A Superlative Mixture

NUMEROUS AMONG THE FIRST

 

With or without mixed ethnicity, Filipinas are excep-tionally beautiful. Even their men are found to be very handsome and desired by ladies of other nation-alities around the world. Their beauty runs in the blood as a result of centuries of intermarriage with different nationalities. The truth is, the modern-day Filipino people are a product of mass migrations and a mixing of many types of races which started hundreds of years ago and which have not let up even today. On one end of their facial characteristics, you will meet Filipinos who look like other nationalities and the spectrum is extremely varied.

 

First, you have the look of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the family, which is what the majority of Filipinos now sport largely because they are cons-idered the most numerous and among the first to settle across the entire span of the Philippine archipe-lago a few thousand years ago before spreading out south towards Indonesia and Malaysia and east tow-ards the islands of the vast Pacific Ocean during the region’s maritime era.

 

But when the Malayo-Polynesians arrived (their immediate ancestors were the Austronesians), they already found smaller but much older settlements popula-ted by Aetas (who lived in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, the archipelago’s largest island) and the Ati people (who resided in the central por-tion of the archipelago called the Visayas) – both a dark-skinned group who migrated to the Philippines some say 30,000 years earlier and who share physi-cal commonalities with African and Australo-Melanesians.

 

DOING IT JUST RIGHT

 

Somewhere in the middle of this colour palette are the lighter-skinned Euro-pean-looking Filipinos descended mainly from Spanish ancestors, who colonized the Philippine Archipelago over 377- years ago. Their progenies also extend to some parts of Central and South America because of what used to be a very active Manila-Acapulco galleon trade in the Pacific Ocean. A town called Mexico in the Province of Pampanga, for example, is a community of Filipinos with evident traces of Mexican Mayans in their facial bearing. There are also Fili-pinos of American, English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Arabic and South Indian extractions.

 

On the other end of the spectrum are what others might call the “Asian-looking” Filipinos, but even the term “Asian-looking” is too broad because you can have the Chinese, Japanese and Korean owing to many entrepreneurial members of their stock who have decided to call the Philippines their home and who have recently been finding its beaches and golf courses irresistible.

 

So as it is, when you mix all shades of skin, you’ll end up with very interesting tones of olive, including the much sought-after ‘healthy tan’ free-of-any-ble-mishes look.

 

That’s why the Filipinos have a story that when the Creator of all things was “baking” humans, the first batch was overcooked and it turned out darker than planned. He then tried another batch but pulled it out too soon. So it turned out too pale-looking. Not wanting to over- and under do it again, he tried a third time paying much closer attention to his oven. More experienced this time around, he pulled out his third and last batch doing it “just right” – all were sumptuously golden brown and exclaimed with delight, “Ooooh là là, tu es belle!”

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