Three FAQS About Me

When I meet someone new, I get asked these three questions first.

#1: Are you even Filipino?

This always makes me laugh, but yes, I am. Filipino.

Maybe it’s the way I speak? Or my height? Or my skin color? I’ve been mistaken for an American because of the way I speak and for Chinese or Korean because of the way I look.

But I am Filipino. I was born in Angeles, Pampanga. Both my parents and my Lola and Lolo (grandparents) are Kapampangan, too.

At home, we speak Kapampangan. Outside of the house, we speak English or Kapampanglish (?). I speak English “good” because I grew up as a U.S. military brat, following my Dad all around the world with the U.S. Navy.

As for the way I look, well, I guess it’s just genetics.

But because I don’t speak Tagalog doesn’t make me any less Filipino. Because I’m taller and pastier than average doesn’t make me any less Filipino either. Right? But hey, I get it. We throw things and people into cookie cutter shapes to make better sense of this mad, crazy world.

I can’t complain; I know I’m lucky. Out of the trillion other possible variations of what could’ve been, I turned out to be Me instead of food for sharks in the Pacific Ocean.

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