Oops…I’m sorry for the distracting background view. If you have two little ones like me who have specialization on ruining their room, welcome to the club!
But I just want you to know I have biracial kids. My husband is an American (technically speaking European : Irish and Scottish ethnicity) and me 100% Filipino!
And we’re blessed to have two little girls (and that’s it!) who people oftentimes ask us if they’re twins? I was asked by this a million million times and nope, they’re not twins, they’re not too apart when it comes to age, 13 months to be exact.
I’m loving parenthood from the start. It’s full of challenge and I never held newborn before,like hour after they were born. And to hold them was very schweet!
Just a quick experience to share with you:
When we got back to the Philippines for a family vacation, few people from the airport told us and even the guard wanted us to show him our daughters’ faces. And the funny thing is, we were at the shopping mall looking for my husband’s clothes when the saleslady told me our girls are “so cute ” then asked me if “I was their nanny?!”. I
was about to hit her just turned away and decided not to buy anything after she never apologized of what she said when I told her “they’re mine”.
What interesting to me is how to raise biracial kids? Especially with their half Filipino background? Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed to meet parents who have half Filipino kids who don’t know how to speak our language. I know, it’s their prerogative not to do so but isn’t it nice to talk to kids who know both languages? I was even told by one of my relatives back home don’t teach them our language so that everytime we go back for a vacation,some kids will talk to them in English and “that’s cool” because it will encourage other kids to speak foreign.
Somewhat, I agree. I remember as little kid,once a week at late afternoon there used to be couple Mormons in our town (one American and one Filipino) walking around and I was excited to talk to the American lady that I ended up sending letter which she responded. Woo!
And now being a parent of biracial kids, I want to impart to them some of the cultures and traditions we have.
Hold on, myself!
What if our girls grow up not speaking Filipino? For me, it would be embarrassing because I’ve been promoting this to our household except to my husband who has having hard time to understand. But, with our girls I can see,it’s working.
- Teach them the other heritage. Before our little girls were born, I already promised to myself that they will know about Filipino heritage,just to be fair. And I think every parents should introduce them to the other heritage and try as hard as they could.
- Train them as bilingual. I’m really thankful to have fellow Filipina mothers with half-American kids, they gave me tip to teach my little girls as early as possible because most of them didn’t. And it’s harder when they grow old and start learning. Although, not too late but it would be hard. The reason on this is, we Filipinos are so adaptable. But don’t be surprised that there are some Filipinas married to Americans who don’t let them speak Filipino at home. It’s really selfish and a little bit immature to me. I’m glad my husband doesn’t care at all because he knows how important it is for me. And we should all agree with that. I used to work with this Laotian young lady. She speaks both, Lao at home and English.
- Teach them the culture. Personally, ”Mano po” should be carry on regardless what part of the world you’re living in as a Filipino. My girls know how to do it and everybody amuses and asks me what’s the meaning of that? .They think it’s nice.
- Let them eat the “food”. Would you believe me if I tell you our girls love to eat rice? Probably, you would. How about Adobo or Mechado? They’re meat and you would not hesitate to believe me if they do. But what if I tell you, they love dried and smoked fish? Dried and smoked fish?! The items that I can only find at the Asian store. Yes, they love it and the funny thing is, they will trade pancake and bacon over this for breakfast. My grandma laughed when I told her about it and my husband jokingly told me “don’t treat our girls like this”. They love Filipino cuisine and rarely they refuse some of them which I’m so glad.
But let me clear, you don’t need to have biracial kids to teach two languages. I learned English as my second language from the school and learned more American culture right after I moved here. Still, I inculcate my Filipino background no matter where I go because my American friends ask about it out of their curiosity.