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Interracial Marriage, Filipino Fashion, & Indigenous Pride with My Mom

Guest: My Mom

Episode 003
Mei Jackson

Today’s episode is another special episode for me because today’s guest is…my mom!

October if Filipino-American History here in the US and in the Philippines, it’s National Indigenous Peoples’ Month so I really wanted to dedicate this episode to Filipino heritage, indigenous history, and I wanted to give my mom the space to talk about what it was like to grow up as an Indigenous person and an immigrant.

I think her story would really resonate with a lot of those listening, particularly those that are immigrants or children of immigrants.

I hope you enjoy this episode!

Episode Transcript

Asia Jackson 00:00:12 Welcome to the SKNFLUENCR podcast, a place where we can discuss along with some very special guests, how beauty and fashion intersect with race, identity, and culture. I’m your host, Asia Jackson, and I’m so glad you’re back.

Asia Jackson 00:00:30 Today’s episode is another special episode for me because today’s guest is my mom. I wanted to have her on this podcast because she has two kids. She’s retired. She has lived through a lot, She’s lived through many decades, but she’s also from another country. She was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the US when she was 28. In addition, she’s also indigenous. She comes from an indigenous group called Igorots, which are a people who are indigenous to the Cordillera Mountains in Northern Luzon in the Philippines. So I thought she would have really interesting perspectives regarding beauty and fashion, not only because of her age, but her culture and background. We had a really interesting conversation. My mom likes to talk, so I actually had to edit this down a little bit. But we talked a bit about how American colonialism influenced indigenous fashion and lifestyle.

Asia Jackson 00:01:29 We talked about what finding her personal style was like living in a very conservative culture. We even talked about liberation in personal style and how her style changed when she retired. October is Filipino American History Month here in the US and in the Philippines. It’s National Indigenous People’s Month. So I really wanted to dedicate this episode to Filipino heritage, indigenous history, and I wanted to give my mom the space to talk about what it was like to grow up as an indigenous person and an immigrant. I think her story would resonate with a lot of those listening, particularly those that are immigrants or children of immigrants. So I really hope you enjoy this episode.

Asia Jackson 00:02:20 Hello, Mei Jackson, Melinda Jackson. Welcome to The SKNFLUENCR Podcast.

