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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Multiligual

Many Tsinoys and Tsinays like me learn to be multilingual at an early age, mainly because we are exposed to so many languages while we were growing up. We learned the following: Fukien (a Chinese dialect from the province of Fujian, China) by parents and grandparents, Filipino (mainly Tagalog) from our nannies, from most people around us (of course!), English from school and from Sesame Street, and Chinese Mandarin from school.

It depends on the family, though. I know a lot of Tsinoys/Tsinays who can't speak fluent Chinese already, much less read and write the characters. I'm hoping that I could educate my children with Chinese, but it's difficult to try to carry on a conversation with them in Chinese without offending my Pinoy husband. Sigh.

I haven't learned other languages, though. I'd need an online translator or a franklin electronic dictionary in order to figure out French or Spanish. It's a good thing for me that these languages are not commonly used in our side of the world.

I'm continually amazed by people who can speak a lot of languages FLUENTLY. I can claim fluency in the 4 languages I mentioned, but I feel stumped sometimes if I have to try to speak in 1 pure language. The tendency for me is to mix languages. Oh well, the downside of growing up with a lot of languages. But I guess the advantages outweigh the disadvantages!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caught in between

All these trouble regarding the Spratleys make me really really sad, because we Chinese Filipinos would be caught right smack in the center of the problem. It's like being torn between two lovers and being hard pressed to choose one.

It was probably easier when both China and the Philippines had a common enemy. My grandfather was already here in the Philippines during World War II. While I doubt that he ever held even bushnell rifle scopes during the war, he did his part. He was a trader, but at the time he already had a growing business. What he did was hide the men who were fighting the Japanese soldiers in his warehouses. He would never be remembered in history, since his role wasn't really that "dramatic", but I am proud of him for risking not only his business, but also his very life to fight for what he believed in.

Our situation now is very much different. We are of 100% Chinese parentage and we were born and live in the Philippines. To whom do we owe our allegiance? Pinoys would say that we should owe our allegiance to the Philippines, the land where we live, while mainlanders would say that we should owe our allegiance to the land of our ancestors. It really is much easier to say things when you are not in anothers' shoes.

I really hope that the Spratleys situation would improve soon so we wouldn't have to be caught in the crossfire.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Canada

My brother is in Canada. He's now a permanent resident there. He told me that it's a nice place, maybe I should consider moving there with my family. I told him that if I do so, I probably would have to take another round of board exams before I can practice medicine, and I'm really not sure if I want to do that. The thing is, not all occupations can be immediately translatable if you move to another country. I do not think a Philippine attorney could simply be a Texas Work Injury Attorney just because he wants to.

I know that my medical license is good only for the Philippines. If I go elsewhere, I am not considered a licensed doctor. At my age, I am quite tired of taking exams. Told my brother that I'll just become a problogger or something if ever I migrate. Hahaha!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Independence Day

The Philippine Independence Day (June 12) just happens to fall on a Sunday. Unlike in previous years, there's no "holiday economics" anymore, so there would not be a non working day during the weekday (usually Monday) in lieu of the Sunday holiday. Sigh.

I noticed, however, that for most Pinoys, Independence Day celebrations are no longer as celebrated as before. Aside from being, hopefully, a respite from work, there is nothing special in that day. Of course, there's the obligatory government ceremonies and celebration, but at the level of common Pinoy, there really is no feeling of it being a big deal. Unlike in the US, where there are Independence Day parades, fireworks, parties complete with July 4th Invitations, and all that jazz. Which is sad, because it actually shows how little pride the average Pinoy has in his country.

I'd love to be corrected.  So if you think that I'm wrong in saying this, do leave a comment and cite examples of how Pinoys are proud of our country.

Renovations

My mom is in a mini renovating mood again. This time is our clean kitchen. She had the wallpapers removed and painted instead. I kinda miss the wallpapers, though. I found it cute, with its onion and scallions design. Too bad I wasn't able to take a picture of it before they took it down. Well, it's been 17 years since we put up those wallpapers. They've been there since we started living here. They now look a little sad because they look quite dirty already.

A little over two years ago, we had several months of renovation, which included repair of the leaking ceilings, changing of the water pipes, and repair of the broken laminate floor. It was more extensive then, took much more time and much more money.

I guess these are just some of the things that are already a given if and when you have a house -- the repair and maintenance.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Need to recharge

Last week, both the hubby and I got sick. While bonding over our illness, we realized that we may be just a little burned out. Trying to earn a living and trying to be hands on parents (or as hands on as possible) is not an easy balancing act, and I guess something just had to give. Added to that is that our idea of rest is simply sleeping -- with our kiddoes. No massage, none of those fancy premier dead sea scrubs. None. Our idea for a date is waking up when the kids are asleep and watching a DVD while munching on chips and drinking soda. I'm not complaining. We realize that it's a stage that we have to go through, but we also realize that we need to slow down sometimes from the rat race, take time out for ourselves and not just for the kids, and enjoy a movie, dinner or a date once in a while.