Who are You?


This is a picture of my maternal grandfather who came to this country from the Philippines, he dyed his hair and changed his age. He lived with us for a short time when I was a little girl. My recollection of how he came to live with us goes something like this. My mom had been searching for him and found him living in downtown Los Angeles.  The reacquainted efforts lasted for awhile and while he lived with my brother and I, he was a wonderful cook and babysitter.  The status of my parents marriage was sketchy at best and I remember my dad’s  presence was fading which probably causes action on my mom’s part. The proverbial “writing on the wall” was looming over like a gray cloud, the situation was not clear and it felt cold. I saw my grandfather more as entertainment than anything else. He permed his hair, made most of a polyester ensemble and hit on my mom’s friend’s. He also  made himself 10 to 15 years younger which benefitted him in the short term then punished him in the long end. I heard he had to work well into his 80’s as a cook. He died several years before my mom found him again. And the items in his tiny unit in downtown LA were held for 90 days then dismissed somehow. I feel terribly sad now because he didn’t want to necessarily be involved with us and his desire to slip back into anonymity had to be respected.  As I see it he was especially fond of my brother who I felt got much needed attention then sadly shortchanged in this whole scenario. My  brother was without a father in the home during the years where it counted the most.  So when people ask me my nationality I tell them I am Mexican with a little Flip…from Cebu.


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