I always viewed Japanese and Philippine cultures as existing in entirely separate spheres, until I was well on my way to Kyoto: I looked out the window, and saw the same familiar rice paddies I grew up with back home.
Rural Filipinas have flipped the dating script: Now they’re the ones shopping for Western men.
You may not realize it, but the person on the other side of your customer service phone call might be transgender. On calls, Filipino workers can safely adopt women’s voices, names, and clothing, all while earning a decent wage. But their success at work doesn’t protect them from the discrimination they face outside of it.
It’s one thing to be amused that a someone used to be a kid with braces; it’s another for their present self to be compared to a body they’re alienated from