Mei Jackson 00:02:25 Thank you very much. Thank you for having me
Asia Jackson 00:02:27 Yes. You are the second guest here. So how, how do you feel about that?
Mei Jackson 00:02:31 I’m feeling very special
Asia Jackson 00:02:32 As you should, period.
Mei Jackson 00:02:35 Mm-hmm. <affirmative> <laugh>. I really should be the first, but it’s okay. Second is still good.
Asia Jackson 00:02:40 Well, it’s Filipino American History Month, so you had to get your episode during this month. So, mm, think about that.
Mei Jackson 00:02:48 Oh, I see. I see. Okay. <laugh>, I believe you <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:02:52 Uh, let’s start off this podcast with talking about your humble origins in Baguio. So yes, you were born in Baguio.
Mei Jackson 00:03:02 I was born, I was born in Baguio, uh, in 1962. And, um, I grew up, I was born in my, uh, grandmother’s, uh, ancestral home in Pinnacle.
Asia Jackson 00:03:19 And we’ve had that house for like ever
Mei Jackson 00:03:22 Yes, we still have that house until now. So, yeah. So, um, when I was six, we moved to La Trinidad, Benguet. Um, it’s an outskirt of Baguio. Um, because my father, um, got transferred there. He had a job. He got a job at the, uh, municipal capital, Provincial Capital is what they call it, I guess. And he worked in government for all his life before he, uh, before he retired, he became, uh, the, uh, director for O N C C, which is, um,
Asia Jackson 00:04:11 Yeah, so O N C C I have it up here on my computer. Um, it says, you know, Republic Act number 83 71. This is like the Senate, you know, dot website. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It says, um, an act to recognize, protect, and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities slash indigenous peoples. So I’m assuming, that’s what he was working on, was that?
Mei Jackson 00:04:38 Yeah. Yes, he was, um, he was stationed, uh, or he was in Safer, I think it was in Pampanga because of the Aetas there, cuz they have indigenous peoples there. So yeah, he, he was there with my mom for the longest time.
Asia Jackson 00:04:58 Just to give you guys listening, um, some context. My mom is indigenous Filipino. There’s a bunch of different indigenous groups throughout the Philippines. We are Igorot, specifically Ibaloi, we’re from the Cordillera Mountains in Northern Luzon from Benguet. Lola’s side. My grandmother’s side is from Baguio. And then my mother’s
Yeah. And then my grandpa’s side is from Atok. And I actually wanna talk about like, Igorot life, Igorot fashion culture. So my great-grandmother Lola Buane. What was her style like?
Mei Jackson 00:05:41 <laugh>. Oh my, my grandmother. Oh. She was the strict one. My mother’s mother. On my mom’s side. She was very strict, but she was clean and tidy and neat. And every time you go to her house, there are rules. We really hated to go there. <laugh>, we usually go visit her on Sunday, but as kids you are like rowdy. We like to like run around. And she doesn’t like that cuz she doesn’t like the doors like banging, you know, opening and, uh, closing and, but there’s so many like, fresh vegetables there. And we loved it. We love climbing trees cuz she has, um, the backyard cuz it’s re it’s a big, um, lot where my grandmother’s house is, um, she has like fruit trees, guava, um, mangoes, passion fruit.
Asia Jackson 00:06:44 And it’s all organic.
Mei Jackson 00:06:45 Yeah. Yeah. It’s all organic. Um, mulberries,
Asia Jackson 00:06:51 It’s so funny that her style reflects like who she is as a person. Yeah. Cause she was like super strict. Super strict, but like, her hair was always like slick in a back in bun and like,
Mei Jackson 00:07:01 It was braided and then put up always in a bun. And I always see her like, you know, brushing her hair after she washes, she washes her hair and she brushes her hair like that. And, and you know, that hair that falls off from brushing, she would like, um, roll it into a ball. <laugh>. It was so crazy. <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:07:26 Was it like this big ball of hair?
Mei Jackson 00:07:27 Yeah. A big bowl of hair. And as a child, I’m like, Wow, that’s cute. <laugh>
Asia Jackson 00:07:32 So I feel like Lola, So your grandmother’s generation was the last generation before Americanization? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So she used to wear Igorot clothing, like traditional clothing.
Mei Jackson 00:07:49 Oh yeah. Yeah. The older people before they still use the, um, that’s their garb, That’s their everyday garp was like the tapis
Asia Jackson 00:08:01 And the tapis is the skirt, right?
Mei Jackson 00:08:05 Yeah, Yeah. Tapis is the skirt that they walk, walk around. That’s the divit Yeah, that’s the, that’s called divit
Asia Jackson 00:08:12 And then Lola’s generation, Your mom. That’s when they started wearing like western clothing, right?
Mei Jackson 00:08:20 Oh yeah, Yeah. My mom, um, I remember her pictures. She wore like, you know, like, you know, the actors, actresses in the fifties, that’s, that’s her clothes because her uncle went in a navy,
Asia Jackson 00:08:36 The US navy
Mei Jackson 00:08:37 The US Navy. And he used to like, you know, send boxes. We call it balikbayan boxes now, but I don’t know what they called it before. But he used to like, uh, send us toys and, uh, clothes and, um, silverware, <laugh> cameras. So we always had like the best, you know, whatever is like the new camera.
Asia Jackson 00:09:05 Best gadgets.
Mei Jackson 00:09:06 Yeah. <laugh> We were always the first to have like, you know, like tv, black and white tv, color TV phones. So everyone, all the kids in the neighborhood are always in the house during weekends. And you can see, because there’s a lot of like, tsinelas, slippers, <laugh> outside our door
Asia Jackson 00:09:26 So I guess because of Lola’s uncle and you, you got the balikbayan boxes full of stuff from America, right?
Mei Jackson 00:09:34 Yes. From the us. So we always have like, that’s what my, my father was always best dressed. He’s always in suits.
Asia Jackson 00:09:40 Yeah. I, I always saw him in suits
Mei Jackson 00:09:41 All his pictures were in suits.
Asia Jackson 00:09:45 So to give you guys a little bit of cult or historical context, um, the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 333 years. In the late 1800s there was the Spanish American war. So, uh, America wanted to take the Philippines from Spain. America ended up gaining the Philippines. And then there was the Philippine American War. So there was actually a war between the United States of America and the Philippines. That’s not usually talked about <laugh> in history books. I certainly didn’t learn about it in American history. I learned about it in the Philippines though, while I was going to school in the Philippines. But I just feel like that’s a war that they don’t really tell <laugh>. They don’t really talk about that here in the US
Mei Jackson 00:10:34 Yeah. It was the Americans that really paved the way, like roads and everything to go up to, uh, the mountain province. They call it I think mountain Province before it was Benguet.
Asia Jackson 00:10:49 Oh, that’s true. Because during, Yeah. So Igorots were never colonized by the Spanish. It was really hard for them to get up there
Mei Jackson 00:10:56 It was hard for them to get up there because there weren’t, there were no roads before. So they have to like, really, um, go up the mountains, climb and, you know, the Igorots are warriors. They would, from my grandmother’s stories, they would like push down boulders of rocks and stuff.
Asia Jackson 00:11:16 So they would push down boulders, like as the Spanish are trying to come up?
Mei Jackson 00:11:19 Yeah. <laugh> That was my grandmother’s story. So I don’t know. But you know, <laugh>, I mean even with the, um, Japanese, uh, invasion, um, they camped out in my grandmother’s house cuz my grandmother’s house was really like, large view of the mountain. It has the best view. And they camped out over there. They took over my grandmother’s house, but my grandmother said they were pretty nice. They loved them because they were giving out chocolates, <laugh> to them, you know,.
Asia Jackson 00:11:53 I feel like there’s two sides of the story always when it comes to war. Because, you know, I, I’ve always heard the stories of like the comfort women in the Philippines, you know, where they like, you know, became sex slaves and all that. But it’s really great to hear that that didn’t happen at Lola’s house.
Mei Jackson 00:12:09 Yeah, it didn’t happen. They were, um, from my mother. She was a kid then and she remembers, you know, all these cookies and chocolates that they get from them.
Asia Jackson 00:12:21 Yeah. I remember she said like, they asked if they could have some fruit from the trees.
Mei Jackson 00:12:25 <laugh>. Yeah. From the trees. Cuz they do have, Oh, my grandmother’s, uh, place is really, I mean, she grew vegetables in the backyard. I remember her planting, uh, beans
Asia Jackson 00:12:38 And she was always moving around. Even when she was like a hundred plus years old, she was still hiking. I remember that. I was like, you’re so old and you’re still like out here moving around. It’s crazy.
Mei Jackson 00:12:50 She loved to hike. She walked around and she, you know, she’s always like, uh, moving around. So that’s why she lived, uh, really long.
Asia Jackson 00:13:00 Yeah. I feel like the the national dress of the Philippines is like Maria, Clara, Like it’s very Spanish Tagalog.
Mei Jackson 00:13:08 Yeah. Different regions, uh, have their own
Asia Jackson 00:13:11 They have like their own traditional
Mei Jackson 00:13:12 Yeah, their own traditional
Asia Jackson 00:13:13 Because, you know, Igorots, we have the Bahag,
Mei Jackson 00:13:16 We have the Bahag for the men. The divit for the, uh, the women. The women before only wear, wear the Divit. They don’t really wear, um, tops. They don’t wear tops. So they’re like half,
Asia Jackson 00:13:30 Half naked,
Mei Jackson 00:13:30 Yeah. And you know, it was okay at that time. Right. And then Americans came and the Americans gave them, um, in this is in the mountain province, in Baguio City/Benguet. They influenced, uh, the Igorot people. Like really, uh, hard <laugh>. Like even their music, they left the country music. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cause even now, that’s what the Igorots like listening to is country music
Asia Jackson 00:14:02 If you guys go to Baguio City, don’t be surprised when you hear, when you see everyone wearing jean jackets,
Mei Jackson 00:14:09 Jean jackets, boots,
Asia Jackson 00:14:11 Listening to country music and listening to reggae
Mei Jackson 00:14:15 <laugh>. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We, I mean the hats, Yeah. The, the cowboy hats. I mean, they loved those, the buckles like the big buckles.
Asia Jackson 00:14:24 Yeah. That’s, I mean that’s very, like,
Mei Jackson 00:14:25 That’s very American. The music I remember, I used to like, I I saw pictures of, you know, our great ancestors wearing Bahag with the, we call it Americana. It’s the, uh, the coat, like a blazer, blazer coat for men, the tailored suit coat. And that’s what they wore. They wore that with the G string, the bahag.
Asia Jackson 00:14:52 Oh, really?
Mei Jackson 00:14:53 Yes. And they’re like barefoot.
Asia Jackson 00:14:55 Oh my God. That’s hilarious..
Mei Jackson 00:14:57 <affirmative> <laugh>. Exactly. If I wish that I can show pictures, I’ll, I’ll trying to see if we can put it post it.
Asia Jackson 00:15:04 Yeah I would love to see that picture. Actually. That is kind of hilarious.
Mei Jackson 00:15:07 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they wore that, they were like, you know, they were heavily influenced even the, the pipe,
Asia Jackson 00:15:13 The smoking pipe
Mei Jackson 00:15:14 The smoking pipe. The Americans introduced that the Jeep
Asia Jackson 00:15:18 Oh yeah. Jeepneys.
Mei Jackson 00:15:19 Yes. The jeepneys. They left it there after the war. And now it has become like jeepney now. But like,
Asia Jackson 00:15:28 So much of modern Filipino culture is from American colonization, I feel like
