What does it mean to be a Filipino in Canada? It is common to connect with our roots through food, dancing, karaoke, and learning/speaking Tagalog. But what does it mean if we do not address the material conditions in the Philippines? Why are we proud of being Filipino?
In the Philippines, I learned to blend in with the crowd because no one wants to be that “walang hiya” who stands out and becomes the subject of everyone’s tsismis (gossip). And since the adults around me didn’t (or couldn’t) talk about what was really on their mind, despite the hardships I could see they experienced - that culture of never losing face runs deep - I got to believing that what I felt and what was on my mind didn’t really matter, either.Continue reading