Recalling The Time I Wanted To Be Considered American

Time came when I was in high school I soon had the desire to be considered American, hating the country of my birth (the Philippines) and the country of my ancestry (China). It was because I started to hate studying Tagalog and later, I simply found traditional (and obsolete) Chinese customs to be just bizarre. No sooner did I have my plan to move to the United States of America hating my own ethnicity and insisted that I was a white man even if I was obviously Chinese. I tried to sound more with an American accent which made me think... SO MUCH FOR BEING ANTI-AMERICAN (and I wanted to "return home" to China which is just impossible due to the fact that most of my predecessors were not Chinese citizens themselves) before this happened. This was during my teenage to College years.


I couldn't help but remember the time I personally boycotted anything Filipino, I wanted to stop eating Filipino and Chinese food and I wanted to focus on American culture that was I soon wanted to forget how tasty Jollibee hamburgers were and wanted to eat only American brands or start living like an American. I even wanted to leave home at age 18 and get myself a job... in America. I soon started to think of why I even wanted to leave the Philippines for America... and even told my parents that my late paternal grandfather should have left for America. I thought that the Americans really knew how to live especially after I saw the Joy Luck Club movie except I might end up writing a novel on Chinese men who have deviated from the traditional Chinese view.

If anything annoyed me about Filipinos was that I kept running into Failipinos ignoring the fact that I had decent Filipino friends. I always looked up to America as a place where I can finally escape from all the problems of the Philippines. In short, I shared a faulty view that a lot of Filipinos shared namely the American superiority mentality. I observed how many of my Filipino friends had the tendency to hate the country we were born into and wanted to move to America. What was really so annoying of me was that I would just keep speaking in English, trying to sound more and more American even when I wasn't American. I always viewed speaking in Filipino to be an abomination and that speaking in English was really what I wanted.


What I found strange was that I soon thought of marrying an American girl and settling down in the United States for good. What was stupid was during that time, I was courting a girl who resembles Haruka Suenaga, I was courting a girl who looks like Sayuri Uchida (who later almost became my girlfriend), was yearning for my so-called first crush, yearning for my real first crush and dated my ex-girlfriend who looks like Mika Katsumura while planning to go to America. I always thought that I have my attitude of trying to please everyone while I already had my own hidden agendas of moving to America permanently.

What I considered was my ideal plan was go to America, get a good job, try to establish a business and marry a blonde beauty, have children with her and raise our children the American way. What I didn't realize is that I wanted to go to America for shallow reasons. Now I have nothing against intermarriage and if I find a decent white girl, why not? But other than that, nothing was more stupid than my experience of wanting to be considered American by ethnicity rather than by nationality. So everything I thought of America was a pretty shallow side.

I'd also admit one of the reasons why I had shallow reasons was because I wanted to have an attractive American girl. Now nothing is wrong with outer beauty but it can be a wrong motive towards anyone right? Either watching Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers sank my mind or Baywatch sank my mind. I don't really know but one thing was certain, I usually placed American attractiveness above Asian attractiveness. Pretty shallow isn't it? It also included my desire for revenge against my former best friend with who has become one of my worst enemies.


What was stupid was that no matter how I tried to separate myself from my Chinese ancestry, I always ended up liking Chinese food (along with other foods) like I would eat in a dimsum. Even if I enjoyed American food but I could not do without Chinese food. Even if I had my tendency to reject myself for being Chinese, I didn't realize China had already moved forward like women already knew their rights or that China has modernized. Gone are the days when women and children had no say or no right to opinion... gone are the days that fixed marriage was the norm and gone are the days of, "Swallow other people's misery, eat from your own bitterness." type of stuff.

My monetary habits may not go hand in hand with most of American culture. True I was pretty spendthrift as a teenager but having had restrictive allowances taught me to save my money. I always thought about it that when I hear most Americans are overspenders from somebody I talked with. Maybe not all of them but I find out that most of America won't fit with me so I won't force the system to accept me. I just figured out I am still more Chinese in some way while I have also absorbed Westernization... which is just a matter of modifying culture for the better.

So I thought intellectual brain drain is really affecting my country. If more intellectual Filipinos kept leaving, the Philippines might as well be named as the Failipines and all Filipinos will soon be called Failipinos because the backward culture will keep going on. Maybe it's for the best I didn't really push through my American dream...

Comments

  1. I think it's really normal to hate our own ethnicity. I was born in Japan and I thought I was Japanese. My friends there were nice to accept me and treat me as their equal. At age 7, we left Japan and move to Philippines. I was in cultural shock. Because of my different upbringing, I compared the differences of two cultures. I had no friends. I hated Philippines and missed Japan. Hated Filipino food. Hated Filipino traditions. Hated fiesta because Festival in Japan is more fun than in the Philippines. After more than a decade in the Philippines, for me this is home. I'm still quite friendless (lol) because I still carry my old Japanese habits with me. In the Philippines being reserved is pessimistic and being humble is arrogant. People find me annoying, OC and nature freak for scolding them to throw our trash properly. I cannot say I love Philippines now, I admit it. But I make efforts to learn to love our country. I start with something I love such as.... FOOD. French fries, burgers and pizza, I can resist but not sisig XD. I also love a lot of Filipino brands too. For me by loving small things could make us appreciate more of what we have. Thanks for this post. I actually felt guilty for hating my own country before but this post made me realize something else. :)))

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