Mei Jackson 00:15:32 Yeah. Like for most especially in, uh, uh, Baguio City, Benguet, mountain provinces, it’s heavily, um, Americanized
Asia Jackson 00:15:42 <laugh>. Yeah. I feel like wherever there’s a military,
Mei Jackson 00:15:44 More English than Tagalog for one.
Asia Jackson 00:15:47 Yeah I feel like it, Wherever there was a military base, there was a lot of influence
Mei Jackson 00:15:51 LYeah. The reason why the Americans came up to Baguio, they, when in the City, the weather was nice. They built it’s, they call it r and r, they, they, they built a recreational, uh, base for the, uh, the armed forces, the US armed forces that was stationed there. And they called it John Hay. Uh, John Hay air base.
Asia Jackson 00:16:16 To give you guys some more context. <laugh>, uh, the Philippines, it’s very, very hot. Like in the lowlands. Um, I feel like when you look at the Philippines There’s like a lot of beaches and it’s very tropical and it’s hot and humid. But when you go up to the mountains in, you know, Benguet, Baguio, mountain province, places like that, it’s pretty cool. Like, it’s cool. It’s, it’s not hot. It’s not humid.
Mei Jackson 00:16:42 There’s humidity, but it’s, you know, it’s not that bad. I would compare it to California or Hawaii.
Asia Jackson 00:16:53 I would definitely say that the temperatures in Baguio are like LA mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, it’s like 75 year round. Do you think that the weather in Baggio influenced fashion for people differently? Like how?
Mei Jackson 00:17:08 How we wear jackets <laugh> all year round. We wear jackets, uh, thick ones. Wool, um, knits. That’s why Baguio City is well known for, uh, wearing knits. Um, what do you call that? Like beanie hats. We wore beanie hats and a lot of times people from the lowlands is what we call them. Uh, come up to Baggio and buy those. Beanie has, that has Bag City in them. <laugh>. We hate wearing those because we’re from baggy cities. <laugh>. But <laugh>, yeah. Our fashion was really different from the Tagalog and the Ilocanos.
Asia Jackson 00:17:50 So you grew up in the seventies, you were like a, a teenager in the seventies, right? Like teenager, late teens.
Mei Jackson 00:17:56 Yes. Yes.
Asia Jackson 00:17:58 This was the disco era
Mei Jackson 00:17:59 It was, I was in school in St. Louis University and that’s when they had, I remember this Tic tac toe, that was the first Disco, uh, in Baguio City. It’s called. Oh, it’s called Tic tac Toe <laugh>. And I was young then. I was like, what? 15? I was in, uh, first year college.
Asia Jackson 00:18:21 Oh yeah. Cuz the education system’s different there. Yeah. So you were in first year college at 15?
Mei Jackson 00:18:26 Yes, I was first year college at 15. Um, we don’t have, um, middle school. So from elementary, which is six years and four years of high school. And then college after that. So yeah. So I mean, my father was very strict, so he wouldn’t really <laugh> allow me. But did he, I mean, I was a rebel <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:18:52 Yeah. So like, what did he, did your parents ever scold you for like, the way that you dressed during disco era?
Mei Jackson 00:18:58 Um, no, because I was, um, there was in Baguio City there’s really no, the type of clothes that we wore at that time, Time was pretty much covered up.
Asia Jackson 00:19:12 Oh. Yeah. I feel like Philippines as a whole, like a whole country is pretty like conservative.
Mei Jackson 00:19:17 Conservative. Well, only in Baguio because of the weather. Now, when you go back, when you go down to the warmer areas, the hut areas, they can wear sleeveless or spaghetti straps. We cannot, we cannot wear that in, in Baguio. You, they make fun of you <laugh>, if you wear that. Yeah. They’ll think that you work at, at a bar or something. Yeah. Very conservative. But it’s okay because we don’t really wear those. We wear button ups, you know, sweatshirts, sweaters,
Asia Jackson 00:19:53 Even to the disco?
Mei Jackson 00:19:54 Yeah, the disco. I remember <laugh> cuz I wanted to like make you wear one. We have the bolero. It’s like a short, uh, vest, but it’s open. We call it bolero it’s cropped. Yeah, it’s like up to here.
Asia Jackson 00:20:18 Oh, I know what you’re talking. Okay.
Mei Jackson 00:20:20 Yeah, I couldn’t, I couldn’t, you know, I can’t, I don’t have money. I can’t buy like the new, um, you know, clothes. So I make them. I made, I made it myself, so.
Asia Jackson 00:20:30 Oh yeah. Okay. So you are a child a mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You’re a middle child.
Mei Jackson 00:20:34 I’m a middle child. I never get like, new clothes unless it’s my birthday. <laugh>. And even on my birthday, I get like, the ones that they sell, like in the market, you know, like the cheapest one possible.
Asia Jackson 00:20:49 Did you go ukay-ukay?
Mei Jackson 00:20:51 Oh, I did a lot of ukay-ukay. Yes. Because at the time there were a lot of, um, secondhand
Asia Jackson 00:20:59 Ukay-ukay means thrifting.
Mei Jackson 00:21:00 <laugh>. Yeah. OK. <inaudible>. I was, I really think that I was the first Uki
Asia Jackson 00:21:07 <laugh>
Mei Jackson 00:21:09 Because I love, I know my fabrics, you know, I know what is quality. For some reason, I remember when I was
Asia Jackson 00:21:18 Maybe because your uncle sent you like the good quality stuff.
Mei Jackson 00:21:21 I think so. I, the plaid, the wool. Yeah. So maybe that’s what it is. I didn’t even like think about that. I, I had a doll, um, going back to the balikbayan boxes. So, um, it was my first favorite personal item that I really loved. It was a doll. It was one of those, it’s not like a baby doll, but it’s more like a girly doll. But it’s not skinny, like, um, like Barbie barbie’s. So, but the arms moves, you know, and the head moves and the legs moves. So I usually like, you know, get like, um, scrap material cuz my mother loves sewing too. Um, and I always get her scraps in and I make, uh, uh, gowns for my, for my dolls. And I make like, you know, like a long gown and a slit on the side. <laugh> and sleeveless. And then I make like the, the scarves for my dolls. I mean, I love that. And, um, yeah, I think that’s how I, that’s how it started. And then I just really got into, um, like, you know, I, I had my own style.
Asia Jackson 00:22:36 If you had the resources and access to become a fashion designer, do you think you would’ve chosen that path?
Mei Jackson 00:22:44 Probably. It wasn’t an option then. You know, like that before was just for the rich people. You know, cuz they can afford to not earn a living. And they can spend, they have like, the budget to buy and the time Do it. But, you know, for us middle class, it’s, you know, there’s a predestined future. It was already like, made for us. But I didn’t go that way because I was a rebel. I was like the <laugh>. I didn’t follow rules.
Asia Jackson 00:23:22 What career did your parents tell you to do? Did they like pressure you to do anything?
Mei Jackson 00:23:28 No, no. We chose our own. Like my, my sis my oldest sister, uh, is a midwife. And next to her would be Ludy. My, my sister Ludivinia, she’s a nutritionist. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And my sister Suvanee is an accountant. And then my brother Benny took up forestry. And me, I’m an accountant. Lawrence..
Asia Jackson 00:23:54 He’s an auto engineer. Isn’t he an auto engineer?
Mei Jackson 00:23:56 Yeah. And my Abby is civil engineer. And my sister is an electrical, the youngest one is an electrical engineer, but became a businesswoman.
Asia Jackson 00:24:08 <laugh>. So everyone went to college.
Mei Jackson 00:24:09 We, Yeah. Yeah. All of us went to college.
Asia Jackson 00:24:12 When did you graduate college?
Mei Jackson 00:24:15 Oh, well, <laugh>, that’s a long story. You know, I should have graduated in 80, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82. But because I was in and out of school because of partying.
Asia Jackson 00:24:30 Then you had to go back. What year?
Mei Jackson 00:24:31 Um, finished 1990.
Asia Jackson 00:24:35 Oh, really? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You finished that late?
Mei Jackson 00:24:37 Yeah. Oh dang. Because I should have graduated in 82 or 83. Hmm. But because, um, I enjoyed life so much. <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:24:48 Okay. So now, now we’ve,
Mei Jackson 00:24:49 Well, I was the headache on my parents. Let’s put it that way.
Asia Jackson 00:24:54 <laugh>. Okay. So now we’ve reached a new decade. We’ve reached the eighties.
Mei Jackson 00:24:58 Mm-hmm.
Asia Jackson 00:24:58 <affirmative>, you were supposed to graduate in 82. You graduated in 90 instead. Well,
Mei Jackson 00:25:03 That was my party time. That was my dress up time.
Asia Jackson 00:25:07 What was your fashion like in the eighties? How did it change from the seventies? Cause now you’re an adult. You’re in your twenties now.
Mei Jackson 00:25:13 Yes. Yes. Seventies. I was in, you know, we, in high school, we wore, um, we wore uniforms. So there wasn’t really much dressing up to do. except like jeans. Although I remember I had like, the favorite. Um, it’s one of my new newer, um, clothing that my mother, uh, bought for me was a jumpsuit. It was plaid yellow. I remember that. <laugh>. I, I think I wore that every day. <laugh> cute. Until it got, you know, ripped. Cause I remember I, I wore that and went bicycling. And um, I had an accident and that thing ripped from the in seam all the way up. So I don’t know what happened to that now, but it was my favorite.
Asia Jackson 00:26:02 Did you ever make your own clothes?
Mei Jackson 00:26:06 Clothes? Like sewing. My gosh. Okay. So my grandfather still was like sending us like, you know, corduroys cuz it was a thing. Then corduroy in, Hmm. I don’t know about Manila or, you know, the other, uh, cities. But corduroy was the thing then. And at the time it was the flare. It has to be flared, but the corduroy was like fit.
Asia Jackson 00:26:27 Uh, it was like straight leg almost.
Mei Jackson 00:26:29 Yeah. Straight leg or, Yeah. Yeah. It was baggy, but like tight over here. Yeah. It’s not, So what I did, me and my sister used to do was like, um, cut it like on the side we added, we crocheted to make it wider <laugh>. So we added, we added like, kind of like crochet netting so that it would flare.
Asia Jackson 00:26:53 Cute.
Mei Jackson 00:26:54 Yeah. And it was cute.
Asia Jackson 00:26:57 Where’d you learn how to crochet?
Mei Jackson 00:27:00 Well, in our elementary and high school days, we have what you call home economics. And we learned cooking, we learned knitting, we learned crocheting.
Asia Jackson 00:27:12 Yeah. When I, when I was going to school in the Philippines, we also learned, they taught us how to crochet. They taught us how to plant a tree. But they taught us how to use a sewing machine.
Mei Jackson 00:27:22 Yes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that’s how I learned. Yeah. And my, my aunties, my mother’s, uh, sisters, they used to like, you know, uh, crochet at home. Most of their like sheets, bedsheets and stuff. It’s all crocheted <laugh>. So I learned from, from that.
Asia Jackson 00:27:45 I see. <laugh> was there like, was style in the eighties in the baggy in the Philippines. Was it the same as eighties fashion in the States?
Mei Jackson 00:27:58 Yeah. Yeah. The big hair. Madonna
Asia Jackson 00:28:01 Sneakers.
Mei Jackson 00:28:01 Sneakers. And then I wore like, flat boots and I wore like, okay. I would go to my, my dad’s closet and I would borrow his, um, coat jackets, the blazers. And I would take off like the padding on the shoulder so that it’s looks like baggy <laugh>. And I would wear that with twhite T-shirt i and jeans.
Asia Jackson 00:28:29 Boots
Mei Jackson 00:28:31 And I would go to the disco like that.
Asia Jackson 00:28:33 Hey, I feel like I got a lot of my style from you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> in the eighties. <laugh>
