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Spanish Rice

March 29th, 2011

I named this post as such because I thought I’d talk for once about my heritage. The topic goes well with the location of these photos. My husband Rob and I just found a Spanish district in Baltimore that we didn’t know about, and Rob’s lived in this city all his life!

For some of you who think I am Chinese or Korean, I am not. I am Filipino and part Portuguese. My maiden name is Escueta, and that is what the E stands for in my initials, R.E.D. I can’t speak Portuguese or Spanish all too well, but I do know how to speak a great deal of broken Filipino. Despite my having grown up in the Philippines, most of what I read in books and watched in films as a child was in English. They say that language is formed based on thought (or vice versa), so without the thought, there is no language. If you’re interested in reading more about linguistics and thought, look up Neils Bohr. Anyway, I find that surprisingly true with the way I express myself. Anyone would think I’d naturally express myself better in Filipino having been raised there, but because I find that English is much more complex in structure and has a greater variety of words, I am able to sift through the expansive language to form exactly what is in my head.

I am not saying that Filipino is not as complex, because I am not entirely sure. It sure has evolved throughout the centuries, borrowing from other languages just as English tends to do. What I do know and am somewhat turned off by in the Filipino language is its impractical use and lack of authenticity. Since almost every Filipino speaks a bit of English, there is really no need to use that language besides amongst themselves. At times I joke around that knowing Filipino just tempts me to talk behind someone’s back and gossip, so I’ve never really felt the need to use the language. It’s just polite not to exclude someone of a different tongue in a group conversation by speaking in another language. In fact, my husband and I have agreed not to teach our future kids Filipino for that reason! Neither my husband nor I really want our kids to talk bad about their dad to each other or to me without him understanding. They can just resort to Morse code for all I care!

Secondly, the lack of authenticity doesn’t really come from borrowing other languages. What I meant by lack of authenticity is really from what I see in modern day-to-day talk. In Filipino shows and movies, you will almost always see the actors switch from Filipino to English—inserting words, phrases, and whole sentences in that language. If you were to ask them to translate what they said in English to Filipino, most likely they would have a hard time doing so (even though there is an equivalent).

To give the Filipino language the merit it deserves, I believe there are still some words and expressions in that language that do not have direct English equivalents. However, when I attempt to translate these words or expressions to the best of my ability as in a Filipino joke translated to English, it doesn’t turn out to be as funny. I’ve shot myself in the foot so many times doing so.

What I Wore: Shirt from Petite Monde – Skirt from the Philippines – Tights and belt from Goodwill – Sweater from mom – Bag from H&M

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15 Responses to “Spanish Rice”

  1. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    This outfit is so cute on you. That is so wonderful that you found this hidden treasure of an area! It was great learning more about your ethnic backgrounds. You’ve mentioned some of it to me before, but this was so interesting.

  2. Natasha Atkerson

    *Coveting* I love that background! It’s so cool! I have…snow…snow..and more snow! Oh well! Simplicity isn’t always a bad thing..right? *GRIN* I love your outfit! I just wanted to drop you a comment and say that I’m very thankful to have found your blog! I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a fellow Christian Fashion Blogger! Most every other blog I follow is Mormon, which frustrates me so bad! Why don’t all Christians dress like we enjoy modesty?! Anyway, have a great day!
    Natasha
    http://www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

  3. kristy

    these photos are absolutely stunning. great job finding this district and taking some drool worthy photos! you are such a sweet blogger.

    Kristy Eléna – Full Time Fabulous
    Vogue Gone Rogue
    Twitter: @kristyelena

    Follow Full Time Fabulous on Bloglovin’

  4. Heidi

    Cute outfit! I am loving the skirt and hat. :)
    Nice to learn about your heritage!

  5. Lyddiegal

    your archway photos are so pretty! what a gorgeous place for a photoshoot!

  6. Shey

    You look very pretty with your beret Rache. =)

  7. gustosa

    We have the same outlook of not teaching kids a Filipino. (I am also Filipino by birth) We prefer to teach our daughter Portuguese/Spanish, Japanese and English language, but since my daughter and I are having a vacation in the Philippines, she started to learn the language, but I am pretty sure she will forget it as we return to Japan.

  8. Silver Strands

    We used to live on Guam and there are lots of Filipinos there – I was sure you were part Filipina :)

  9. Anthea

    You look absolutely beautiful in these pictures. It also nice to hear about your heritage.

  10. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    I completely understand about the volume issue. I think that growing my hair long helped with the volume because the longer I grow it out, the more the hair is weighed down so it isn’t so poofy. . short hair on me is VERY poofy and annoying so that is why I prefer it long on me otherwise it takes too much maintenance to keep it shorter. half of my hair is cut as bangs because my hair is so thick. As a teenager i used to shave the back of my head for a few years because of how thick it was and it made it easier (but it still poofed even though I did that haha).

  11. Krystal/Village

    It was so interesting to read your thoughts on the language here! But, I do think it would be awesome to teach your kids the language…but then just teach them the manners to not talk about you or your husband, haha!!

  12. Aquí

    beautiful photos! I love the archways!

  13. Rachel @ à la Modest

    One of my best friends in the Philippines is half Filipina and half Japanese. She can speak both languages fluently, and also of course, English. It’s great to know all of them as a frequent traveller like her, but as for use in the US, learning Filipino is not really important. I’ve seen how Filipinos have misused the language just to talk behind someone else’s back.

  14. urbandon

    Nice to hear a little about you. Great outfit.

  15. brisallie

    I thought you were japanese xd. You know im part spanish, actually is my first language then i learnt english.

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