Soy Latina Tambien by Kathleen Ferraren

High School Filipino Kathleen Ferraren wins Latino Essay Writing Contest in DC

Tue, October 2, 2007 7:37 am

Kathleen’s Dad, Patrick Ferraren (in Virginia), a long lost friend, 30 years ago a co-staffer of The Forward at Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos, after we got reconnected wrote:

“How can a young contemporary Filipina lay claim to Hispanic Heritage, compete with other DC area high school Hispanics in an essay contest about how being Latino is the best of both worlds in the USA, and win? Answer: By weaving a connection that is indisputably valid, drawing on her life’s experiences that enhance the connection, and expressing her feelings about the significance of that Spanish connection-utilizing her unique personal style of literary writing that appeals to her audience. She made it light reading and interestingly anecdotal, with relevant facts. The dozen or so judges approved and gave it to her. Who would have known? Pardon my “estoy muy orgulloso” father attitude, but this makes for an interesting English Lesson because it is true. Here is an example of how to write a winning piece! In the real world!” (I asked Patrick that I post Kathleen’s winning piece as I find this very inspiring for our young Danawanons in California as well as all other young Pinays. – Monching)


Kathleen is my given name but I recall my parents called me by my Spanish name, Catalina, when I was four years old. Both my parents are Filipinos of mixed origin-mostly Spanish and Asian. Having immigrated to America from the Philippines, they brought their colorful cultures to the melting pot that is America. I was brought up in a Roman Catholic household where the Santo Niño and the Virgen stood on an altar.

Although my parents’ home country, the Philippines, is located in Asia, it has a lot to share with other Latino countries. Named after Madrid’s King Philip II, the country was colonized by Spain from 1565 to 1898.

My parents decided that I would grow up learning English only. However, they would often insert Spanish words-embossed into their culture from 333 years of Spanish rule-into daily conversation. I was used to hearing other people muttering about my and other children’s foibles, complaining with sacrilegious words of Jesús y María, and when we were especially clumsy, Jesús, María y José. Refusals to eat my empanada or drink my leche earned me a slap on the arm and an order of habre.

Around this time, when I was about three, my mother and my tía thought that it would be charming to dress up my cousin and me up in matching outfits. Next to my lacy camisetas, beautiful fans from Sevilla, and handed down jewelries, my mother’s favorite outfit for me was a bright red tiered Spanish dress with puffy sleeves and white lace. I hated it and cried often when I was forced to wear it to parties.

“Put it on, hija” commanded my mother.

“No, mamá” I replied defiantly.

“You’ll never go to Nicky’s again,” warned my mother, forcing the itchy heap over my head.

“Jesús, María y José!” I protested, promptly earning me a time-out.

After that episode, my parents considered augmenting my Spanish in addition to the trite expressions. Already I was going around telling my fellow preschoolers that yes, babies could talk, because ga-ga in Pilipino (a language sporadically infused with Spanish) meant stupid. My father especially nudged me to learn Castilian, and he continues to advocate the vosotros conjugation and th lisp to this day.

After seven years, I began to grumble. It irked me when another student was given the Spanish name Catalina. I had to settle for Catrina. The misnomer tormented me, and my interest waned. “Soy Catalina,” I used to murmur. “Why do I have to learn, anyway? In America, people speak English.”

“Huh,” my mother replied. “It is your heritage, and many people in America speak Spanish. Besides, don’t you want to be able to read Don Quixote in its original Spanish?”

That last reason remains my biggest motivation of all. Since I am still not fluent in the language, my second-hand hardcover still lies enticingly on my bookshelf. I will suffer patiently like the steadfast Florentino Ariza. However, I have succumbed to the charms of Gabriel García Márquez and Isabel Allende, whose words I devour amid sobs and laughter. I have also given way to telenovelas, RBD, and reggaeton.

I finally had a chance to practice my Spanish during this year’s spring break on a school trip to Perú and Ecuador. I spent many happy hours enjoying the warmth and joy of the people, and I nearly leapt out of my chair in a restaurant when local musicians played “Qué sera, sera,” a song that my father used to sing to me when I was very little. Cheering and wearing red, I ran into the celebrating throngs in Plaza de Armas when the local Cienciano team won the South American World Cup. I gaped at the majestic Sacsayhuamán, I ate cuy, and I took care not to use the Sagrada Familia’s names in vain in the beloved Iglesia de San Francisco. My most unforgettable experience, however, was getting lost on the mountain Machu Picchu.

