IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
August in the Philippines is “buwan ng wika” – the month that celebrates and promotes our national language. To some, it is “ghost month,” and the month where businesses avoid launching, or starting something new because of superstition. August to me back when I was a student meant that school was just about to start again, or my summer was coming to an end – it was a month of new chapters, and beginnings. August is also my mom’s birthday, and as a family, an extra occasion to celebrate the queen of our lives at the end of the month. It is also the last month before Christmas in the Philippines “officially” begins, which to a lot of us, signifies the start of the busiest time of year.
I never really paid much attention to buwan ng wika to be honest until we started celebrating it in school as a month to pay homage to our rich culture. And now that I live in a Spanish speaking country, I realize in learning a new language how much a lot of my knowledge of Tagalog has helped me especially in similarities with vocabulary. A native language is a strong sign of identity and culture – one that distinguishes you from the rest of the world, and that you are able to take with you wherever you go. As a product of an international school, I am proud to have learned my native language, and to have chosen it as my modern language in high school because I felt that it anchored me to my mother land, and strengthened my ties with fellow Filipinos. In my line of work as well, it most definitely comes in handy, and allows me to relate to those I work with on a more personal level. It gives me a fonder and higher appreciation of our culture and society I probably otherwise would have much less of, and for that, I am grateful.
To some, August is “ghost month,” and to those who are heavily superstitious and practice the beliefs around it, most major transactions when it comes to business, or most new beginnings (like launches, moving houses, opening of new establishments) are put on hold during this month in line with tradition. But to others (like me) it has always been a month that unfolds new chapters as it is somewhat aligned with the start of the school year. It is the last month in the Philippines before our Christmas season “officially” begins, and one that lets us gear up for the busiest time of the year. In our family, the month ends on a special note as we celebrate the birthday of my mom – an occasion that reminds me year after year how blessed we are to have such a strong and steadfast influence in our life, with the greatest of hearts.
Whatever August means to you, however you choose to spend it, or wherever this August takes you, I hope it has been, and continues to be a meaningful one that launches a thousand ships forth and forward for you. May it be the start of the many beautiful beginnings that await you, and may it bring to your life nuggets of hopefulness, purposefulness and inspiration to spark, and last your lifetime.