A Filipino from Saudi Arabia meets a mensch from Boston.

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Colorism in the Philippines: “You’re Not White Enough!”

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When choosing a wedding photographer, I looked for a particular quality in their portfolios — not the composition of their pics or the brightness of their subjects’ smiles but rather the color of their skin, specifically brown skin. If I’m standing next to other people who are as tan as I, then I look fine…. Read More ›

Religion »

My Mother’s Wedding Guidebook: Ten Points

(1) My mother and me, 1982.

On J.’s Being White: Did you remind him to put on sunblock? On Engagement Rings (before J. proposed): You don’t need one if you don’t want one. On My Engagement Ring (after he proposed): It’s perfect. On Our Getting Married Three Months After My Sister (In the Philippines, tradition and superstition say that siblings should… Read More ›

Friendship »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bubbles and Tevas

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My best friend’s daughter L. and I get our nails done at a spot where one of the manicurists paints tiny flowers on her fingers. That afternoon in June 2012, we met up with my then boyfriend, J., who bought bubbles for her at CVS. She didn’t want to ruin her nails (see how she… Read More ›

Immigration »

Home Is Where They Don’t Ask For Your Papers

(7) Rocks, just hangin'.

I was on a panel of immigrants at a local university when the facilitator asked where home was for us. The talk was about immigrant experiences and our evolving identity in the U.S.A. I said that home was wherever someone had a toothbrush waiting for me.  I feel at home with people, but feeling truly… Read More ›

Interracial dating »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (Lois Lane’s Head)

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It is my first Purim and my tongue is blue with cotton candy and I am about to get a second one when P., a high school freshman, takes my hand. Come, she says. You’re engaged. Time to get married. She gives J. a hat and a tie and she drapes a veil on my… Read More ›

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