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September 16, 2006

Pride And Ancestry

Lately I've been... well, kinda soul-searching myself here in Singapore trying to make out of what I should I be doing (and planning) for the rest of my life now that I'm living independently from my family (well, yes, for Asians, it's a phenomenon that children get to grow older even beyond their 20's before they finally decide to move out and start a life of their own) unlike Western culture.

And part of that thinking and soul-searching is trying to blend myself among the millions of people living in this small island nation. To blend as in to try to align myself as one of the three major races of Singapore: Chinese, Indians, Malays. And most of the time I fail to blend well, especially when I speak out my English with the American accent (or that distinct Filipino accent sometimes local taxi drivers would quickly discern when you speak to them). I chuckle of the thought when one of my current officemates would tell his story of how he usually be mistaken to as an Indian, or (far-out) Nepalese (??) because of his looks. Another also told his story of how he was though of as an Indonesian or Malay. And to think, I was already mistaken to be a Japanese back in the Philippines. If I sport a bushy goatee, I'll be readily mistaken as a Malay.

The point is the current crop of Filipinos can't be stereotyped anymore as the small, dark brown skinned, flat-nosed race but more of a unique mixture of different blood races. This thanks to thousands of Filipinos going abroad and establishing relationships with other nationalities producing unique offsprings often quite better-looking(ehem).

Take for instance that big muscled wrestler of WWE Batista who my brother recently emailed me regarding his ancestry as half-Filipino (and in another source, he is half-Greek). Ah, no wonder he has that good nose bridge but bro... I mean brown skin color that Filipinos are known for (ok, I'll stop referring to the nose).

Still not convinced? See the flag on his left shoulder here. And this one one in another blog picture. Skirmish more in the Internet, he'll tell you he even idolized Manny Pacquiao.

* * * *

I just wonder why in this country I usually don't get much news about the sports winnings of the Philippines (such as Pacquiao) even though Philippines is part of Asia. And I get to hear and see more news of other Asian countries are India, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, and China.


rmacapobre said...

for Asians, it's a phenomenon that children get to grow older even beyond their 20's before they finally decide to move out and start a life of their own

that is true. its only after college and i started working did i earn enough money to move out and finally support myself. and there lies the problem, filipino parents often rely on their children to support their retirement. wether or not there was poor planning involved, i dont see any effort otherwise in their part (at least this is true for my parents). to the point of blackmail, example: i wont get inheritance even though i had as much investment on the inheritance and maybe even more.

ok na ko ...

Anonymous said...

You're not alone man. Here in Brunei the situation is more or less the same. A lot of Malay, Chinese, Indians, Thai, Indonesians and of course, Filipinos.

Sometimes I would sit around and think to myself, am I at the right place? It's often good to just relax and imagine how things could have turned out if we were in this place or that place... I believe we just have to make the most of the time we spend in any foreign country. There's truly no place like home.

rmacapobre said...


i had an officemate who was from nepal. he did look like a filipino. i suppose the nepalais is also part of the malay race?

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)