brothers wives and their children either ended up being unattractive or died from being sickly. Anyways, I don't know how well that analogy would've worked and whether people gotten the overall point of  diversify your food like monarchs back in the day should've diversified their choices of spouses.

I don't know, I'll stop there. I'm super tired.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Making of Chicken Adobo

Filipino food, in general, is perhaps one of the most underrated, under-recognized type of cuisine that's out there. And so when I hear of someone - not Filipino - raving about Filipino food/ Filipino chicken adobo in particular, it surprises me. I mean, I absolutely love Filipino chicken adobo, it's probably my favorite dish ever. I grew up on it, I know it's good, so the surprise doesn't lie there. The surprise lies in the fact that a non-Filipino a. heard of chicken adobo and b. actually liked it.

However, during the past couple years, I've veered a bit away from Filipino cuisine due it not being that  healthy of an option for my diet. In my quest in eating healthier, I started to follow a few blogs to get into eating a good, yet healthy cuisine. One of my favorite blogs to follow is Skinnytaste.com. Hands down, probably one of the best healthy food blogs there is. I can testify that I've made about 10 dishes from this site, and 10 out of the 10 dishes have not only been healthy, but absolutely, amazingly, delicious.

Filtering through the website a couple of weeks ago, I found a recipe for Filipino Chicken adobo. I was ecstatic. A healthy option for a dish that I love? 

That day, I printed up the recipe and followed it precisely as directed, and before long, my house was fuming with the smell of chicken of adobo.

Simmering in the Pot. Ay na ko! 

I  plated it with some brown rice and served it to my husband.


I'm pretty sure he liked it because before long, that plate was clean and seconds were asked... and he brought it lunch the next few days.

It was that good. I can't wait to make it again.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Proud FIlipino Moment: Anthony Bourdain tries Halo Halo

Anthony Bourdain is like my idol. You don't understand: if I could - right now- go back to when I was 10, knowing what I know now and re-do my whole life career, I would not be saying I want to be a singer like Mariah Carey when I grow up (because that obviously did not pan out)  Instead I would be saying something along the lines of I want to eat, go places, and eat some more, and be awesome.... I want to be like Anthony Bourdain.

Seriously, why wouldn't you like his job? He travels, writes, cooks, and eats for living, all the while keeping it real with his sometimes smart-ass commentary.  There's no fluff with him as he gives interesting and realistic perspectives on life in other places of the world that are unknown to people like me, who sit and shove potato chips while watching his show.

Okay, just kidding. I don't really shove my face with potato chips while watching Bourdain, but God.. I really want to... I really do. I just love potato chips.

Apparently, Anthony Bourdain has this new show on CNN called "Parts Unknown" -which to me, is sort of like "No Reservations", but in a different network.  While I had only just discovered "No Reservations" a few years ago, during the last few episodes of the series, I was saddened at the prospect of the show ending.

What am I going to do? I thought. Who's going to show me what the world is like and show me what I should eat if I should ever go someplace different? 

It was like that time when Costco started selling mochi-icecream. I thought it was the greatest thing in the world and was like.. I'm going to buy this all the time because it's so good ... and then they stopped selling it.

Why Costco ? Why? 

While Costco has not since revived selling the mochi-icecream, CNN has resolved my Bourdain issue.

In a recent episode, Bourdain explored Koreatown, LA. During the episode, he visited Jolibees (which apparently is in Koreatown?) and tried Halo Halo, among other things.



.. and he liked it, saying the desert "made no sense at all", but was "oddly beautiful"

A food icon, complimenting one of my favorite desserts in the world ( and I love me some dessert)! You can imagine how I felt as my heart swelled with pride. It made me want to run down to Jollibeers (which is 1 hours away from me) and have some halo halo in celebration of it all, but it was 10 at night and I had to work the next morning and more than likely Jollibees was closed.

I hope Bourdain does explore more Filipino food in later episodes. Only the good stuff though that won't freak the outside world out because some of it is weird, like the pig's blood... but a lot of it is good - bad for you, but good...  and having really good is something to be proud of

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

News Story: An American running prostitution ring in the Philippines

I've recently gotten into listening to investigative journalism bits while working. Logging into sites for shows like  60 minutes20/20, and This American Life, the stories on these shows have kept my mind active and awake and have helped me stay up to do with the happenings of the world.

Last week I came across this story on the ABC site.

Americans Targeted for Allegedly Running Underage Prostitution in Philippines - ABC News

Of course, being Filipino, I was drawn to the story and had to listen to it and OMG. I was kind of embarrassed that this sort of thing was happening in my motherland, but I can't say that I was surprised: The Philippines is a third world country where a majority of the people are poor and in their poverty stricken desperation, are willing to do anything, including prostitute themselves to anyone willing to pay.

