There is a common quote among my faith, "Come what may and love it." I haven't always loved living in The Philippines. It has definitely been a journey, one I am so grateful to be on. I am better because of it. My hope for A Momma Abroad both on social media and in person is to help others find happiness here. It may not be easy for some of you, but you will always find what you are looking for. While on this search for happiness I have found that the more I embrace the culture the deeper my roots sink and the more fulfilled I am. Although I am clearly not, part of me feels Filipino. It is a gift this country and culture have given to me, embracing me wholeheartedly. It might sound silly but a part of my heart will forever belong to The Pilipinas. So I dedicate this post to those who are Filipino or are on this journey to becoming Filipino. I will follow Kyle's lead of Becoming Filipino for this post. It may be kind of corny but whatever, I'm going for it.
You may becoming Filipino if you...
Are a pandesal addict.
Are a suman, turon or hot tsokolat addict.
Are a mango addict.
A rice addict.
Consume multiple varieties of bananas a day. :) Here we have the perfect carbohydrate to protein ratio in the Saba variety.
Can make your own coconut milk. Bonus: eat it while doing the Pilipino squat. Eat a whole fish. Except the eyes. I just can't do that yet. My American side keeps telling me no.
Can remove the shrimp peel like a boss. I don't do it well but I can peel it na! But again, my American side refuses to eat shrimp heads, maybe in a few years. Eat with a spoon and fork. Crave Filipino breakfast before you take home leave in America. You double fist ice candy.You eat queso and ube ice cream...and like it.
Prefer the wet market for its vibrant colors and cheap prices.
Stop for monay on your walk home. Have a favorite bakery. Have a sorbetero in your hood. See your food in the sea first. You may becoming Filipino if you find your kid at the neighbors using a machete to open a coconut. One of your babies first words is paa. If your kid's school requires a toothbrush and paste. South East Asia wins for oral hygiene after eating. The American in me will never get over the brushing of teeth in public restrooms. Maybe for my next Becoming Filipino post.
Your kid uses a tabo like a boss.
Make your own walis tingting. Get excited when this very sanitary and nice toilet greets you on your road trip. You may becoming Filipino if you have to remind yourself to flush the toilet paper when you visit America instead of throw it in the rubbish bin. This doesn't stop you from shopping at a favorite market. Get excited about the Dry Section and the hum of the sewing machines. Your choice of Christmas decorations now include parols and this doesn't even phase you when they are out in September. No number of parols is too many parols, right? Get overly involved in your child's Christmas contest at school. We all know this is only for the parents. You may becoming Filipino if you have a balloon guy...A leather guy...A towel guy...A hasa guy...
A barber and masseuse all in one...
A pearl pusher.
Sing karaoke and don't care how bad you are because this is an innate part of your culture and it makes you happy. Joke lang. You guys are great singers, I am not. Live in taxis or Ubers with no restraint system. (We now have our own car with great restraint systems. Wahoo!)Your kids have playdates on trikes. Your pasalubong for family in America looks like this. Return home from The U.S. like this. (Of course we all know real Filipino's have like 10 of these.) Your kid performs a singing and dance number in front of a few hundred people for their year end program. Your kid asks for a towel in the back of his shirt.
Your child knows what Mano is and blesses the neighbor's driver.
Finally have a barkada.
Have a yaya who is more family than employee. We love you magical Chanda Poppins!
This video cracked me up. Go and watch it and see how Filipino you are. :)
*You can videos of my kids blessing our neighbors, counting in Tagalog and speaking in a Filipino accent on my Instagram account: amommabroad.