Relationship: Child of im/migrant

I was exploring an exhibit at school one day and came across a wooden plaque in the dead language exhibit. The words looked like scribbles and I paid no mind until I read what language it was; Baybayin. Baybayin is the written version of Tagalog spoken by people of the Philippines. That is where my family is from. I returned home and told my mother about what I had found and if she knew how to write Tagalog on paper. She did not. Neither did any of her sister or my family. This shocked me. My environment around me as I had grown up here in America had led me to believe that this was all the important parts of my culture that I needed. I never realized how much I was missing. I asked my mother why she didn’t know how to speak or write either; why my grandmother had never taught her. She told me my grandmother brought her family here to have a better life no matter what the cost because America was better for us than the Philippines was. My grandmother knew that she was giving up the chance for her family to be raised as she was raised and to enjoy all the beauties of her home country. However, she cared more about our futures of being safe, well-off and happy than being raised just like her. She did her best to teach her children and my cousins and I, but she alone was not enough. Some things that she taught us stay with us to this day but my deepest regret is never learning how to truly speak with her. Seeing this picture and learning all these things inspired me to learn our language so that one day I can hear the stories from others that I wish I heard from her. 

Place(s): Philippines

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