I had never heard of Hapa until I did some research on mixed races in our country the Philippines.

Since I was in primary school, my teachers and other people in the neighborhood look at me differently. They always say I am not pure Filipino.

My father is Filipino and Spanish and my mother is the same, but my color is tan and my height is typically Filipino.

But many people don’t call me a pure Filipina or with Spanish descent — instead they call me Indian. I asked my parents but they didn’t confirm if they have Indian blood.

When I attended college and applied to different companies, many of them asked me if I am half Indian. I met an Indian woman in HR who surprised me with the first question in the interview, ” Who has Indian blood, your mom or your dad?” I didn’t know how to answer her, but I told her that my father is half Spanish.

When I gave birth to my daughter, many people asked if her father was Indian. My husband has Spanish blood but looked like a typical Filipino.

Now my daughter is a little confused on her identity and until now I don’t know how to explain her if we have Indian blood. However, I am proud to be Hapa and a unique Filipina.

One thought on “Spanish, Filipino, Indian

  1. My father was filipino and so many of us look so different. I don’t know if you have ever been to the USA – over here you get a lot of full filipinos who are very east asian looking, along with people who are very dark and very malay and those who look more pacific islander too. Think of all the different languages in the philipines – each of those represents a different people that came together to make what is now the modern day filipino. There is a lot of diveristy, but as the world becomes more westernized people don’t like diversity as much – they want to see the world in black and white terms instead of in shades of gray. The people who told you that your are not really filipino are likely those who are afraid of their own status of filipinos, who likely feel that they are not filipino enough. There is no reason not to be proud of your heritage, and if you don’t feel that Indian is part of that, then don’t give into other people’s demands that you identify as such. Maybe you have some Negrito (to use the Spanish term) heritage – that’s just another group of filipinos. I hope you continue to be proud of yourself and your heritage and that your daughter can experience that as well.

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