BEING Chinese-Filipino is like swimming through Yin and Yang.

Like many Tsinoys, I was born and raised in the Philippines. I speak better in Filipino and English than in Chinese. I have not even set foot in China and have considered the Philippines as my only home.

I spent my younger years with my other Chinese-Filipino or full-blooded Chinese classmates, talking and acting like typical Filipino children. We were baptized as Christians, but our families also pray and give offerings in Buddhist temples.

We were also taught the values of perseverance, discipline, and humility, but these are not as heavily imposed on us as maybe the case in typical Filipino households.

We celebrate Christmas and New Year but we also celebrate Chinese holidays, especially the Chinese Lunar New Year, with colorful lanterns, dragon and lion dances, fireworks, ang paos, and Chinese operas.

Many Chinese customs and traditions have also influenced several Filipino practices and values.

Most Filipinos have learned to respect us with our keen perspective for living a Filipino lifestyle despite the duality of our culture.

But there will always be racism—even in its slightest form—against us who are different from the rest. Sometimes, people do not even realize that we, too, are Filipinos, even if we are half-Chinese.

With the territorial conflict between the Philippines and China, some people look at us with distrust.

I often hear the word “Intsik” and many Tsinoys get irritated even if it’s said as a joke.

We must realize that racism starts with the smallest joke, which can send the wrong message. Others should realize that it is already hard for us to fit in this society as Chinese-Filipinos.

The lady who wanted to become society

Although I am living between two different ethnicities, with their own distinct qualities, I have learned to strike a balance, just like the harmony of the Yin Yang.

Filipino and Chinese cultures, despite their differences, can perfectly complement each other. And, this is what made me who I am today.


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