I always dread when someone asks me my ethnic and/or cultural origin - for many reasons.
However, as a Filipinx American it's challenging to always pin point a particular community of people as the Filipino people have been colonized my many others. When looking at my family, it's very clear that we are a collection of different cultures, ethnicities, and communities. My family has kept family trees, tracing our lineages back to Spain, China, and various areas of the Philippines.
Despite the documentation, this did not inform me of how much of this mixing was part of my DNA. Curious to know more, I completed a 23 and Me DNA test. After two weeks of waiting, I received my results. I am 100% Filipino. The company explained that this does not cancel out my family's multiple origins, but the test does speak to my own unique chromosomal make-up.
My test revealed two important things; 1) For me to be 100% Filipino, one of my parents or great-parents is 100% Filipino; and 2) My DNA revealed that I am genetically predisposed to be overweight. Overall, my final results from 23 and Me reminded me that the Philippines is another home that I must one day get to know more intimately. I've lived and studied all over the world and I was brought up culturally Filipino in the U.S., but my relationship to my family's homeland is still not what I want it to be. I want to call the Philippines as much as a home I call the U.S.
I guess I now have more incentive to write and create artistic work about my Filipino heritage and my Filipinx American identity. I hope to find a way to map my DNA in performance.