In Fun
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
My precious songbook.
My precious songbook.

As ten-year-old me collapsed in the corner of my somber room, I reached for my guitar with tears cascading down my face, while echoes of my first heartbreak painted the room. My fingers brushed the copper strings, and emotions that my heart could not decipher trickled out of my mouth in the form of a song. With my jet black notebook clasped tightly between my hands, its ivory pages awaited my pencil’s lead, where each emotion unfurled into lyrics and chord progressions. I found this process to be natural and from that moment forward, my songbook has been a source of guidance, navigating me through my troubles or simply, served as a form of expression. My parents’ fondness for music was contagious, as their passion spread to me when they raised me in a home surrounding the charm of melodies. They were born and raised in the Philippines, where music holds immense cultural significance, and where their love first blossomed. As they shared their favorite songs through handwritten letters during their times apart, music remained to be the unifying force that tethered my parents throughout this difficult era. The ability to share a passion that my parents cherished profoundly touches me, as I am able to connect with them on a deeper level and even write songs about their love story. Some people live their lives without discovering or encountering that kind of love, and I am fortunate enough to say that it is the reason why I am here and live the life I lead. 

Place(s): Philippines, United States of America

– Justyn Grayce

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