What is Filipino architecture supposed to look like?

The National Museum of Fine Arts, aka the National Art Gallery, is housed in the Legislative Building, which was designed by Juan Arellano. Photo by ELMER B. DOMINGO/CC BY-SA 3.0

By Keena Vazquez/cnnphilippines.com – Where are you from?”

For the last seven years I’ve spent living overseas, I’ve grown used to this question. I am one of those people whose eyes are of a nondescript shape and color and whose nose hints of diluted Western descent, but whose unbleached hair classifies me under the general umbrella of “Asian.”

“You don’t look Filipino.”

“What is Filipino supposed to look like?”

Little do these strangers know that their genuine intrigue in my less than ripe tan has fueled a full-blown identity crisis. I am often confronted with the contrast between where I am and where I come from. I find myself wanting to reconcile the compulsion to assimilate with a neo-nationalistic desire to be a modern-day ilustrado.

FULL STORY

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