how much a part of you

A bit exhausted & fed up after months of tending to tourists, and adding to that a beastly mood swing, I assure is caused by the full moon, my husband wryly tells me one night that I have "become French," and continued saying, "I knew we shouldn't have lived in France!" Maybe it's because I was freaking out for more than an hour trying to find parking at 21H00 in this touristy town or because my colleague at work drives me nuts. But with the way he says it, he might actually mean it, with a smirk. And yes, I suddenly had to wonder what is being French & what is being Filipino, and what does it really mean? I didn't want to know.

Although I know it is important to understand French women & its relation to being a Filipina, I won't go into too much details & just focus on how these seemingly innocent words can make you once more wonder about change & life as we grow older.
We all go through it. How many times have you wondered about how much your life have changed? The alterations & growth, the casual truths & distortion, the movements & displacements: change and change is a double edged sword - it can cut you or it can cut for you. Every decision we make incurs change & in every change, how much a part of you is really you?

While some are more subtle than others, we somehow get lost with the many changes we experience. Sometimes we even unconciously become a whole new different person we almost cannot recognize. Good change or bad change - how relative are our changes? As relative as our reaction to our current environment & when you've been transplanted, changes are a bit opaque. There are the cultural differences, the adjustments & our ability to adapt. Then you learn & there's the rest of you. How much a part of us have become our host country? How much Filipino can we be in a different environment?

Being in a different world is full of hard learnings for me but the rewards are great and somehow, no matter how you would like to conserve your own convictions, some will still slip away to your new world making you see things differently, but without compromising your beliefs. And with all the learnings, your old world will see that change in you - nag bago or others ka na (you've changed & you're not like us anymore). I didn't become French for trying to live in my host country & I'm not different just because I experienced something else than my old world.
In learning comes growth & then comes change. I used to be so many things that now I am not & I am some of the things I never thought I'd be. These are the versions of myself that were all developed through experience from two different environments. A little less & a bit more of me.

This year has been so much of a lot of things. I never stop in amazement on how my life has changed. Looking forward to my new world brings me lots of hope. Looking back at the world I was & am comforts me. But growing up is a spiked accomplishment. But I know I want to be where I am now.

Mon mari, je serai toujours Philippine du coeur car tu me rappelles d'etre une.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. It's normal to lose a bit of yourself and to become someone else, being that you've been in France for almost a decade. It's probably the same thing as stretching a rubberband to its capacity for a long period of time: when relaxed, it's still the same rubberband, but the shape will forever be altered.

  2. I loooove the rubberband metaphor, Kala!!! Rubberbands will now have a timeless meaning :)

  3. hi makis.
    i like this post.
    mades me reflect.
    i will be back to read this again.

  4. what a nice post!
    i will be visiting your site
    more often.
    God bless,

  5. We're indeed like a good wine that improves with time! The more we get older the changes are being gradually ameliorated over the time through experiences and given circumstances!

    "I have become French" phrase is also familiar to me ! I knew the reasons but I'm not becoming one because we are in France but I'm getting rotten with age for a change!


  6. Do you really lose a part of yourself? Do you really change into someone different? Kala's right, a rubberband is still a rubberhand no matter how much it's been stretched. You're perhaps a rubber onion, adding a new layer of 'skin' for each experience.

  7. Mak,if you change its because its for the best in you.
    French culture has some class, high standards,has some elegance, but of course,depends on the person and the area of France.

    Parisiens behave diff from Marseillaise or Niçoise, lol

    But I like is their; Bonjour, even they dont you.
    Say, merci,s'il vous plait (thanks you,if you please) and je vous en prie(you're welcome) as elegant way of saying even to a stranger you meet in the building hall.

    I take only a culture in France that is acceptable to my standards and the rest, bof, their culture is sometimes deep, that I asked: why it has to be that way and not the other???lol

  8. We are a product of our environment and experiences.

    I'm not quite sure what has changed in me in the way I act or think . But I can say, that also with age , not just because of the fact that I've been transplanted ,( and thus were exposed to a different way of life/culture), came better understanding and a broader perspective.

  9. Did you come back already, Chesca??? :D

    Welcome, Arla, welcome to my blog! Do let me know though if you visit :)

    Thank you, Hazel! And happy birthday to you too! I totally agree that it's not only the environment that makes a change in us but also our age! Sana talaga we're good wines of age & not wines like fermented vinegars, hahahaha!

    A rubber onion! That's so funny, Lu! But yes, I feel I've changed. Not into a French woman though but I really do believe we have versions of ourselves that for example, the younger me wouldn't react on the same thing, and sometimes it's not so bad after all.

    Oh no, Francesca, I am not at all changed & is becoming French :) Reality lang of living in France is setting in kaya nakakaloka!

    I totally agree with you, Gina. Environment, experience & add to that age, that creates a new part of ourselves. I'll know more about the change in me when I go home next year & that's also a great gauge :)

  10. hey, maks, when again are you going home? pierre and i are there january. sabay ba tayo?

  11. Hi Apol! Are you guys staying until Feb??? I(ll be there by the 2nd week of Feb :)