When I was little, one of my favorite movies was Balto, the story of a wolf-dog trying to find the balance between identifying as both dog and wolf. In the end, he embraces the fact that he is both…The best of both worlds.
It’s fascinating to me how so many Hapas’ journeys to find a sense of identification and community end up very similar. “My white friends call me their Asian friend,” “My Filipino friends call me the white girl…” You go through that phase of feeling like you have to prove how much of one side you are versus the other side. (i.e. “I am this Filipino because I know these many words, because I know these many celebrities, because I eat these types of foods” etc.)
We try to fill the gap that was never there. In other words, trying to be whole of both things in order to feel like you are “just like everyone else.” Then at some point, it just clicks! “The best of both worlds” makes sense! It is a tangible idea your mind can grab on to. You have your mom’s eyes, you have your dad’s complexion…You are Hapa…You ARE whole!
Here is a recent picture of me, and a picture of my younger brother and me when we were 1 and 2.
Our mom is from The Philippines and our dad grew up in Washington State. His parents are of German and Scandinavian roots.
My brother and I grew up throughout California, and now live somewhere in a magical land called the Bay Area (where there are many Hapas!) =)