During my time at Saint Patrick Seminary, Kuya Jeff always shared beautiful stories about the Philippines & one thing he truly cherished was a hidden gem found in his neighbourhood backyard: the bamboo pipe organ! It is a one of a kind instrument in which countless musicians throughout the world flock to see, a week long concert is held every year, and shortly the instrument celebrates a major birthday featuring its 1,000 pipes. Through the thoughtfulness of my friends, I had the joy to stand before this jewel of an instrument!
It was also a special day for Josh as he celebrated his 10th birthday! I was so honored I got to celebrate his special day with him and his family.
Music & birthdays —- beautiful traits of the Filipino! And to top it all off, yesterday my friends happily took me on a two hour trip away from Manila to a very different part of the Philippines: to my mother’s hometown & to the very church where she was raised as a child…. It was certainly a moment that truly touched my heart!
Being on these grounds made me closer to my mom, helped me appreciate her more, helped me to understand her past and in a sense, helped me understand her journey to the life I share with her now. And if that wasn’t enough… By sheer chance, and a simple door knock, my friends helped me find one of the eldest first cousins on my mom’s side…..
In a moment like this, I’ve come to feel so connected and so rooted it what it means to be Filipino! One who loves music, celebrates life, and in the center of it all … Values the family!!! I am so terribly grateful to God & my friends who accompany me in this unforgettable first journey to the Philippines.