I'm an Asian American (Mom is a Filipina, Dad is an American) who was born in the Philippines. When I was four, we moved to the US.
You may be wondering what I remember about the Philippines.
Gravel. Of all the things I could remember, I only recall gravel.
Disappointed? I can relate.
Being from two worlds presented major hurdles in Kindergarten.
My teacher claimed I mumbled unintelligible words in class. My dad continually defended the fact that I was actually speaking Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines.
Mom vowed to teach me only English.
In the second half of the year, my grades turned around. Today, English is still my top subject.
First grade was a much better year.
Determined to belong, I accepted a challenge from my popular classmates: winking.
It wasn't enough to be able to wink with just one eye; you had to be able to wink with both.
I mastered this skill quickly, and unlike many school subjects, it's a talent I still use today when I apply eye makeup.
Not long after I mastered winking, I moved on to my next adventure: bike riding. My neighbor down the street had a bike and wanted to teach me how to ride.
The bike was a 10-speed.
Within minutes, I zoomed around my friend's driveway. No training wheels. No falls.
I was destined to ride.
In fifth grade, I received the greatest gift of my life: a German Shepherd named Doogie.
One day, Doogie said "hello" to me when I got home from school. Bewildered, I spent the next few months trying to get him to say it to my parents. Months later, he finally said it to my dad.
Eventually, Doogie said "hello" to everyone who entered our house.
Teaching dogs how to say "hello" isn't my only talent.
Neither is writing.
I sing too.
Listen to my covers now.
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