I went to the NBI office to get a clearance for my passport today so I can go to Hong Kong for a business trip. What happened to me at the office is so typical here in the Philippines. You see, when girls here have highlights in their hair or are half-way decent looking while not being mestiza (white-looking), people automatically think we make our money in Japan being "Japauki" entertainers.
As it went, I was standing in line to submit my paperwork for approval. The guy, in all of his "politeness", took one look at me and said, "Where are you going ma'am, to work in Japan?" I was so angry I was nearly speechless. I said "Hong Kong" as a reply and didn't speak anymore until spoken to. He could tell immediately that I was pissed because I started flexing my jaw muscles and I remember that my nostrils were probably flaring. "Stay calm Kiana," was what I continued to remind myself over and over. Obviously if I freaked out at this moron, they could mess with my paperwork, lose it, or do whatever else they felt like doing. After he stamped it and gave it back to me, I proceeded to the washroom where I nearly kicked the door to the toilet off its hinges in a rage.
Sometimes I don't know my own strength. I maxed 200 lbs in the dead-lift a few days ago at the gym so obviously doors are having a harder time standing in my way :)
But again, this type of thing is so typical. Sales girls will ask me the same type of question at the department stores. I swear that I'm going to have the job of the next girl that makes a comment like that. I read that people in countries around the world have problems with racism based on the fact that they are different from the majority group. Well here in the Philippines and other Asian countries, we don't have the "luxury" of having significant skin color or ethnicity differences to discriminate against. Filipinos find much more creative ways to elevate themselves above each other in their own country. If you don't have a Spanish last name, you are minimized. If you are not bleached white, you are second-class. The list goes on an on, but we find so many ways to hate one another. Asian countries are exactly like the West in that respect.
January 14th, 2005
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