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Why is it, when another filipina spots me in the wild, she will approach me and ask: "Are you Filipina?"

Not that I mind so much that they ask, but it happens time after time after time... almost always followed by: "Do you speak Tagalog?" (said in either English or Tagalog)

When I answer "No, sorry", their response is an "Oh..." followed by a turning away of their head, or bowing their head. Kinda like I was suddenly cursed. This happened to me this afternoon.

I had yet another interesting encounter earlier today on our cross street, some random dude slowed down his car next to me and asked if I spoke Spanish. I do, a little, but I said "no, not really".

He had the same look of disappointment, and said, "oh, never mind..."

I asked him if I could help him with anything, and he got all flustered, started driving away slowly, and was shaking his outstretched palm, still chanting, "never mind, never mind..."

I guess I'm missing out on some sort of secret camraderie by not speaking foreign languages well...


i get that all the time! especially when i'm paying by credit card. i can fully understand tagalog and might be able to speak it if need be but i was born and raised here.

i wait tables and when the filipino customer finds out that i'm filipino (because they ask), they usually think that they are entitled to some kind of discount. i don't get it.

they also like to ask me my last name and try to figure out where my family is from. i usually get a disappointed look because i have no idea where anything is in the philippines - i've never been there or have the deisre to go.

oh well...

transmitted by prax on April 14, 2003 04:59 PM

Oh my gosh! I totally know what you're talking about with the "filipino discount". It must be some sorta unwritten rule. I got a good deal on my car brakes last year just because I am a Filipina, and the guy installing them had just moved from the Phlippines a couple of months prior. It's so weird...

transmitted by courtney on April 14, 2003 05:03 PM

Slightly related:

An actual conversation I had with a co-worker

Female Person at work: Where are you from again?
Me: Saskatchewan, Canada, originally.
Person: Oh wow! That's great. It's beautiful country up there.
Me: That it is. Where have you been?
Person: Oh I haven't visited myself, I've just seen pictures.
Me: (subdued) Oh.
Person: So, do you speak Canadian?
Me: ...what?
Person: You know, Canadian....vooly voo, common tie my shoe and all that stuff?
Me: Migod, you're serious, aren't you?
Person: Well? Say something in Canadian to me. I wanna hear it. *smiles like an idiot*
Me: Oh for the love of...Mangez la merde vous chienne folle.
Person: Wow, that sounded sexy. What did you just say?
Me: *walks away mumbling*

Canadians give everyone a discount...that's part of the reason Canada's economy is in the toilet at the moment. N'est pas?

transmitted by Mikey on April 14, 2003 08:31 PM

Heh. I'm a filipino/caucasian mix, though I bear many filipino traits. I get the disappointed looks all the time from my not being able to speak Tagalog.

I, too, feel like I'm being excluded from some kind of club. And as far as the last name thing goes, I get asked that as well. I respond 'Creighton' and they kinda wince.

I really feel like I'm missing out on something huge here.

transmitted by mike on April 14, 2003 08:33 PM


At least they ask with the assumption you have some kind of rich cultural background or something. It's better than people assuming you have no history or interesting background to speak of, as they often do when you're white.

Parli l'italiano?


transmitted by Adam on April 14, 2003 09:17 PM

This reminds me of the SNL sketch when Eddie Murphy got made up as "Mr. White". He got all the free stuff from the white people and the party on the bus. Of course that doesn't really happen. ;)

Asked if you speak Canadian, lol. Sounds like some of the ignorant hicks around here. At least Fort Hays State U. has a large Asian student population to help the town from becoming a big box of crackers.

transmitted by randy on April 15, 2003 10:30 AM

I thought tagalogs werer those peanut butter chocolate girl scout cookies?

transmitted by Compu Kraut on April 15, 2003 10:46 AM

Some one asked me once, "excuse me, but are you Euro-Trash?"

transmitted by Compu Kraut on April 15, 2003 10:48 AM

once and a while I get the "you look japanese" or "your name sounds japanese" they always look so dissapointed when I tell them I'm not.

transmitted by james on April 15, 2003 02:48 PM
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