Sunday, May 17, 2015

Half Ilocano, Half Pilipino

"I'm half Ilocano."

I heard my eldest say. She was telling it to her playmates. She was only 5 years old. Although, it was true that her grandmother was Ilocano, I think, she was a bit proud that she can speak a few words of Ilocano, and, she felt that she can understand a bit of Ilocano too."Wen."

Once in a while, She repeats it to other playmates.

I think there is something about being "half"  that makes it interesting though. Like Hermione from harry potter movie, she's half wizard. Then there's Inuyasha who's also a half demon, Hiei  of ghost fighter, Nura of nurahiyon, and...a lot more I'm pretty sure.

After we moved to Baler, the kids found out that their tagalog sounded different from other kids. They were speaking nueva ecija tagalog,while the rest of the classmates were speaking baler tagalog. (It was a  little awkward at first.) so, perhaps to establish a unique identity, she started introducing herself as half Ilocano again.

I think a thorough explanation was needed.

Anak, did you know that your grand ma, that's mama, my mama's papa was 100% Bicolano? That makes mama, my mama 50% Bicolana...That makes me 1/4 or quarter Bicolana. That makes you what?

"Whaaat?" she said .( I don't know if she understood it or not, or...  was sleeping in class when fraction was discussed. )

She's five years old, and she was upset. ( I was telling her she was not a real half Ilocano afterall.)

I brought out a pen and started discussing our family tree. I drew it on a big paper starting from Her Great grand parents. We ended up with...  her dad was 50% Tagalog and 50%Ilocano, while, I her mom , was75%Tagalog  and  25%Bicolana.

She was still upset. She was now asking about percentages.

After going through the entire family tree...and cutting through the mathematical stuff, I just said that she was 100%  a good person and , also, 100%Filipino.

But, mommy... I can't be 12.5%Bicolana...I don't speak Bicol.


Anak, we can speak English, but that does not make us British.

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