Electric Guitar

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Brown Electric Guitar
Brown Electric Guitar

The electric guitar has played an integral part of my life. It held me together from a young age, giving me an outlet for my feelings. When I turned nine years old, I was given my first guitar by my dad. I was infatuated with this guitar. It was an Ibanez RG470AHZ. It had a milky caramel color with a thin and smooth body that paradoxically played powerful notes through an amplifier. Music has always been rooted in my family and culture, so finally being able to create it altered my life heavily. My dad played the piano and my mom would sing, while I played the guitar. One genre we learned was Original Pilipino Music, also known as "OPM." As I learned how to play this genre, I was able to pick up on my family's native language. These Filipino love songs tend to have common themes, thus containing similar words. The repetition of these words made it possible for me to progressively understand what I was hearing. While my parents both migrated to the United States at a young age allowing them to adopt U.S. customs, it had the adverse effect of detaching me from my original heritage. I learned about the entire idea of courting instead of dating, which hold completely different meanings. I also learned about household dynamics and the expectations placed on different members of the family. Playing the guitar and learning OPM helped to fill in the gaps on what I didn't know about the Philippines. It allowed me to not only find common ground of entertainment in the family, but also connect with my own Filipino heritage.

Place(s): Philippines

– John

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant