April 19, 2012

IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA: Speaking In Another Language

At work they are trying to highlight the Americans that speak the local language: Tagalog. Not like putting my second language skills on show for the whole world to see. (no pressure, no pressure) I was the first one up to film and kick off the series of us all giving a short presentation on one topic or another. After working with the public relations team we decided to do my “Kwento” (story) out in the inner city.

Lady Hiva and I spend most of our weekends and quite a few of our week nights with Filipinos in the area. Either for church or some other service activity; so the PR team thought it would be good to film me doing that.

We had it arranged so that one of the families in our congregation that Lady Hiva have gotten to know and love could be in the video with me. I thought that it would be fun because as a family of 6 children ranging from 17 to 6 months they have quite a bit going on. One of the younger kids loves to dance (as do many Filipino children) so I thought it would be fun to dance with him on film…It was a nice idea anyway. However, when we arrived with the camera crew and all of the big shiny cameras, the little family, normally active, family became a bit shy. The youngest boy, that Lady Hiva and I affectionately call “Malikot” (naughty) because he is always running around involved in something, was mesmerized by the camera and had an overpowering urge to continually touch it. In the middle of filming it would go all E.T. style and with his arm straight out and one finger pointing he would slowly move in a wide-eyed trance to towards the camera…we would call him back. Sit him down and start rolling the camera again!

They of course wanted to do the Dougie. I tried to dance with them. But, much like my accent sounds like a white man, my dancing looks like a white man too. Luckily they spared us all and cut that part of the video short! I told one of my cousins I am not sure where I missed out on the dancing gene. THEY ALL DANCE—all of them! My sister, my brother, my nieces, my aunts, a few of my uncles, my cousins, my cousins kids, the dog, their neighbors…(hahaha…ok, I got a bit emotionally carried away!) But seriously, they all dance—and as you can all see from the movie my skills left something to be desired! (It causes nightmarish flashbacks of our wedding reception when I got up to dance the traditional style with Lady Hiva and I look like a huge flopping chicken (they got that on film too, I am sure it will pop us sometime in an embarrassing roast *sigh*) Can’t have it all though, right?!

It was a fun day of filming. I had a blast! The people in the streets were VERY interested in who the white guy was being filmed. It was funny to just walk up and ask some random person if we can film them and they would not hesitate to be in the shot! At one point the LDS missionaries from the U.S. happened to walk by so I was talking to them (in Tagalog, which I am not sure I realized at the time) and since they also know the language responded in Tagalog too! I was shocked the conversation was filmed and they put it into the video. Kind of fun!

One of the last parts I filmed was the very first clip where I introduce the series. Yes, we filmed it not in order. And NO, it is not a green screen as one of my colleagues asked me. It is really in the back streets of their homes. This was the only part of the filming that they wanted me to say something specific. The rest is me just talking to whomever about whatever—nothing prepared, totally impromptu and natural (well my accent is a bit off so maybe not SO natural, but I was trying!) They wanted me to say, “Mabuhay, heto ang Kwentuhan Tayo, Filipino Style” (Hello! This is “Let’s have a conversation Filipino Style!”) But I kept saying “Heto an Kwentuhan Style, Filipino Tayo!” (This is Lets have a conversation style, we are all Filipino!) BRMP…FAIL! I was glad that I had a patient camera crew with me because I had to say it almost 10 times before I got it right! TEN TIMES!!! AYE YAY YAE! By the time I had it done the WHOLE neighborhood was standing behind the camera watching it all happen. LOL! Too bad they did not take a photo of that.

So here is the video that introduces the series with a clip from each of us that will have a video. Then the second video is my clip! ENJOY! I will look forward to your comments! 

The Introduction to the Series:

 My Video Clip:


  1. Dude your a crazy one. I didn't know what to think about you trying to dance and talk like a crazy man. You sure we are brothers? No I miss ya bro. Love you Man. Beau B

  2. It really is cool. I am proud of you bud. Beau B

  3. Hiva that snake is nasty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crazy lady. Beau B

  4. Enjoyed this post, I've been reading your blogs for a time now and I'm glad to hear you speak tagalog and I could say that I understand all of it. Great job!

  5. Well, I couldn't understand anything you said, but I could still see your fun, kind personality coming through :)

  6. Dustin, you are the MAN!!! Excited to see you guys here in Shanghai soon!!

  7. Go Dustin! Ps. Your dancing MADE that video! xoxo