Coffee Chats are conversation-style interviews with the FiliFest Community that take place over a cup of coffee. Today’s chat happened over Meet where Carol and Danica discussed their relationship with the Filipino language as Filipinos born and/or raised abroad.
Carol Ann, known as BeautyNursingPills on YouTube, is a Filipino-Italian currently working as a nurse in Italy.
🎓MY GRADUATION DAY ONLINE DURING PANDEMIC | VLOG - YouTube (Carol Ann’s graduation two years ago)
I was born and raised in Milan, Italy and I am currently still living in one of its provinces. When my mom had the chance to move abroad, she decided to give it a try to help her family (shoutout to her Titos & Titas who raised her and gave her the opportunity to study!). When she left Mindoro, my dad – who was my mom’s playmate – never saw her again until they started communicating again through letters. Back in the days, people had to wait three months to get a reply. [Laughs] My mother then went back to the Philippines in 1986, they got married and he was finally able to join her in Italy.
Actually, my mom has been here for 40 years already (she moved here back in 1972!). That’s why we mainly communicate in Italian, and she mostly cooks Italian food. But I also do speak Tagalog. I think going back to the Philippines and watching Filipino series helped me a lot. So I got better while growing up.
Also, there will always be something that will remind me of how Filipina I am. Just like having a rice cooker at home: that thing can never be missing. Or eating with our hands or with a spoon and fork. I now live with my Italian boyfriend and I taught him how to do it. So he knows. And he now eats rice with a spoon and fork too. And we also have the rice cooker. [Smiles] It's something I brought with me.
People used to look at me in an odd way while growing up because of my accent while speaking in Tagalog. But honestly? I don’t mind and never had.
As a matter of fact, I’ve always found it pretty funny. I even used it for my own personal interest: as a teenager, I would often see these Filipino ladies talking and I would often pretend not to understand so that I could figure out whether they were gossiping about me or not. [Laughs] I’ve always considered it as a privilege though. I do admit that I have the typical Milan accent when I speak the language, but I don’t care. What’s important for me is being able to understand them and for them to understand what I want to convey. Period.
There are many, but one that I’ve always loved is kilikili (armpit). I don’t know why, it's a word that everyone likes. Or even kilig. Although I don’t actually know how to translate it. It could be a mix of tension and excitement at the same time. What do you think?
I don’t think so. Practicing it within your family circle and going back to the Philippines once in a while are a must.
Personally, I do have my 20 minutes of Filipino series every night – I am currently watching Ivana Alawi’s A Family Affair. Hahaha! So, I think I will never forget it.
Lastly, although I no longer live with my parents, I still work in Milan and see my parents every day. Even at lunch, I almost always eat with them. It is practically impossible.
I’ll tell you something… I never liked halo-halo. I just usually eat certain things, including ice cream and ube. And between the two, I definitely choose the latter. I would eat anything that is made from ube. You can reach Carol on Instagram [@beautynursigpills] and on her YouTube channel, [BeautyNursingPills].
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