Alexander Calica, II, Carlsbar, CA. This phrase was often used by adults when I was growing up after hearing my answer to their question, “What nationality are you?” I would always respond by saying, “My father is Filipino and my mother is Dutch.” The initial inquiry would be posed after having heard me speak at […]
Mark Cooper Lafayette, IN In elementary school, my best friend turned to me and said, “Mark, I don’t even think of you as asian anymore!” I knew he meant that our friendship had stepped beyond perceived race, but the phrasing could not be anymore alienating. I have family that trace back to the Mayflower, to […]
Nicole “Nico” Cisneros USA I know what I am! I’m Cuban-Filipino-American; first-generation Filipino on my mom’s side and second-generation Cuban on my dad’s side. I love celebrating my heritage, but what really puts a pause in my delight– and what sometimes feels like a gut-check– is when others respond with something like, “…but you’re not […]
Gina Collignon Madison, WI This came to me in exasperation after the last person called me “exotic.” “What,” I thought, “like a pineapple?” I’m mixed white and Filipina from San Francisco, living in the midwest. I never had to think much about race growing up–in my family and group of friends I was considered white […]
Jamie M. Young, Seattle, WA. I was born in Subic Bay, Philippines at the former U.S. Naval Base. My father is from Minnesota (of Norwegian/Irish decent), and my mother is from Minuhang, Leyte, Philippines. I am mixed race, but I have fair skin and dark hair. When I attend family events, I physically do not […]
Barbara Rodriguez, Florence, SC. Yes, they both are Cuban. The look of shock never ceases to amaze me. Is it because I’m blonde and have green eyes…yes! Is it because of where I live…yes! Growing up in New York, everyone I knew could tell me about their heritage. My neighborhood was a perfect melting pot […]
Ali Berlinski Spain “Being a biracial kid can be hard, especially when you have a white name and face that screams I give pedicures.” – a beautiful mess. Typically, I use humor to talk about my very eclectic upbringing. My family could very well be the United Nations. Navigating through so many cultures can get […]
Ben Sian Atlanta, GA Born in the US to Filipino parents.
Elaine Oyzon-Mast Avondale Estates, GA Filipino, German, English, Irish, supposedly with a touch of Cherokee and Iroquois. The melting pot serving up three beautiful boys.
Elizabeth Norris Taylor Fernandina Beach, FL I have lived my entire life with people coming up to me and asking, “what are you?” For a while in college, I had some very clever comebacks… now days I simply shrug and say, “American, and you?” I have had people come up to me and speak Spanish […]
Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil Sacramento, CA 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 […]
Lisa Crawford Austin, TX This is a question I’ve heard many times in my life–usually as a follow up to questions like “What’s your background?” or “What are you?” I’m half-Filipino, half-Caucasian (German/Norwegian). And no, my dad was NOT in the military.
Cheryl Mercado Arnedt West Orange, NJ My grandmother and her sister — red-headed daughters of NYC cops — both married full Filipino men and were disowned. There was no race in our family – just rice AND potatoes at every meal. My grandfather “Pupa” intentionally didn’t pass down his Asian-ness or his language Tagalog so […]
Ryan Arlington, VA Like many first generation Americans who have tried to “blend” to American culture so deeply, it’s hard to know what your racial identity is when it seems you’re a stranger in both cultures…
JayJay Porcadilla Colorado Springs, CO I am Filipino and Portuguese and much more! I was always afraid of the song “Play that funky music WHITE boy” I don’t know why, but it had so I would check white so I would feel like I was part of everyone around me! To this day I am […]
Carolyn Hisako Okinaga Honolulu, HI I asked this question when I was growing up on Ewa Plantation. Ethnic groups were housed in separate villages on the plantation based on race and position, e.g., Filipinos laborers lived in Fernandez Village, Japanese in B Village, etc. All of the caucasian (“haole”) supervisors/bosses lived in Renton Village; they […]
Michelle Umadhay Seattle, WA Many people do not realize that when one culture interacts w/ American culture, in many ways, a third culture is born.
Ashley S. Westerman, Submitted via twitter: @AS_Westerman. @michele_norris #TheRaceCardProject
Jenny San Luis Field Fridley, MN Why do people assume that I am Mexican, if not that then they ask that I am Chinese, then for there last resort they will say I’m Japanese. Why can’t I be just Filipino? Ask first before you assume what I am!