Mei Jackson 00:28:37 Yes. I remember too. I had, cuz I don’t like, I don’t like dresses, I don’t like heels and stuff. But I remember there’s this one nice dress. Like it’s purple. It was purple. I got it from my aunt because she worked in Taiwan for a while and she gave it to me. And it wasn’t really my style, but, but I really liked it. So what I did was wore, uh, sneakers with it. Mm. I went out, I went out, I went to our, my favorite hangout place called OJ Orange Julius. It’s where all the teenagers go and have like, you know, hamburgers, <laugh>, and, um, milkshakes. Anyway, um, yeah. So I make dresses. I make those things casual. And in, in baggy city, we don’t really like wear heels because of the terrain. Oh yeah. You know, like it’s too hilly walking down. It’s too hilly. And we go down in up session road, That’s the famous session road in baggy city. All the businesses are there. Restaurants and malls and stuff. And yeah. So my, my fashion before was neat. Sneakers bag, baggy pants, T-shirts.
Asia Jackson 00:29:54 Yeah. I feel like your style was pretty androgynous.
Mei Jackson 00:29:57 Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:30:00 And that’s definitely where I got my style from most. Cause I love androgynous fashion. I love wearing men’s clothing..
Mei Jackson 00:30:05 I wear men’s jackets clothing. Cause they have
Asia Jackson 00:30:09 The best
Mei Jackson 00:30:10 Yeah. They have the best jackets. They do have the best jackets. I mean, women’s jackets. I mean, they don’t really like make those like hip hop stuff, you know, They all, they make it for men, but not for women. Yeah. For women. They have like blouses. Yeah. And, which I don’t like, I never really wore blouses before until I, you know, started working.
Asia Jackson 00:30:33 And then the nineties is when I was born.
Mei Jackson 00:30:36 Nineties is when I came to the US
Asia Jackson 00:30:39 What year did you meet dad?
Mei Jackson 00:30:40 86 maybe?
Asia Jackson 00:30:44 Yeah, 86. Right.
Mei Jackson 00:30:45 Because we wrote each other for three years before I came to the US. I was in school then, and he was in school, so we wrote each other, you know, it was snail mail before. So it takes like four weeks to even, like two weeks to get there and two weeks for the reply to come back. Or sometimes telephone. That’s how we communicated before. But when I graduated, he came over and he proposed at that time. And he was interrogated by my dad and my uncles <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:31:16 What are your plans?
Mei Jackson 00:31:17 Yeah. What what are your plans?
Asia Jackson 00:31:19 No, what are your intentions?
Mei Jackson 00:31:20 What, what are your intentions? <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:31:23 What was like Lola and Lola’s reaction too, so it’s one thing to marry a non-ego Filipino, but it’s another thing to like marry a non Filipino. Just like in general.
Mei Jackson 00:31:40 Well, you know. Yeah. Mostly, especially my, my siblings, they married. That’s, there’s the thing there that you call a lovey neighbor. <laugh>, they just marry, you know, their townspeople.
Asia Jackson 00:31:54 I also feel like there’s a cultural difference. Like if you’re,
Mei Jackson 00:31:57 Oh,
Asia Jackson 00:31:58 And then you marry lowlander. There’s such a huge difference in culture.
Mei Jackson 00:32:02 I mean, I was, I was not accepted I think a lot of times by my Igorots relatives because my friends, I was like hanging out with non Igorots at that time. Only because I find it fascinating to learn about the culture outside of there. I know my culture because I grew up in there, the kanyaw and, you know, and the, the, our elders, because I was young, I wanted to, um, learn more about what’s outside. Right. So even with music, I wasn’t into country music. I was into eagles, you know, like whatever was the in thing at the time. I was more like hip. Um, even with, um, even with the way I dress is different.
Asia Jackson 00:32:57 You’re, you’re not like other girls.
Mei Jackson 00:32:59 <laugh>. I’m not. I’m very special. <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:33:03 Do you think that your parents would’ve accepted you marrying a non-Igorot?
Mei Jackson 00:33:10 Probably just gonna be like a lot of, um, it’s gonna be tough only because of the culture. Yeah. And if I’m marrying somebody who is not non-Igorot may, may understand me, but not his family.
Asia Jackson 00:33:27 Mm. I see.
Mei Jackson 00:33:27 Because, you know, when you marry somebody, you get married in the family, you know, you’re not just marrying your husband, you’re marrying the whole family. And they’re all like, connected. And I don’t know how that’s gonna be because our culture is very much, and they may not understand, uh, the KAA that we do
Asia Jackson 00:33:48 And all that. I feel like Yeah. kanyaw is such a, like, it it’s such an eager thing.
Mei Jackson 00:33:55 It’s an eager way.
Asia Jackson 00:33:57 Yeah. I feel like if you show like a Catholic Filipino kanyaw they’re not.
Mei Jackson 00:34:02 Its like, and its different. Non Igorots are, uh, Catholics. Yeah. And um, I remember every time I go to my friend’s house and then they pray and they have all these like religious, um, you know, sans and, and crossing the crosses in the homes and I can’t relate to that. Mm-hmm. But I learned, I’m open to learning about those things. And they pray before, um, I mean too, we pray, but we mostly pray to Kabunyan, which is like a God. There’s no Jesus. Mm-hmm. In, in Thero there’s a god.
Asia Jackson 00:34:37 So for all the listeners, um, kanyaw is like a cultural feast and like celebration that Igorot people do for many different reasons. We do it at weddings, we do it at funerals. We do it funerals too. You know, Thanksgiving.
Mei Jackson 00:34:54 Thanksgiving
Asia Jackson 00:34:54 We do it when someone buys a new house. And all of this is so different from lowland culture.
Mei Jackson 00:35:00 <laugh> very different. It is so different.
Asia Jackson 00:35:01 Yeah. So what was their reaction when you married an American? A black American at that?
Mei Jackson 00:35:07 There wasn’t really like, because we’re more Americanized, you know like, and we have like a, a us base. So it wasn’t really like a cultural shock or something. It wasn’t a shock. But I’ve really been had relationships before too. But, so they, they just really wanted me to like, you know,
Asia Jackson 00:35:26 Just settle down, get settled, <laugh>. Like at this point, we don’t care. Just get married. <laugh>,
Mei Jackson 00:35:32 They’re like tired. I’m like, okay, you should just like get married and get outta here.
Asia Jackson 00:35:38 <laugh>. So they had no problem with him being black, right? Because like whenever I listened to other Blasian kids stories about their parents, they’re always like, Yeah, like my Asian mom married my black dad and my Asian parents like hated them. And like, there was a whole problems like within the two different families. I never experienced that growing up.
Mei Jackson 00:36:03 You know what? I think it’s because in Baguio City we were Americanized.
Asia Jackson 00:36:08 I feel like there’s more black people because there’s a military base there.
Mei Jackson 00:36:11 Yeah. There’s a military base there and they always like visit there. So we, we were,
Asia Jackson 00:36:15 Familiar.
Mei Jackson 00:36:16 Yeah. We were familiar with non Filipinos because of the base. And you know, Bag city is like the summer capital of the Philippines. So people who are visiting like foreigners, they always come to Baguio and we see them and we know and they interact very well. We interact very well with, with, uh, other nationals because we speak english
Asia Jackson 00:36:42 Yeah. I was gonna say that because there’s a lot of mixed American Asians. But a lot of, like, I would say most of them are part Filipino. And that’s because they speak English in the Philippines. If you think about it, like, oh yeah, like my, like my grandpa on dad’s side, he was stationed in Korea, but they didn’t speak English in Korea. So it’s really difficult to like, have a relationship with someone. When you don’t speak the same language. So I feel like that’s why there’s so many mixed Filipinos, mixed American Filipinos.
Mei Jackson 00:37:17 Cuz you know, the, Yeah. We learned English as soon as we started, uh, crawling <laugh>,
Asia Jackson 00:37:25 So you think because of the military base, and cuz you guys speak English, it wasn’t really a big deal for Lola and Lola that you were marrying a black American?
Mei Jackson 00:37:32 Yeah. Yeah. Not in my family anyway. I dunno about the rest of the community. But in my family, there wasn’t really no problem.
Asia Jackson 00:37:40 I feel like I didn’t really experience, I, I felt very included in my family growing up. Like, I, I don’t know. I talked to a lot of mixed kids who are like black and Filipino or Black and Asian, and they’re like, Oh yeah, my family hated me. And I’m like, damn. And I’m just really glad that I didn’t have that experience. They were, they were just, I don’t know. They were very accepting and very, like, I didn’t feel like I was an outsider when I was with family. Now when I was out in the public, that was a different story.
Mei Jackson 00:38:15 I mean, even for me, every time I go out in a non uh, community, well it’s indigenous, so we’re never there. We’re always misunderstood. You know, they have like pre the preconceptions of us
Asia Jackson 00:38:30 Stereotypes.
Mei Jackson 00:38:31 Stereotypes and all that. But every time that they learn I’m a Igorot, they’ll be shocked. You know, like, Oh, you’re an Igorot.
Asia Jackson 00:38:40 But you don’t have a tail.
Mei Jackson 00:38:42 Don’t look like an Igorot. You know? And sometimes it depends on my mood. If I’m not in, if I’m in a good mood, I would just like, you know, like, ha ha ha ha you know, joke, joke. But if I’m in a bad mood, that’s when I’m like, um, hello, What do you think? What do you think of what an Igorot would look like?
Asia Jackson 00:39:02 And the thing is they think it’s a compliment when they say stuff like that.
Mei Jackson 00:39:06 Yeah, I would fit.
Asia Jackson 00:39:07 Oh, you don’t, you don’t. It’s like backhanded
Mei Jackson 00:39:08 It’s a backhanded, um, uh, compliment. I think.
Asia Jackson 00:39:13 Speaking of backhanded compliments, I remember one time on one of my YouTube videos, someone commented and said, Oh, you’re black and Filipino. I didn’t know that black and Filipino could make such a pretty girl <laugh>. I was like, That is not a compliment
Mei Jackson 00:39:29 Ge. Thanks.
Asia Jackson 00:39:33 That’s crazy. Okay. But anyway, <laugh>. So you met dad in late eighties in 86. You graduated in 1990. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And when did you like get your visa? When did you get married? When did you come here to the US
Mei Jackson 00:39:52 Okay, so when I graduated, uh, your dad came and he proposed, So when your dad came back to the States, he started the paperwork. And that was, uh, I graduated in March and of 1990. And uh, I was given a visa and came to the US in November of 1990.
Asia Jackson 00:40:16 Oh wow.
Mei Jackson 00:40:17 So that was fast. That was fast.
Asia Jackson 00:40:18 Dang. What was your first impression of the United States? Cause this was your, you never visited before you moved here for the first time.
Mei Jackson 00:40:27 Right? So when I, at the airport, oh, let me talk about my outfit.
Asia Jackson 00:40:33 <laugh>.
Mei Jackson 00:40:35 Okay. So this was my first time to fly. Right. So
Asia Jackson 00:40:39 Flying on an airplane period.
Mei Jackson 00:40:40 Flying on an airplane. So during my graduation I wore white, right? White skirt and white blouse. I wore that <laugh> flying cuz I’m like, Hmm. You know, flying is like, you got, you gotta look, you know? Pretty cool. I wore my snake, uh, uh, pumps <laugh>.
Asia Jackson 00:41:02 You wore heels on the plane?
Mei Jackson 00:41:03 I wore heels with my, um, attache case and my x-ray. Um,
Asia Jackson 00:41:08 Like a briefcase?
Mei Jackson 00:41:09 Yeah. I have a briefcase. It wasn’t at nighttime. I remember I had like glasses, but it was colored glasses. It was, there’s a shade. Shade.
Asia Jackson 00:41:19 Oh, okay. What color?

