As many of you guys know,
I was born in Philippines and moved to Canada,
when I was seven years old.
It wasn’t for another 15 years that I would return
after I graduated from university.
I was 22 and my parents figured
it was time we all went back to visit.
Now, 15 years away from your homeland can really change you.
Although my parents did their best
to preserve the culture at home,
I kind of just stopped speaking Tagalog.
I was able to fully understand it
with my parents and other Filipino adults spoke to me,
but ended up just replying in English.
I still use a few terms like saying ”Opo” to my elders,
And “Let’s eat” to tell everyone it’s time to eat.
And “Mmm…smell good” when I let out a fart.
But other than a few phrases,
I had a lot of trouble keeping up a conversation.
if I needed to reply in Tagalog as well.
So I was pretty nervous going back,
having to meet relatives that I barely remember,
catching up with my cousins who were all grown up like me,
and just adjusting myself back into the way of life in the Philippines.
I think language was the hardest part.
When people spoke to me,
I knew what words and phrases to reply with.
But it didn’t feel right coming out of my mouth,
so, when in doubt,
I just ended up speaking English but with a Filipino accent.
They knew English well over there.
It was considered the second language along with Spanish.
Although my relatives were cool with it,
I was always worried to speak to strangers.
“The whole way there.”, my mom kept warning us,
specifically my younger sister and I
since we spoke the least Tagalog.
To “Avoid speaking out loud
because if we’re in the jeepney and they hear you,
they’ll know you’re not from here
and want to kidnap you and hold you for ransom.”
So the first week or so,
whenever we go out to eat or shop,
I have to pretend like a mute
in fear of my kidneys getting stolen.
希望我的父母 阿姨 叔叔和表兄弟们
And just hope my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins
can communicate for me.
It wasn’t until we went to this one salon
that I realized it didn’t even matter.
My mom and sisters decided to get a mani-pedi and facial treatment
and they extended the invitation to me.
My dad was off hanging out with his brother
所以我决定 “酷 耶 我也要美美哒”
so I decided, “Cool, yeah! Let’s make me beautiful.”
So we get there and my mom and my older sister go first,
I’m chilling in the lobby,
but it was kind of a small and intimate place.
So I was still able to speak with my mom and sister,
along with the employees who were working on them.
The two ladies are having a conversation with each other,
and then I hear, ” Gago in denim Coriana.”
And I understood what she said right away,
because as I mentioned, I could understand Tagalog well,
I just had trouble speaking.
At first I didn’t realize what they meant,
because my younger sister and I were the only ones
waiting in the lobby.
And I got kind of intrigued like,
“Whoa! There’s Koreans here? In Mindoro?”
But then I realized,
“Oh, they’re talking about me.”
Because although I’m Filipino,
I’m on the lighter skinned end of the spectrum,
and Filipinos are generally known to be darker skinned.
Even though I have small slanted eyes,
As I was like, Me? Korean?
I usually get Chinese or Vietnamese or Thai or whatever,
but, “Sure, OK. That’s kind of rare.”
So then I realized it doesn’t even matter
if I don’t reveal my weak communication skills.
When I already look like I’m not from here,
and can’t blend in with the people.
One thing I couldn’t get used to was maids.
Some relatives that I stayed with had maids in their household,
which I didn’t even realize were maids right away.
Because these were people I haven’t seen in 15 years,
with kids who weren’t even around before I left.
So when we got to their place,
and they didn’t introduce the girl in the kitchen cooking breakfast,
我心想 “嗯 没事 可能等下会介绍”
I was like, “Huh, OK. Maybe they will later.”
And in the Philippines, the maids and their family
usually live with the main family,
often in an extension of the house.
so they were pretty much in service all day every day.
And we ended up never being introduced
so it was safe to assume that they were the maid.
I just couldn’t get used to having that kind of service either.
I felt kind of spoiled in a way.
I was raised to kind of just,
“Do shit on your own and take initiative.”
You know, be independent.
Even as a guest in someone else’s house,
I’ll make the effort to pick up my plate
when I’m done eating,
and bring it to the sink to wash, or at least rinse out.
The host might try to stop me,
but I’d at least want to let him know that
I have some level of decency and consideration.
But in that situation, I was apparently in the wrong.
And when I got up after eating my delicious longanisa and eggs,
my cousin immediately interrupts
and pretty much dunks my plate back down to the table,
I forgot the maids name, so I’m just gonna call her Kiki.
Then the maid drops whatever she was doing in the other room,
runs in and collects my dish to clean out the kitchen sink.
I had no idea how to react.
I didn’t know if I was being rude by
trying not to be rude with my dishes.
But it was the same thing at the mall food court as well.
After I was done eating,
I picked up my tray and look for a trash can that didn’t exist.
Next thing I know this worker comes out all panicked
and pleads me to keep my trash and tray on the table
for them to clean up.
我心想 “万幸 我成长的环境比这好多了”
“I was raised better than this.”
But overall I’d say my trip was filled with amazing experiences.
It was great to see relatives again
since I don’t really have any in Canada.
And I got to travel around the different islands
and really appreciate the country.
Went to Palauan and floated through the scary-ass underground river.
Went to Bohol and saw the chocolate hills,
not actually made of chocolate.
Visited my parents’ hometown of San Jose and Mindoro,
and got to see where they grew up.
And just going around Manila where I was born
and seeing the culture and lifestyle
that differed from what I was used to in Canada.
Although I consider Canada my home,
since it contains the majority of my memories and experiences,
I’ll never forget my roots and where I came from,
and hopefully you guys never forget your origins as well.
This video has been brought to you by ancestry,
the global leader in family history and consumer genomics.
I’ve always been curious as to where I came from
and how far back down the bloodline I can see.
Even though my parents have told me that we’re full Filipino,
I have my suspicions that there’s more to it than that.
So recently, I’ve decided to discover more about my family history,
Using ancestry’s DNA service
that allows people to uncover their ethnic mix,
discover relatives, and find new details about their unique family history
with a simple DNA test.
So you might have a cousin in a country
you never thought you’d be familiar with.
I did my DNA test a couple of weeks ago,
and now have my results
and have revealed it to my family on Christmas.
And I’ll be sure to show footage of that in another video.
If you’d like to start your own DNA discoveries,
ancestry is offering a 10 percent discount,
you go to ancestry.com/domics,
or click the link in the description.
It’s available internationally in over 30 markets,
so almost everyone should be able to participate.
You may find out things about your heritage
that even your grandparents might be unaware of.
I think one time my parents mentioned that
we may have some Japanese in our blood.
But because it’s so far back down the bloodline,
I’ve always just disregarded it
whenever talking about my ethnicity with others.
But now I may be able to shine some truth to it.
If you guys end up discovering something
totally surprising about your origins,
share some of your results in the comments,
或者发信息给我 或者推特给我 标签写明“我的家谱”
or post or tweet me and use hashtag MYANCESTRY.
Again that’s ancestry.com/domics.
Link in the description.
And as always, enjoy it.