Sunday


The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery~

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In several places I have been and places I have lived, some people would try to figure out my heritage or from what country I come from. The other day, two of the ten young boys I was supervising were arguing whether I am Chinese or a Puerto Rican. We were sitting at the dining hall waiting for our turn to get dinner. Then I said I'm not Chinese and I'm not Puerto Rican. I am Filipino. Then both of them uttered in somewhat disbelief "Filipin!". I said "Filipino". So, that settled the argument. It's just a little intimidating working with these kids who are even far taller than me. I don't think they could be physical, but it's just the size I guess. One of the girls who was off from school thought that I was one of them teenagers. I know, my size does make me look like one of them. But when she saw me talking to the receptionist submitting my time sheet, she confessed what she thought at first. In several other places I have been mistaken as maybe from a Hispanic origin like Mexicans or some other groups in the South America. I remember one time in the restaurant I was working, three girls were excited to try out their Spanish. But of course I heard them talking. So, before one of the girls even started talking in Spanish, I already told them that I am not Hispanic and she could just speak in english with me because I may not actually understand her if she speaks in Spanish. I'm sure the girl was embarassed but can't help it. In some other places, some people couldn't distinguish between any of the foreign immigrants. At another place someone asked me if I were Malay, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Guatemalan. Well, sometimes I could be in a good mood to explain to them, but when they catch me in a not so good mood then they won't get the response. I think sometimes whatever the biggest group of foreign immigrants in a city, they would think you're one of them. Back when I was in New Orleans, they ask if I was Vietnamese. Some people do know about Filipinos especially if they have seen or met some of them.Or if there are lots of them in the area. But for some, they don't have any idea about Filipinos even the country they come from. Okey, at the restaurant where I used to work, the bartender thought that I was Portugese because I was speaking to the Mexican guys with my newly learned spanish. She thought I was, for a long time until we were discussing something about the Philippines. I had to explain to her that we do have spanish words in our language but not everything is spanish.That's why I could talk to the Hispanic guys because I could tell some of the things they are talking about. Many people think that Filipinos speak Spanish. Someone asked me also if I were Thai. That I would understand because Filipinos and Thais are really look alike. Some Thai people do look like Filipinos. Tan skin and even the size and physical features. But looks can be very decieving. You'll never know especially for mixed bloods. I just find it so interesting, the mixed culture. It's interesting to see different races, different colors in just one place. I was able to witness that at the international market. There were Indians, Italians, Vietnamese, Chinese, even German and all others I couldn't tell where their country of origins are. At the big corners are the united nations flag.Very symbolic, because not only the people are diverse, the culture, the language, the color and the food. You could find fruits, vegetables and all kinds of stuff from different parts of the world. I think it's a cool place to visit once in a while.

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