OK, no not really, obviously. I’m brown and Filipino as hell. But I did find out some very interesting things about my family yesterday when my parents decided to divulge their family histories to prove which side was “better,” haha.
- I have German blood! Apparently my great-great-grandfather on my dad’s side was a German-American soldier stationed in the Philippines way back when (the Spanish-American War? I don’t know). That’s why my dad’s middle name (and my grandmother’s maiden name) is Brum, which apparently isn’t a Filipino surname at all, but a German one. How freaking cool is that?
- I’m also a little bit Chinese! Now, being Filipino, that was kind of a given…lots of Filipinos describe their ethnicity not as Filipino, but a mixture of Chinese, Spanish and indigenous blood. I just always say I’m Filipino because after all, you don’t hear Spaniards going “I’m a mixture of Gaelic/Moorish blood” or Brits going “I’m Gaelic/Anglo-Saxon/French” and whatnot. Anyway, long story short, my mother told me her maternal grandfather (my great-grandfather) was full-blooded Chinese and apparently very very rich. One of the richest in Manila in his day, according to my mom. I wonder where all those riches went…
- One of the reasons why my paternal grandmother’s family has quite a bit of land in the Philippines is because of my German-American ancestor, apparently. Since my brothers and I are the only grandchildren of my paternal grandmother (well, that’s not true anymore, I think, I have a little adopted cousin and a new cousin born just a few months ago out of wedlock; but hey, I’m the oldest), we’re the ones that get her share of the family’s land. I’d always known that I was going to inherit land from my dad’s family; it’s just interesting to know now where it came from.
- Finally, after hearing about this, my mother tried to one-up my dad and revealed to me that her father’s family has (owns?) an island in the southern Philippines. It doesn’t come with any money though, and in order for someone in the family to claim it, they must work and harvest it themselves. My mom said there’s no point in claiming it though, because it’s been overrun by terrorists (the Abu Sayyaf group) and I’d probably get beheaded and whatnot considering I’m American and not Muslim.