My family. The word family varies from everyone's perspectives. Here is a look into my caring, fun, and loving family.

To me my family consists of my loving parents and my two younger siblings. After a sudden move after my first grade year in Connecticut. We were introduced to a family at our local Church at typical Sunday morning mass. They invited us to a birthday party that we soon attended. Little did I know that the little kids that I was watching play around, were soon to become my lifelong best friends, and my new extended family.

After getting introduced to several families in such a short period of time, we instantly bonded and next thing you know we were seeing them every weekend, hanging out after school and more.

Flash forward ten years later, I am so grateful for these group of people my family was introduced to. This close knit group consisted of over sixty people. Sixty people, I know it seems like a lot, but I can say that each and every person that is in this group is apart of my family.

Our group is so diverse and every single individual brings a new talent or specialty to the table. Whether it's a photographer, a DJ, a chef, a Doctor, a dancer, an athlete, a crossfit junkie, or several nurses, our family has it all. As a Filipino, growing up we knew that family was everything and no matter what they will always have your back. You never go through something alone because there will always be an endless amount of people supporting you.

Even if it's a boring Friday night with no plans, we create a gathering that will instantly bring our mood up, by being surrounded by the people we love. Maybe it's just the teens all trying to lay on one bed jamming to sad music, or the parents laughing, yelling, and telling funny stories upstairs.

Our parents are so close that their children have become lifelong best friends that talk everyday, no one is ever left behind because we're in it together.

The kids definitely still are maturing, but it's so amazing to say that I have over twenty kids that are going through or going to go through the same things you are. We've all helped each other in ways we can't explain. Thank you to our parents for letting us create the close bond that we now and forever will have.

Maybe it's just another yearly camping trip singing around the campfire, or going on another cruise ship and being called the "sea of pinos", or simply seeing twenty cars outside of someone's house and not having any specific celebration except the love for each others company.

It's never a solid goodbye with this family. You might have to go around and kiss and hug your tita's and tito's (aunties and uncles) a couple times, but there's always another time you will see them.

This family has brought me so much joy and it's incredible to take a step back and see how far we've come. We have all grown up with each other, helped with each others homework, attended several swim meets and dance recitals, maybe even graduations, it's crazy to see how much this family has come together and I can't imagine what the future holds for us.

To many many more cruises, and camping trips, and typical filipino parties. Let's keep creating more memories and traditions. I love you all.