To my fellow Kababayan: If you're reading this, that means you've found my blog like others did! I'm glad that my blog is serving some purpose to connect fellow Filipinos in Charlotte and nearby! Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any question. Know more of me and how to connect with me via my other blog : Zen Ventures. Or join Toasty Brown Online Forum by clicking on the brown box on the right and let your voice be heard! Salamat!!! - Maricris

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I've been privileged to guest write for 8 Asians since last week. I just emailed Ernie (Editor) my second post and hopefully, my final third this week, of which will eventually make me a regular writer on the site after that. Ernie's requirements were pretty straightforward & he made it conducive for potential writers to be more natural & free-flowing with their idea articles.

Needless to say, I'm ecstatic to have found a site dedicated to being Asian. The same principle that I have with Toasty Brown : to connect and dissect, if I must say, the kind of life we live & how we adapted to this foreign culture, we all now call HOME. Surprisingly, Toasty Brown has evolved more into a hub for people looking to connect to other fellow Filipinos in the area. It seem like this is the ONLY FILIPINO blog in Charlotte & sorrounding area. The first link that pops up among the list when you type Filipino in Charlotte according to those who found it. I should give it a try & google these claim. In a sense I'm proud that this blog has found GREAT purpose in blogosphere!

I just wish there were more Filipinos in this side of town.

To read my articles on 8Asians click HERE and share your point of view.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Madame Cory Aquino - Paalam!

January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009
picture courtesy of wikipedia

I'm saddened to learn today of the recent death of former President Cory Aquino. An Icon that pioneered People Power and the first Female President of the Philippines who has revolutionized the status and power of women all over the world. The President that gave a whole new meaning to the Yellow Ribbon! A plain housewife that rose to power and ruled not just the government but an entire country. It's not surprising that even President Obama himself was saddened by her death. Cory is a legend.

picture courtesy of

She will always be remembered. Her name will forever be etched in history books. Farewell Madame Cory! You're life has been and always will be an inspiration to all of us Filipinos! Mabuhay ka!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Language Immersion - a Lost Art ?

I watch in silent disbelief as a couple talk to their child in English. Not that there's anything wrong with English, but the fact that they do, made me shake my head.

The couple are both Filipinos {like me} who speaks fluent Filipino dialect. "Why are they talking to their child in English?" Don't they value their heritage, their language? Enough to teach their child a foreign language rather than theirs? "What gives?"

In my 6 years of living in the US, 95% of Filipinos I know especially those married to fellow Filipino and speaks fluent Filipino language, rears their child speaking only the English language or knows a few words of their parents' native language or not at all. It continues to baffle me as to why this is a common phenomena amongst Filipinos living abroad.

In my case, I'm married to an American which made immersion a rather tricky task for me. It was agreed after debating, that we'll establish English as our daughters' first language since I'm outnumbered anyway. Two to one. At this point, my daughter can banter with me in my language. It's still a work in progress but I'm delighted with the result of my efforts.

Why then is it too difficult for others to pass on their heritage? I personally, don't want mine to end with me. I want my daughter to carry on my heritage and legacy after I'm long gone. It will be a gift she can be proud of.

So, I continue to seek the answer. Just recently, I came across a Filipina with a Filipina mom and American dad. She only speaks English. She is married to a Filipino who speaks fluent Filipino dialect and they have a daughter, who only speaks English as well. I quizzed her why she never learned the Filipino dialect. Her and her Filipina Mom both replied that "her dad forbid it!" I was shocked. I thot it was selfish and cruel. For whatever reason her mom decided not to oppose it, I will never want to know. What about her daughter? I'm beyond puzzlement.

Another Filipina lady I spoke with who have Filipino parents told me that she regretted the fact that her parents never taught her their language. She said that "she'll never understand why they didn't"... That she would have loved it if she knew the language.

These are just few of the many Filipinos I have encountered who are encased in this phenomena. I really don't understand why. Is it the lack of self-esteem rooted in our dysfunctional culture? The hunger to belong and be accepted? Or simply blinded by our own pride?

In comparison, I've noted that Chinese, Indians {from India}, other Asians, even Hispanics have a very strong adherence to keeping their heritage intact as evident in their kids. Why can't we be like them?

Answers still escapes me. I may never know. I will always wonder...

** If you have any comments or opinion in this subject matter, feel free to voice it out. I might just find the answers through you!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Accent what?

"your voice sounds different from the first time I've spoken to you"... said my "penpal" of 20+ some years. Yes, I have a penpal (I was lucky to experience the olden ways of connecting to someone via snail mail} but that's another story to be told. She came to honor me with an after-christmas visit after a few years of respite of not seeing each other. Last time was when my daughter, who is now 4 years old, was born.

