No, where are you REALLY from?

IMG_20140306_223556Gerard Achilles Obnial,
McAllen, TX.

When I first worked in the hospital, it had always been routine that my patients would ask not for my name or how my day went as was customary (even though I knew that people don’t really want to know) — they would always ask for my age and where I was from.

I could bet a trillion dollars that one of my patients or their relatives would say “You look so young!”

Then they would follow up with “where are you from?”

I knew what that question meant.

Just to tease my patients, I’d always tell them I’m from McAllen, Texas to which they would say, “No, where are you really from?”

My patients are just curious as to what my nationality is. They’d usually say I look Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Sometimes, they’d say I look Mexican. I always laugh it off because in a year, only 3 patients correctly guessed that I am Filipino.

I don’t really mind. The Philippines is basically a hodgepodge of cultures from the east and west anyway. Whether or not people would find out where I’m from is not my concern, nor would I offended if they ask me. If anything, I think people just ask because they’re curious.. and race is just a man-made concept.

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