There Is No Such Thing As A Pure Filipino and The Loss of the Filipino Identity

Whenever I notice a foreign feature about my classmates or friends, whether it’s their chinky eyes, freckled skin, fair complexion, or a feature that I know is not Filipino, if they do know what it is, they would respond by saying that they are pure Filipino. This is not true. There is no longer such a thing as pure Filipino. Or there are, but they belong to the indigenous groups if the Philippines. The traditional Filipino is short, brown skinned, has kinky hair, thick lips, and a flat nose. These groups are few and live far away from society. They have avoided the foreign influences of our country.

This is what pure Filipinos look like

This is what pure Filipinos look like

Let me give a brief history lesson based from what I have learned in school. We have been colonized by the Spanish (333 years), British (for two weeks and this fact isn’t really know), Americans (50 years), and Japanese (3-4 years). Long before that, we were trading with our Asian brothers and sisters through the bridges that connected Asia to each other, at least until the tectonic plates moved and we were separated. Then we had to travel through boats. Some of these traders have intermarried with the Filipinos. When our colonizers came, many settled in the Philippines and married our people. With all these intermarriages going around, obviously or blood would be mixed. Unlike our Japanese, Chinese, and Korean counterparts, we do not have distinctive features. I have posted a picture of my graduating batch and as you can see; our eyes come in all sizes, skin tones in varying shades, and different height statures.

This is what Filipinos look like today.

This is what Filipinos look like today.



Whenever I travel to other Southeast Asian countries, I’ve noticed that depending on our features, we can blend in anywhere. In China, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand, I’ve seen Filipinos who I thought were locals (in that country) until they spoke Filipino. Of course, we would not be mistaken as pure Chinese, Malay, etc but a mix of different races. The locals in that country would ask if my family was part *insert foreign race here* and we would say no because we honestly didn’t know or yes if they asked if we were part Chinese (we are).

Even our language is a mixture of different words. There are Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and plenty of other foreign words thrown in the mix. I think we’re even going through an identity crisis because of all the foreign influences we have. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing (the effects of colonization). Our language, culture, food, and actions have been influenced by many colonizers, most especially by the Spaniards and Americans.

When the Spaniards colonized us, they have stripped us of our identity and if I were to be honest, I wish the other countries just left us alone because they have fucked us up. Badly. They removed us of our religion, government, culture and before they came, we actually had equal status with men. I remember back when I was twelve, this half Spanish classmate of mine tried to defend her country by saying that “had the Spanish not colonized us, we would still have remained like the Indians.” These were her exact words and I think what she had in mind was the image of Indians from Peter Pan (which I know is a popular stereotype). I wanted to smack her head then and there because contrary to popular belief, our white colonizers did not save us and we were already an advanced civilization before they came. We had our own writing system for crying out loud! Here is a link to show what we were like before the Spaniards “liberated” us: http://www.filipiknow.net/life-in-pre-colonial-philippines/. This doesn’t mean that I hate Spain (though to a VERY small extent, I do). Yes, I detest their ancestors for what they did to my countrymen but at the time, the incredibly corrupt friars and priests who took over our country were hiding what they were doing from the Spanish government. At least from what I was taught in school, when our national hero went to Spain, he realized that the Spanish officials the King sent were not doing their job and were hiding it from him. Spain really had no idea what was truly going on in their colony because of the Friars deception.

So what really makes a Filipino, a Filipino? I am a Filipino and proud of my heritage and culture. But we have so many parts of the Filipino identity that was given to us, not our own. From the Spanish, we have siestas, food, religion, beso-beso greeting, money (we use Peso currency), Spanish surnames (common ones are Sanchez, dela Cruz, Garcia, Carlos, Lopez, etc) and the Filipino version of numbers is the same ones used in Spain. From the Chinese – food, clothes (camisa de chino, loose trousers, wooden slippers), toys (tops, sungka, cards, and kites), respect the elderly, and importance of eldest children (this isn’t applicable to all families). Then from the Arabs, we have the Islam religion, Roman numerals, government, use of calendar and several words used in the Filipino language. I could make an entire list of all the foreign influences in this blog but there are too many to mention and it might bore my readers. Heck, when I was an elementary student, for many years I had to make a list of each country that influenced us and what they were. At the time, I knew them by heart.

So what was the point of this entire article? I wanted to give my readers a brief background of the Philippines and the different cultures that have influenced us as well as its effects. Who knows, maybe you’ll go here and wonder why we don’t look alike (unlike the Chinese, Koreans and Indians). Guys, not all Asians have slit eyes. ) The Philippines is a melting pot of different cultures and this makes us pretty unique. I love my country and culture and wouldn’t have it any other way.

