I blame Discovery channel for this. The first time I lost faith of their fact-checking was when I came across their show about some head-hunters in the Philippines. One of the last words was "the head-hunters of Ibaloi."
This is not about that story though. It's about me being a Filipino. For some reason, these Koreans believe I came to Korea with no clothes on. I get asked from time to time, if I belong to those people who live in small islands where we wear nothing but coconut shells covering our genitals. I got asked if our women have breasts so saggy, they could just push one to their back for the baby (carried behind their back) to suckle. Once, I asked how much would it cost me to have a custom-made pair of boots (I heard it's practically the same price). Instead of giving an educated (or non-educated) guess, I got asked what would I do with boots when the Philippines is hot. The other says, "Do you wear shoes in those islands?"
When out of frustration, I protest saying, "The Philippines is not entirely this and that!" I get the "But Discovery Channels says..." I immediately interrupt, "Discovery Channel is a lie!"
I could protest all I want but these people just don't believe me. This afternoon (Nov. 30, and it's really cold), I was called to unload some stuff from a delivery truck. I know I'm going to sweat so I wore just a t-shirt and a vest. The delivery guy asked if I was cold. I said, "no."
"Where are you from?"
"Ah, then you should be cold."
"I came from the northern part of my country. My region gets cold just like this."
I should be? I don't know how much change happened in my home town but I grew up seeing leather jackets lined with fur, and leather boots, as the common clothing (not fashion... clothing!). It's so common, it's almost like underwear; you just don't go out without it. Early mornings or late evenings, tap water is just as cold as ice water. I was grew up in this climate so much so, that I still feel the need to use thick blankets when I sleep on summer. Go a bit more north from my home town and you'll witness what's supposed to be morning dew, has turned into ice. It's that cold.
Summer is no different. I'm a sweaty person and I'm not ashamed of it (there's nothing much I can do anyway). Summer comes and I get asked if I'm hot, too often. When I say, "yes," they say "Philippines is hot too! You shouldn't be sweating like this." Again, I shouldn't be?