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The Stigma of Interracial Relationships

About shindiggity

A little crazy but a whole lotta caring. Plus I am a really mean cook! :)

You hear it. You feel it. You see judgement in their eyes. But nothing gets to me more than hearing my fellow Filipinos join in on the dissection of what they think they know about my relationship with my partner. He is as white as a Caucasian can get; and I am a brown-skinned Filipina. None of that matters, but it is naive to think that this world is free of  judgement. You just tend to get stared at more if you’re not part of the norm. Your oddity is like an open door for hateful glares and comments. One would think though that in this day and age people would be more accepting… especially my fellow Pinays. Unfortunately, it is often not the case, and having sonic ears – I overheard a group of Filipinos saying:

Scenario 1:
“Siguro pokpok yan. Yung pang gobernador.”
“Magaling mag INGLISH eh…”
“Bakit may mga assumptionista namang pokpok ah.” (Wow.)

Scenario 2:
“Parang kilala ko yang chick na yan… yung may kasamang puting may tattoo.”
“Talaga?”
“May scandal yan! Napanood ko sa cellphone nung kaibigan ko dati.”

Here are the insults I got from random people of varying ethnicity:

“Look at that skinny gook. He’ll leave her once she gets FAT.”

“Twinkie *giggle*giggle* ”

“Ugly chink.”

 

If people just talk about my physical appearance, I don’t mind, I can brush that off easily. But why do Filipinas target the most sensitive of issues when it comes to being a woman? I don’t feel the need to expound on where I came from, how I got here or how decent I am compared to anyone because I KNOW I AM. My mom raised me well and that is all I can say. If a Filipina is in a relationship with a man who is of another race, can anyone directly conclude that she is or she has been a prostitute? What is it with some Pinays and their pedestrian way of thinking when it comes to these types of relationships? Yet, they could accept a 60 year old man fondling a young blond girl’s derriere. Fair enough, they might be in love (I doubt it, the man owns a Porsche) but that kind of behavior is not meant for public display, yet, there I was just holding hands with my boyfriend – and I’m the prostitute?! Why is it that this notion almost seems pandemic? Am I just unfortunate enough to be surrounded by these types of Filipinos? I am not generalizing our race, but most of the hurtful racial comments I got are from my fellow Filipinos, which is not how I remember my countrymen to be. I already get enough heckling from other races – but from my own? I don’t know where all the ‘theories’ are coming from about my profession and my “purity,” or in this case, lack thereof. It’s something I have to get used to (I guess…) but a part of me just wants to fight back and say:

“Ikaw ang pokpok! Tingnan mo yang boobs mo halos lumuwa na! Ano akala mo dito –  Quezon Circle?! Taas taas ng glass heels mo tapos ako ang pokpok? At hindi ako taga Assumption!” and;

“Gago ka pala puro scandal lang laman ng utak mo. Hindi ako nagpapa video! Ulol!”

But instead I pretended not to understand a word and left. It hurts more to be insulted in Tagalog. I would often talk to my friends in the Philippines about it, and they would try their best to comfort me, but another day passes and a new tirade of insults come rushing my way. I wonder if it will all stop soon. Maybe I will just develop a thick skin and learn to block anything negative from all races –  including my own. If I could master that, I reckon I would be all right, but as for now, I just have to pretend it doesn’t hurt and suck it up. One thing I have learned from the Philippines is to be tough. I can’t look at everything wide-eyed like a spanking-new soul every time. I need to toughen up when it comes to things like this because there is now way I can avoid it. I AM in an interracial relationship. I will get insulted one way or the other –  even by Filipinos. I could only wish the world would be less narrow-minded in their perception of interracial relationships, but like my Grandma has always said : it will happen but all in good time. As much as I want to remain idealistic about love and relationships and how others perceive it, I simply cannot, because the reality is – one can only dream for it to be true.

 

Relationships, whether platonic/romantic/intimate, do not have a color palette. It does not have a colour/gender/weight/height selector either. You simply fall in love. It may not be the case all the time, but for most girls, it is ultimately LOVE. Corny but true.

This is my personal experience and it is not under any circumstances, the way, the truth and the life of other Interracial Relationships – Some are in a much better social condition. 🙂


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  • I think that interracial relationships reduce the amount of racism. Alright, racism is not bad overall, but in general stereotyping and insulting someone because he/she married another race is wrong. NOT everyone who marries a white or a Japanese dude would be hookers. NO WAY, and interracial marriages, for me ok, are better because this promotes more freedom than everyone thinks.

  • I have the same sentiments. You may read it in my blog 🙂

  • Cinta

    I never thought I would be in a relationship with other than a Filipino, but I’m glad that I did. I’m currently in a relationship with an Indonesian guy and I can say that my life was definitely changed in ways I never imagined. I was re-learning my geography, my language, my culture and my religion (i’m a catholic and he’s a muslim) while I was learning his. We basically communicate in english, a language that he is still trying to be comfortable with. And that is why, our relationship was never boring. There’s always something new to learn.