By the time I started to descend, it was already sunset. Anyone who has been up that long, treacherous mountain can understand the terror it inspired in me as I stumbled in the dark, often losing my footing and hearing snakes in the undergrowth. I found myself conversing with the Urubamba below and clutching my Incan cross that I had bought from the tienda. When I finally emerged along with my fellow hikers, our guide tried to calm us down with Inca Kola and stories of his home life in Lima.

“Well, I like to spend time with my wife and daughter,” he began. “And I catch up on telenovelas.”

“Ooh, do you watch Rebelde?” I asked eagerly, and conversed with him in as much Spanish as I could muster.

I returned home victoriously spouting colloquial Spanish and proclaiming myself a Latina. That entire trip, more than anything else, made me realize how much the Spanish culture is ingrained in people’s lives, including mine, albeit not entirely native. I consider myself a far-extended product of Spanish progeny and regale, however vicariously, in its influence and impact to the world. We as a people have a proud history, and our language unites us and defines our culture. Culture is how one lives his heritage: the dances my mother knew, the songs on the guitarra my father would sing, the religion we practice, the wars we fought, and the glorious lands of our fathers that are worth dying for. Everything is filled with our passion for life. And so we are fortunate to live in the United States, who celebrates and integrates our unique culture with her own. Here, we are offered opportunities that we may not have had back home, and our countries stand together in friendship.

My dream is to take a road trip across Spain and to dance the flamenco in the middle of Madrid, amid shouts of Olé from the audience. And then, of course, to eat chicharrones and vindictively spill them all over my puffy and lacy red dress.

Article contributed by James <>


68 responses to “Soy Latina Tambien by Kathleen Ferraren

  • Jaclyn Ortega (@jaclynortega)

    Also I may add that Flamenco is actually Andalusian culture & not Castillian (where Madrid belongs) since it originated from the Gitanos or Gypsies from Southern Spain. I think that girl would look like a fool doing that in the middle of the streets of Madrid, jejejeje. Obviously this girl needs to learn more about Spain.

  • jackie

    Although I strongly disagree that Filipinos are Latinos but if that girl identifies herself as Latina then let her be. After all Latino is only self-identified. I’m Mexican-Filipino & I look Eurasian or sometimes I get mistaken as Indian or Pakistani by the Indians & Pakistani themselves but I don’t consider myself a Latina even if I was raised in a predominantly Latino culture we practice at home. Hispanic/Latino & Asian are all such stupid labels made by the ignorant Yankees to distinguish themselves from the minorities. If you go to Latin American countries you won’t find anyone calling themselves Latinos or Hispanics. They simply refer to themselves by their nationality. In Spain, the term Hispanic/Latino is non-existent & in fact I never once heard a Spaniard caling himself a Hispanic even if that label was named after Hispania, Spain’s name in Latin. The Spaniards call Mexicans & other Latin Americans as Americanos which should be the correct way to address them since these nationalities are technically considered Americans. As for Asian, there is no such thing as Asian race & ethnicity. Asia is composed of people from different races from the Caucasoids of Asian Russia, Middle East, Central & South Asia, N3gr0ids to Southern India & some parts of Southeast Asia to the Mongoloids of East & Southeast Asia. After all it wouldn’t become the biggest continent in the whole world for nothing & yet those stupid Estadounidenses think they know it better by inventing such stupid race labels. India & Pakistan are considered under “Asian Race” & yet they considered Iranians & Afghans as “White” even if technically these 4 nationalities just came from the same race. And what about the Eurasians who was born & raised in Asia? Are they not Asians because they don’t look like anything like the stereotypical Asians? No wonder Asia wouldn’t boom despite being the largest continent on earth.

    • jackie

      The correct term to refer to Spanish-speaking people of the Americas, Africa & Philippines should be Hispanohablantes just like Anglohablantes for the English-speaking countries. French Canadians, Haitians & sometimes Brazilians are excluded from the “Latino” category & yet they are part of Latin America. French & Portuguese are also considered a romance Latin language. Hispanics should belong to the Spaniards & Portuguese (Portugal was once under Hispania) but as I said I never heard of these people calling themselves Hispanics or Latinos.

