The Importance of Grandparents
Romelyn Tabangcura | Maui High School
When one thinks of grandparents, one may think of the people who step in to care for their grandchildren when parents are occupied. But they are more than that. Grandparents share their life experiences and provide life lessons to their children and grandchildren. They provide insights into how life could be like, pass on family recipes and bond with their grandchildren creating precious memories. In our Filipino culture, grandparents play an important role because they pass on traditions, beliefs and culture. Because of this, elders are treated with much respect. For example, if Filipinos greeted their elderly, they would do the pagmamano in which they bow towards the hands of their elders and usually place their forehead on the elder’s hand. This shows a huge sign of respect to elders and provides an insight into how important grandparents are in the Filipino culture.
Cheyenne Cadiz describes her grandparents as loving, caring and understanding. Some of their favorite activities that they like to do together are “going to the park and having a picnic after church on Sundays or even singing karaoke at home.” Cheyenne believes her grandparents have influenced her to become the best version of herself because “My grandparents have reminded me to have a kind heart, even if others don’t.” She goes on to explain that her grandparents advised her to stay strong because “Even if you’re going through something tough, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel.” To Cheyenne, she believes growing up with grandparents is essential because “they’re good role models to you and your parents. They taught your parents and they also teach you things about life.” As a future grandparent, Cheyenne hopes to “teach my grandchildren how to love others because love is a huge thing in life.”
Wravyn Jeliah Ulep also believes her grandparents have played a critical role in growing up. She explains her grandparents have influenced her life to become the best version of herself because “I noticed how every time we would have family gatherings with some friends, I would always see how a lot of people would love and enjoy to be around them due to the fact they have such kind, loving hearts. That was the moment when I realized I want to be the type of person who would enjoy my company because of how my heart is just caring towards others.”
Because of her grandparents’ loving nature, her grandparents have also provided her useful life advice. “Whenever I’m stressing about what I want to do with my life after high school, my grandparents would always talk about their life experience and end with a piece of advice. I find it pretty helpful and important.”
Also, Wravyn says, “they always told me to give other people respect even if they may not give the same back because we all go through things that we hold in and it’s just a good feeling to know that there are people out there who’s all about respect.” All in all, she states that the elderly in the Filipino culture is respected because “the elderly is a huge part of the Filipino culture because the elderly had sacrificed so many opportunities in life to give support for their family. For example, there are some elderly who are working double jobs to help pay the bills or put food on the table for their children and grandchildren. The elderly are very considerate people who put others first before themselves.”
“My grandparents are loving, compassionate, and affectionate. They shower me with love from miles away, no matter where we are,” says Malie Kamalo. Although her grandparents don’t live near her, she cherishes some of her fondest memories that they shared. “I remember spending time at their house on the weekends. When I was a kid, my weekly routine consisted of going to school on weekdays and spending the weekends with my grandma. My grandma always fed me with food I wasn’t allowed to have and she introduced me to technology at a young age. She used to call me her little opihi because I always stuck to her wherever I went.” Malie states the best piece of advice that her grandparents have ever given her was “to live life at the moment as much as I can. My grandma once told me, ‘You are at the prime of your youth. Enjoy every moment of it before it gets robbed from you.’ I use that quote as a reminder to treasure all the memories I have right now,” says Malie. As a future grandparent, Malie hopes to “incorporate lessons by doing the same as my grandparents did, talking story and teaching them with experience. I’d talk and show them where I grew up and how I grew up. I would always show my love and affection when scolding them but teach them the right values and morals they need in life.”
Ghenesis Balaan describes his grandparents as hardworking, loving and kind.
He explains “My grandparents immigrated here in Hawai‘i in the 1980s because they wanted to give our family a better life. It was hard but they persevered and reached their many goals for us. They taught me never to let life bring you down and that obstacles are created so that you can break through them and learn more about yourself and capabilities.” Ghenesis believes that growing up with his grandparents was important because “Grandparents allow us to form an even bigger network of support and unconditional love within our homes and hearts. They are experienced and have lived for most of their lives. The lessons they learned from their individual experiences is a gift every grandchild in the world should treasure.” Like many, he believes showing respect to his elders is crucial to his culture because “it is our way of keeping our culture of respect alive. By doing so, we are an example to be followed by the youth. We carry this tradition in our hearts and pass it along to our children.” During his free time, some of his favorite activities that he likes to do with his grandparents are gardening. “It’s our weekend activity that usually starts at the crack of dawn. Something about the fresh dirt, stillness and silence of the morning is a great way to unwind from the stressful days at school and the workplace. This would be our one-on-one time together and talk about the things that happened over the week; gossiping might be involved as well.”
In the Filipino culture, our grandparents mean a lot to us. Not only do they cook heartwarming meals but they also provide us lessons and advice that we’re able to use in our lives forever. Like most cultures, elderly are treated with respect. But in the Filipino culture, it is very prominent as the values, traditions, and lessons are passed onto to their grandchildren.
Google® Is Not Everything … is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes that education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Romelyn Joy Tabangcura, a senior at Maui High School. She is the current president of Maui High HOSA-Future Health Professionals and has competed in the Human Growth and Development and placed top 10 at the International Leadership Conference. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, a prestigious organization with students who show scholarship, leadership, service and character. She aspires to be a Nurse Practitioner one day. She is the daughter of Romeo and Roselyn Tabangcura.