What It’s Like To Grow Up With A Name I Hate

whats in a name

baby name

My name is Dyana and it’s pronounced as the name Diana. Had I grown up in America, very few people would get this wrong but in this country, the name is mispronounced with the Filipino accent and is often said as “Jana or Dee-yah-nah.” This isn’t going to be a typical rant about people with unique names and how they’re misspelled and mispronounced all the time. It goes beyond that. All my life, I’ve thought of my name as too common yet uncommon as well. There are many Diana’s in the world but I’ve never met one with the same spelling as mine. The closest has been a few girls named “Dyan” but no one really gets this wrong.

As I write this article and think about my name, I can’t help but feel a bit of disdain for it. There is a sense of detachment when I think of my name. Like, it’s not really personal though I think it should be. I wish my parents never gave me this name. Heck, I’ve had this name for 20 years now and hearing it is still strange. I know it’s really weird to say that but it’s true. I probably wouldn’t have minded if it was spelled a traditional way like Diana/Dianne/Diane/Dyan but I don’t like what they gave me. I would have rather been named another traditional name for girls like Christina, Andrea, Sarah, Danielle, or something classic. I don’t know if anyone else feels like this but I’ve always felt that there is something off about my name. I would change it in a heartbeat if I could. It doesn’t help that my second name and surname are also “unique” and often misspelled and mispronounced. Maybe I just hate my whole name in general. And yet, despite trying out other nicknames, I’ve always responded best to ‘Dyana.’ Maybe this is some messed up version of Stockholm Syndrome.

Being a Femme, Taking the Lead, and Not Liking It

Kigo

As the title states, I am a femme lesbian who often takes the lead in a relationship and I really don’t like it. ‘So why do it then?’ you may ask. Why not let the other girl lead? The thing is that she can’t. This is especially true when dating femme lesbians. I am not saying that femme lesbians can’t take the lead, I have friends who do it but unfortunately, the girls I end up with are often very submissive and emotional. I don’t mind taking care of my girl but once in a while, I like being pampered like a princess too.

So what happens when you date a woman with the same traits as you? Being raised in a patriarchal society where people are brought up a certain way according to their gender, what happens when you a date a person who was raised in the same “box” as you, so to speak? This girl also loves baking, shoes, make-up, pink, dresses, and bunch of other stuff that most women act and behave like. Sad as it is, society loves to segregate and give us roles and though this creates an organized community, it comes with many consequences. Until recently, this segregation has forced women to stay as housewives because they’ve been assigned the role of “submissive.” Women have come a long way since then but the battle is not over. I am not going to follow this statement with women’s rights though it is important but with the result of this segregation, many girls are still brought up a certain way despite it being the 21st century. I can still recall how I was given Barbies as a child but my brother was given toy cars (toys which I preferred).

So we’re both girly girls, what happens now? Well, one of us has to take initiative because if we’re both gonna wait for the other girl to do it, NOTHING is going to happen. I learned this lesson when I asked my ex-girlfriend why she always kissed me (she executed them all) and she said that she wanted me to make the first move but she could see I wasn’t doing anything. She WANTED me to make the first move but I wouldn’t so she forced herself too. I could even see that she was a bit uncomfortable with this and maybe it was because she’s bisexual and often, the guy takes the lead. In order for things to progress between us and for it to be a bit more clear and organized, one of us had to take the lead. That “one” had to be me. I became more chivalrous and assertive (not aggressive). Maybe it’s more natural for me to be the more dominant one because as the eldest of three siblings, I do have a dominant personality to use but still, I would love to have a girl take the reins off my hands in a relationship. I’d like for the girl to be the “gentleman” and bring me flowers and chocolates, pull my chair, and make the first move whether on a date or in the bedroom because I get tired of doing this way too often.

Who’s The “Boy” In a Lesbian Relationship? This Term Must Stop.

butch and femme


TAMARA BRAUN, EDEN RIEGEL, LYNNDA KAYE FERGUSON

Whenever my friends ask me who the “boy” in a relationship is, I would usually say it’s me. I get raised eyebrows, funny stares, and a ton of questions following this answer. Why? Maybe it’s because I wear skirts, make-up, accessories, and very fashionable clothing. There is nothing “boy” about the way I look. Now, this question bugs me, it bugs me a lot. Because really, we both have breasts and a vagina so why would you ask if there is a “boy” between us (apologies for the image this may bring but there’s no other way to word it)?

