By Marci (Inez) Romero

When my children were in grammar grades in school, they asked me, “What nationality are we”? I told them they were mestizos. Of Course, I had to explain to them that a mestizo was of mixed races, which they were Filipino on my side and Mexican, Indian and French on their father’s side.

Many people of all races are very unaware of the word “mestizo”. They just don’t know what the work means. The mestizos constitute a large part of the population in several Latin American counties; they are in various places also called other name, e.g. Ladinos in Guatemala, Caboclos in Brazil.

Filipino mestizo, are of mix ancestry who origins come from foreign migrants, colonizers, or settler such as recent Chinese merchants and settlers, Hispanics during the Spanish colonial period, Americans during the protectoral period, Japanese during the Japanese occupation, but also independent migrants or refugees to the Philippines (Briton, Korean, Vietnamese, etc.)

In Filipino usage, he term mestizo is often regarded to mean “beauty”.

In the American mestizos, the American element may be of any race; White American, Hispanic American, or African American. If a person is of German and Polish ancestry, Dutch and Austrian ancestry, French and Spanish ancestry, etc. they would come under the category of mestizo.

The first president of the Philippines Republic, EMILIO AQUINALDO, was a Chinese mestizo.

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