Cebu in the eyes of an outsider

By: Immae Lachica - General Assignments Reporter/CDN Digital | June 08,2020 - 10:00 AM

David and Michelle with their two angels during their recent trip to Bantayan Island, Cebu. | Contributed Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Cebu City is a metropolis filled with stories to tell, places to visit and people to meet. As well as a place where unforgettable memories are made.

In this case, an outsider finally got to know what it feels like to be in the Queen City of the South and how Cebuanos welcome him with open arms and warm smiles.

David Nguyen shared with CDN Digital what it feels like to marry into a Filipino-Chinese family and how the wonders of Cebu never fail to amaze him.

Nguyen was born in America to Vietnamese parents.

Six years ago, he married the love of his life, a Cebuana, named Michelle, who was born into a Filipino-Chinese family in Cebu.

The Nguyens are based in Huntington Beach, California, with their two little angels, Samantha, 6, and Ethan, 3.

David said that being married to a Filipina was already an exciting thing for him. But coming to Cebu to know what it feels like to be part of a Cebuano family was a journey he said he will never forget.

Just last January 2020, he finally got the chance to visit Cebu.

“I’ve been part of the Sy family for a little over 6 years. So much has changed in these short 6 years and the way I view family is probably the biggest difference. Growing up I didn’t get the opportunity to spend time with family the way I know now. Most of the days growing up were spent with friends and much of the time alone. I never got to know my grandparents nor did I get to know any cousins. I didn’t realize what I was missing until I was blessed enough to marry into this family. This recent trip to the Philippines was the absolute best trip I’ve ever experienced. I thought I’d share my perspective from an outsider’s point of view,” wrote Nguyen.

The Nguyen family decided to pay Cebu a visit so they can attend the 90th birthday of Michelle’s grandmother. But for Nguyen, the excitement went beyond just the celebration.

“I’ve heard so many things about Sirao Gardens but I could have never prepared myself for what I was about to see and feel. To think that someone so close to us could be a part of something like this that people from all over the world travel to see is pretty spectacular. We were able to capture some great pictures here like the picture below that will be a reminder of their heritage. It’s an amazing thing to have them learn their roots with their boots on the ground,” he added.

The family did not just marvel at the tourist destinations in the city but was also able to experience the beautiful island of Bantayan.

Nguyen said that while they were in Cebu they never went to so many places, but made sure to visit the ones where the Sy family made memories.

“The quality time you both spend with our kids is an absolute treasure. You are both giving something to our children that I personally always longed for growing up. A relationship with my grandparents. My new personal goal is to be as great of a grandparent as you both are with our kids, kids someday in the very distant future…and I mean distant. You’re an example for all grandparents to follow,” he added.

Nguyen who grew up in a different family dynamics did not just unveil Cebu as a place of adventure, but as his new home knowing that he has a family here who will welcome him with open arms.

“My immediate family. You’ve allowed me to become part of something I never knew I needed. You recreated this picture from many years ago….just know we will be recreating this picture again in the Philippines for many more times to come,” he added.

For all the wonderful things that happened to him, while he was in Cebu, Nguyen said he will forever bear in his heart all the beautiful memories he has created here. Like how Cebu taught him to be more loving and how he came to realize that it was family that makes a place a home. /rcg

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TAGS: Cebu‬, Cebu in the eyes on an outsider, family, family roots, wonderful memories

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