The Deal with Chinky Eyes: Stereotyped Chinese

So I saw this post on my Facebook feeds (FB influences me a lot lately) from Candy Magazine’s digital content a few days ago. It was an article entitled 10 Things That Every Chinita Girl Can Relate To. After reading the post, I felt the need to share and caption it with caps lock on how the list was lacking so much. So here I am, trying to fill the article with my own perspective, a chinita (I’m Chinese, really) But actually, I just have nothing better to blog about.

Let me first start by emphasizing my own struggles with CandyMag’s list.

1. Having monolids is a real struggle.

Whenever someone decides on doing my make-up for a photoshoot. The whole process will involve me cursing my own eyes. My good friend Jed, who often does my make-up, literally has to put on a hefty big layer of eyeliners just so it’ll come out on photos. And yes, it looks funny whenever I have my eyes close – like really.

2. Being asked what random Chinese characters mean.

People would assume I automatically know the meaning (and care) about Chinese characters whenever I see them.. And it’s not like they would actually know if I translated 你是笨蛋 as you’re really beautiful, ne?

3. I can’t laugh so much especially on crucial situations.

Yes, I have a thin view. And that decreases to just a line whenever I think someone’s face is a total joke I hear about a friend’s idiocy. Yep. Especially walking down the stairs or crossing the streets.. you know..

4. Being a math wizard.

Well majority of Chinese people are, especially if it involves money, ha! But it might have been because the school I graduated from in high school has the best Math curriculum around. Our school kick butts on Math competitions and send award-winning delegates to international competitions and win. But nope, not me, I despise Math. But TBH, most of us who graduated from that school were like math wizards in college, even for Math majors, because we were “trained” hard. Hell I ace exams not even attending lectures.

5. Getting the eye on Chinese-Philippine issues.

Okay. When the Scarborough Shoal territorial issue came in the picture, I had a professor in college who apparently decided to make a joke out of it saying “Huwag kang tumabi diyan, baka agawin ka rin niya” (Don’t sit beside her, she might steal you, too) to my best friend who was beside me. It wasn’t exactly offending to me, but it does bother me why we’re generalized that way. And to think of it, my grandmother mentioned that they were already studying Scarborough Shoal in China’s geography way back when she was still little. So meh.

6. Having a business of sort… in 168/ Divisoria.

These two somewhat became a combination. I was asked a few times whether or not our family had a business. Though my answer was a stereotyped ‘yes’ it was followed by an immediate question whether or not we have a store somewhere in Divisoria. Not all Chinitas or Chinese have a business, more so a space rented in Binondo, okay. XD

7. Hopia, siopao, lumpia, tikoy manufacturers.

Need I say more? I don’t think I need to post this as a status whenever Chinese New Year is coming, yes?

8. Being in a fixed marriage.

I once joked my mom to admit it whether or not I was actually in an arranged marriage. Just so I won’t hate her for falling in love when I literally don’t have any right on. It kind of disappoints me I’m not haha. I don’t have anyone to blame if my marriage doesn’t go well. Lol.  But I do have some Chinese friends (ho are not even 100% Chinese for that matter) who are actually being introduced and supported to be with a friend’s son or daughter. Like wow, it does happen. But those aside, the world is already too modern to have these fixed marriages lying around anywhere. It just works for the more traditional ones.

9. Getting involved in impromptu Chinese monologues.

“Salita ka nga ng Chinese!” (Speak Chinese!) My friends would often ask. It’s kind of weird though.. much like reading Chinese characters, they won’t know if I’m actually swearing. Haha.

10. Being extremely frugal and stingy.

This is probably one of the most stereotypes I do want to admit. While there are those who actually spends unnecessarily like me, there are also those who are very outright ungenerous to the point that it’s embarrassing. But it’s actually really part of the Chinese nature.

11. Having Tan, Lee and Ang surnames.

There are a lot of other surnames besides this.. not as much as Filipinos, but we do have some more besides these. I was asked before by a friend’s mom after knowing I’m Chinese if my surname is Tan. Like really.. it’s the only surname out there. There are also surnames that does not only consists of a syllable and is usually a combination of a lot.. like Yuchengco or Tanlimco.

12. Having a vacation in China.

I actually have a few friends from wayback high school who do spend their Christmas and Summer vacation in China. But not everyone does. There are a lot of Chinese born and raised in the Philippines such as myself, and while my grandparents do have a house in China, they also don’t go there as much as they have come to love the Philippines, too.

13. The “Ang Chinese ay para lang sa Chinese” (Chinese are meant for Chinese only)

Okay, here’s one more of the most asked phrase I get. This is yet another nature for Chinese, but since Chinese people can actually be found just about anywhere, its unlikely to stay with that tradition for everyone. But there are also a lot who prefer Chinese partners in the sense that it makes them feel more secure having the same nature, background as well as dialect. But this usually goes based on personal preference rather than a tradition being upheld. As much as Filipinos have generalized insights with Chinese and other nationalities, Chinese do have them too, so they rather keep their families from the same decent.

14. Living in Chinatown.

Well this.. No, not all the Chinese in Manila lives in Ongpin/ Chinatown or Binondo. If that’s the case Ongpin would be swarmed with yellow people and it will certainly remind everyone of MRT in rush hour because there are a lot of Chinese in the Philippines.

15. Being called GI, intsik, and chekwa.

Honestly according to what I heard, these are supposedly insulting; it may be aligned with calling Filipinos indio or something. But then again, I already got used to it, and most of those who are supposedly offended do not know what it means so no harm done.

I am actually still thinking of some more.. and will hopefully get back to this haha. I have already loved the Philippines and I am admitting I rather be here than in China.


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