“Talaga! I thought you were Pilipino!”

JSRL Padre,
Glendale, CA.

I am Filipino. Born in Quezon. Imported to East LA. Learned to walk and talk in Los Feliz. Never heard Tagalog at home. It’s not my parent’s first language. That would be Ilocano for my papa, and maybe Alcalenian or Pangasinan for mama. Because of where I grew up, Spanish is more native to me than Tagalog. But every Filipino I meet at work assumes I speak Tagalog. And when they realize I don’t, they disparage me and my parents.


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