How do I describe the textures of Manila?
Standing at a busy street corner with rumbling jeepneys and pressing crowds around me, I try to pin down the unfamiliar energies of the city. For me, it’s an ambivalent sensation of excitement, unease, curiosity and caution, all rolled into one. While trying to navigate Manila’s vibrant, gritty streets, I’ve learned firsthand the importance of flexibility and respect when it comes to the unknown. As I witness the mix of East and West here in Manila, I realize that the chances of confronting the unfamiliar are increasing for everyone. Continue reading
When I think of who I am, my first instinct is to define myself using personality traits rather than by ethnicity. I often wonder why many multicultural people intuitively do the opposite. Have I dishonored my heritage by not prioritizing Filipino-American as my core identity? My personal reflections on race have been admittedly stifled. I probably don’t give enough praise to Filipino culture as I should. I’m not sure if I’m to blame for this or if my parents are, with their progressive break from conventional Filipino customs when they came to America. Then again, exactly how much attention does my cultural identity merit, when in reality, the things I believe distinguish me (indecisiveness, corny humor, chocolate habit, introversion, soccer) don’t involve it? In such a global and diverse community as Georgetown, just how important is one’s ethnicity when it comes to identity? Continue reading