By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
All Things Asian Event: April 2-16
Zara’s All Things Asian Event Post:
A Tiny Snippet of Tagalog
The blogs: That Hapa Chick; Live, Laugh, I Love Books; and My Words Ate Me are hosting the All Things Asian Event featuring guest posts about anything and everything about the Asian culture!
My guest post blogging interview will be featured on one of the host blogs on April 13.
But, until then, each and every day, a guest post will be featured until April 16, 2012, so be sure to drop by and visit the hosting blogs! Just click on the All Things Asian button above that links to the host blog.
As for me, I couldn’t pass up the chance to post a few articles as part of the All Things Asian Event on my own blog, alongside this important event because quite simply put: I’m Asian! And I’m especially honoured and driven to share the beauty of Asia with my readers to foster awareness, community, and inclusivity—all things that are especially important to me.
I was born in the early 70’s to two newly-landed Filipino immigrants to Canada, so I was born both to native Canadian soil and to a descendant line of a rich Filipino culture, of which I will always remain somewhat elusive to as a Balikbayan.
A balikbayan refers to Philippine nationals who are permanently residing abroad including their spouses and children, regardless of nationality or country of birth. It also refers to those of Filipino descent who acquired foreign citizenship and permanent status abroad. (From: Definition of Terms: Philippine Tourism)
And even the type of packaging we, Balikbayans, take with us in travel are named as such. You can always spot a Filipino travelling back to his or her home country at the airport because it is by cultural tradition and obligation that we take with us foreign gifts and souvenirs that we bear to our family, friends, and loved ones in the Philippines. So much so, in necessity and in quantity that they fill up these boxes. And Filipinos never just take one! These Balikbayan Boxes: large, labelled, and hefty boxes are filled with goodies and tokens of love, hope, and even sometimes the affirmation of financial and social success abroad.
Even my parents are born to two different townships and two different dialects, of which there are no less than 175 distinct languages in the Philippines. My mother is Kampangpangan and my father, Pangasinan.
And the difference between the two are more than just the language of dialect, but also a variation of taste and ingredients in food.
The official language of the island of the Philippines is Tagalog and English, of which most people understand, read, write, and speak, but the mother tongue of someone’s dialect is one that predominates and affects its owner’s understanding of community and cultural practices. Where there is an ideology of the “melting pot” in the United States or the diversity of multiculturalism in Canada, Filipinos’ claim to their dialect is one that identifies them by their place of origin, their region, their community. Where Tagalog may be the official mother language of the country, each dialect is like a variant and distinctive spice to the tongue!
Here’s a great video lesson from an American (with a Filipina wife) who takes the time to teach us a little Tagalog from his perspective. Great video and great accent!
Come back tomorrow, where I will share a little bit more about the Philippines.
For more posted features by The Bibliotaphe’s Closet for the All Things Asian Event, visit the Event Page here.
Until then, mag-ingat ka, ha! (trans. take care, okay!)