Mei Jackson 00:41:20 Not a grayish. Okay. Or brown. I, I don’t remember now. But, So I saw your dad and his friend Sonny. And they had flowers. He had a, like a booke of flowers and, and yeah. So when we were driving, it was nighttime. We were driving from LAX to San Bernardino, cuz that’s where he was stationed at the time at Norton Air Force Base, which is close now. And I saw like all this lights, um, freeways. So I saw like cars parked, right? Like cars, new cars parked outside. Like, uh, just parked like, and it’s lighted. So I could see it from, from the car, from the freeway. And I, I told your dad, I’m like, Why are there, why are the cars like parked outside? They’re not locked. <laugh>, they’re, they gonna get stolen <laugh>.

Mei Jackson 00:42:19 And they’re all like, just laughing at me. I remember your, your dad remembers all his crazy things that I, you know, my first impressions <laugh>. Yeah. That’s funny. Cuz in the Philippines you would never see just a lot of new cars. New cars parked outside. Outside. No, they, they would be locked up. Locked up in the building. <laugh>, what was your first job? My first job was, um, Okay, <laugh>, I came to the US right. And I have a degree mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have a degree in accounting. Right. So I’m like, I have my like college ring. So I, I, I, you know, I felt like I’m important, right? Like I could land a good job right away. But no, I had no experience. <laugh>, I never really like worked in the Philippines. So I had no experience, like, you know, so, so I really wanted to work, but I didn’t have a car.

