Thursday, October 25, 2012

I speak Tagalog!

I'm one of those Filipinos who speak Tagalog and English. 

Growing up, I never thought that bilingualism was a privilege. I've been communicating in Tagalog and English since I was a child, so switching between the two languages was normal for me. I never thought that I could use this skill when I came here to Canada. 

Living in Winnipeg, I have never thought that Tagalog is the fastest-growing language in Canada. I always think that Filipinos are just everywhere I go around the city. It never occurred to me that Tagalog will become one of the most-spoken languages in the country.

I read this news Wednesday on Twitter (it's amazing how I get news from Twitter first than other media outlets). My initial reaction? Indifferent. Disinterested. I'm still trying to figure out why I don't care too much about this news. I don't mind that Tagalog is on the list of fastest-growing language in the 2011 Census from Statistics Canada. I don't mind it either if it's not on the list. It doesn't really matter to me. 

To some Filipinos, this may make them feel proud. And I understand why they would feel that way. They feel proud because anything Filipino-related is recognized in Canada--not just in the Philippines, but in Canada. A foreign country. And Filipinos can get patriotic too. Ever heard of Manny Pacquiao? Yeah, that's another story.

As for me, it's not too much of a big deal. It doesn't really make me proud like what some Filipinos feel. But I'm not ashamed that I speak this language. 

What matters to me though is that even though Tagalog is one of the commonly-spoken languages in Canada, Filipinos should still learn the English language to adapt in this country and respect the culture. 

On a side note, I think I'll start posting blog posts about languages from now on. 


Mackrael, Kim. "Tagalog fastest-growing language in Canada, data show." The Globe and Mail. Oct. 24, 2012.

"Bilingualism growing, but not in French and English." CBC News. Oct. 24, 2012.

Simons, Paula. "No matter the language spoken, aspirations remain the same." Edmonton Journal. Oct. 25, 2012.

Sanders, Carol. "Can you say that in Tagalog?" The Winnipeg Free Press. Oct. 25, 2012.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Social Media in Parties

It's common that people at a party pull out their cellphones to text or call someone when they're bored. But in today's world, most people don't just use their phones to do those two things. Some of them check their phones for Facebook, Twitter, or use other social media apps.

But sometimes, when the party is really engaging and everyone is talking to each other and having fun, there's no need to check the most recent newsfeed on Facebook or post a Tweet.  

That's exactly what I felt when I went to two parties last night. In the first party I went to, my friend brought a game of charades. And of course, just like any party, there was alcohol. Sure, I checked my phone sometimes. But I didn't get to the point that I didn't talk to anyone and sat in the corner. I talked to them instead. After that, I went to my cousin's place who was celebrating his birthday. When I got there most of them were already drunk; but because it's been a while since I've seen them, I spent some time with them. I pulled out my phone once in a while, but it was only to check the time. 

While I was at these two parties, I could've pulled out my phone and posted a drunk status, drunk tweet, or send drunk texts. But I didn't. Instead of doing these things to incorporate social media in my life, there are times when one doesn't need to post a drunk tweet because one has to. And I just mentioned in my last post that we have to be responsible in what we communicate because employers look up their potential employees on Facebook or Twitter. So if one posts a drunk Tweet or Facebook status that might ruin one's chances to get a job, it would be a horrible feeling when reality kicks in.

And yes, I'm taking responsibility for this post--it's also because I want to let everyone know that I had fun spending some time with some of the best people in the world--the people who keep me sane as I live my life as a first-year Creative Communications student at Red River College.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Winter? What winter?

Having lived in a tropical country for nineteen years and moving to a cold country is a change for me. I was so used to the usual 20 to 25 C during the rainy season from June to February and 30 to 35 C weather during the hot summer months from March to May. It's also very humid in the city too. This was what I was used to before I arrived here in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I touched snow for the first time when I arrived here on December 2007. I was excited. I played in the snow like a child. 

Now, I still complain about the weather. At least I'm not the only one. But sometimes I try to appreciate the winter here in Winnipeg because that's the only way I don't get depressed. It's good to see the good little things in life because it brings a smile to our faces. So here are the things that I think about when the dreaded winter comes.

Be grateful. Even if it's -40 C and there's a blizzard or a storm, be thankful that you survived this weather your whole life in Winnipeg (either you were born, grew up, or moved here). There are some places in the world that live in conditions with harsher weathers, where people don't survive a landslide or typhoon, so we should be grateful that we're able to survive the winter months without hibernating. 

Appreciate winter. Don't you just love looking at the snowflakes? They have different shapes and sizes and whenever they fall on the ground or on trees and accumulate over time they're beautiful to look at.

Celebrations. Whether it's Christmas, New Year's, Orthodox Christmas and New Year's, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, or whatever you're celebrating during the winter months (like your birthday), have fun and be glad that you're given another year to celebrate it.

Family and friends. Just think about the people you spend with everyday. Be it your parents, siblings, partner, close friends, or roommates that eventually turned into friends, you can always talk to them if you need a pick-me-up after getting off the bus and walking home through a blizzard. A simple "How are you?" will make you warm inside after standing in the cold when that bus didn't come. Or a smile in their faces would change your mood. 

So as we celebrate Thanksgiving or the long weekend, let's spend time with our family and friends and not dread about winter. I guess it's alright to dread it because I do too, but not to the point that you'll get really depressed. It's important to be grateful and appreciate the little things that life brings. Winter is not worth your time to get depressed and hibernate--there are far better things you can spend your time on and the weather is not one of them.

While I'm on a roll, I want to share another activity that makes me happy: listening to music. Whenever I'm depressed (either because of the weather or that I have to get up early in the morning), I listen to these songs because they wake me up and puts a smile on my face. It doesn't hurt that I like these bands too.

"Sunshine" by Bamboo

"Good day" by Barbie's Cradle
In another version, she sings "Today's the day" instead of Nescafe. 

"These days" by Bamboo

"Sunburn" by Sandwich

"Summertime" by Moonpools and Caterpillars

All artists featured are Filipino bands and based in the Philippines, except for Moonpools and Caterpillars who were based in California. These are just a few of the artists that I listen to whenever I get up on a cold, dark winter morning.