Born and raised in Manila, I came to the US to marry my true love in the year 2000. Our son was born in April 2001. I am teaching him to speak some Tagalog/Filipino now and he already knows the names of his body parts "Paa, Ilong, Tenga etc." and he also knows how to count from one to ten (Isa to Sampu).
The funny thing is that I was "ispokening dollars" for most of my life and was often teased about my "American Twang" back in the Philippines. Although I could speak Filipino, I suppose I wasn't really thinking in the language. This all changed in college at the Ateneo where I took my Philosophy classes in Tagalog. Imagine studying existentialist philosophy in Tagalog?? I can also speak/understand Ilocano. Okey,ngarud!
At the moment the food I miss most from the Philippines is: TAPSILOG!!! The local rock scene is something I miss too, but thankfully, my old employers NU 107
have internet radio.
People ask if I still feel like Manila is home but this is what I reply: "Home is where my son and husband are, so for now it is, Burlington , NJ in the good ol' USA. But the Philippines, will always be my homeland." Now pass the bagoong...