One thing I truly miss from the Philippines is Red Ribbon’s most heavenly treat- the Chocolate Mousse cake. No one can ever convince me otherwise. Nothing in the world can compare to how it tastes to me and no matter how many times I eat it, I never tire of it or feel umay (sick of the flavour).
If you take a look at any Filipino child’s report card, chances are if they have many subjects under 75% grade, they are in their parents’ bad graces. Very bad graces. Why?
Because in the Philippines the passing grade is 75%.
Here in Australia it is at 50%, which in a way makes more sense, being half and half. But since I’ve been to school in both Philippines and Australia, I noticed the difference. Why were the Australian standards lower, and the Filipino standards so much higher?
“Hey, can you spare some change?”
When somebody asks me about what my opinion is on the hardships of the homeless in a city street, I always answer back with another question: A homeless person in which country?
Because I know two different worlds, and that makes all the difference.
With teary eyes I left Manila through the Ninoy Aquino Airport on March 18th 2005.
I didn’t want to leave my friends, my good friends from elementary school and all that I had ever known. I was leaving my grandparents, my cousins and family friends. I told my parents I wouldn’t go- that I was happy to stay. They weren’t going to settle for that, though.
The first thing that made me smile when I stepped through the gates, arriving upon the new country I would call my home…was a Milky Bar. While my parents hauled away their barong-style bags full of clothes and belongings (I never liked those, the texture was too shiny and the colours too bright) past customs, my eyes were drawn to a vending machine nearby.
It is a strange thing, but it was technically the first thing I did all by myself, the first thing I bought when I stepped onto Australian soil- and it filled me with pride.
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.
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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