I have no idea where this term started but my guess is that it’s due to how a traditional heterosexual couple works. There is a man and a woman and most of the time; it’s the man that leads. So I guess what people mean to ask is who “leads” in the relationship, not who’s the “boy.” Now, even if the couple is composed of a butch and a femme, it would still be rude to assume that the butch is the “boy” in the couple because even if she dresses like one, she is not a boy. By continuing to use this term, it perpetuates the stereotype that since femmes like to date girls who look like guys, she still wants to go out men. She doesn’t. She is simply attracted to butch lesbians.

I don’t know how to stop this because it’s now a very common term to use when asking lesbian and gay couples. It is used by both the gay and straight community. I’ve even asked my gay friend if he was the “girl” in the relationship. A mistake I made sure to never repeat again. But hey, small things still make a difference so it should start with us. When asking other same sex couples about their roles, instead of using the term “boy” or “girl,” use instead who “leads”, “dominates”, or is the more “submissive” one.

The Double Standards of Stranger Danger in Online Dating: Men versus Women

online dating

Back when I dated, meeting them online was in my opinion, scary and dangerous. With all these horror stories I read and see in the news, I was hesitant to meet guys virtually. The first things I worried about were the ff: Is he a rapist? What if he’s a serial killer? Will he drug my food when I’m not looking? Is his profile information fake? The second were: Is he ugly? What if he’s fat? What if he’s boring? Will this even work? I may be a bit paranoid but people left and right kept telling me about how meeting men online is dangerous and that the internet is full of predators and rapists. Sure, my profile got a ton of responses but then, a chunk of the replies were more than creepy and borderline harassment. At the time, my info said I was a bisexual and that I liked both guys and girls. It was creepy that many guys were asking for threesomes and asking if they could see me fuck another girl. The few guys who sounded genuinely sweet and interested, I’m sorry to say but I never gave them a chance. Some of them would ask for my number after a few weeks of chatting but I refused. The majority won over the minority and I was afraid that the ‘good’ guys were only sounding nice in their responses. I never went on a date with any of them. I deleted my accounts and stuck to guys from my University. I do wish I gave them a shot though. They probably would have made good friends at least.

However, dating women was completely different. When I got replies, the first thing I considered was how they look. Is she attractive enough? Is she cute? Is her personality interesting? We would chat and send messages and I would not hesitate in giving away my number after a few days. Even if she were a bit boring online, if she met my basic requirements, then I would not hesitate to go on a date. Contrary to dating men, even if they did meet the basics, I would still be suspicious of their intentions.

I think that the negative perception of meeting men online is dangerous, at least in the Philippines, is due to media overhyping it. The news often report about girls getting raped, murdered, drugged, trafficked, or even having body parts hacked off due to meeting men online. This can make women a bit more hesitant to consider dating strangers. Though I believe that this is just a minority of those who meet men virtually and they probably posted in suspicious websites like Craig’s List (looking at the ads there really give me the creeps sometimes). The reports of women scamming guys are considerably fewer and not as dangerous as men though this does not mean that meeting women online can’t be as risky as men. Thankfully, there are now apps like Tinder where the quality of men and women online is higher and their identities can be confirmed (most of the time).

Personally, I like online dating. Since I wasn’t born with a gaydar and wouldn’t know a lesbian if she sat next to me in class for 6 months (this actually happened), being provided a list of available single girls to choose from is quite convenient. Straights have Tinder, gays have Grindr and lesbians have…Brenda. My next post will be about lesbian dating apps and why we’re in desperate need of them. I’ve tried many and Brenda is the best I can find so far but I now digress from my original topic. Online dating is fine, just as long as you take caution with the stranger who you will meet and learn to sniff out any triggers that indicate this person is dangerous.

Do Looks Matter In Dating?

dating girls

My answer, is yes, yes it does. As people, we tend to judge first on what we see and the first thing that we notice about people is how they look. Call me shallow but I just cannot date someone who I am not physically attracted to. If a girl is nice but not really pretty and I don’t see anything happening between us, then I’ll put her in the friendzone or just stop after the first date. If the girl is pretty but I don’t see any attraction between us on a first date, then I’ll give it a few more dates before saying that it’s not working out. In short, I’m willing to give prettier girls more chances. I’ve already broken up a few dates with a girl just because I did not find her attractive enough.

