Aba, you make me smile!

4 Jan

When we were little, we weren’t allowed to watch Filipino shows.  So we weren’t allowed to watch soap operas and Tagalog movies.  Our parents would usually speak to us in English.  I remember when I was in elementary school watching the odd episode of Yagit and feeling like I did something wrong.  It was all so very clandestine!  We were allowed to watch Student Canteen, because they did mostly speak in English, as far as I can remember, anyway.  Eat Bulaga was a no-no because they spoke in mostly Tagalog.

In hindsight, I think it was because our parents wanted us to speak perfect English.  My TV viewing wasn’t limited really.  I remember watching Sesame Street, The Electric Company, The Muppet Show,  Mork and Mindy, Three’s Company, Six Million Dollar Man and a whole slew of war-related shows (mainly because my dad liked them, I think).  I am thankful that my parents were restrictive in that way.  I don’t think I would find speaking in English so instinctive if they didn’t do that though.  For that I am very, very thankful.  Although, to be honest, at the time, I felt that I was missing out because I didn’t anyone else in school had those TV restrictions!  I don’t think I watched Bagets until I was a lot older…although I did sort of follow the local showbiz news.  How I managed that, I’ll never know!

I remember during Sundays at my Lola Gening’s would be the perfect time to watch local TV game shows.  My dad couldn’t tell us off when we were watching GMA Supershow (I even remember seeing Kris Aquino fall off the stage during a production number for a movie she was promoting.  I think it was for Pido Dida.) because my granny liked having the TV on that channel.

When we got older, I think my parents were more lenient in terms of our TV-viewing restrictions and we were able to watch whatever TV show we wanted, local TV or otherwise.  But I think we gravitated to English shows because we were so used to it.  But everytime we watched a Tagalog movie or a TV show, my dad would leave the room in protest.

Quite recently, maybe in the last 4 or 5 years, my dad has taken to watching Filipino telenovelas.  He claims that he just likes finishing what he starts (I should take inspiration from my father in terms of non-procrastination really.  When he starts something, he really doesn’t stop until everything is accomplished!).  So he says if he starts a TV programme, he needs to finish it (just thinking about it now makes me laugh because of the irony!  MY DAD WATCHING A TAGALOG TV PROGRAMME WAS SOMETHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED!  Well, not until quite recently anway.)  I can’t even begin to describe to you how funny this is.

When I asked him a few weeks ago why he was now okay with watching Filipino shows, he said, well you’re all grown up now.  And let me tell you, the sheepish note in his voice was quite audible!

Oh Aba, you make me smile! 🙂

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2 Responses to “Aba, you make me smile!”

  1. kolembo 7 January 2011 at 15:01 #

    hey, nice diary. I like this post. In africa there’s a whole generation, between independence 60s and the eighties that speak nothing but perfect English. Very colonial don’t you know! Good because we move around the globe very easily, bad because we don’t know a drop of our own language. Sad eh. And with language is culture, so we’re in cultural limbo. Those after us are bridging the gap but my parents NEVER spoke to me in my own language, even as, in the village and between themselves and their siblings, that’s all they spoke!

    I enjoyed reading this, thanks.

    • Evie 9 January 2011 at 11:34 #

      My parents spoke to us in Filipino. But you know you were in trouble if they did that. My dad being Jewish spoke to me in Hebrew most times. I remember being told to “rega! rega!” which is wait in Hebrew when I was being fidgety and impatient!

      I think it was mostly because they wanted us to speak in English really well.

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