Witnessing Filipino-American successes boosts my hopes | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

During a watch party for “The O.C.” in my early 20s, a friend’s roommate leaned over conspiratorially. 

“You know she’s half Filipino,” he whispered, pointing to Summer Roberts, the pretty brunette played by actor Rachel Bilson. “Like you.”

“Huh.” I squinted my eyes and gnawed my cheek. I looked closer, analyzing the bronze of her skin, the width of her nose, the deep brown of her eyes. Could she be? Really?

When I got back to the computer desk at my apartment, I did what any other Filipino-curious person would do in 2003, I dialed into Al Gore’s internet, typed www.askjeeves.com into my Firefox browser and waited (and waited) for some kind of confirmation. 

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“Is Summer Roberts Filipino?”

“O.C. actress Filipino?”

“Filipino actress The O.C. TV show?”

Jeeves had no answers. 

My quest for representation was a decade or so too early. The technology that would eventually connect me to Filipino-Americans all over the U.S. was still being perfected. In my small town in Robert E. Lee County, Florida, I still felt alone. 

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