Ay, marunong palang mag-Tagalog. People would almost always exclaim in surprise when they first meet Rama. Walang audio-video lock, say ng advertising friends. She looks so tisay, but look out, Tagalista.
One of the commitments that I made raising Rama was that she would learn and speak Filipino. I figured English would be easy enough to learn, considering that our usual edutainment fare today is American. I had no doubt she would somehow get exposed to English soon enough. But Tagalog? It had to be a conscious decision to expose her to the language; it's so easy to miss out on learning Filipino. Friends would just realize that their kids needed tutoring in Balarila! Ironic and absurd, yes?
So at home we would speak Filipino, even when we were living abroad. And this is Rama's first language.
But she's learning, as kids do. In nursery school here in Manila, it's English. It happens to be English-with-an-Assumptionista-kaka-girl twang. Not annoying at all: it's kinda cute. She really tries to speak English well, and fortunately, she has met with moderate success.
Marunong na naman siyang mag-English. Carry na. Pero minsan talaga, dumadapa. Like so:
Playing an impromptu game of hide-and-seek, she sing-songs: Where I Am....
Saying goodbye: Love you! Miss you! See you so much!!!
Calling her playmates: HEY GUY! (note, singular. She sort of felt something was wrong there) Uhmmm, halina nga kayo!
Anticipating our next game: Yey! Wow! I'm so exciting!