Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Green beads, Virgin Mary charm, & Cross
Green beads, Virgin Mary charm, & Cross

In the Philippines, Catholicism is an integral part of Filipino culture. When my parents immigrated from the Philippines to Guam and then to the United States, they brought Catholic traditions with them. The rosary plays an essential role in Catholicism; it is believed that by praying on the beads of the rosary, it will allow the faithful to receive God’s blessings, which includes health, wellbeing, and opportunities. While my family and I are non-traditional Catholics who do not attend mass every Sunday, we have our own rosaries; mine takes on the form of a bracelet. My dad gifted it to me about five years ago when my family was scheduled to go on our first international trip in years. Adorned with jade green beads, a dark silver Virgin Mary pendant, and the Christian cross charm all strung together by clear string, my rosary offers me a sense of protection. This piece of jewelry holds great significance to me because my dad made the time to get it “blessed” at our Church to increase its spiritual protection. Granted that I do not follow common Catholic practices or generally agree with Catholic beliefs, I do identify as a Catholic. Even if I do not always have it on me, my bracelet is one of the most valuable items I own. Now, whenever I feel its slight weight and cool sensation on my wrist, I often associate it with safety and travel. Having God’s presence with me is not only a necessity, but also helps me embrace where I come from and who I am, a proud Filipino American. 

Place(s): Philippines
Year: 2000

– Kristen Guerra

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