Sunday, June 05, 2005

What compels me to keep on writing...

Looking at those who come after us, I realize more than ever the need to pass on these memories. To make them as whole and as intact as possible so that those who follow will see not the rose colored or sepia colored prints, but the truth of where we came from, our dreams, who we were, what we were and all the longings that brought us to where we now are.

The gap between the past and the present seems to grow wider with the years and we forget that it is in opening ourselves to the younger, in showing to them our true face that we can bridge the gap that is complicated by culture, society and the times in which we live.

Recently, I attended a workshop on raising children in a multicultural environment. As I listened to the conversations between different women from all walks of life and from different levels of society, several truths came clear to me.

My son, at seventeen years old, will be live and move in a much different world than the one in which I lived and moved when I was seventeen. He will have more choices than the choices that I had to make when I was seventeen. By the time he is eighteen, he must be able to make the decisions that I only learned to make when I got married. Already, at the age of five, he is an independent person with a mind of his own.

Instead of spanking my son, I reason with him. I have learned to talk with him and listen to what he has to say. I have learned to show him that his words and his being are more important to me than anything in the world and in turn, I am blessed because I see him growing up as a strong and confident individual.

Still, there are so many things that I want to give to him. Because he is my son, I think that someday he might look back just like I look back. In my mind, I see him returning to the places of his childhood. He will wonder just like me, and wondering, he will search and find that his roots go far deeper than the soil of this earth that the Dutch have reclaimed from the sea.

"You are my son," I say to him. "True, you are a Dutchman, but always remember that you are also Filipino, like me."

I don't want him to forget that there is more to our country, there is more to us than the color of our skins, or our tendency to shed tears easily. He may forget it, that is true, but someday there will always be someone who will seek and in seeking, it is my hope that they will find this record of memories.


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