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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. Come and stay for a while! 

instantly hawaiian

In the Philippines where I was born, I looked like everyone but as soon as I opened my mouth, I was instantly other - foreign, a pretender, maybe even a betrayer, unable to speak or understand the language.

In New Zealand, where I've lived for over twenty years, I sound like everyone else except I don't look like what you think a person from New Zealand would look. I've had many encounters with well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning Kiwis who double take when I speak and ask, "Where are you from? I mean originally".

And just like that, I'm not a New Zealander, I'm not a Filipino. I'm just different. Stuck between two worlds. I'm instantly other, something else altogether.

To me, Oahu, Hawaii felt like home because the two key things that people use to make an instant judgement about where you're from matched up - language and looks. I'd forgotten the luxury of no one questioning whether I belonged.

I never wanted to leave not only because of the place; and don't get me wrong, Oahu is an urban, beachy paradise from the tops of its swish Waikiki head to the bottom of its rural North and Windward Coast toes. Instead, the reason I never wanted to leave was because no one could tell at an instant that I wasn't where I belonged.


























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