What it takes to be a Filipino

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“I am a Filipino. And when all else fails, I am not and will never be ashamed of what I am.”

Being a Filipino is just no joke. I was born and raised in the Philippines as a child and went back to my home country as I reached adulthood. In between these times, I lived in a foreign country yet would still be raised under Filipino values – showing love, care and compassion towards others, being family oriented, respecting the elders, strong dedication to tasks and responsibilities given to me as well as my passion and dreams, and having strong moral courage. Not forgetting to mention that I spoke Tagalog at home with my family, ate Filipino dishes, watched Filipino shows online, listened to Filipino songs, and had Filipino family friends back during my days overseas.

I have tan skin. My hair is naturally black (I love to dye my hair as part of my style so it changes colors for your information) and my eyes are dark brown. My parents are pure Filipino and I have no trace of foreign ethnicity. I am not as tall as Western women my age. I speak Tagalog, know certain aspects of Filipino culture like its national anthem Lupang Hinirang, and have been to certain places in the Philippines other than Metro Manila. I am a full pledged Filipino in terms of nationality, and I am a registered voter in the Philippines. But what truly makes me a Filipino?

Being a Filipino is more than just an identity. It is more than being born and raised in the Philippines, as well as being familiar with every Filipino cultural aspect. It is more than acquiring the citizenship, the values, and the physical attributes of a typical Filipino, and knowing the language. It is more than being raised in a Filipino family as well as appreciating the food, the places, the music, the movies, the shows and other positive aspects found in the Philippines. Being a Filipino will always remain in my heart, mind and spirit. No matter where I go, I will always be proud of being a Filipino. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas (Long live the Philippines)! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

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