  • Jerry

    I’m Filipino with Spanish blood, or should I say genes. I was raised Catholic (until I decided to be an agnostic). I can speak Spanish — beautiful language but I still prefer English. I can’t speak Asian languages other than the official Filipino and a handful of dialects (not even Chinese even though my paternal grandmother was part Chinese). Still I always consider myself Asian, not Hispanic. Chopsticks and noodles do not make me Asian; simple geography does.

    What is Hispanic? It couldn’t be geography; I’ve never heard of Brazilians being considered Hispanics. Is it in the language spoken? Languages constantly evolve, borrow and drop from each other. There are differences in the “Spanish” spoken in Mexico and Argentina. There are even differences in the Spanish spoken in Madrid and Barcelona. Is it in the physical appearance? There is no definitive Latino/Latina look.

    At least with Asians it’s very easy to distinguish the Chinese/Japanese/Korean stock from the Indian/Sri Lankan/Pakistani.

    The world is shrinking; cultures are merging. And you people are still arguing on trivialities?

    • Pepe

      Hi Jerry.

      With all due respect, the arguments in this comments section should not be considered trivialities just because you think that you know more about the situation than all of us here know. In the first place, the facts that you raised are exactly the same things that are being argued here (“At least with Asians it’s very easy to distinguish the Chinese/Japanese/Korean stock from the Indian/Sri Lankan/Pakistani”).

      Cultures may indeed merge in this age of Information Technology. But the basic form, the basic identity of a certain nation will never dissipate. They will only be “covered”, (if I may be allowed to use that term more loosely), so to speak, as with our case. We have this thing called the Filipino Identity that many scholars are still “searching” for because they claim that it does not exist. But this claim is only supported by their hatred of our country’s Spanish past.

      Best regards.

  • Javier Arevalo

    Para mi los filipinos son tan hispanos como un hondureño, argentino, boliviano, etc
    Es cierto que hoy en dia muy poca gente habla el castellano como idioma materno (por culpa de los gringos), pero también es cierto que la HISPANIDAD no es solo una raza o una lengua, es mucho más, es tradición, es fiestas, es comidas, es religión, es urbanismo, es 333 años de influencia española, duramente castigada por casi 100 años de pillaje y corrupción gringa.

    Latina y anonimo,,,,bastante dificil resulta abrir una bandera de hispanismo en Filipinas hoy en día, como para vengan ustedes a decirnos lo que somos o no somos…

    No creo que conozcan la historia de Filipinas, así que está bien que emitan su opinión, pero antes deberían conocer un poco de historia.



  • EverythingIsUnderControl

    I’m just wondering…why are people getting so worked up over this? Everyone has their own opinions, and although one of them may be correct, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, right?

  • De AnDA

    @latinaDE_VERDAD – You’re taking things seriously. When you called me cabron I found it amusing and funny. The serious part of the exchanges here are good, like what I said, you’ve contributed thus far.

  • latinaDE_VERDAD

    ive never once insulted your culture or said anything chopsticks or noodles. i have expressed however that i think pi is beautiful mix of many cultures. i cant believe how rude your comments are to me only because we disagree on a label. im not even the only one on this post who has this point of view.. but i am the most vocal so yea ill take all the jokes and ugly assumptions you want to throw at me

  • De AnDA

    @ latinaDE_Verdad – You’ve called me “cabron” before, is that not foul LOL 😀 but these are small things, it badly reflects on you but I rather let it slide, what’s important are ideas – and you’ve contributed so far.

    • Pepe

      She has contributed nothing but racial prejudice and, inadvertently, hatred.

      • De AnDA

        @ Pepe – I can’t oppose something that doesn’t exist. I completely disagree with her position and her attitude but ths exactly proves my point. I could understand her emotion and her judgmental view against us. She and all the people who believes that Filipino never had a Hispanic genesis doesn’t see the valid basis of how it evolved historically. Its fairly easy to say that Filipinos are Asian, Malay, Austronesian, but that doesn’t explain the meaning of the Filipino. We all (former Spanish colonies) have indigenous blood in our heart, that goes for her if she’s Mexican or Puerto Rican, its there but it doesn’t change what history made us to be. I think Latina wants us to be normal Orientals, you know, using chopsticks and eating noodles LOL!

