Monday, January 26, 2015

Funny, I Didn't Think I Was Either...

Even after our trip today to DFA, Jing and I are still not officially recognized as married in the PI... even though it's been five years since we were married and I already have my permanent residence through marriage to a Filipina citizen. I'll expand on that tomorrow probably, but I wanted to write the following snippet from today before I forgot:

While at the Department of Foreign Affairs to get passports taken care of, I was assigned to the role of "keeping the kids quiet" while Jing takes care of paperwork and talking to officials. I use the opportunity to practice my Tagalog with the kids.

After being there for a while, we end up sitting near a Filipina lady who has a 4-year old girl with her. The girl and Kuya begin to interact in that "shy 4 year old" way. I ask Kuya what her name is, but he is too shy to ask, so I ask her in Tagalog: "Ate, anong panggalin mo?"

The lady with her says "oh, she doesn't understand Tagalog. She lives in Paranaque." (Paranaque is part of the National Capitol Region)

I continue to use Tagalog with the boys, but then we switch to English when we want to speak with "Ate." Eventually our paperwork is processed and we move on.

Later, I overhear the lady telling the girl "Oh, you need to learn Tagalog."

The girl responds

"Why? I'm not poor."

....I knew there was a disconnect between NCR and the rest of the country and that the majority of "high society" there uses English as often as possible, but I didn't know it was THAT bad.


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