Day 9: Filipina, for better or for worse

The Las Vegas shooting is the worst shooting massacre to happen in the US in recent history. The gory details of how it happened and who it happened to have been laid bare for the public to read. It’s terrible, it’s tragic and I feel for those who were directly affected.

This was interesting enough on its own but then it was revealed that a person of interest initially, and then not, and then a person of interest again, was the shooter’s girlfriend, who happens to be an Australian citizen but … of Philippine heritage.

In some news articles, she was being labeled “hot Asian grandma”. The news is developing and the latest I heard was that she was gifted $100,000, which she thought was break-up money.

I think to myself, “How on earth do you live with a guy like that and not know!?!”

Or, did she know but she chose to ignore it? She gave her first interview just a few hours ago and I’m sure we will hear more.

Another question that popped in my head: how do people see me, knowing that I’m Filipina? As a lot of Filipino women will tell you, we carry a lot of baggage. There’s the one about being mail-order brides; there’s the one about being loud on the train; there’s the one about looking tacky and dressed inappropriately for their age, and many other stereotypes.

Then there’s the debate around Philippine President Duterte – I’ll keep that one for another post but I feel the weight of an entire nation on my shoulders whenever I’m asked, “How do you feel about Duterte?”

On the upside, Filipinos take it as a badge of honour that we have great singers among us, talented dancers, great musical theatre performers, and so on.

I guess I have to take the good with the bad. There’ll be awkward conversations where someone is guaranteed to hone in on the detail: oohhh, did you know that his girlfriend was Filipina? (meaning only a certain kind of woman will date a psychopath, and she’s Filipina!)

Ugh, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Majority of people won’t think this way but it still irks me.

I guess, for better or for worse, I am a Filipina. There will be brickbats alongside the bouquets.



Leave a Reply