  • latinaDE_VERDAD

    omg whaat foul language! – it’s an expression and not a bad one even! speak to more latinos and you would know- and i know who i am – a bigot definitely not. i’m just someone with a differing opinion. so if i say ‘yesss you are hispanic i agree 110%’ i would be an amazing good person right. and if i think ’emmm. no i just dont see it your way’ i’m a bigot. that is just not a good way to see it.

  • Pepe

    latinaDE_VERDAD assumes too much of our Filipinism. She is not even a Filipina nor has she made an extensive study of our mangled history.

    Has she even been here? If she had been to Divisoria or to Baclaran or to any rural place in the Philippines, she would be shocked and might think she’s somewhere in South America.

    This gross views about our race instantly makes her a bigot. End of story.

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      i would be shocked to find out philippines=south america. alot of people would. and stop calling me a bigot – Don’t fling insults my way just bc we disagree on what filipinos could be classified as. END OF STORY

      • Pepe

        You are right. There is actually no need to call you a bigot. You already are, anyway. It already is apparent. And judging by the foul language you used at me (and in Spanish, at that), you have already permitted your case, wittingly or unwittingly, to be defeated. So there. =)

  • De AnDA

    @Dwyane – Interesting take on the subject.

  • dwayne venturina

    i just had to drop a line or 2 about being filipino and not hispanic though i am considered a meztiso in 1 part of the world growing up in the philippines i was considered as a half breed coming home people think i’m hispanic . i call my self a brooklnite for what it’s worth , not to down play the roll of the spanish rule we had to adopt words and customs from the hispanics they did try to take away all of the filipino traits thats the biggest mistake they can have done to a proud people of the filipino’s they will always keep the culture alive not like latin america who have lost their native tounge and self identity

  • De AnDA

    @Anonymous/BeeBeee/Kiki – I know you’re trying to make a point and its cool. If you don’t want to use your name, that’s fine – no problem but submitting comments under different names, trying to pass as different user is a bit to disturbing man, what was that all about? LOL What, are you schizo or something? the Beebeee and Kiki comments,well, they’re nasty! you really dont like us much do you? I’m sure you’ll use another IP and not for awhile huh – you need confinement man. I’m serious 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you people. You are the type of Filipinos who do not have pride in anything having to do with your actual culture. Why? If you were indeed Latinos, then why are you barely ever mentioned? If you are Latinos, then why do you not speak Spanish? Instead the Philippines has made Tagalog the national language. Not everyone knows Spanish in the Philippines, right? I do not see why you are all trying so hard to associate yourselves with another culture. You share more similarities with your Asian neighbors than with countries that are all the way across the ocean. You have more in common with Malaysia, China, Thailand, etc. You try so hard to identify yourselves with us when in reality we mainly see you as Asian. Why? Well, your country is IN Asia and you are mostly influenced by ASIAN culture. You cannot simply block the influences of your neighboring countries. Meanwhile, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, etc. are all the way across the Pacific Ocean, not as close as China and Japan. Spain is even farther away!

    Solo porque ustedes dos (o tres) pueden hablar el espanol no necesariamente diga que todos los Filipinos pueden hablarlo. Ustedes creen que son latinos, pero solo en la mente. Los latinos son Argentinos, Nicaraguenses, Dominicanos, Guatemantecos, Bolivianos, Boriquas, etc…Filipinos don’t make the list and I doubt they will. We do not feel connections to you–you are the ones who are making sad attempts at forging these connections. Why are you not proud to be Asian? So many Filipinos consider themselves Asian. Why? Oh yeah–your country is located in Asia and it shares many similarities with the rest of the Asian countries.

  • De AnDA

    @latinaDE_VERDAD – I wouldn’t be surprised with that, different opinions are due to the different definitions – we don’t want to force you or anyone to accept that we have a hispanic past, culture and tradition that make us what we are today – what is truly important is for US to establish the connections and start building from the past. Was the language lost? yes, it was – hence the need to recover. However, the character has remained as evident as ever – rooted from that past.

