Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Where Is the Lub?

I don't run into many Filipinos in my neck o' the burbs. I do see quite a few Filipinas in their 50s and 60s working as caretakers for senior citizens, but that's about it. R & V's school is just 4% Filipino; there were only five other Filipino kids out of about eighty Kindergarteners. But this summer, my local shopping avenue has been teeming with (oh, forgive me) Team Filipino!

Imagine my excitement! The wide open smiles I offered, the veritable kisses I blew! But that's before I remembered something that has been true, now, for most of my adult life.

And it's not my imagination.

I'm not being paranoid, delusional, or overly-sensitive.

The thing is...with the exception of my family and Filipina pals, many other Filipinas—meaning those I encounter on the street or while shopping or whatnot—appear to dislike me on sight.

How do I know this?

Because instead of smiling back at me with the hey-we're-all-in-this-together look that I inexplicably and naiively long for, they proffer the ancient Filipino sign for ewwwww: pursed lips and flared nostrils.

Why? Is it some sort of twisted defense mechanism? Are you mistaking me for a member of an ethnic group that you disdain? Do I smell? Is my lipstick shade not to your liking? What is it? I mean, if you don't mind me saying so, I am so nice.

Of course it could be that these women simply don't care that they've found another Filipina in their midst. I'm willing to accept that as an explanation. But why, then, the deadly lips/nostrils combo? Why not just ignore me rather than willfully dismiss me?

But I guess the most important question here is...why do I even care?


Gura said...

maybe they thought that they were the only Filipino on the block and had the neighborhood all to themselves, then you show up and they realize they didn't discover the new world.

Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor said...

You're right - why care?

*hug* I'd hang with you any old time.

Hey...did you get my email from a bit ago?

And /what happened with the playouse/??

ver said...

Gura, that makes perfect sense. Another Filipina in the vicinity can only mean one thing: fewer available sale items.

Aw, thanks Bec. What e-mail?! Re-send!

Luj the Great said...

You're obviously unaware of the secret "lipcurl/nostril flare" signal that all filipinas give to one another. You must not have gotten that memo. Sorta like a secret handshake, but different. Filipino men (like myself) also have a secret signal, which I can't tell you. I will tell you though, that it involves hair and a noise.