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336 pages, Kindle Edition
First published May 4, 2021
Filipinos were all about family. My whole life I’d had the concept of “family first” drilled into my head, and it’s how I’d lived until I went away to college [in Chicago]... Even someone like me felt utang na loob, that impossible to quantify sense of indebtedness and gratitude, to the people who’d raised me. But where was that magical line between selfishness and independence? Between my family and myself?
But [grandmother's] refusal to try anything new and insistence on me being a “real” Filipino grated on me. As a second-generation member of a colonized country, born and raised in the Midwestern United States, what did that even mean?
"You're innocent, so there's nothing [the police] can do to you, right?"
We both paused, knowing that wasn't quite true. The law tended to work differently for people like us.