OUR SKIN DIARY: Braving Stereotypes
June 8, 2015
Why Now Is The Time To Visit These Landscapes Affected By Climate Change
August 23, 2015
Show all

OUR SKIN DIARY | Deeper Than Your Skin Color

I was on the passenger seat while my guests were at the back. (Context: A learned I travel a lot, messaged me, asked if I could tour him and his friend to Oslob. I told him, I would go down south [normally skip Oslob, I do not support the inhumane treatment of the butandings], and they could join my trip. They did not have to pay me, but they had to handle the expenses.) Both are doctors from Canada. Both are very tall, thus we taxied because, they could afford it and they needed enough legroom. A is white. J is dark, even darker than me. The conversation was about races and skin colors. We compared our arms’ skin tone, and A lost. I have the tendency to say to Westerners (and perhaps it is wrong), “that is very white to say.”

The third time I said it, A said, how could I say “very white” when obviously J was dark. (I thought he was Black Canadian, but staring closely at him, he actually looks Indian. J said, he got that comment a lot, in the usual Canadian accent. Indian by birth, but he  grew up and was schooled in Canada.) A did not want to sound rude to J, I suspected. He stammered a bit when he mentioned J’s skin color.   

I think J has racial issues (everyone has) to face back there in Canada. But my comment was mainly directed to certain privileges Westerners (white, black, yellow, whatever color the skin can be) have. Say, for  example, everytime they travel, they do not have to exert a lot of effort to justify their reasons for traveling abroad, unlike us, most Filipinos.

J agreed. In Abu Dhabi, he said, the people respect the color of your passport. Or in this particular context, is respect not inherent to one’s national identity?Do the Filipinos and Filipino travelers have or gain such respect?

I am about to know.

*Our Skin Diary welcomes contributions to anything related to our skin.


Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *