Growing up a first generation American/Filipino was a bit confusing at times. My family spoke one of the hundreds of dialects called visiya, but we weren't supposed to speak it since we were to speak english. I remember once when a caucasian Doctor came up to me speaking Tagalog and I was so embarrassed because I had no idea what he was saying. A lot of my friends had blonde hair or green eyes and I always wondered how I got stuck with the boring black hair and brown eyes and when I found out that most families did not eat white rice with every meal THAT is when things got really confusing. I grew up hearing so many stories about this placed called the Philippines. It was like this faraway, mythical land that I was somehow connected to. A place where my Lola (grandmother) was once a teacher. A place where my Lolo (grandfather) was a father to nine children, but now was dead and buried there. A place where my Mom played as a child once. A place where some crazy lady had thousands of shoes. A place where most of my family got away from in order to live a better life for themselves and their children here in America. I likened it to a third world Narnia, but instead of just walking in to a wardrobe you had to take a long grueling flight to get to it.
Tonight I walk in to that wardrobe otherwise known as LAX to reach my Pinoy Narnia. I don't expect to become a Queen in this land or save it from the White Witch or anything like that. Although, I do expect there may be a Filipino equivalent of Mr Tumnus. I do imagine that when my feet touch the ground some sort of electric shock will surge through me and awaken a piece of me I never knew existed. I look forward to roam the lands of my ancestors and meet cousins I grew up seeing pictures of. I wish to learn more about my people and their culture and in turn learn something about myself. I can't wait to come face to face with a tarsier. I hope to make the Philippines more than just this place.
I will be documenting my epic journey with my trusty 5D Mark 2 and my 50mm 1.4 lens.
Mabuhay and prosper.
And, so there is at least a photo in this post. A self-portrait I took in 2009 where I was tagged to list 16 things about myself on Flickr. Not much has changed, except for number 14 thanks goodness. And, best of all number 2. Soon.
1.I am Filipino 2.I have never been to the Philippines 3.I love to travel 4.I have a fear of flying 5.I am really quiet 6.I talk too much 7.I love horror 8.I love Hello Kitty 9.I am not scared of monsters 10.I am scared of Richard Simmons 11.I keep my desk at work immaculate 12.I have a messy home 13.I am really bad at math 14.I work in accounting 15.I hate pictures of myself 16.I take way too many self-portraits