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As most of you know, I’m of mixed heritage. My father is white and my mother is from the Philippines. When I was seventeen, I got to go through my father’s paternal family tree. That was the first time I had learned that my grandfather’s family came from Scotland in the late 1700’s. It’s quite clear that my father and his family are white, but it was nice to know where our lineage came from. When I asked about my grandmother’s family, no one really knows. My grandma passed away almost twenty years ago, and her mother died when she was a little girl. All she had were some family heirlooms, rumors of German ancestry, and she had a movie star relative (born in Germany).
My mother was born in the Philippines. The Philippines was first settled by Melanesians; today, although few in numbers, they preserve a very traditional way of life and culture. After them, the Austronesians or more specifically, Malayo-Polynesians, arrived on the islands. Today the Austronesian culture is very evident in the ethnicity, language, food, dance and almost every aspect of the culture. These Austronesians engaged in trading with China, India, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, the Middle East, Borneo, and other places. As a result, those cultures have also left a mark on Filipino culture.