Archive for the 'Moving and Joining' Category

Valentine’s Day | A Family Affair

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

For at least 15 years, the Filipino Senior Citizens of Central Ohio (FilSeCo) always hosted a Valentine’s Day Dinner-Dance Party. It was always well-attended by families, adult children, little grandkids, and always open to friends and family. It was a semi-formal affair where everyone dressed up, had a sit down fancy dinner, then dancing after with a live band or a local DJ. In other words, good clean fun and truly A Family Affair.

This year, our Lolos and Lolas (now in their 70s and 80s) have decided to hang up their boots. It was too sad to think that there will no longer be a V-Day party so PASCO, the longest running socio-cultural organization decided to host it for the community. I couldn’t help but think this was like the symbolic passing of the torch but what a nice legacy to leave to us. It was like they were telling us, work hard, study well but don’t take yourselves too seriously. Once in awhile, dress up, mind your ‘Ps’ and ‘Qs’ and have some good clean fun with your friends family….oh, and don’t forget to show us your boogie.


Maraming Salamat po, FILSECO.


My Almost Family

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Growing up, I was surrounded by family, literally living behind our home, beside us and everyone lived no more than 20 miles away from each other. Visiting Grandma was a weekly occasion. Because everyone was nearby, I was surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members. Child care was never an issue. There was a solid sense of security being around all of them.


I want my kids to have the same experience but with my family living halfway across the globe and Tom’s family spread across the country, this is just not possible.


Making friends is not hard for me but making friends with other adults raising children with similar ages as my kids needed a bit more effort. It took years but here we are — my almost family


Needless to say, the friends I’ve come to know in Columbushave enriched our lives tremendously. They truly are now my family. We’ve watched our children grow, we exchange parenting tips, we watch each other’s children so that we can sneak out for a movie, coffee or even just a quiet trip to the grocery.


It truly takes a village to raise kids.


I’m incredibly fortunate.

On Migrating and Assimilating – Part 1 (On Thai Speak)

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

I have lived in 3 countries through my 39 years. The Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. Though migrating might ordinarily be perceived as a stressful event, I actually thrive in it. Perhaps that’s because on the two occasions I have, I was a single, adult woman.

Living in Thailand, I had to adjust not just to the culture, but the language. I follow the old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I find that Thai people speak very gently and this is actually purposeful. The speaking in gentler tones is all part of the whole societal hierarchy that citizens abide by. Speaking in gentle tones mean respect for the other person, whether they are deemed above or below you in hierarchy. To me, it is actually a helpful exercise in staying calm and collect….speaking in a gentler tones. On the other hand, I can see that for a Westerner, the speaking in a gentler tone can be perceived as passivity (as in the opposite of assertive). I remember Tom observing that their ‘speak’ almost sounds apologetic even though it’s not.

I learned enough survival Thai to get me by for the two years I lived there. Enough to tell a cab driver to ‘stop’, ‘turn Left,’ ‘turn Right’ and to bargain at the flea markets. I was also able to assimilate myself to speaking in gentler (what might sound sing-songy) tone although if I pronounce words real well, I find that I get longer responses that I don’t understand.

Today, I remember my Thai experience and use the same gentler tones when needed. Mostly I find that I miss the kinder, gentler manner in which they speak and wish I were on the streets of Ramkhamheng (Assumption University (Thailand)) just one more time.