When I was a little girl, I signed up for an international penpal. I picked Australia because I was intrigued by the land of koalas and funny accents. When I got my first letter, with vital stats and photograph and everything, I was disappointed to learn that my new penpal was named Chan and she was Chinese. Chinese! That’s not what I signed up for. I remember being so disappointed. It didn’t occur to me until a couple years ago that maybe she had the same reaction when she saw the mug of a scrawny Filipino girl — not a blond, blue-eyed American beauty — staring back at her.