Tiny Teaser – What is a “Filipino American?”

November 6, 2015

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Right now I’m supposed to be writing a research paper, not writing on my blog. You can see where my priorities lie…

Anyways, it’s Tiny Teaser time with a new excerpt from my Philippines Peace Corps memoir. This time the book teaser theme is: “Filipino American Identity.” When I was living in the Philippines I found that I usually presented a confusing puzzle to most Filipinos. I didn’t fit into the typical mold of what an American looked like. I wasn’t blonde with blue eyes. I didn’t have fair skin. They always tried to figure me out, and for the most part I was also amused by this. A little humor goes a long way in keeping you sane.

No matter who I met, the conversation usually started off sounding something like this:

“So…you’re American.”

“Yes, American.”

“But, you’re not Filipino? You look Filipino.”

“Yes, I’m Filipino.

“So your mom is Filipino.”

“No, actually my dad is Filipino.”

“So you’re half American, half Filipino?”

“No, I’m full American.” Confused faces usually followed that remark.

“I’m Filam,” I offered. Generally, the term Filam describes a Filipino American.

“Oh, so you’re not pure American then? What about your mother? Is she pure American?”

Pure American?

More Tiny Teasers and book updates coming soon!

Have your own stories about Filipino American identity you’d like to share? Contact me if you’d like to be a guest blogger on Halo-Halo, Mix-Mix.

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More about Deborah

Filipino American with a passion for making a difference. Writer. Blogger. Dreamer. Adventurer.

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