To start this little story off, I thought it was ridiculous to assume that anyone from a particular region of the world is some how your relative. I thought my good friend Jon was ridiculous for assuming so. That is until two incidents happened.
The first was when Jon found out that he happened to be a distant cousin (emphasis on cousin, might I add) of an incredibly gorgeous half-Filipino girl that he and our other friends were ogling at and chatting about for a couple hours. Funny story, I might’ve said “Watch and find out that you’re both related!”–Jon never forgave me for jinxing him. Anyways, after discovering his new relative, he went on to assume that everyone from the Philippines is somehow his cousin, to the point where he introduced me to his own friends as his cousin.
The second was when I was at Montreal for a Filipino related event (which was actually quite fun!) and there I found out my friend is my third or fourth cousin. Again, emphasis on ‘cousin’. That was when it hit me that anyone within my indigenous Filipino community may potentially be my relative and since then, I understood Jon’s reasoning and am now doing the same thing. The only difference is that no one jinxed anything.
Anyways, since moving to Melbourne, I realize that I have made the correct decision in assuming that anyone from the same region in the Philippines as my mother is some how my relative. This is mainly because one night, I was Skyping with my mother and she informed me that her old high school teacher is living in Sydney and pretty much ordered me to look for him, via Facebook, tell him about myself and pretty much everything my mother told me. I did just that, and later discovering that my mother’s high school teacher happens to be a cousin-uncle of mine. Mostly because his great uncle married my great grandmother, which makes us related by marriage.
Funny how that works, eh?
After that little discovery, he allowed me to call him uncle, and told me of several people living in Melbourne who are also from the same community. This is how I met another distant cousin of mine–a deacon (priest-in-training) working at a Mission to help sailors. He introduced me to everyone there as his cousin, and since then, I did pretty much the same thing.
I now believe more than ever that I made the right choice in assuming such a thing. I also have a feeling that I will be meeting more relatives in the coming weeks.
And that’s just the little surprising stories of discovering (not so) long lost relatives from my mom’s side of the family. Dad’s side isn’t as dramatic, but still on the globally spread side of things.
I remember I sent a Facebook message and a friend request to my cousin about a year ago, and though he did see the friend request, he strangely just saw the message very recently–as in just a couple days ago. The great thing is that although it’s only just recently, we’ve been chit chatting ever since, and it’s over all quite nice to reconnect with family (well, family you know for sure is related to you). I learned some impressive things about him, such as currently in another part of Canada, and training for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, and I also found out some other interesting things such as the fact that our other Aunt and Uncle are currently on a trip to visit Ireland, which led me to come to another conclusion.
My family, on both sides, are quite literally scattered all over the globe.
There are some in Asia, some in the States, different parts of Canada, some in Europe, etc. It really makes me wonder where everyone is every now and then. On the bright side, I at least have free accommodation whenever I happen to travel to places where I know I have family (at least the ones I know about).