About The Musing Mestiza

Filipina Ka Ba?: Hell Yeah, I’m Fully Filipina!


Since I love going on and on about cultural and social differences that I notice around me, I thought I’d try focusing on myself in this regard. As far as I’ve known, I’m fully Filipino- as in both sides of my family up until the third degree (people I know) are all Filipino. Therefore both my parents are fully Filipino.

But there is this constant thing in my life when it comes to how people perceive my heritage: they usually get it wrong!

a) Half-Filipino/Half-Asian

b) Korean

c) Japanese

d) Spanish

e) Malaysian

What you see before you is the list of guesses most people take at my race. With a) being the most common and e) being the least common. Now I understand that definitely there is a general look for most races (oh no, politically incorrect!) and it’s because there are common features in people who belong to a certain country or region and have had endless generations there. With Filipinos it’s usually tanned skin, rounder eyes and dark hair. Medium height or short.

Funny enough I actually fit into all those categories save for one- skin color. I mean, this whole blog is called The Musing Mestiza for goodness sake! It is a word play on my skin color, which has been commented on by others, especially Filipinos most of my life. Let me be honest, I do like my skin color and I love it the way it is. When it came to my blog title, it was a matter of rhyming and having similar sounding words, I came up with Musing first. Mestiza sounded similar and that’s how the title came to be.

But the point is- simply because of my skin color many people mistake my race, not because of other physical characteristics.

The oddest thing though, is that there is one specific type of people that always see right through me and know my race: older Filipina women. Usually the ones in their 30s or older. Whenever I walk past them on the street, they shoot me that piercing up-and-down-look or a suspicious slight quirking of the brow. As if to say, ‘A-ha! I know you’re Filipina, give it up now!’ They had me completely, and the thing is- I can’t figure out how they know! It’s a mystery to me.

Of course, there’s an exception though, which is when I talk. Filipinos are well-known for a Filipino-American accent. An accent that is all about stressing every letter in every word. Really. House becomes hawss. Door becomes Do–or. As for me though, I have lost the Filipino accent and the American part is left, mixed with Australian accent I’ve also developed. But a lot of Aussies will catch onto the American accent mixed into it and if they happen to know Filipinos they put two and two together. Asian and speaks like an American? Probably Filipino.

A lot of people tend to take offense or get frustrated when people mislabel their race but as for me? I don’t really mind. Being a mistisa/mestiza makes my life experiences quite interesting and a little funny. There’s nothing wrong with being a bit different.



What’s your experiences being labelled/mislabelled due to your looks?


Who is the Mestiza that Muses?


The one you know as The Mestiza is me, Coleen. I’m a 22 year old Filipino-Australian living in Melbourne, Australia but was raised in Manila, Philippines. Mainly Paranaque.
I blog about my experiences as a Filipino-Australian in Melbourne, musing on culture shock, intercultural philosophies and what strikes my curiosity in general.

For non-Filipino readers, let me explain the term.

[me-stee-zuh, mi-]
Spell Syllables
Word Origin
a woman of mixed racial or ethnic ancestry, especially, in Latin America, of mixed American Indian and European descent or, in the Philippines, of mixed native and foreign descent. (courtesy of Dictionary.com)

This is the dictionary meaning, but for most Filipinos, we all know that there is more than one version of this word- mistisa. This usually refers to a Filipino woman with very light skin, which I was fortunately born with and quite proud of. I like my complexion and I constantly take care of it. As this is a blog for a general audience as well, aside from Filipinos, I chose the more common, international-friendly version of the word- mestiza. The word that mistisa actually originated from.

Though funny enough, I do look and have been told I look like I have mixed blood. But just to clear that up- I am purely Filipino!

Welcome to the trove of my musings and thoughts, and I hope you enjoy reading. O ayan na ang intro (There, that’s my intro).


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