What does it mean to be first generation American? I’m realizing as I grow into my own that ‘first generation American’ is a big part of who I am. Or, rather, it impacts a lot of who I am.

I’m an American. That’s what I’ve called myself my entire life. I come from American. But I’m also extremely Filipino. If you’ve been to my house, met my family you know that’s not an understatement. I’m also Indian, though with my mom and step-dad both being from the Philippines I culturally identify with being Filipino. So where does the Filipino end and the American start?

As I grow and mature (almost like cheese?) I’m realizing that my person, my blood, my history, is not American. The blood that flows through my veins is 50% Filipino. Filipino history is my history. I wonder if that would have been a good enough excuse to get out of those AP American History tests?  Kidding. I was never in AP History.

As I age (like cheese?) I find myself full of the need to know more about the nation I call my Motherland.

This most recent trip to The Philippines my family took a road trip from Mania to Ilocos Norte. They made stops at historical sites and museums for me. My auntie, who was a librarian and honestly one of the smartest people, gave me informal lessons on our nation’s heroes and history. Though my family and I did everything to answer my questions and to quench my thirst, I left the islands even more thirsty, with even more questions.

The pictures below only cover less than 10% of my trip. I regret that. I’m going back in December. I’m making it a point to not leave regretful.

Much Love. Always.

-SAM

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[quote source=”José Rizal” rating=”0″]He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.[/quote]