Digging for Roots

Digging for Roots
Many writers and citizens of the world have explored what it means to find your roots and the essence of what makes you, you.


The Captain and the Teacher. He was a Captain of the Ship from a Spanish lineage. Tall, dark and handsome, he always had a pipe on his mouth. She was a short, native Filipina, with big brown eyes, flat nose, and long wavy hair. She was one of the first teachers graduated under the Americans. They met, fell in love and got married. They had many children, my mother being the second to the youngest. They called each other “dear” until the end of their lives. He loved reading; he wrote the meaning of some words at the side of the books he read. She was a good business woman, bought some cloth materials in Quezon and sold them in Marinduque. He died of Parkinson’s disease; she followed after 6 months, perhaps from a broken heart… My grandparents’ story.

If I could speak with anyone from our past, who would it be and why? I’d like to speak to Dr. Jose Rizal (1861-1896). He was our national hero. He called for peaceful reform of Spain’s colonial rule in the Philippines. After his 1896 execution, he became an icon for the nationalist movement. I’d like to thank him for doing what he did and would like to ask him some other questions. We’d learned his biography and history in school, but I’d like to know more, like his favourite books, music, hobbies, etc. I’d like to know what inspired him to write his 2 novels and was it hard to write them in different language. I think the original was in Spanish. I know he can speak a lot of languages, and I’d probably speak Spanish or German to him (just to show off). It would be a great privilege to speak to him.

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