Tim Tebow, the American Pilipino
By A. Mabini
Without fail, I find myself in a debate, often heated, when I declare Tebow’s American Pilipino identity.
The opposing thought always lacks a solid basis on why Tebow should not be labeled American Pilipino. I just get the sense that it is just impossible to believe that someone as white as Tebow can be Pilipino. Here me out.
When Pilipinos or individuals of non-American ethnicity are born in America, they refer to themselves as Pilipino Americans or fill in the blank American. So why is it such an issue for me to call Tebow an American Pilipino, given the fact that he was born in Manila.
In fact, I would even take it further and declare that Tim is more Pilipino than some Pilipino Americans I know of.
Tebow reflects on his Pilipino heritage by paying a visit as often as he can and is not timid about making his connections to the Philippines known to the public. I am willing to bet that every Pilipino who will read this article has experienced a moment when another Pilipino either shied away from their ethnic identity or made an awkward declaration that the Pilipino does not represent who they have become living outside las islas de las Pilipinas.
Furthermore, the Tim Tebow Foundation is proof that Tebow feels a connection with the country that provided him his first breath of air, the comforting warmth of the sun and the soul of a people that without a doubt reflects the story of the beaten, undercounted underdog that is the recurring theme of his career.
Tebow is more Pilipino than some Pilipino Americans. You know who you are. Tim’s conviction on his beliefs and his unapologetic approach of expressing his love for football, life, family and most importantly God is something to admire.
As a Pilipino American who looks for hope in any window that God opens, I find hope in Tebow and that he may awaken the disconnected Pilipino Americans who have as much potential as anyone to make an impact on the land that offered them or their parents their first breath of air, the comfort of a warm sun, the searching soul of a people.
Tim Tebow is one of my Pilipino brothers, albeit an American Pilipino.
A. Mabini was born in Davao City and raised in the Bronx. Send comments at email@example.com.