She organized a pig on the spit and everyone fought for the best bit of the crackling. I met cousins and other relatives for the first time in my life as well as a plethora of my mother's old school friends. I tried to get some dirt on what my mum was like at school but everyone's lips were sealed.
Not everyone there spoke English so for a lot of the night I was simply trying to figure out what was going on. I would listen to my mum have a conversation and every now and then I would hear my name followed by laughter or some other response. I still don't know what she said about me!
Sometimes my mum would forget that I can't speak Philippino and ask me a question or tell me to do something in her native tongue. I stare at her blankly until she realizes what is happening.
Despite this, toward the end of the night, there was one word that I did understand... karaoke! I'm pretty sure karaoke is a Philippino past-time and pretty much every house has a karaoke machine. So when someone started mentioning it, I quickly hid and declined any requests for an attempt.