Bennington Family

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Chester Bennington’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I have always reflected my family’s unique dynamic. My parents are both musicians, which definitely is not the norm around where I live. It became clear as I grew up that most of my friends had a dad who worked at the office all day and a mom who stayed at home. When I tell people what my parents do, they’re always taken aback a little bit. My dad being a full-time Irish musician meant that he took many trips to play festivals. He was always on the road, which was difficult for all of us. Now, they both play weekly gigs at various venues: my mom with her band and my dad with other Irish musicians. Having both parents at their jobs most of the time has allowed me to be more independent and develop a multitude of responsibilities, from driving myself and my brother places to being my own advocate when dealing with schoolwork. I also take away a unique perspective on the world, which is equally important.
—  from an essay by Sylvia W.

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As told by a home-sick Filipino, living in New York, visiting Los Angeles.

Matt Ortile / Via BuzzFeed

1. I’m in Los Angeles for a week, foregoing all the touristy things such as hitting up the Hollywood sign, going down Rodeo Drive, et al.
2. But my friend Alex asks, « You’ve been to Jollibee though, right? »
3. I screech loudly.
4. After looking it up on Google, I make plans to feast at the branch on Beverly and Vermont.
5. I chuckle to myself that a Filipino fast food restaurant is on a road named after a state in New England that probably has very few Filipinos.
6. Then I remember that I might have extended family in Bennington, so my previous point is moot.
7. So I wait.
8. And I starve.
9. The afternoon oozes by, like the Jollibee gravy I dream of drizzling over hills and hills of white rice.
10. At the office, I attempt to quell my stomach with Milanos, Goldfish, and coffee.
11. I cannot be satiated.
12. I am insatiable.
13. I chew on the cords of my headphones.
14. I begin to hallucinate.
15. I start to smell the greasy limpish fries, the steam wafting off the rice, the crispy skin of Chickenjoy meals that await.
16. I nearly lose it.
17. I manage to keep it together.
18. But not without whispering-cum-chanting to myself, in a trance-like state, as my ancestors have done before me: Isa pa. Isa pa. Isa pang Chickenjoy.
19. The clock strikes six.
20. IT’S TIME.

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21. I make the pilgrimage down Beverly Boulevard by car.
22. But the traffic is terrible.
23. And it’s been a while since I’ve been in an automobile.
24. I get a little carsick at the stop-and-go nature of LA roads.
25. My head gets woozy.
26. My stomach turns.
27. I get nauseous.
28. Therefore, I panic.
29. Fearing that my weak constitution might hinder my attempt to gorge myself on chicken and gravy and rice.
30. So I concentrate on the task at hand.
31. I imagine the warm and tender drumsticks that await on Vermont and Beverly.
32. The salty goodness of the Filipino french fries.
33. And the sweet and cold halo-halo.
34. Success. My mind is focused, my intentions clear.
35. As I approach my intended destination, I learn I’m actually in LA’s Koreatown.
36. But between all the Korean signage, I spot a hair salon with a sign in Tagalog.
37. It says, « Pamilya tayo dito. »
38. Though I know what it means, I say it aloud in English anyway. « We’re family here. »
39. In the front window of the Filipino hair salon is a poster of Filipino actor and model Diether Ocampo.
40. I rediscover a different hunger altogether.
41. But I step out of the car and onto the parking lot.
42. And I spot another familiar face, an old friend.
43. We hug.
44. I am near tears.
45. We take a selfie.


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