On my last date, a friend with good intentions tried to set me up with another girl. She gave me her number and she gave the other girl mine. This other girl, who we shall call Den, started texting me. She was very sweet and called me ‘Princess’ and even spoke in old English to add to her charm. However, when I looked for her Facebook profile, I was quite disappointed. She did not meet my standards when it came to the looks department. She was fat, and did not have a nice face. She went to one of the best colleges like me and our high schools are sister schools so I could tell that she was also well educated. However, when I date someone I have three main requirements: education, looks, and clinginess. Though she met my first condition, she did not meet the other 2. I already wasn’t physically attracted to her, and she kept texting me nonstop. It was so annoying and there is nothing that irks me more than clingy people. I barely knew this girl and already, she kept texting me all the time. I had to make excuses just to get away!

When I finally met her in person, I realized that she was even fatter than her pictures show and though her face was not as bad, t was still unattractive for me though. Also, she didn’t dress well and as a fashionista, your outfit during a first meeting plays a crucial role. I mean, I made an effort to at least look decent (simpler than my usual attires) so you should at least extend the same courtesy. After spending an hour and a half with her, I could tell that we definitely weren’t going to work out. Her personality wasn’t that interesting and her looks did not appeal to me. We had lunch, played at the arcade, briefly met her mom (she insisted), and I went home. I never saw her again. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when it comes to the considering the looks of my partner. I don’t seek someone with drop dead super model looks but at least look average or fine. Though I think I’m being a bit hypocritical here since I’m the type to give more leeway and favor those who are above average.

I went on another date with another girl who I met online. I viewed her profile pictures and saw that she was cute, currently goes to the same university I just graduated from, and after chatting a bit for a few days, invited her to lunch. It went alright. I found her prettier in person and our conversations ranged from average to slightly interesting. After lunch, I escorted her to her next class. We texted a bit for a few days and she said that she’d love to have lunch again. However, she just suddenly stopped replying. I would only send 1-3 text messages (when she wouldn’t reply) in a day so I didn’t thing I was being too clingy. I finally had it after the third day of no responses and politely asked her to confirm with me if she didn’t want to go out anymore because I’m now left confused and hanging. She still ignored me. I know she ignored me because I also sent her a few messaged in the dating app I met her in and I knew that she was online. I just found it incredibly rude because she gave me false hope.

However, I’m not always into how another girl looks. When I was in high school, I had a crush on a girl who did not appeal to my aesthetic tastes at first. I usually ignored her because we weren’t friends and talked to different people. We only started talking when the teacher placed our seats together (she was behind mine). As I got to know her over time, I started falling in love with her and her personality. She was funny, nice, witty, and cool. Then as time went by, her looks grew on me and I also found out that she was a butch. I found her quite handsome (and apparently, so did the others). Until that day, I have NEVER been attracted to a butch. Unfortunately for me, this girl was taken and she was actually one of the most popular and sought after girls in the school. Blame me for being a new kid at the time but since I was a transferee, I did not know who belonged where in the social hierarchy of my high school. She was the captain of the swim team with a ton of friends and I was the geek with people issues who was too shy to make new friends and usually sat with 1-2 people or alone during lunch.

Not every girl is into looks and what’s attractive for one girl isn’t necessarily the same for another. People tend to date others who are just as attractive as them or at least, that’s what I was taught in my Psychology class. So if a person is a level 6 on a scale of 1-10, then they would probably want to date someone within that range. Unfortunately, IF I were a 6 (hypothetically speaking of course. I don’t know my rating), then the girl on my last date was a 3 and it just really didn’t work out. Considering how someone looks when you date them is not shallow. It is only human nature. Now let me contradict my previous statement by saying that though physical attractiveness is important, it shouldn’t be the basis for a relationship.

High Standards of Friendship

darkxchocolate94:

Amen. True friends should be able to accept ALL of you and not just tolerate a part of your identity.

Originally posted on Words and Thoughts and Stuff:

Over my lifetime, I have developed some pretty high standards when it comes to friends. I require my friends to be honest with me. I require them to put relatively the same amount of time and effort into the friendship that I do. I don’t ever try to control who they talk to or what they do with their lives, but I do expect them to have a certain amount of respect for my feelings and the people or things I do not wish to be involved with. And for the most part, none of these things are ever a problem and most people have absolutely no trouble meeting my expectations.

But as I have become more and more open about my sexuality, I am developing another standard. It’s one that a lot of people meet with ease, but that several people are falling short of. It’s the requirement that my friends…

View original 502 more words