Mei Jackson 00:43:14 So what, what I, what I thought of is like working as working at night, but the only, the only business that, that that’s open at night are restaurants. Right. So, so that when your dad gets off work, he can take me mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I applied at this really nice Japanese steakhouse and the Sun Bernardino and it’s like a pricey restaurant. So yeah, I got hired and I had to wear like a kimono with those little wooden, all the little shoes. Little shoes. And will be walking like that here is like up. So I look cute. <laugh>. And I remember like somebody ordered, cuz it’s also like they have a, it has a bar. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I don’t know the drinks, you know, So somebody ordered like, um, um, a wine, uh, a Chardonnay. So I’m like chardonnay <laugh>. So I just wrote it down like, I don’t know if I even spelled it right. Chardonnay <laugh>. And I ordered it in the bar. And then, you know, they know, I guess. And then I, I I, somebody ordered like a, a soda, what is it? Water club soda. It’s club soda. So I’m like, what is a club?

Asia Jackson 00:44:37 Oh my god.

Mei Jackson 00:44:38 That’s, Yeah. So isn’t that crazy? Those little things like that. Yeah. You don’t know cuz there’s no club soda in the Philippines. We have soft drinks. <laugh>. That must have been a part. So yeah, it was hard for me. So, you know, I, but I didn’t want to like show that. I don’t know. Right. Yeah.

Asia Jackson 00:44:58 So when did you get your first accountant job with, with yo degree <laugh>.

Mei Jackson 00:45:04 <laugh>

Asia Jackson 00:45:05 You got yo degree.

Mei Jackson 00:45:06 I remember, I remember I told, I told my husband at a time, I told Baron when I came here cuz you know, I was like a little bit like a party girl in Philippines. I was mostly like, you know, didn’t work a day of my life, <laugh>. And I came to the States and I told, I told Baron, I’m like, it’s like I just came here to the States to work <laugh>.

Asia Jackson 00:45:30 He was probably like, Yeah.

Mei Jackson 00:45:33 He was like, Duh, <laugh>, you think you’ll be like partying all your life? So adult. Just, I became an adult here.

Asia Jackson 00:45:42 You had to grow up.

Mei Jackson 00:45:43 I grew up here. Yeah. I was away from family.

Asia Jackson 00:45:48 That must have been hard though, to like, because I feel like Filipino culture, I remember Igo culture is very like family focused. And community oriented
Mei Jackson 00:45:59 Yeah. You know, you,

Asia Jackson 00:46:02 You, you’re always surrounded by someone.

Mei Jackson 00:46:04 Yeah. You already know these people. For me, I had to like familiarize myself with the, with you know, the people, the language, um, diff uh, food.

Asia Jackson 00:46:17 Yeah. Right.

