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♫ ♪ I’m a Barbie Girl, Torn Between Two Worlds ♫ ♪


Billboards, ads, commercials and stars on TV.

Here-there, next to the grocery aisle

Beauty essentials. 100 spf. Bleach Here!

Every soap, and every lotion, shampoo straightens too

Rain or shine, umbrellas for one dollar

At the beach, long sleeves, scuba suit?


“I didn’t recognize you!”


What does it mean to be Filipino American?

Do I try to speak the language?

Shall I say hello, shall I try to bargain?

Go ahead, I try. “Sigi Na” I say,

I try my best but sometimes they look dismayed.

 I get more comfortable speaking, asking for directions.

I must be getting better, I got this for much cheaper.

Connecting, conversing, I practice I sing,

Is it me or am I camouflaging much better?

Walking, eating, I turn and see, shocked, someone is asking directions from me?

I am home. “how was your trip?”

I’m so lucky, I can’t complain.

I want to pour my heart out,

I want to tell you about my triumphs and my doubt.

The moment I speak, my words sound plain.

Please listen to me, there is so much to gain.

There’s an opportunity to share what I’ve learned,

Intercept the conversation—what do you mean by American?

Birthday cards with white girls?

Should I say something? My lips curl.

I’m so lucky, I can’t complain.

My family, my blood—yes, they love me so much

How are we so united, yet so out of touch?

Brown skin or yellow skin?

You see, white is not the skin I’m in.

I am home. I can’t complain.

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