Ever since I learned the meaning for the above kanji (which is back in senior high school), I have come to claim it as my “Japanese name” (*cough*weaboo*cough*), seeing as I prefer to be called by my nickname, Cielo (which is “sky” in Spanish and Italian). The kanji reads as sora (or kū), the common translation for “sky”.
It was only recently that I have come across the term, “third culture kid.” In a snippet, Wikipedia defines Third Culture Kids (or TCKs) as:
… children raised in a culture other than their parents’ (or the culture of the country given on the child’s passport, where they are legally considered native) for a significant part of their early development years. They are exposed to a greater variety of cultural influences.
After finishing third grade here in the Philippines, I spent two and a half months for my fourth grade in Nairobi, Kenya in a British school (where I experienced being sorted into a house, and said house won that year’s house cup 😛 ). The following five years were spent in France in three different schools: an international school, a bilingual school (that merges American and French academic systems), and a French public school.
According to Facebook, it is Teachers’ Day today. I have not come around to “celebrating” the day, mostly because I do not poke around Facebook on a daily basis. But now that I managed to catch the reminder on my timeline, and not miss it, I would like to take a moment to recognize one of my former Filipino professors: Jennifor Aguilar.
Filipino as a subject is not my forte, having grown up in an English-speaking household, and studied abroad during my formative years. But the Filipino class under Mr. Aguilar was something I looked forward to every week.
You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?
But I’ll have to unpack the heart behind it first, and I wish to start with a confession:
I had lost the ability to dream.
This struck me one evening over pizza with my music ministry team/batch mates, last August 14. James (17 years old) asked me: “Ate, ano ang pangarap mo?” (“Big sis, what is your dream?”) I somewhat felt that it should’ve been an easy question to answer; like, surely, I am living out my dream, right?
… but what dream are we talking about? Or dreams, for that matter?
Behind me is not a back door, not even one that leads outside. It’s a door to my childhood room. In it is a window with alternating horizontal bars and swirly metal. It’s not to cage someone in, but to protect from robbers. Cats were always welcome, however; their paw-prints along with the various footprints that have graced the floors, are invisible markers of the history of that room — my history.