Proud to be Pinoy

Growing up, I believed that being pretty meant being white

So I disowned my language and refused to speak Tagalog

I told my mom that I hated her cooking, even though my favorite dish is Sinigang

I threw away my Baro't Saya and any other Filipino garb I had

I stopped attending Filipino gatherings, even when my friends asked where I was each time

And I used whitening soap to lighten my tan skin that many wanted

But now, I am doing whatever it takes to get it all back

I speak Tagalog whenever I can and I make sure to say, "Mahal Kita" to my family

I always help my mom when she's cooking because I want my kids growing up on Adobo and Pinakbet

I wear Filipinianas to every party

And I am learning to love the skin that I was born in

I grew up hating my entire existence, because I was different

Because I didn't look like the other kids

Because I didn't speak like the other kids

Because how I was raised was far different than how the other kids were brought up

Because my mom spoke differently than their moms

Because my grandparents had a history far different than their grandparents

Because how my family lived was just "too different" for America

But enough is enough

The hate to which I gave myself was observed from the hate I saw my people receiving

And that hate is wrong

I am proud to come from the Philippines

Where our people have spirit

Where our islands showcase the best sunsets

Where I have seen so many hardworking people work so their kids would have better lives

Where my ancestors were enslaved and treated like dirt

Where my heart really is

I am proud to be of color

and I am proud to be Pinoy

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Our world

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