Message from a Parent: Carol

We Filipinos are loving towards our children, our fellowmen, and with all people. We were raised with these four interpersonal traits. These four Filipino traits are:

1: Reciprocal obligation

2: Humility

3: Honor, reputation, dignity

4: Cooperativeness, comradeship

The family is important to all of us; the family we were born into, our children, and also including our extended families, or our relatives. We are a collective and egalitarian society that exhibits mutuality, service to others, and we rely heavily on our kinship system.

For us Filipinos who are immigrants here in America, whether you are a newcomer, or that you have been here for a long time and are now U.S. citizens, you are the key element in being a First Generation parent.

We Filipinos have long fought for our freedom, for our place in our own nation, the Philippines, and also for our own ethnic identity, as Asians here in America.

Our children are what is most sacred to us and we sacrifice for them always. They are the new generation of Filipino-Americans. As a Filipina parent, I understand you because I have been through your hardship, your struggle in living here in America, with regards to working, and always compromising with others who do not understand us because they view us as different.

But, we are all the same as they are. The only difference is the color of our skin. Our hearts and our hopes are colorless.

What if you had a child who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? Their struggle is doubled as they discover who they are as an individual. They have no role models outside of the home, at schools, among their friends, what the sermons are in church, and also in your own home.

Our family should be a safe haven, a safe home for everyone. “Home is where you are most understood.” Think about that. Think about where your children feel most understood; where they can be who they are; honestly, authentically. Is it with you? With their friends? Or are they alone? How about you? Are you alone, too?

Think about and recall when you first bore your child and you cradled them; he or she looked into your eyes; when you first looked at each other; that first gaze…

I always remember that first gaze I shared with my children, like it was yesterday. And, I am always reminded of my vow as a parent; that I would keep them safe, happy, so loved, and so confident. I always hold dearly that hope that they would always feel free to be who they are.  I am imploring you to show your child that you are proud of them and of who they are.  Know that they are not alone and you are not alone here in America, because, after all, we Filipinos are a caring and loving people.

 

Tayong mga Pilipino ay malambing sa atin mga anak , kapwa tao, at lahat ng tao. Kinalakihan natin ang ganitong apat na “interpersonal traits”. Ang apat na Filipino traits or nasa ugali natin mga Filipino ay:

· Pang-una (#1): Utang ng loob (reciprocal obligation);

· Pangalawa (#2): Kaamuan (humility);

· Pangatlo (#3): Karangalan (honor, reputation, dignity);

· Pang-apat (#4): Pakikisama (getting along, cooperativeness, comradeship).

Importante sa atin lahat ang pamilya natin— that we were born into, ang mga anak natin, at kasali rin ang mga kamaganak natin. Tayo ay sosyedad na nakikiramay, naglilingkod, at nagtitiwala sa atin mga kamaganak.

Sa atin mga Pilipino na immigrante dito sa America, maski kasalukuyan baguhan kayo, o kaya matagal na at saka U.S. citizen pa, kayo ang pinakamahalaga na pag-impluwensiya dahil kayo at First Generation na magulang sa America.

Matagal na tayong mga Pilipino na naglalaban sa atin kalayaan, sa atin puwesto sa sarili natin nasyon, Pilipinas, at sa atin pagkatao as an Asian here in America.

Ang mga anak natin are what is sacred and we sacrifice for them always. Sila ang bagong Filipino-Americans. As a Filipina parent, nauunawan ko kayo dahil dinaanan ko rin ang paghihirap sa pamumuhay dito sa America— sa pagtatrabajo, sa laging pag-ko-kompremisyo natin sa mga tao na hindi tayo maintindihan, dahil ang tingin nila sa atin ay ibang-iba tayo. Pero, pare-pareho lang tayo sa kanila. Ang kaibahan lang ay ang kulay nang balat natin. Ang puso natin at ang mga pag-asa o hinahangad natin ay walang kulay.

Paano kung ang anak ninyo ay lesbian, gay, bisexual, o kaya transgender? Doble ang hirap- loob nila habang namummulat sila sa kung sino sila (as they are discovering who they are as an individual). Wala silang “role models” sa labas ng bahay, sa eskuelahan, sa mga unang kaibigan nila, sa mga sermon sa simbahan, at saka rin sa inyong tahanan.

Ang familya natin should be a “safe haven”, a safe home for all. “Home is where you are most understood.” Ang bahay sa kalooban natin ay kung saan kayo pinaka-intindido. Think about that. Isipin ninyo ito. Think about where your children feel most understood. Isipin ninyo kung saan ang mga anak ninyo na itinuturing na lugar na pupwede silang kumilos tulad ng kanilang tunay na sarili. Where they can be who they are; honestly, authentically. Is it with you? Pag-kasama ba kayo? With their friends? Sa mga kaibigan nila? Or are they alone? O nag-iisa ba sila? Are you alone, too? Paano kayo? Para bang nag-iisa rin kayo?

Think about, tandaan ninyo noong isinilang mo ang anak mo— at kinandung (cradle) mo siya— and he or she looked into your eyes—noong una kayong nag-tinginan—when you first looked at each other, that first gaze…..

I always remember, lagi kong naaalala, that first gaze I shared with my children, like it was yesterday. Parang kahapon lang. And I am always reminded (at lagi kong naaalala) iyong pangako ko as a magulang, which is to keep them safe, happy (masaya), so loved (minamahal ng husto), and so confident; and I hold dearly always that hope, that pag-asa, that they would always feel free to be who they are. Nalaging malaya ang kanilang kalooban.

Pinakikiusapan ko sa inyo, pakita ninyo sa mga anak ninyo na pinagmamalaki ninyo sila— at ang katauhan nila. Alamin ninyo na hindi sila o kayo ay nag-iisa dito sa America. Dahil tayong mga Pilipino ay maaalahanin at malambing.