Growing up, I wanted to be as “non-Filipino” as possible and felt great achievement whenever a friend said to me, “You seem so white!” During my middle school years, I claimed to not like rice (the staple for every night’s family dinner). My mom, after rushing home from work to cook dinner for us everyday, relented and lovingly prepared pasta for me while the rest of the family ate rice and the evening’s accompanying meat dish. Today, I long to speak Tagalog, call my mom every week for advice on how to cook Filipino dishes, and look forward to the day when I have children and can share my rich heritage with them.
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