“His/My wife is a Filipina.”

My good friend Micheline Rama posted this on her Facebook post.

I cant recall how many times Ive heard this phrase. Its generally innocuous, a bit of small talk. The few times its been tinged with malice were usually in cabs or bars.

“My uncle’s wife is a Filipina.” (sneer) “She takes good care of him.” (wink)–but that’s rare…”

Not as rare as you believe, girlfriend. I thought whilst reading. I recalled a similar experience just a few days back, when an Irishman at a bar thought it’d funny to ask me to marry him because he heard ‘Filipinas make good wives’.

The Filipino women in my circle are smart, Filipino women, Chevening and Fulbright scholars with masters and PhDs under their belts–film directors who raise the right questions; provocative artists who ignite unequivocal emotion; single mothers raising activists; movers and shakers; modern-day warriors of the world.
Still they are not guarded from such forwards.
Mich agreed to my personal reverie on her next lines:

“…Today, it came up when a professor pointed out that the book I was reading was written by a man married to a Filipina.

It’s always wives, you see. Yes, also housekeepers and nannies–but in my international social and professional circle at least, it’s generally wives. It’s changing somewhat.

“My PhD student is a Filipina.”

“My boss is a Filipina.”

The women in my culture represented strength, grit and resilience; but perfectly balanced with grace, poise and femininity. My family and social circle were filled with such women. I grew up admiring them, idolizing them, and of course, fearing them.

But you know what line you haven’t heard of yet that could give you a different perspective?

“My ex-girlfriend is a Filipina.”

Mich concluded, and I agree, that this would open a whole other can of worms entirely.