    @Pepe – You must be at least at 50% or more Spanish, speaking flawless Castillian, born in Latin America to be Hispanic – fall outside any of these categories your past is nullified 🙂

  • latinaDE_VERDAD

    you want the world to view filipinos as hispanic – more power to you… ill spread the word. you should try to get everyone on board though, bc clearly there are still filipinos who disagree w. you. and there will always be latinamericans who will disagree as well. who wouldnt want to be hispanic. were a beautiful people.

    • Strong Homo

      That’ll probably take a lifetime to accomplish, jaja.

    • Pepe

      Exactly. Who wouldn’t want to be hispanic? Our race –chilenos, mexicanos, puertorriqueños, FILIPINOS, argentinos, etc.– are indeed a beautiful people.

      TRIVIA: In case you do not know, much of Spain’s entertainment media considers Isabel Preysler as “la cara más bella en toda España”. And from which country was Isabel? Haha!

    • Pepe

      Exactly. Who wouldn’t want to be hispanic? Our race –chilenos, mexicanos, puertorriqueños, FILIPINOS, argentinos, etc.– is indeed a beautiful race.

      TRIVIA: In case you do not know, much of Spain’s (the country which started this Latino pride in us) entertainment media considers Isabel Preysler as “la cara más bella en toda España”. And from which country was Isabel?


      • latinaDE_VERDAD

        well thats something to be proud of? just like i’m proud of my latinas frm latin america … who constantly win titles like Ms.Universe and Ms.World.

        btw we aren’t a race OK


  • De AnDA

    @LatinaDe_Verdad – I’m sure you would want to keep the Filipinos out because we seem to lack the characteristics of what a HIspanic person should look like or sound like to you. So while we try to recover and to set the records straight about our Filipino self – you try to convince us of who we should be and how we should behave – and I think that even when the Hispanic nations has affirmed that indeed the Filipino nation rightly belongs to the brotherhood of Hispanic nations, you’ll keep on singing your old tune – Filipinos = Americanized Asianos.

  • Pepe

    Latina de Verdad wrote: “Whether you like it or not that there has been yet another evolution in your cultural identity.”

    Really now. Well check this out:

    “The funny thing is that the Americans introduced into this country not a single crop that may be said to have transformed our economy and affected our history, like the crops that Spain brought. Nor was the existing economy developed save to serve the interests of the American market. During the war, the Japanese here ostentatiously planted Virginia tobacco, asking us, with a leer, why the Americans never developed a Virginia tobacco culture in the Philippines. It was then that a prewar vaunt —“More progress in 50 years under America than in 300 under Spain”— became so hollow as to make one wonder how it could ever have been believed. For we are, today, still vexedly trying to undo the effects and solve the problems caused by that “progress” made under America; but on what Spain brought and planted here depend our lives, trade, culture, progress and history for all time to come. The wheel brought here is in permanent revolution, is dynamo.”

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      no one said that you can compare 100 years of americanization to 300 years of spanish rule. but you can’t deny it either is what im saying. even puertoricans recognize they are very americanized . and i never said spain didnt sculpt your history or culture. but you know compare yourselves now to the rest of latin america and you are not the same and thats all i’m saying. individually latin american countries have their own distinctions. but we have kept our history and heritage alive and strong today. TODAY not yesterday. we are not struggling w. our youth to embrace their roots because we never lost touch with them. TODAY we learn spanish not english and that IS a huge part of OUR culture. & i believe geography and language did help us band together. had your government not been so quick to forge ties with the U.S. which led to a greater american influence (i dont see how you can deny that) and had the Spanish never designed tagalog and instead only enforced the spanish language . maybe then you could be latino? bc im gathering thats what you’d prefer to be recognized as. and sorry numbers dont lie. as far as im concerned only 2-3% of all filipinos can claim spanish blood tells me how many of your ancestors really had anything to do w. spain except be another conquest with a spanish-given -not born- christian surname.

  • De AnDA

    @Virigilio – Thanks for dropping by. She is well and all of her relatives in Chile. Thank God!

