Home for a dual citizen: Home is where the cat is!
As a dual citizen, I sometimes find it confusing on how I will introduce myself regarding my nationality. It seems a bit funny because I’m both Filipino and British. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the UK in 2009, and eventually became a naturalised British Citizen.
It is a unique privilege to be a dual citizen, and I’m grateful for it. It gives me the freedom, rights and opportunity in both countries.
Would it be appropriate if I introduce myself as Filipino or British?
I have been called with all sorts of different nationalities except Filipino. People assume my nationality based on my skin colour and appearance which I find a bit ignorant and stupid. Every time I’m travelling, people will sometimes assume and ask me if I’m Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Singaporean but never a Filipino.
At one point when I was walking around in a town here in England, a random bloke bowed in front of me, trying to take the piss about my race (I assume), I told him “You got the wrong country, mate”. He felt embarrassed in front of his friends. His joke backfired on him.
When I was in Paris, a vendor in front of Louvre museum challenged me to see if he can guess my nationality. He mentioned almost all the countries in Asia, except, you guessed it! Except for the Philippines. So, I won the challenge!
When I’m travelling using my two different passports, I introduced myself based on what passport I used to enter the destination. It is mainly to avoid confusion and in case an emergency will happen I have a consistent ID to present.
Is it confusing to have dual nationality?
No, not really. To be honest, I still see myself as a Filipino because I still observe and practice some of the Filipino tradition and cultural beliefs. I still crave Filipino home-cooked meals and miss talking in my mother tongue.
So where is home?
Home is where the cat is! I consider the UK as my home now. I must admit that the first few years of adjustment was tough. With the support of my husband (Mr Grumpy), I slowly managed to adjust and integrate well into the society. Though my family (including my parents & sister) and some of my friends are still in the Philippines, I found a good support system here in the UK. The Philippines will always be my a special place for me.
When we are ready to retire, we will go back to the Philippines and enjoy the tropical sun! After all, I’m a Filipino, and my husband can stay with me in the country a while. Dual citizenship will also be available for our future kids if they want to enjoy the best of both worlds too.
After all, no matter what nationality I have, what truly matters is I consider myself as a citizen of the world.