Friday, February 27, 2015

HERitage & HIStory

The blistering cold of western winters are keeping #wonderwanderwomen indoors. Safe and snug inside, our thoughts are drawn within and back home. 

A recent return to our hometown where we were born and raised was a trip down memory lane and added opportunity to dig into our roots. 

Although the Philippines is our homeland, our history and heritage in the islands is very new and filled with many gaps. We really don't have much of a legacy in either tangible artifacts or intangible attributes. 

It is a bitter sweet realization. Free of a historical past it's all too easy to cling too readily to the current present. 

Made more interesting as we define concepts such as property or heritage. What is conceived as worth safeguarding, protecting or conserving in each case? 

Our lineage springs from a first generation island born Spanish mestizo father and a Chinese mestiza mother who relocated from mainland China when she was only four months old. 

They eloped to marry against both their families preferred marital plans for them. By default my siblings and I were raised cocooned in our primary family unit. 

Generally we grew up blissfully ignorant of our other relatives. Except for short and intense visits during the holidays or summer breaks we remained isolated. 

This is unusual in the Philippines where families can trace their roots to pre-colonial times and extended families are the usual norm of life. 

Yet now we find ourselves in the unique position of having four generations living back home. The eldest at 89 is great grandfather now. The youngest great grandson just turned three this new year. 

It has made us wonder and ponder our heritage and lineage - what little we know of it; its preservation - memories and memorabilia to pass on. 

We are more appreciative of what we have - parents, home and provincial community to return to. Even if it is changing fast and morphing into yet unknown possibilities. 

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