Joe is Juan and Not Even John

My Tune: Bennie and the Jets by Elton John


Humanity involves many complexities. Friends have friends, enemies have other enemies, one person loves someone who’s in love with another.

Sometimes, there is also a case when a pure Filipino subconsciously does ways which don’t actually define being a Filipino. But it doesn’t really mean in that instant that he doesn’t love Phlippines and that he is not proud of his nationality. I should know. I am the “he” I’m talking about right now.

I bet some of my friends may have noticed something different with me when it comes to my favorites and fancies. Maybe these friends of mine who have noticed this are those who have deliberately monitored me and my unusual ways. As with my friends, some. But I’m sure most of the members of my family have noticed this “different” thing I’m trying to tell you now.

I am actually talking about my rather unusual love and obsession with almost everything American-related.

I still remember when my uncle told me how I’m such a true-blue American boy at heart, trapped in a Filipino’s body. Well, I can’t really blame him, or anyone, for saying that. It shows. When it comes to movies, music, books, food, comics, magazines, clothing, sports teams, celebrities, tv shows and almost everything, any American version of any of these will always be my fancy. I even remember how I used to never really listen to Tagalog music and never really watch Tagalog movies. I just honestly don’t feel any connection and amusement everytime I listened or watched anything Filipino-made. And when it comes to books, I am even far worse than the already ill racist-of-his-own-race in me. Okay, I’ve read few Filipino books already, but I don’t really feel like those are things I can really take to heart, and stay there. Plus, I easily get stressed everytime I read Filipino books. The only ones I’ve read in Filipino are usually those which are used in school as a curriculum requirement such as Florante at Laura and Noli Me Tangere. These books are great, actually. But I just don’t feel anything more than average when I read them as much as I do when I read books written by Barbara Delinksy, John Maxwell, Toni Morrison, Eleanor Updale, Deborah Smith, Peter Hedges and even Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Talk about movies and I’ll say anything 20th Century Fox! I especially patronize Lord of the Rings, New York Minute, American Pie, 50 First Dates, Dude, Where’s My Car?, The Hot Chick, Good Luck Chuck, Tuck Everlasting and truly a whole lot more of the like. And oh yeah, I’m addicted to American teen film.

Music? That of Vertical Horizon, All American Rejects, Blink182, Tyler Hilton, Matt White, Butch Walker, Jars of Clay and John Mayer. And also even the classics like that of Elton John, Eric Clapton and Bee Gees.

The readables? Archie comics. Time Magazine. GQ. Schuh.

Clothing? Abercrombie. Hollister. Ralph Lauren. Marks and Spencer. Harley Davidson. Tommy Hilfiger. Ermenegildo Zegna. Nautica.

My celebrity crushes? Keira Knightley, Anne Hathaway, Shenae Grimes and Emma Roberts.

TV shows? 90210, Paradise Hotel, The X Effect, October Road, WWE(World Wrestling Entertainment), Drake and Josh Show and Even Stevens.

My golly geez! I feel some kind of guilt now. Now that I’ve spilled generally my “betrayal”. But I don’t feel bad about myself. I even feel better. I’m just being honest, and I think that’s something off the hook.

All I can say is, I don’t think it’s bad to love and do something else that’s out of the norm or something that is more than what’s expected of you. This includes embracing other cultures and traditions. I believe my obsession with everything American is just an outlet of my trying to discover the out there. You see, as they say, there’s a whole world out there. And sometimes, we are too busy doing the same things over and over again, and we are busy discovering things that have already been discovered, that we tend to forget about this fact.

In my case, I love American stuff because I’m more comfortable embracing American stuff. Comfortable, in a way that I know that this is what entertains me, amuses me, satisfies me and defies my interests. Everyone has his own unique interest. Mine just happens to fly with red, white and blue.

And true, I may be obsessed with American TV shows, film, music, books, etc., but one thing that I haven’t mentioned there is my family and friends. They are one of the few Filipino “stuff” I love and embrace the most.

Because in love and values, I am purely a Filipino.

And with that being insisted, I believe that I can now label myself as:

Joe with a heart that of a Filipino.

Because now and forever, I will and always love my family and friends, who are made up of 90 percent Filipino blood and molecules (my other family and friends being in between like half-American, half-Spanish, half-German, etc., that’s why I put “90 percent”. I’m just trying to be technical and precise as much as possible).

So there, Joe spoke with his mind but with Juan’s heart.

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