All posts tagged: family

Home for the Holidays

It has been 19 years since I last celebrated Christmas with my family on Guam. So much time has passed, recalling holiday celebrations from childhood by memory is difficult without visual aids or stories shared by my sister, Melissa. Why, you may ask, has it been so long? That’s a good question. I don’t have any good answers and my excuses are just that – excuses. It’s not that I lack desire or interest in family gatherings, but that poor planning, inflated airfares, work scheduling and the daunting task of finding trustworthy house/dog sitters often hinder off-island trips. Simply put, vacations are expensive and require careful planning. This will be the first year my husband and I will be celebrating the holidays without any family members or friends coming to visit. There has been very little effort in decorating. With Christmas only 10 days away, the task to completing the holiday shopping list is now a priority. While posting the greeting cards this afternoon, memories of bygone holidays began to flood my mind and I couldn’t …

“Are You Filipina?”

October is Filipino Heritage Month and the one month of the year when I reflect upon being part-Filipino. It’s not as if that’s lost on me during the rest of the year; I am reminded every time I look in the mirror, but since I have identified as Native Hawaiian for the better part of my life, the month of cultural introspection certainly allows for much-needed perspective. When recently emigrated people ask if Iʻm Filipino, the conversation usually plays out like this: Stranger: “Are you Filipina?” Me: “Yes.” Stranger: “Ahh! Where is your family from in the Phillippines?” Me: “Ilocos.” Stranger: “I know Ilocos!” then speaking in Tagalog or Ilocano Me:  “I’m sorry. I was born here, but my family is from Ilocos.” Stranger: “So you aren’t from the Phillippines?” Me: “No.” Stranger: “And you don’t speak Filipino?” Me: “No.” Stranger: “Oh.” They are disappointed. For me, I use the term “Filipina” to confirm my ethnic composition, while they often use it to forge a connection with someone who shares a national identity. My grandpa was the last …

Finding Balance… work hard, play hard

Summer surely is flying on by. “Mom, when are we going to da hotel?” Kodee asks. “Next Week,” I responded.  Oh my, next week is now!  In preparation for the weekend … a mom’s work is never done!  Laundry, tidying up, packing… oh joy! But seriously, spending time with my family and creating new childhood memories for my keiki are my top priorities.  Though with long hours at work, never ending “to do” task lists, and meetings on the outer islands, making quality time for my family is challenging.  Who knew  balancing a career and family would be a work of art! But this weekend… oh, it’s on! Let’s do this!  As I leave behind my worries and stresses at work, and start the weekend present with my ohana, motherhood (and wife-hood!) sets in and life goes on. I strive to live with this approach in mind … Work hard, play hard! Packed snacks, stopped for ice and off we went to Waikoloa for our staycation!  The open road and drive to Waikoloa was beautiful and serene.  Upon our arrival to …

Pohoiki Bay

The drive down to Pohoiki Bay is breathtaking; the road is lined with tall trees creating a lush green canopy. On a sunny day, the rays peek through the trees creating a magical feel. Closer to the shoreline, large mango trees line both sides of the road welcoming you to the beach. The day we headed to Pohoiki there were plump ripe mangos hanging on the tree tempting beach goers to stop along the way to pick a few fruits for their afternoon merenda. The morning of our outing Rogene reminded me that we had been to this beach when we were in college. I seriously thought I had only discovered this beach since returning home almost a decade ago. Whenever I hear folks refer to Pohoiki, I only think of surf.  If you had to find it on the map, it’s labeled as Isaac Hale Beach Park. This beach is located on the east side of Hawaiʻi Island past Pāhoa town. The park is well kept with ample parking, a shower stall, mom & …