The Half Breeds Series: The Struggle
I don’t even know where to begin on this topic. I just got off the phone with my cousin, who is also mixed, half filipino & half white (I’m not going to do that weird thing where I break down her white percentage). I started this site to celebrate my multi-cultural background and to one day be a resource for the next generation of filipino or mexican americans on food recipes, travel info, cultural stuff,etc.; but it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t also discuss the struggles.
Having a parent from another country who speaks a different language and raised in another culture can be tough. Not only are they adjusting to a new country, language, and spouse with a different upbringing, they are raising children that have a different outlook on life. Some of us mixed breeds handle the difference well, embracing it and therapeutically finding the humor in it all, but others, not so much. My cousin falls into the “not so much” catagory. Not to say that it isn’t hard for me, but I was fortunate enough to grow up with a strong foundation of other “halfies.”
I cannot stress enough how instrumental my halfie friends were to my upbringing. Even to this day, they are the ones I turn to to vent on our “momisms.” (momisms - an action or saying our mom’s have in common.) They are also the first ones I tell when the momisms are funny or cute, because they know and understand that I’m not being disrespectful. It’s a way we cope and they are the treats that almost make up for all the blood shed. Okay - it’s not that dramatic, but you get the gist.
Let’s talk about these treats, like:
- Not being able to shave our legs because being “balbon” is attractive and a status symbol (SERIOUSLY)
Mom pointing with her lips at objects she wants you to get at the grocery store.
Having fried whole fish with head on at the dinner table at sleepover, while your friend’s mom order pizza
Hearing “back in da pilapines … < ----- insert ridiculous anecdote” whenever she wants to make a point
These used to make me cringe, and now I LIVE for them. I love that my mom made grocery shopping interactive and funny, and that she introduced my non asian friends to filipino food. I now find myself pointing with my lips and saying “back in da pilapines ….” as if her own struggles were my own.
I’d like to thank my cousin for inspiring me to start this series, which I plan to write about weekly. It is important that she knows she is not alone and that there is an entire sub-culture out there that understands her struggle. She will soon realize that our mothers continue to struggle with us. They also have many stories to tell and rely on their own support systems. I honor these women and admire their courage.