are you angry at the gays, father?

right now i'm blogging from my cousin jun-jun's house. a few minutes ago, they were trying to set up his playstation 3 so that he could get online. i wasn't any help at all. i regretted that i wasn't, and that i was unable to represent myself as a technologically savvy american. jun-jun's son, milo, is playing his psp. we played with the wii earlier. filiponos really love their modified wiis.

upon my request, grace and i watched a filipino movie last night at the greenbelt cinemas. it was a bad comedy called one night only. the poster for the movie looked cool, as it was just five snazzily dressed filipinas, and i assumed it would be a sex and the city type comedy. now, even though i can't really stand sex and the city, i was looking forward to watching a bunch of arte filipinas. the movie, as predicted, was crap. for some reason, the director really loved giving extreme closeups, and it became obvious early on in the film that none of the actors/actresses had ever taken an acting class.

lately, members of my family have been repeating a lot of jokes and stories that they find funny. for example, at dinner one night, grace asked uncle tim where we had lunch. "fuk yoo," he said. everyone laughed. he meant to say yuk foo. another thing is that my mom likes to point out signs on the back of buses and jeepneys that read: "how's my driving?" it's ridiculous, as everyone here is a crazy fucking driver. there's no need to stay in the lanes or stop when the light is red, or let anyone pass at all, ever. i'm surprised i haven't seen any pedestrians get hit yet, as everyone - young and old - crosses whenever he/she feels like it, even if it's dark, rainy, and on a busy freeway.

another story that i've been hearing a lot lately was when we were at the filming for wowowee. during the break, the three badings came out and did their best to entertain the audience. uncle tim must've had a look of disgust on his face because suddenly, one of the gays approached him. galit ka sa badings, tatay? translation: are you angry towards gays, father? uncle tim shook his head. asan ka galing? balikbayan ka yo? translation: where did you come from? are you going back to your country? uncle tim said yes, and that we were from sacramento. i was waiting for one of the gays to call me "pogi" (handsome), but it didn't happen. such arrogance on my part, huh?

this morning, i told my mom, "i hate to say it, but walang quenta nang united states." a filipino will say walang quenta when talking about something he doesn't really like, like a bad movie or food that isn't good. i was half-kidding, mostly because my mom always says she wants to go home to californa. but i was also aware that i was kind of serious about it. i know it's easy to say you love a country when you've just been spoiled in it for a week, but somehow, honestly, i feel a lot more comfortable and at ease here. it's probably just the good garlic crab that i ate last night talking, but i really like it here. and other than family and friends, i don't miss the united states at all.

what really is there to miss? i kept looking up at billboards here and thinking, what is this whole idea of a "melting pot?" it's bullshit. the united states is more like a lava lamp that's never been turned on. all the color sticks to the bottom. after all, how many filipino actors/politicians/game show hosts/models/singers can an average american name? i think most americans don't even know what a filipino is. a filipino will sometimes be referenced on a silly cartoon like family guy or the simpsons, like when one character says to another (who's obviously not a filipino), "what are you, a filipino, or something?"

and yeah, i'm just supposed to suck it up right? i'm just supposed to take it lying down. i'm supposed to force myself to feel like i belong in a crowd of predominantly white faces. but, for the first time, even though i'm the true foreigner here, i don't have to do that.

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