Thoughts from LAX Gate 155

I’m on my way to Manila for the new year.  

 A bunch has happened since I last blogged, kind of a lot.  After I left the teaching job I figured I’d have a lot of time to journal, but I seem to have lost the habit.  I’ll try to get back into it in the new year, especially the language stuff. 

So since I’ve last blogged, I saw the Star Wars movie, which is not a big deal except for that the company treated all employees to an exclusive viewing at El Capitan theater on Hollywood Boulevard.  It was neat because there was a special laser show before the movie.  

I also spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in Las Vegas with the folks and their dogs.  The best is going on missions with my mama. 


Right now I’m at Gate 155 at LAX, waiting for a flight to Manila.  My sister is there on her Year of Discovery, so I’m going to visit.  We’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with Uncle Johnny, and exploring La Union and Pangasinan.  Hopefully I’ll get to see my cousins, nieces, and nephews too. It’s less than 10 days this time, but I feel lucky I get to go at all.  

I checked bags, which I don’t usually do, but I’m bringing a few gifts and it’s a direct flight so I feel good about it.  On the return flight I fully expect to stuff one suitcase inside another and check only one bag.  

So this year was all about learning Tagalog, and after this summer I learned a lot.  I haven’t had a lot of practice in the last few months, but I’m sure I’ll get it back with practice.  

There’s only one problem.  I found an Ilocano textbook on Amazon, and once I started reading it I was like, I hate Tagalog, I should be learning Ilokano!  

And then I found a couple of Pangasinan textbooks, one online and one softcover.  The softcover book was definitely from the Spanish colonial period, and written by a Franciscan priest in old timey religions Spanish.  So he has crazy accents all over his Spanish, his Pangasinan examples are all very monastic; e.g., “I took the prayer book to my cell,” “Is the Father home,” and “Have you prayed yet?”  It’s kind of a scream.   Anyway, good thing we learned Spanish!

So it seems I’ve fallen out-of-crush with Tagalog.  This was confirmed when I attended a housewarming party in Las Vegas, where nearly everybody was from Sto. Tomás, La Unión, which is the town where my folks grew up.  When we arrived everyone greeted us in Ilocano, and at some point very early on everyone switched to Pangasinan.  

Every once in a while someone would address me in Tagalog, and I just didn’t care.  I think I might prefer to speak French than Tagalog; is that bad?  

One of my older cousins was excited that I wanted to learn Pangasinan.  When he heard about my language history, he was a little disappointed; he said the language I should have learned were German and Japanese.  What an idiot I’ve been, German and Japanese!  Shit!  I told him I’m working on it. 

I’m going to walk around the terminal now and see if I can find those stupid Ruben sandwich flavored potato chips that my cousins think they want.  

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