    I never believed in interracial relationship until I met him, my sayang 🙂

  • Grant

    Good topic… this is not something that I’ve ever noticed in Canada but yes when in Manila I sure have. I’ve never heard any comments directed at us but It seems like every time I go into Robinson’s I see a few interracial couples where the man is much older, usually he’ll have a hand on an inappropriate spot of her body. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have judgmental thoughts.. and (as I”m fortunate to have a beautiful and very young looking Filipina grandma in my life) I always think the same thing “is that how people see us?”.

  • Fil_Am_Floridian

    I was born in the Philippines, but grew up in the US. My family moved to a city in Florida where Filipinos are scarce. Because of this, I have always dated Caucasians in high school… I met my Caucasian husband in college, got married after graduation and 6 years later, we now have a son. I was fortunate enough not to feel the same stigma as you’ve described. I guess it could be attributed to the fact that there aren’t as many Filipinos here in my area. And yes, I know how Filipinos talk and gossip about these things. But, I have also traveled across the US, Canada and other parts of the world and have never gotten the same treatment from fellow Filipinos or other races/nationalities.

    However, I have observed that, had I not grown up here or as they say had I not been “Americanized”, our relationship would’ve been viewed and deemed otherwise.

    Ignore the haters… In the end, only LOVE prevails 🙂

  • Leona

    I feel you. Got the same issue but the hell I care. If they gossips about You, that only means YOU are ahead of them so cheerz, All the best!

  • living in pinas, I used to think that women who have foreign bf’s or husbands are gold-diggers.

    but when i moved abroad and see interracial relationships practically all the time, i found out that what i perceived turned out to be false. there maybe women who thinks and see foreigners as a dollar sign. but most of the interracial relationship i knew and see are sincere… they do love each other.

    Follow your heart. Let them drool in envy. Your love for each other is so much deeper than the stigma you encounter. Hope you have a fruitful and wonderful relationship. 🙂

  • Chetbe

    That beautiful warm brown skin is what at first attracts most Caucasian men…..the Spanish have a special term for it…”piel canela”. Let others be jealous. Follow your heart.

  • David

    Plain and simple, I feel sorry for people who live in a culture of ignorance. Life is to short to live to live within the confines of others perceptual thoughts. I’d like to inform racial bigots that we are all mixed races, descended from Africa and the seven daughter’s of Eve. (genetic Eve) The truth of the matter is, there are no pure breeds out there. My wife is Filipina and I am an American but we are not limited by our countries of origin. Follow your roots back far enough and you might find out that your are part Chinese, Japanese or even Asian like me. We are all brothers and sisters and ignorance is bliss. Open your mind and you just might find this whole other world out there. Knowledge is limited, imagination circles the world.~Albert Einstein. Peace & love!

    • No matter how homogenous a country is, there’s no such thing as racial purity. Well, most probably racial dominance would be a better term.

  • Jim O’C

    Don’t worry about what others say. I’m as white as they come ans still married to my beautiful Filipina wife after more than 30 years!

  • Do not get affected by narrow-minded people perceiving things based on stereotypes. The era of computers has allowed it such that more educated individuals such as ourselves have now the option to marry outside our race. While it used to be before that they thought us who belonged to an inter-racial couple to be prostitutes, because before that may be one of the only few ways a Filipina can meet a Caucasian (a serviceman marrying a prostitute), that is certainly not the case now.

    My husband and I are as you and your bf are, an interracial couple. We even have the added disadvantage of having a wide age gap. But I can raise my head up high against these people, and know in my heart of hearts that I am certainly not what they think. I have twice their college education, being myself a lawyer, and gainfully employed in my OWN country. Their judgments don’t hurt me because I know who I am and what I became apart from my husband. I had met my husband when I had already taken the bar and was just waiting for the results

    Don’t let other people run your life, believe me they have enough problems of their own living theirs.

  • Narrow minded people are not worth your time….people will talk no matter what….

  • MJ

    I feel you! I was in a relationship similar to yours and believe me, I have heard all kinds of cruel things that a fellow pinoy/pinay could ever say but I know myself well to stoop down to their level. Sooner or later you will learn to ignore people who is narrow minded because they are not worth even paying attention to.

  • Powder Horn

    I am not sure why Filipinos expect you to be apologetic if you have something to be happy about. If one has glitters of gold around his neck, Filipinos expect him to explain where and how he acquired them.

    If you have a handsome man beside you, walk tall. If you have things of oppulence, flaunt it! You are not obliged to explain and share your good fortune with anyone.

    Those that are dying of envy should just be ignored. They are just airing their ignorance and self-worth(no worth).