Nice words from Kelsey Merritt (@kelsmerritt). Thing is, “Filipino” is NOT a race.

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It’s nice of supermodel Kelsey Merritt to assert her “Filipinoness” in a recent tweet she fielded…

Pinanganak ako sa Pilipinas at lumaki ako sa Pampanga. Tinapos ko ang pagaaral ko sa Manila bago ako lumipat sa US last year. Mas pinoy pa dugo ko kesa sa mga “pure” na hindi pa nakatapak sa Pilinipas. I love my country and I’m proud of where I came from.

Translated: “I was born in the Philippines and grew up in Pampanga. I finished my studies in Manila before I moved to the US last year. My blood is more Filipino than so-called “pure” Filipinos who haven’t been to the Philippines. I love my country and I’m proud of where I came from.”

Perhaps. But having a certain type of “blood” is not what determines who is or isn’t Filipino. There are large communities of Filipinos who do not fit Merritt’s definition of being Filipino on the basis of “dugo”.

We need to embrace the notion that being a nation is no longer about race. It is about being who you are in the context of the country (or countries) you choose to contribute to.

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