the year of lyrics: a poetry project

my search for inner-peace, one poem at a time

Day 252 – Typical Pilipina

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Call me crazy but I am all about feeling embarrassed by my ethnic roots
It must be something about the accents of my family’s native tongue
Or the way that my house just smells like fish sauce and garlic
It must be the wooden barrel man that surprises all who relieve him
Or the mantle that parades my siblings’ accomplishments
It must be the staircases lined by family portraits and photos from vacations
Or the prideful display of diplomas and certificates
It must be the chatter of tsismis overheard from phone conversations
Or the bragging going on in the kitchen over a stove filled with pots
It must be the aunties and uncles asking about your personal life,
And shaking their head in disappointment when you respond in English
It must be the stereotypical assumptions that you just don’t know what it means
To be a proud and true Pilipina.
As embarrassing as it can get, I am sure that this love-hate relationship is more
It must be the way I am addressed with respect from the younger ones
Or the way steamed rice so cleverly sneaks into my wardrobe each day

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