My husband is Filipino. When people see him, they are always confused about his ethnicity because he looks mixed. We were curious about his DNA but we were disappointed with the Ancestry DNA results we received. Why? When it comes to the East Asian region the results were not nearly as specific as the results are for say European or African ancestry (like mine were). His ethnicity estimate results came out to be 73% Asia (67% Asia East, 5% Asia South, and a trace of Asia Central), and 27% Pacific Islander (Polynesia).
According to the genealogy DNA results, these are the areas specific to each DNA region:
- Asia East: Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Palau
- Asia South: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and also found in Myanmar (Burma)
- Asia Central: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and also found in Iran, Pakistan
- Polynesia: Tonga, Samoa, and also found in Fiji, New Zealand (Maori), Micronesia, Philippines, Melanesia, Hawaii
Being that he is Filipino, no new information about his ancestry was gained from these results. He is 67% Asia East and 27% Pacific Islander but both of those regions include the Philippines. One of the primary reasons we ordered this DNA test was to learn what part of East Asia are his ancestors from. Is it China? Korea? Japan? Chinese people tend to think he is mixed with Chinese, Korean people think he is mixed with Korean, and Japanese people think he is part Japanese. Unfortunately we still do not know what his unique mix is.
Despite the lack of specificity in the DNA results, the information given in the report was very interesting and I learned about the major regions in my husband’s chart.
Apparently the majority of Chinese and Koreans are considered ethnic Han which makes them one of the largest ethnic groups. In the 18th and 19th century most of Southeast Asia and Indonesia was colonized by Europe, and Spain controlled the Philippines. During World War II Japan expanded their empire and occupied Korea, China, the Philippines, and most of the Indonesian archipelago. Eventually Japan was defeated and most nations claimed independence from colonial rule.
The Pacific islands were the last places on earth to be settled by humans and there are 2 popular theories about the migration pattern of Pacific Islanders or Polynesians:
- Polynesians originated from Formosa (now Taiwan). Austronesian migrants went south to the Philippines, then continued to maritime Southeast Asia
- Austronesian roots do not lie in the north, but deeper Southeast Asia
Ancestry DNA Review for Filipinos
If a person wants to know what part of East Asia their ancestors are from, I would not recommend Ancestry DNA at the moment. I know that their DNA reference library is expanding and that they will continue to give more specific results as they become available. And of course when that happens I will post an update here and post the new and improved DNA ethnicity results!