A confession: up until relatively recently, I wasn’t interested much into learning my ancestry.
After all, I was born here in America, not the Philippines, and I bought into whole American melting pot ideal I saw happily sung on those Schoolhouse Rock segments. Yes, I did hope native Filipinos did well in international competitions (the 1992 Zamboanga City Little League World Series Championship and resultant scandal was particularly disappointing) and similar, but I wouldn’t be one who would betray my country of origin, my country of citizenship.
Then, there was a progression of things. A presidential election in 2016 and a distinctly growing atmosphere of anti-immigrant and anti-perceived-to-be-immigrant sentiment that is in reality not all that new. Tensions only grew when COVID hit, with a number of politicians happily going along with the blame game. Finally, it hit home for me in a personal way, when some enlightened soul told me that I needed to go back to China.
I took a long deep hard look at myself in the mirror shortly after that. Unless I wanted to go the Michael Jackson route re: lose my skin color and had crap tons of cosmetic surgery, a certain segment of my country’s population was never going to accept me as American. I figured shortly thereafter that was a good a time to dig in more deeply and explore my roots.Continue reading “Flipping On the Flip-side”