    I appreciate the comment. It’s definitely a chore to debunk this stuff without being tagged as a Hispanista. If that’s what they call Filipinos who are trying to appreciate their roots and essence, well, I may be guilty of being a Hispanista then 🙂

  • Virgilio Reyes

    Turning to another side of our culture, it may interest Latina de verdad to know that a Filipina won first prize over Commonwealth country participants in an English-speaking speech contest in London. However, even though a lot of people speak English in our country, we don’t claim to be British, American or even Anglophone. Our Asian and Hispanic roots are deeper. Be glad there is at least one part of Asia that truly bridges that gap between this booming continent and Latin America! Ojala lo entiendes esta vez!

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      it really doesn’t interest me at all. your arguments are weak. pero si te entiendo GRACIAS a dios por el apoyo de las filipinas! ya me puedo dormir bien esta noche 🙂

  • Virgilio Reyes

    PS Other parts of Iberian Asia are Macao, Goa, East Timor , Guam besides the Philippines historically. Portuguese and Spanish are hardly spoken in these territories/countries anymore but once cannot doubt that they have a Latin heritage even though now, they take pride in being Asian. Why deny history or begrudge people their pride in recalling some of their roots?

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      so how come macao, goa, east t, guam are not posting angry comments at my opinion. i dont know how many times ive tried to convey my opinion that YES OBVIOUSLY philippines has hispanic roots… but youre also trying to ignore the fact that the past hundred years have been americanized. that tagalog or english is enforced in your country rather than spanish. whether you like it or not that there has been yet another evolution in your cultural identity.

  • Virgilio Reyes

    Probably only 1% of those people from countries which consider themselves Latin(i.e. Romania, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, etc) have blood coming from the original peoples who occupied Latium in ancient Italy. So even Latin is a misnomer. Why be so confined about the word or concept of Hispanic or Latino/a? What’s your problem, Latina de verdad? What is President Obama anyway? or Tiger Woods? Is Jennifer Lopez any less Latina because she doesn’t speak Spanish? Puhleeze, let us not start imposing our own narrow categories of what it is to be “Hispanic ” or “Latina” ! We should be more inclusive when it comes to this..

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      jennifer lopez speaks spanish 🙂

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      and dont even get into numbers w. me when your 2-3% spanish blood is what you are holding on to.. (that number can only get smaller btw). now you’re trying to knock how latino other latinos are. weak. and its pretty clear your category is as wide as it gets for a filipino to be considered latino. everyones entitled to their own opinion. at the end of the day if you want to call your self this or that is up to you. my opinion though is that on any day a puerto rican, panamanian, bolivian, honduran whatever, will still be more latino/ hispanic than you. were just not the same. get mad about it.

  • Filipina-American_Not_Latina

    I was born and raised in the Philippines, consider myself a Filipina-American and am mistaken sometimes for a Latina.

    But I do not consider myself Latina.

    When a Latina would come up to me and start talking in South American Spanish, I would just answer, “Yo no soy Latina, You soy Filipina, gracias.” And gracias is pronounced with the King’s lisp.

    • De AnDA

      @ American_Not_Latine – Forgive them, they probably taught you really were. how could you be – you can only be one if you want to be one 🙂

    • KIKI

      south american spanish…wow, you’re such a joke. Stop kissing Spain’s ass sweetie. “And gracias is pronounced with the King’s lisp.”

      Jajajajajaja. Pero que tia mas jodida. Metelo en tu culo, gillipoyas 🙂

  • De AnDA

    @latinaDe_Verdad – I’m proud of being Asian, and never once, have I tried to change anything about it. Just like you’re proud of the continent where your country belongs to but identity is a different matter all together. The key element of our disagreement is the definition of Hispanization. Historically, this has taken place in this small island nation within the context of the peoples acquisition Hispanic culture. It was not something we wanted for ourselves but as in all things we are products of history. If you think we have little in common, well then that explains your position. We have fundamental difference on the definition of Filipino Hispanization. Hey, I appreciate you taking time to talk with me about this subject. I acknowledge that my position is not only unpopular, but reviled by large segments in our country – so I understand you and I’m glad that you’ve taken time to study in your own way why Filipinos are not hispanics. Please forgive me if I sounded a bit aggressive earlier. These topics should be discussed in a free and open way.

