Friday, October 24, 2008


I've always been asked what province I hail from. Its very typical for us to be asked this question, especially from people, mostly our senior, who knows someone who goes by our last names. My last name is very common and its very normal for me to meet someone who shares the same last name.

With all the years of hearing this question, I never really knew how to answer it. You see, I grew up in the metro and I've seldom gone to my provinces. Yes . . . PROVINCES.

On my father's side, my grandfather hailed from Iloilo and my grandmother came from Pampanga. Both migrants to the big city and I assume that they met here.On my mother's side, my grandmother is from Nagkarlan, Laguna while my grandfather is a very proud son of Pangasinan. They met during the war when my grandfather, who was a soldier and a PMAer at that, was in Laguna, being a part of the local guerrilla movement.

When I was growing up, my family seldom visited these places and I really don't know much about our relatives. There's a good chance that we'd meet and never know that we were related. It was very taxing for me to explain my "probinsya" situation and sometimes I wished that I really have one province to speak of. My wife's parents are both from Bacolod and for her, its very easy to say that she's Illongga. Me, I'm 1/4 Illonggo, 1/4 Tagalog, 1/4 Ilocano and 1/4 Panggalatok

Whew. Now you see how hard it is to explain.. Never bothered to learn the dialects though. It's ok since my parents can't speak them too.

To simplify my answer every time I get asked about it, I just say that I was born and raised in Manila, and only engage in conversations about my provinces when I hear an Illonggo, Panggalatok, Ilocano and even southern Tagalog accent from the person who's asking. Besides, I'm proud and happy to be a Manilenyo.


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