Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To be Flip

Bry and I were the whitest looking half Filipino kids on the other side of the Mississippi. To this day, I am never too far away from this exact conversation:
Stranger: "you're half Filipino??"
Me: "damn right"
Strange: "you don't look asian"
Me: "well, I am"

This simple conversation occurs approx 3.58763 times a week. Although I looked extremely white and Bry looks somewhat Flip, we grew up with a pretty strong Filipino identity. This identity came in the form of monthly potlucks with the Filipino community.
"I didn't know there were Filipino's in Oklahoma" you think. Alas! there were! A lot of them. They came to America as corporate spies when China's economy was at it's peak, they poised as medical care workers- but secretly, they were learning the ways of America, how to utilize Saturated Fats in an economically smart way. They were also secretly teaching their children how to act like Americans to gain special memberships to Tulsa's country clubs- there, they would study Oklahoma's #1 crop, Sod to create a new hybrid grass for China to develop for the Sod'ing of the Olympic Stadiums for only .04326 if the price of real Sod. Fascinating no?
The Doring family started out in El Paso, Texas. There- my mother taught at a Catholic School where her students would give her their pet rodents in which she would take home as new presents for me and, who would eventually escape into the desert across from our neighborhood.
Once a month, we would join other brown skinned, Tagalog speakin' Asians for feasts of Adobo, Pansit and Lumpia. These gatherings were always joyous as Filipino's tend to find joy in..every..thing..possible.
Then there was the entertainment. The entertainment would consist of Filipino men covering Simon and Garfunkel Songs on their guitars, women doing Cowboy line dances and then of course, the traditional E-Tik E-tik.

In 1983, at the age of 3.5 years old, right before we moved to Germany, I entertained the crowd by breakdancing. Actually, my brother began and I copied his moves (which I still do to this day). I know it sounds silly, but I do remember: the excitement, the shouts, the laugher. We earned about $25 as joyous Filipinos threw quarters and dollars while my bro and I were doing the helicopter.
Our mother took us to the store later that day to pick out a toy from our earnings. I write this memory in honor of a YouTube video my brother came across. This video is the greatest symbol of what it means to be a Filipino youth.


At 12/12/2006 4:59 AM, Blogger alias pail said...


At 12/12/2006 5:00 AM, Blogger alias pail said...

so wuz this post inspired by that single youtube link i sent ya? we gotta find the mp3!


Post a Comment