I've heard other stories about foreigners going to the Philippines and participating in these sort of activities. One of them, an American exec. who fathered this kid from a Filipino stripper. The Exec died, and the mother is trying to file claim to some inheritance for her son.. at least that's the story that I remembered hearing.

Hearing the story on ABC was a reality check. I think I often live so engrossed in my nice little American bubble of a life, that I tend to forget that there is a world that exists outside this bubble, one where women living in a 3rd world country succumb to prostitution as a means of survival. While my initial reaction in hearing the story was that of  disgust and embarrassment, both for the women who succumb themselves to that sort of lifestyle and for the fact that it was an American who bragged that he had all these women in the Philippines ( and a wife in the states who had no idea - thank you for representing America is such a light you sleezy bastard ) I stopped myself and thought really, what would you do if you were in that situation? I mean, I would would like to think that my moral standard would prevail given that situation, that the thought of being a prostitute would make my stomach turn and that I would do everything in my power to get myself out of that shit hole of life while maintaining my dignity. But then again, I am not them and they are not me; I was never given their hardships to experience to begin with, never forced to make their decisions. So, I'll leave all judgement aside, pray for those girls and any girl who is in a similar situation, and hope for country will someday - somehow be better.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Filipino Hospitality

A few years ago, a priest who had done missionary work in the Philippines came and talked at my church during the homily. Of course, I attentively listened as I was curious about what he had to say about his experiences in the motherland and there's one thing that I remember that stood out as he related his story, and it was something along the lines of Filipinos, as a people, being hospitable despite their impoverished conditions.

I thought about that church homily as I went to my parents house this past Easter and had Easter lunch.

Eat! Eat ! Eat! my dad said while we were there.

This was often something he would say when I brought friends over while growing up

Dad: Are you hungry?
Friend: uhm...they were unsure of what to say.
Dad: EAT!!! eat eat eat!

And he would find whatever he could in our fridge and start plating food. My friends probably thought they had no choice but to eat, lest they would be rude, but then again it wasn't like they weren't hungry. Now, it wouldn't always be anything extravagant: left over lumpia, some chicken adobomade the night before, corned beef and rice, meals that some people might find strange, but was typical of what was eaten in our household.  If we didn't have food, my dad would search through the pantry and see what he could feed my friends.

You like spam? huh? I can make spam? How about corn beep?  I can make you corn beep! 5 minutes! Oh and there's longanisa or pork and beans?or there's some salted crackers.. and bread... Sit, sit, sit! I will make you something!

and if there was ever leftovers, he would try to get them to take home food

Take some food ! We get plenty!  and before any of my friends could say anything, he would have food ready for them to take home.

That's how it was at my house growing up, and still is whenever I go over to stop by my parents. The moment I walk through the door they insist I eat, and when I say I'm not hungry, their response is how come? as if something is wrong with me. It's part of who they are and their culture. And honestly, there's nothing wrong with it. Often when friends reminisce on the days when they'd come over to do homework or hangout, that's the one thing they remember : You parents are so nice, they'd always want to feed me. 

This sense of hospitality is something that I think I've acquired and if so, I hope to maintain as I get older and start having a family. I want to be that mom whose friends kids want to come over because I cook really food for them, like so good... they'll be asking if they can come to dinner. Maybe that's a weird goal to have, but I don't know.. I just like cooking, and having people eating my food.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Debutante Balls

One of my really good friends recently gave birth to a baby girl. The baby is an interesting mix of Mexican and Vietnamese - Asian, but looks completely Asian.

So, I asked her in a recent visit. Are you going to give you're daughter a Quinceanera? 
Yes, she said.
No, her husband said. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Mexican tradition, a Quinceanera is a sort of debutante ball, a coming of age party for Mexican girls who turn 15 and marks the transition from girlhood to womanhood. I don't know all the particulars of it -I'm sure you can google it or someone who is more familiar with the tradition can perhaps expand on it - but basically, it's a big shindig where the celebrant wears a big puffy princess dress and maybe a princess crown, and there's dancing, and more dancing and good times.

But debutant balls are not exclusive to the Mexican culture. Google it and you'll find that a lot of places around the world have some form of coming of age celebration for daughters that vary by region and have evolved throughout the centuries.

Even Filipinos celebrate their daughter's coming of age which they call a Debut (pronounced De-Boo). My first exposure to the idea of a Filipino Debut was through the movie The Debut which I watched when I was maybe a junior in high school. I don't remember what it was about so I couldn't give you any good reviews, but I remember watching it and wondering why I had never known about this Filipino tradition.  I mean, what kind of Filipino was I who didn't even know any of the traditions?

