so michael and i met in a really cheesy way. i was at
home, bored, and mad at my boyfriend for flirting with some
chick online and calling her up. so... i got on mirc with
the intention of flirting with some guy or other, not
really expecting it to lead anywhere.
but then i started chatting with this guy, keiko, about
independent films we had both seen. after some time, he invited me
into his friends' chat room, where the jet set of manila hung out
online. he introduced me to "shadow," who showed me his website,
which had a collection of his photographs and an online diary he
hosted for a friend of his.
he liked the grateful dead, the guitar, and black and white
photographs. also wrote some fairly bad poetry. he was half italian-
american, half filipino.
we had so much to talk about. i don't know how it happened. he
told me about his dog's fungus skin disease, about how he lost his
virginity, how he pretended to try to kill himself in high school
when his first girlfriend dumped him. we talked about why i think
jim morrison is sexy, college drug experiments, and growing up in a
world where you're an outsider.
i spent some time in hong kong when i was little and for a while, had
a british accent. when we came home to manila, my sister and i were
different from the other kids. we spoke english with an accent. as
i grew up, it was one of the things that set me apart, but i soon
realized it wasn't *the thing.*
all my life i've had to live in at least two worlds at a time. i
live in a country that doesn't really have a definite culture. in
the us, we're known as the asians who want to be black.
when i study my face, i don't see a person of a definite race. i've
been mistaken for latina, japanese, egyptian, and indian. when i'm
abroad, fellow filipinos will sometimes do a double take when they
here me speaking in tagalog. maybe it's just as well, because i've
never really felt that i've belonged here. i was born and raised in
the philippines, but i never really felt that it embraced me as its
how can explain this properly to anyone that i do not feel filipino?
i am actually a little bit angry as i feel somehow betrayed by my own
nationality. it is exactly the same way i feel betrayed by
catholicism. the catholics teach you to hate yourselves, and i feel
that filipino culture taught me the same. i refuse to be a little
brown american. i simply won't be anything at all.