One day I was traveling down the freeway north of 880 and it was around night time. It was my brother, my cousin, my cousin’s girlfriend and I and we were going to a birthday dinner for my cousin’s cousin. At the time, my cousin was playing some old school hip hop songs from about ten years ago. The windows in the car were rolled down since it was a nice temperature outside. As we got around the Oakland area on the freeway there was some traffic since road construction was going on. With the traffic flow at a slow pace, windows rolled down with a nice temperature outside, and old school hip hop music playing in the car I started to get memories of when I was in the Philippines. This wasn’t the first flashback that happened to me since I had several of them happen to me in the past. When the flashback happened I had a happy, warm, joyful feeling when I had that scenario set around me. I just had the feeling of wanting to go back to the Philippines and just enjoy the carelessness of being there. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why these little scenario setups would give me flashbacks of being in the Philippines.
Then it occurred to me, the reason why I have these flashbacks is because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to visit the Philippines again. Now when I say visit I don’t mean visiting the country, what I mean is having family visit me and seeing how things are going. The times I went back to the Philippines, I went with my mom who would mostly translate for me and do everything that would make my visit there worthwhile. Every time we went back family would visit us and see how much my brother and I have grown or receive the gifts that we brought them from the family back home. As I thought more and more into the future, I became more afraid since I might not have my mom with me the next time I go back to the Philippines. I’m afraid that my family in the Philippines and my family here won’t be as close as they are right now. My generation barely speaks Tagalog and we really aren’t that close with the family in the Philippines. I’m fear that identity of being Filipino American will mostly be dominated by my American living.
Now every time I get these flashbacks, I’ll have this fear of losing a big part of my family. I’m thankful that my family extends and lives in the Philippines, but what will happen to that once my grandparents or even my mom pass away? I always wonder how my generation will keep in contact or even that closeness that my family has right now, intact. To me, this a really big worry since I’m the oldest out of my generation and I don’t want future generations to forgot where they come from.