But by the end of my high school years,  I attended a few debutantes balls, participated in a few cotillions, and became very well versed on all things debutante balls. To be honest, at the time, I was jealous of those girls whose parents gave them these coming of age celebrations. They were big parties where the day was about the birthday girl, families would fly from all over (even the motherland) to celebrate, the birthday girl got dolled and for that one day felt like a princess. Who wouldn't want that?

However, I never had one. For a number of reasons:

 1. My parents didn't have the money to have one
 2. It wasn't a tradition that my family really did. No one on either side of my family had ever had one, so I had never even heard of it growing up.

Now that I'm grown, in retrospect, I'm kind of glad I didn't. Perhaps it's my wiser, more learned years that has developed this perspective that debutante balls, debuts, coming of age parties, whatever you want to call it - are no longer relevant. Well, take that back, it's a fact that they are no longer relevant. We no longer live in the same society in which these sort of traditions make sense. The roles of women have changed, there is no longer this 'competition' to marry one's daughter off to the most eligible bachelor available, and women are no longer are expected or subjected to marry and live their lives solely for the purpose of living within a domestic sphere. You can correct me if I'm wrong on the what debutante balls are all about, but all the central reasons why a debutante ball may have been relevant in the 19th century are no longer so in 21st century.

For those who would argue the importance of upholding the tradition, something that while not relevant is still part of the culture, I say that I would rather invest what money I would spend on a debutante ball, on a college fund.

If only my 18 year old self could hear me now - the one who wished she had a Debut and was envious of all those who had one. I don't think she would believe me.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Naming your Filipino Kid

Is it true, my coworker asked me one day, that Filipinos name their kids funny names?

This question had been prompted by a request that I not get offended by the question that he was about to ask.

To be honest, I wasn't offended.  I completely agreed with him.

I mean, come on, my name is Winter. I wouldn't say it's funny, per se, but it's unusual and when I explain that I am Filipino to other Filipinos, it makes sense to them on why I was named Winter.  It may not make sense to other people, but to Filipinos it does. It is the tendency of Filipino parents to name their children unusual and sometimes corny names. There is no real explanation to it, they just do.

Some Filipino names that I have come across in my lifetime:

Sunshine
Valentine
Heart
Cookie
ChaCha
Boy-Boy
Johniver


A Filipino priest once told me that one strategy to naming your Filipino child a Filipino name - because there is a strategy - is to  take the first 3 letters of the mothers name and the first 3 letters of the fathers name, and put them together to make your child's name.

So... my future child would be Win-aus. or if it were switched around it would be Aus-win. Kind of sounds Germanic to me... like a concentration camp. Ausschwitz. 

Okay, nevermind. I think I will be declining that strategy to name my child.

A part of me wants to name my future child a Filipino name so that it knows its heritage, even if it's only by their name. Nothing corny though. Just a pretty Filipino word that will link them to their culture, something that I think that it kind of is important and interesting to know that.

Now that I'm older, I wish that I knew more about my culture, I wish I could speak the language, and I wish I knew more of my History to pass on to my future children, but I don't. I do, however,  strive to hold on to what culture I do know and learn more.  How much less will my future children know or identify with! I mean, I have a cousin who's half Filipino, and he doesn't even like Filipino Food! That just boggles my mind! Boggles it!  How can you not like Filipino food when you're half Filipino? I mean, a lot of it is not good for you or is weird (i.e. chocolate meat) but still.. it's hella good food. So, I'm determined to pass on what culture I can to my future kids, have them at least try Filipino food or something. Whether I'll name them some non-corny Filipino name, we shall see.

Anyways, I don't know why I'm talking about naming kids I don't have. Agghh..

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Filipino Misconception: We speak Spanish?

I feel like nothing gets more America than the Midwest

The flat endless, open land that gives one a sense of freedom just looking out into the sunrise. It just screams out America!

 I made it out to Kansas this holiday season to visit my husband's family


And during a dinner conversation, I had a conversation with my mother-in-laws companion about what language is spoken by Filipinos.

Larry: Now, your mother is Filipino
Me: Yepp
Larry: So that means that she speaks Spanish?
Me: No.
Larry: Oh - so no hablas espanol?
Me: Not really....

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there are people who hold misconceptions about Filipinos, but I kind of was.  Having grown up in Hawaii and Seattle where there are Filipinos and Asians everywhere, I've never had to explain my anything to anyone. My Filipino history and culture was always just something that I grew up knowing and taking for granted.

But like I said, it shouldn't surprise me. People grow up in different environments where they learn to have difference perceptions. and I'm sure I make the same sort of generalities about other cultures.