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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » Big Little Man: In Search Of My Asian Self by Alex Tizon » User review

I really enjoyed the insights in Big Little Man.

  • Jun 19, 2014

Big Little Man is an  enjoyable book that is part biography and part observation.  Alex Tizon teaches journalism at the University of Oregon.  He is  of Filipino ancestry.  I am of Japanese and Chinese ancestry, but I feel connected to a larger community of people that includes Filipino and Chinese people.  Tizon writes about being mistaken for a Japanese person while being confronted at gun point as a teenager in New York   He also writes about his fascination with white women in his youth.

  Tizon writes about his perceptions about the dearth of Asian leading men in the movies  Edge of Tomorrow is a film starring Tom Cruise.  It is based on a Japanese film, but Tom Cruise is in it  I found this to be interesting.   I am sure that are Japanese actors out there, but I guess there is no one famous enough to play this role for  American audiences.   John Cho is one of my favorite actors.  Tizon mentions him as an actor who is successful in comedic and dramatic parts.   He has starred in the Harold and Kumar comedy movies and the recent Star Trek reboots.

 One of Tizon's perceptions is that the trend of white men to date Asian women.  He notes that is more difficult for an Asian man to date a white woman. I found this to be true in my experiences of trying to date white women.  I learned the Filipino phrases mahal kita and bahala na.  Mahal Kita means I love you.  Bahala na means whatever will be will be.  There are many Filipino people in Hawaii where I live.  I can use these phrases to make new friends.  He provides examples of successful Filipino men from Hawaii.  He mentions Byron Acohido.  He is a journalist who won the Pulitzer prize for his investigation of the airline industry.  He also mentions Ben Cayetano.  He served as governor of Hawaii for many years.  His political influence is still strong in Hawaii.  I have met both of these men and have favorable impressions of them.   He devotes another chapter to the concept of Wen Wu.  Wen Wu is defined as an ideal man.  The ideal man is someone who can be intellectual and thoughtful.  Wen Wu is also a man who can be instinctual and aggressive.  Wen Wu sounds like another way of saying yin yang.  This is not a new concept, but these are certainly character traits that I hope to develop more in my personality.

 Tizon spends another chapter writing about his late father.  He struggled to find an identity and a steady career in America,.  This is in stark contrast to his mother who became a physician  Tizon learned the value of hard work and forgiveness from both  his parents.  He has been happily married to the same woman for twenty years and is the father to two daughters.   He attributes his successful marriage to the fact that his wife is part Filipino. Tizon is five foot seven inches tall.  I don't think that this is short, but he considers himself to be short.  I am five foot tall and not as skinny as Alex Tizon.   I am becoming comfortable with my physical stature. I am also learning to appreciate the opportunities I have been given to work in theater.

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June 20, 2014
Nice story!
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