Odd too was that now I understand her better. She has the typical southern drawl that to a "virgin" ear, would sound more like nothing but gibberish! Not that it's a bad thing, but to me at that time, it was! Before you'd hear me asking quite a few times this : "say that again" - like a broken record! - it was frustrating at times! So what changed?

I have always spoken english even when I was in the Philippines. It was more of an obligation to, especially when I worked for a Top 500 company that caters to executives, foreign investors and moreso, Government delegates. Speaking it on regular basis has honed my fluency of the language but never considered the fact that it would one day change my "accent" as well.

I'm in the US for 5 years now. Unknowingly, my way of speaking has evolved to something of a different character. My immersion to the different accents and ways it is spoken around me on a daily basis has trained my brain to comprehend words better. I have not spoken my own language on a regular basis for all these 5 years. What's my tongue to do? It adapted itself to what it speaks on daily basis! - English.

There's 170 spoken languages in the Philippines and they've all got their own respective accents, that even when one is speaking our universal language "tagalog", it's easy to define that one is from this region and speaks this dialect. I akin this to the regional accents spoken in the US. The trick to identifying it and adapting to it is all about exposure and immersion.

Even my long time friends back in the Philippines, has noticed this change. Although, I can't say whether it shocked them or awed them. Native speakers here could not tell the difference. Most of them think I was born here, grew up here or has lived in the US before I decided to settle here for good. To give you a definitive idea, my tonal inflictions resembles that of from someone in Main state New York or Florida which to me has no accent at all. Plain and simply spoken english. But, my fluency and way of speaking it has earned respect from fellow Filipinos. Some pure me, it's the reward of adapting and learning...

It makes a whole lot of difference just being able to wade through life in a vast culture and come out unscathed. Just like a survive, you blend in with your surroundings...

I speak 3 Filipino dialects, English and a bit of Arabic. I believe, I'm blessed.

How about you? Have you been struggling with transitioning from your "native" accent to that which is "acceptable" where you live right now?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Dragon Awakes

It's been forever since I have updated this blog and for the year 2009 - "the Dragon must wake up" and fly to new heights to venture into the world of blogosphere. There's a lot to say, a lot to posts and so many stories to tell...

First off, New Year is the most celebrated holiday in Asia. New Year has come and gone in the US for me, yet every year, I have this great yearning or crazy wish to be right in the Philippines just to experience the excitement akin to New year again. Even if it was only for a day! I miss the noise, the firecrackers and its' grand display of beautiful art that fills the sky at the strike of midnight like if it was 4th of July! Then, there's the Media Noche {Midnight dinner} that culminates the welcoming of the new year. So much of it is missed.

Being in the US is so different. As vastly different as our culture is to it. Yet you learn to adapt. All we did {like how it is for as far as I can remember} was stay home, watch TV {this year, we caught up on our downloaded TV shows} and switched to regular programming close to midnight to partake in the countdown in NY while the ball drops! The honor of turning on the switch went to the Clintons this year {Bill and Hillary} - call that exciting!

ah to be somewhere else during New Year!

Are you like me, hankering for the things gone?

Zen Ventures: My 100th Post and the New Year

Sunday, July 27, 2008

ZenVentures: Life in Asia Part II - Conserving H2O with Tabo and Balde

I have been posting a topic on the way we Asians live and how we can incorporate them in our US life in order to conserve and save some money, especially with how the economy is here right now. Our gas prices have been going up and up away like Superman without the cape! :) - fortunately, just yesterday (saturday), I saw that the prices went down for a bit. The highest in Charlotte that I saw was $4.00+ depending where the gas station is situated. Yesterday was $3.89! not much but promising. Life here is not paradise like everyone thinks back home in Pinas - kayod kabayo ka dito! Kung wala kang training sa "pagtitipid" eh patay ka! The life portrayed in so many US movies and TV series that a lot of Asians watch in their homes doesn't even scratch the surface of the reality of living in the US. It's all but propaganda, if I must say! Those are all but fictions. Sabi nga nila, you can't really understand unless you experience it yourself. Life here is just the same as anywhere else. We earn dollars, we spend dollars! - Anyway, check out my Ec0-frugal tips and if you have any thoughts or ideas to add on, please don't hesitate to let me know. Maraming salamat po!

ZenVentures: Life in Asia Part II - Conserving H2O with Tabo and Balde

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Filipino Alert

After less than 2 months of blogging & being in the ether wave, my main blog Zen Ventures , finally paid off. A Filipina who lives in Mint Hill & works in Mecklenburg County actually found her way to my blog and made contact. This is just great! If you read this post , which is also posted here, only then will you understand why.

I am happy that Joy found me. Isn't it a little ironic in a funny way, that her name is Joy ? Joy found me...nice ring huh! I believe this is the start of a more wonderful encounters to come. Till then, I'll keep crossing my fingers (and toes!) .