  • De AnDA

    @latinaDe_Verdad – Interesting point you make, “Blood and Geography”. Filipinas is hispanic? Yes. Why not? If the Playeros and Fernandinos of Equitoreal Guinea, an African country with deep hispanic traditions and culture consider themselves hispanics, why not Filipinos? we were under Spain more than some of the Latino lands you so brag as the true and only hispanic lands but then again, just by reading your comments, it is clear that you are as biased as the other Filipino who denounce Filipino Hispanization. If you want to have a monopoly on hispanismo, I say well and good, at least you know who you are. My only advise is expand your passive knowledge of history. Its not the skin, not the bounderies, not even the language but the culture and tradition, not your google research, its history that defines the present.

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      okay & it is clear that you are biased towards the opinion that filipinos are hispanic. so dig deep and relate to equitoreal guinea bc it’s all you can do (besides finding pretty ways to say you think i’m ignorant and dumb) i don’t deny the customs & traditions we share. but saying you are hispanic is just not true – CULTURALLY the Philippines has little in common with other hispanic countries aside from religion and surnames. your names are more spanish than your blood. and your history is multi-ethnic::: austronesian/malay/ chinese/spanish. why not just be proud of being asian. you are not hispanic any more than a jamaican is considered british.

    • Anonymous

      @De AnDa, why are you so obsessed about being considered Hispanic? You come from an Asian country that has some Hispanic influence, that’s really it. Do you speak Spanish? No. In order for a country to be considered the slightest bit Hispanic, the official language would have to be Spanish. You guys speak Tagalog over there. That’s not Spanish–it has some Spanish words, but they do not have the same meaning for crying out loud! (Trust me, I’ve asked around). FILIPINOS ARE NOT HISPANIC. I find it so saddening that you do not embrace your actual culture! Why are you trying to break away from your true roots? Ustedes son asiaticos; ustedes no son hispanos. Ni hablan el idioma y crees que tu eres hispano? Por favor, no me hagas reir.

      • De AnDA

        @ Anonymous – You enjoy branding people solely by the way they look and sound, and decides for yourself how they should be classified. No history, no nothing, just straight up branding like we’re livestock LOL

        BTW I met American’s who can’t even speak English, so you’re telling me they’re not American’s because they don’t speak the “language”? maybe you can help classify what type, form, race these people belongs to also.

        “Trust me I’ve asked around” – oh really. 🙂

      • Pepe

        @Anonymous — Arnaldo no es obsesionado considerarse hispánico. Nomás habla la verdad en un perspectivo histórico y sociológico. Hablar castellano no se hace un latino. No. Además de la lengua que un individual usa, una raza puede pertenecer a una ‘raíz biológica’, por decirlo de alguna manera.

        Yo soy filipino y hablo castellano. Mis antepasados hablaban el idioma. ¿Pero dices que somos filipinos hablamos tagalo y nada más? Y tengo primos y parientes filipinos que no hablan tagalo, solamente inglén. ¿Qué son ellos, pues?

        Los padres de De Anda hablan hiligaynón, pero él no sabe como hablarlo. ¿Entiendes mi punto?

        Tu argumentación que comparte con Latina de Verdad tiene muchos errores y llena de racismo.

      • Pepe

        Una cosa más — NO NOS HAGAS REÍR TAMBIÉN, tú que no sabes la verdad honda de la historia filipina.

        Filipinos son latinos. Nada más, nada menos.


      • latinaDE_VERDAD

        PEPE Tu argumentación que comparte con Latina de Verdad tiene muchos errores y llena de racismo.

        oye ya me pone mal – no me jode con esa mierda. no soy racista y no hay errores en mis comentarios solo OPINIONS. this is people putting opinions.

  • latinaDE_VERDAD

    i was really thinking they were asian, i mean all filipinas i met have never referred to themselves as latina. whatevs

  • De AnDA

    @latinaDE_VERDAD – Clearly, you have no idea of what you’re talking about. But, I don’t blame you for Spanish Philippines’ history is unknown even to many Filipinos. Your shallow understanding of Hispanidad suggest that your definition is confined and bounded by geography and perhaps even the color of the skin.

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      okay so you are saying filipinas are latina?

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      i was reading what you said

      “In a way, we Filipinos are all closet admirers of our Hispanic past. It aint wrong”

      so there you go. no wonder you have a problem with my comments about this essay. you see i don’t admire my hispanic past , bc. i live life as a hispanic, y gracias a dios mi primera idioma es espanol. youre just mad your culture decided to lose it. !