Mei Jackson 00:46:18 Yeah. I mean, there’s so many. And I had to like, make my own, uh, appointments. I hated <laugh>. I hated, you know, being on the phone because sometimes I would mispronounce things, especially if it’s a three syllable word. Oh yeah. You know, like, um, sometimes I will mispronounce like, you know, last names comfortable. Like, Yeah. Comfortable. It’s like comfortable <laugh>, you know, like things like that. And sometimes the person on the other end, on the, the phone, um, I, I could feel that, you know, they don’t understand if I don’t pronounce it right. Right. Yeah. Their dad was good with like, teaching me like, you know, telling me though, this is how it’s pronounced or this. So, um, as soon as I know though, then I would Right. I would learn and of course, Yeah.

Asia Jackson 00:47:14 Yeah. Cuz that’s how, that’s my problem with Tagalog is the syllables.

Mei Jackson 00:47:18 Yeah. Because there’s like the, where, where’s the accent? Yeah.

Asia Jackson 00:47:22 The accent patterns in English and Tagalog are so different.

Mei Jackson 00:47:26 Yeah. It is

Asia Jackson 00:47:27 Different. And there’s more three and four syllable words in Tagalog. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they pronounce it differently.

Mei Jackson 00:47:33 Yeah. There’s so many. Um, you know, like the tea, you don’t, it’s not a hard tea in, in Tagalog. It’s even when you’re speaking in English in tag, when you’re, if you’re a Filipino, the tea is always hard like tea. But in, in, uh, like cattle, you know, like, but in the US a cattle I see. You know, you don’t really like pronounce it like the way it sounds. Right.

Asia Jackson 00:47:58 You had, you had an accent when you came here, cuz I remember, of course I did. Yeah. I was like, um, watching, you know, our home movies. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you had a accent and you’re like, ASIA

Asia Jackson 00:48:09 Like yelling at me.

Mei Jackson 00:48:10 Especially when I’m mad. Yeah.

Asia Jackson 00:48:12 Oh, especially when you’re mad. Yeah. did you have to, did you feel like you had to lessen your accent to be taken seriously?

Mei Jackson 00:48:23 Um, yeah. I have to like pronounce, like I said, I have to pronounce it the way they pronounce here. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So my problem is that every time I go home to the Philippines, um, when I speak like that, they think that I’m, uh, maarte.

Asia Jackson 00:48:36 Oh. Like being pretentious.

Mei Jackson 00:48:38 Like being pretentious and stuff when you speak like that. So I try to like speak Ilokano or Tagalog or English, the way they speak English there. Right. I know a lot of Filipinos still, they’ve been here a long time and they still couldn’t. But I think it’s because of original, uh, accent, I

Asia Jackson 00:48:56 Dunno.

Mei Jackson 00:48:56 Oh, okay. Yeah. But of course, you know, some people just don’t have, it’s, it’s a different part of the brain. I get, I think language

Asia Jackson 00:49:02 Is, Yeah. Yeah. I feel like, you know, different people can have different abilities. Some people can do different accents, some people can’t. Like for me,

Mei Jackson 00:49:10 Linguist.
Asia Jackson 00:49:11 Linguist, Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Like I love doing my Australian accent, but some people can’t do an

Mei Jackson 00:49:15 Australian accent.

Asia Jackson 00:49:16 Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So Yeah. And I can’t do certain accent, but other people can. So I just feel like, you know, it’s just an ability sort of thing. Like, it’s not really indicative of someone’s intelligence. Didn’t want

Mei Jackson 00:49:27 People think that. Yeah. That’s one thing about Philippines, they think that, you know, the better you speak in English is it’s, it’s, it’s an indication of, um, smartness. Yeah.

Asia Jackson 00:49:41 Intelligence.

Mei Jackson 00:49:41 Intelligence. Oh,

Asia Jackson 00:49:43 You speak English and not “properly” you must be smart
Mei Jackson 00:49:46 I must be smart, but it’s not. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:49:49 Cuz like, you know, my cousin, Gali, he’s so smart and he still had like, kind of an accent. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like your ability to speak English without an accent has nothing to do with like, it’s

Mei Jackson 00:50:00 Different part of the brain. Yeah.

Asia Jackson 00:50:03 So, uh, a little while ago you said that when you came here you had to grow up <laugh>

Mei Jackson 00:50:09 I had to grow up fast. Yeah. Because,

Asia Jackson 00:50:13 And do you feel like that pressure to grow up changed your personal style? Oh yeah. Because I remember your pictures in the eighties. It was very fun. Like you rank sneakers. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then your pictures in the nineties, obviously you have two kids now and you’re working corporate America and you’re wearing like skirts now when you have to wear heels. Yes. Cause there’s a dress code.

Mei Jackson 00:50:32 Yes. Yes. There’s a dress code. Especially at the bank. There is a dress code, you know, I have to wear stockings and, um, pumps, black pumps and skirts or, uh, slacks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, I never really like went shopping for that. I went torf stores because I love their jackets at ther stores. They’re blazers and their slacks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and suits because they’re nice. They’re, they’re, you know, usually with those with suits, they have like really nice quality at the thrift shop. I go thrifting for that.

Asia Jackson 00:51:08 That’s kind of what I miss about thrifting. And it’s funny how thrifting has changed since the nineties. Cuz I remember you used to buy Angelo’s clothes at the thrift store and he hated it. He was like, Oh, you have to thrift store. But now for teenagers, like, it’s a cool thing to like go thrift and buy your clothes <laugh>. And I think that’s what has changed in a lot of thrift stores because of fast fashion. People are buying so many low quality clothes and then they realize they don’t like it, so they donate it to the thrift stores. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So now thrift stores are full of like, low quality, terrible pooling and it’s harder to find those good quality fabrics and stuff because of fast fashion. Yeah. Thrifting

Mei Jackson 00:51:47 Now is like, especially those, you know, like the uh, well known thrift shops, you go there and, um, sometimes I still feel excited doing that because it’s like finding treasure.

Asia Jackson 00:51:59 Yeah. When you find something it’s euphoric. Yeah. And it’s

Mei Jackson 00:52:02 Cheap. Yeah. If I find something like a really good prize for like I know that it’s a really good quality, I’m, I’m happy. And that’s what thrifting is to me, is like, Oh my God, I, you know.

Asia Jackson 00:52:14 Yeah. It gives you a little thrill. It’s oh, thrill. Mm-hmm.

Mei Jackson 00:52:17 <affirmative>. Exactly. Exactly.

Asia Jackson 00:52:19 So you mostly like went thrifting for your, for your work clothes and just clothes in general? Just

Mei Jackson 00:52:25 Clothes in general. And then I, you, I’ve kind of like, don’t like the clothes in the mall because of low quality, uh, fabric. Right. Yeah. And it’s expensive. It’s like, in my mind it’s like, why would I pay, you know, like $30 for like this, you know, like one, those, those rayon rayon fabric that it, it, I just don’t like it. And I, when I and

Asia Jackson 00:52:52 $30 was a lot in the nineties,
Mei Jackson 00:52:53 <laugh>. Oh yeah. My gosh. $20 was a lot. Yeah. At the time. So
Asia Jackson 00:52:59 How did your fashion change when you turned 50?
Mei Jackson 00:53:03 I was still like, you know,
Asia Jackson 00:53:05 You’re still styling.
Mei Jackson 00:53:06 Yeah, I was still styling. Um, I still wore like, you know, the boots, whatever is like at the time is considered, you know, like fashionable. Fashionable. I did that. But usually I wear, I wore like the classics, you know, like button downs and um, pencil cut skirts, um, suits.

