I have gotten two recommendations to read this blog, COCONUTER, in a span of two days, so yes, I’ve visited, but I haven’t had the chance to really dig deep and react because his blog is on blogspot.com and for some reason is filtered by the company server. =( Same reason why I cannot blog while at work because my server, blog.com, is blogged.. este, blocked. I have Cora and SassyLady to thank for the recommendation.
I have been raving about our dear Texan-Pinoy nomad to my husband and find so much inspiration in this young man. I actually wish my own son will one day grow up to be like him. It inspires me no end as a Mommy to a Fil-Am that there is hope that my son will still identify with his parent’s and his heritage when he is older even if he is raised here in the United States. Not that I would take his giving up acceptance to an Ivy League college sitting down, but I think this journey of self discovery is sometimes a necessary and good choice for one who has the means and character to do it.
We have a friend who married early and divorced by age 34 who turned his back on a well-paying expat rated job with no less than Citigroup in Asia two years ago, resigning from an SVP position and has since toured Europe, gone to Nepal, climbed the rocks on the West Coast, and made Manila his home base again during this haitus. He begins working again this coming week. I am sure his experience traipsing around the globe, camping out and driving in a VW Combi around Europe is truly priceless.
Our young friend, David, though, started early — and his sojourn is all the much more meaningful because he has chosen to explore the land of his roots. He could’ve opted to go backpacking through Europe, but no, last I read, he was in Zambales. While there are a ton of resorts in that province, my own exposure to this province speaks of a very rural landscape and way of life.
And yes, he is fluent in Tagalog! (Inspiration hits me again as I keep translating common words to my two and a half year old son who can now say he’s had enough by saying “Tama ma.. dami na kanin.”) If the Latinos and Koreans can do it, why do we Filipinos allow our children to lose their mother tongue when they start hitting school?) If he can speak Tagalog, and he has that sense of adventure, I know he will survive his adventure into his forefather’s motherland.
Angel’s Ninong is an IT executive in a financial services company here in New York. A twenty-something NYU graduate, he lamely tries to speak the language but he tries — and he is trying to learn because he told me once that he thought of studying Spanish formally, but then a friend chided him for thinking about another language when he cannot even speak Tagalog, so he has tried to learn the language better since.
And if you look at his profile, goodness, the guy can give some of the trying hard wannabes on the Kapuso and Kapamilya networks a run for their money. This young man has the looks, the brains, and most important of all, a heart big enough to have room to love the country of his ethnicity enough to actually want to be a part of it. Part of me asks — is he for real? And we all know he is. And a smile crosses my face, and I get that warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart. I remember my own Fil-American boy, and I wish that when he is older, he will find himself going back to his ethnic roots in much the same way. I will not protest if he tells me he wants to see the place where his father and I grew up. I will encourage him if he tells me he wants to help his kababayans and contribute to helping this struggling country. Noble dreams — but realistic ones. Thanks to David, I know that dream is liveable and not too lofty an ideal.
David, I wish you luck. And I’ll be here lurking in the shadows, but still rooting for you on this personal journey of yours.