Being Chinese-Filipino: Ethnicity, nationality, and the confusion that excludes

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Chinese-Filipinos have been in the spotlight recently. A few weeks ago, renowned writer F. Sionil Jose declared that should a war break out between the Philippines and China, Chinese-Filipinos would most likely take China’s side. While reactions to F. Sionil Jose’s comments are still making the rounds, a particular Chinese-Filipino graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) with a 1.004 GPA, the first student to obtain such an achievement since World War II. Despite this remarkable feat, Tiffany Uy has not been spared from criticism. Many have said that the country should not be proud of her because she is not even Filipino, although there have also been many who spoke in her defense.

The online debates and verbal sparring surrounding Uy’s achievement raise two points of concern: the explicit and strong racist sentiments in some of the reactions; and the confusion regarding ethnicity, nationality, and more importantly, belonging. As a…

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