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      only 2% of the Filipinos can claim mixed or Spanish blood. GOOGLE IT since i” clearly have no idea what i’m talking about” .. q cabron

      • Anonymous

        latinaDE_VERDAD, I completely agree with you, too. I have seen so many Filipinos quickly claim that they are part Spanish while in reality they don’t look anything like it. Only 2-3% of Filipinos have any type of European blood flowing through their veins.

        At least De AnDa admitted the truth. Filipinos are NOT Latinos. So it would be great if they finally appreciated their culture and stopped trying to pass for Latinos. That is the saddening part.

  • latinaDE_VERDAD

    i have to agree w. anonymous. i am latina and love other cultures embracing mine. . but she is clearly not latina. it’s that simple. i think filipinos should be proud of their unique mixed culture. but to say she should only lay claim to one.. latina? that is so crazy to me. she should take a trip to philippines next time and dance in the middle of manila OKAY NEXT!

    • latinaDE_VERDAD

      btw if i were also in that essay contest all of mi gente would have had something to say about an asian winning a latino essay writing contest HELLO

      • Anonymous

        That’s what I don’t understand whatsoever. Why didn’t anyone protest? The girl isn’t Latino or Hispanic or whatever you want to call it. She’s Asian. Por que no dijeron algo sobre eso!?

  • Anonymous

    This is an outrage. She is not Latina at all! I just do not understand why Filipinos do not embrace their culture for what it is; they should honestly stop trying to pass for Latinos or Hispanics. We are proud to be Latinos, so Filipinos should be proud for being Filipinos! Don’t try to pass as us because that is clearly being disloyal to your culture.

    This girl has obviously been brainwashed by her parents. And she looks nothing like a latina.

    • Virgilio Reyes

      Please tell me–what does a Latina look? I have lived in both Chile and Mexico. Is a blond, blue eyed descendant of a German or a French person a Latina? Or someone who could pas for an Inca or an Aztec? Or somebody from Sevilla, Barcelona or the Basque country? Tell me true. How does a Latina look? Anymore than you can answer, what does an American look like?

      • latinaDE_VERDAD

        om i think its bc latinas are not usually considered to be looking asian. black, white, tan, indigineous, yes. asiatico no. omg i know youre going to get mad i just said that.

      • Anonymous

        The majority of Latinos are tan/olive-skinned with dark features. I understand that many Filipinos also share similar features, i.e. dark hair, dark eyes, etc. HOWEVER, the Native Americans from the Americas are drastically different than the natives in Asia. A good percentage of Latinos have some type of Native American blood flowing through their veins (I know I do), hence dark features. And then you have others, such as people from the Caribbean, who can be black, white, or a mixture. And then you have people from Argentina who are mostly white. We are MIXED. Filipinos, however, tend to have wider, flatter noses, smaller more oriental-looking eyes and they tend to look more Malaysian/Thai than Latino. I’ve seen Filipinos who can pass for Latinos–but they’re usually half white half Filipino or half black half Filipino (they can pass for Dominicans–I’ve seen a good number of them and thought they were Dominican).

        We Latinos can look like a wide range of things–black, white, indigenous–but very rarely have I seen an Asian-looking Latino. Unless you go to Peru, where there are many Chinese and Japanese immigrants.

  • Marcelo

    Wonderful piece! I hope this talented young lady’s parents have also taught her to be equally proud and expressive of her Filipino heritage. More power to her and to all those who will be the pioneers in a new multicultural world.

  • Joe Narvaez

    Cool essay. I wish I could write that good hehehe.

  • Flamenco Dancing Guitar and Cajon Spanish Music » Blog Archive » Soy Latina Tambien by Kathleen Ferraren « With one’s past…

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAnswer: By weaving a connection that is indisputably valid, drawing on her life’s experiences that enhance the connection, and expressing her feelings about the significance of that Spanish connection-utilizing her unique personal …. My dream is to take a road trip across Spain and to dance the flamenco in the middle of Madrid, amid shouts of Olé from the audience. And then, of course, to eat chicharrones and vindictively spill them all over my puffy and lacy red dress. … Read the rest of this great post here Posted in Uncategorized on February 8th, 2009 | […]

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