“WAR does not determine WHO is RIGHT — only WHO is LEFT.”                – bertrand russell –

The battle for Identity.

I first knew World War II through my father, how the Filipinos suffered when Japan occupied the Philippines. No, not the who’s or what happened to the  Japanese generals and the soldiers or the Filipino guerillas. He told me the story of how his families suffered during that time and became worst after the war.

During dinner time, my father tell stories about his family life before and after the war, as were told by his mother. About his father and his grandfather who was a Japanese migrated in the Philippines in late 19th century. During that time, his mother was considered “Donya” , a term used to address a rich woman in the Philippines, because the family had one or two household helpers. Since his mother was sickly, only the  9th and 10th child had survived and lived, and my father was the 10th child to be born. Unfortunately, months after my father was born, his father and grandfather was abducted and killed and believed were threw to the sea. Since then, everything changed.

My father was brought to a relatives, while his mother went to Manila and became a household helper to support the family. After 5 years, his mother came back to the province and brought them to Manila together with his elder sister. By that time, his mother had a new husband. When my father started going to school he had followed the named after his mother new husband.

My father excelled in academic , he finished his high school and even took an exam for the US marine and passed.  When it is time to submit all the documents needed, my father found out in his birth and baptismal certificate was a named different from the named he was using. He became devastated at that time, knowing that he missed the opportunity of his lifetime.

And soon after that, his mother told him everything about his real father. And he started to understand why his stepfather abused and mistreated him.

Knowing my father’s story, I distinctly remember a time when I was 12 years old, when I started to write my “would-be” (japanese) real name, in secret. At that early age, I had felt what my father had been wanting for all his life.

Fortunately year 1995, when he learned that he was a “NIKKEIJIN” (japanese descendants) through his uncles and began to search related documents to prove his identity. Finally, he can embrace and acquire his real name. However, it was not that easy.

Two decades had passed and his struggles continue.

My father’s story and battle to claim and to register his true identity now becomes my own story and  battle. And this battle will pass to my children, and to my children’s children and to the next generations.

The world war II was over seven decades ago, but for some who has lost his/her family and identity the battle is not yet over.

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WWII : The battle is not yet over

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Wondering About…

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Creditmage: Pixabay

“Don’t be easy to define. Let Them WONDER about you.”  Author : Allysa

I wonder about MARY, the blessed mother of Jesus. Her thoughts about her teenage pregnancy. And her fiance, Joseph, who has nothing to do about it.

About the guy who first held my hands when I was 15. And assumed by my mom as the father of her would-be grandchild just because she saw me vomiting one morning, even if she knew it was caused by a sore throat. The same guy who has nothing to do about it.

I wonder about the LAMPLIGHTER of “The little Prince” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. His thoughts on his terrible profession. He just had to follow orders and there is nothing to understand. The one thing he loves in life is to sleep.

About the saleslady I saw every day at the train station on my way to work, complaining about her whole day job, overworked and underpaid. And still thinking of something else besides herself. I bet, the one thing she wants in life is to sleep, same with me.

I wonder about CINDERELLA, marrying the man she knew for one night. The fairy tale who taught us to believe that dreams do come true. What is her dream again?

About the man I married, I know I drive him crazy sometimes. He’s not easy to live with either.

I wonder about the SONGWRITER of “The man who can’t be moved” by the script. His thoughts and inspiration while writing every line of the song. Anyway, if he is the man; I’m the girl who can’t be moved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FMM in my mind

Have you ever wonder what it is like to live in the convent? How can some people live in prayers and silence?

It’s been 10 years when I entered the convent and joined the Franciscan Missionary of Mary Institute (an International congregation for religious women), I somehow manage to live that kind of life. A life of what I called “letting go”.

I let go of everything that I have– my family, friends, job and even myself.

It’s an extraordinary, inspiring, and bravest (or craziest for some) thing that anyone can do.It is not all about sacrifice. It is an everyday struggle towards perfection to prepare oneself to His divine will.

Like any other relationship, it was harder to leave than to go in.

Living in the convent is not heaven on earth, some might find it boring and would not want to live there.

So, why do I tell it anyway?

As Robert Fulghum wrote, author of All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten. There are places we all come from — that make us who we are. We turn our backs on them and find sense in which we need to go back again – to sanctify memory.

Though it’s hard to explain, I found my treasure there.

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