Asia Jackson 00:53:30 And you were still working in your fifties, so Yeah,
Mei Jackson 00:53:33 I was still working.
Asia Jackson 00:53:34 But now that you’re 60 and retired, your style. I, my opinion. Opinion. Yeah. Like your style was so different from when you were fifties because I feel like cuz when you stop working, you don’t have to buy work. Clothes, clothes anymore. I don’t have to

Mei Jackson 00:53:50 Buy work clothes anymore. You know, I never like really buy jeans before. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I, I used to like buy dresses, you know, Stop cuz you know, every day have to change every day in

Asia Jackson 00:54:04 Every day

Mei Jackson 00:54:05 You’re at work. <laugh>. Yeah. I’m, every day I spent more time at work than, you know, anything else. And weekends I stay home or just, you know, do, um, errands and stuff. So that’s more like shorts and t-shirts and stuff. Jackets. Anyway. Now that I, in my sixties, I’m back to my, um, hip hop.

Asia Jackson 00:54:24 Yeah. I feel like you went back to your style in your twenties.

Mei Jackson 00:54:27 <laugh>. Yeah. My like, uh, sneakers. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and jeans and chi. Uh, what do you call, uh, sweats.

Asia Jackson 00:54:37 I feel like retiring was liberating for you.

Mei Jackson 00:54:43 <laugh>. Okay. I am now in my sixties and it’s like, you know, when I own my time now mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I don’t have to like, have a schedule of like, I have to wake up because I have to be at work at eight and then I have to be like at work until five o’clock and then come home and then take care of everyone. Right now I feel like cuz you are grown, your brothers like, you know, has his own life now and my time is mine. I don’t have to like, I have to be anywhere except where I wanna be. Exactly. Per yeah. <laugh>. So, you know, if I want to go to the gym, I would go anytime of the day. Um, I will eat whenever I want, whatever time of the day. I don’t have to, you know, like rush eating.

Asia Jackson 00:55:34 Yeah. I feel like
Mei Jackson 00:55:36 Hate rushing. Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:55:37 Rushing feel so much of our lives are controlled by work.

Mei Jackson 00:55:42 Somebody’s time. Yeah. I, I have to be always like, growing up is still the same. My parents, we wake up, you have to do the dishes, you have to like, you know, you have to go to school. Yeah. So everything is about everyone’s time. It’s not your time. You’re just doing, uh, you know, whatever society tells you to do. I graduated college and then I had to work. I get married and then it’s not my time, it’s still not my time. It’s still not, it’s not your time. Yeah. It’s had my kids. So my time is now spent with work and kids and husband and home, you know, taking care of the house. I mean, never my time, my time is only when I sleep, I wake

Asia Jackson 00:56:27 Up and man being, seeing a woman.
Mei Jackson 00:56:29 Yeah.
Asia Jackson 00:56:29 Sounds exhaust. Especially your generation. Yeah. I feel like for my generation thing, like I think that social media and the internet has opened up so many opportunities for women my age, for my generation.

Mei Jackson 00:56:42 Of course. Yes. You don’t have to like follow like the same route. Yeah. You know, like the eight to five, at least now you have an option that you’re still making, uh, money even without having like, like a traditional, traditional job. Eight to five, somebody, you know, you have a boss. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they wanna you to do this and that. And you have to like, work with people different, different uh, sensibilities, different culture, different, you know, you have to, uh, work with people like that.

Asia Jackson 00:57:17 Yeah. I also feel like these days not everywhere and we still got a long way to go, but I feel like employers are a little bit, are becoming more aware of like people’s mental health. Yes.

Mei Jackson 00:57:30 That’s why I’m glad that Google, Google changed, I think changed the, the way they treat their, um, employees. Remember when you, you, you can come whenever, whatever your attire is, you can come in. Oh,

Asia Jackson 00:57:47 Pajama.

Mei Jackson 00:57:48 Yeah. They built, they built their uh, um, employees like ping pong station, <laugh>, you know, like

Asia Jackson 00:57:57 Things like Yeah. I guess like the, yeah, the work cultures, the work

Mei Jackson 00:58:01 Culture is

Asia Jackson 00:58:01 Like different from,

Mei Jackson 00:58:02 And you don’t have to really to like, somebody is like telling you to what to do like from a minute to minute. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> as long as you do. Uh, you know, that’s why I like jobs. That has to do with projects as long as you do your project. But I don’t like the traditional job work. Cause I’ve been to those type of jobs where they breathe on your

Asia Jackson 00:58:23 Mm-hmm.

Mei Jackson 00:58:24 <affirmative>, your, uh, neck

Asia Jackson 00:58:26 Down your neck. Yeah.

Mei Jackson 00:58:27 <laugh> like this is, you know, you can, you cannot be, uh, caught like doing nothing <laugh>. Right. Yeah. You have to constantly like kind of, So I usually, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that act like I’m busy. <laugh>.

Asia Jackson 00:58:43 Yeah. I think especially like with the pandemic and working from home, I think, oh, I don’t know. I wish,

Mei Jackson 00:58:50 Wish, I

Asia Jackson 00:58:50 Feel like things have changed so much in the like work

Mei Jackson 00:58:53 Environment, relax now and

Asia Jackson 00:58:56 Um, obviously not everywhere. I doesn’t wanna put that

Mei Jackson 00:58:58 Disclaimer. Oh yeah. The service, the service people. I still feel for them because they still have to like, work with the general public and that’s the worst job ever in the food

Asia Jackson 00:59:08 Industry. Honestly. I would <laugh> I would agree with that. Cause when I worked that Best Buy as a sales associate and you’re working with the general public. Woo.

Mei Jackson 00:59:17 Same thing when I worked at the bank.

Asia Jackson 00:59:19 It’s like yeah’s

Mei Jackson 00:59:20 Like, oh my god, God.

Asia Jackson 00:59:21 Sometimes you see the worst of humanity every day.

Mei Jackson 00:59:23 Yes. You, you do meet the like, the best and, but best and worst. Best and worst. Like yeah. And everything in between. <laugh>.

Asia Jackson 00:59:35 All right. I think we’re gonna cut this <laugh> this interview short cuz we were talking. Yeah, we’re at like one hour 30 minutes. But I don’t know. It’s, it’s really easy to talk to my mom because we have these conversations all the time and we just don’t record them. So like the conversation that you just listened to, that’s the type of stuff that my mom and I talk about all the time. All the time. Yeah. All the time.

Mei Jackson 00:59:58 Yeah. Interesting.

Asia Jackson 00:59:59 Well thank you so much. Mommy

Mei Jackson 01:00:04 Have a lot. I wish that I can talk about when my younger years not us partying.
Asia Jackson 01:00:08 Oh, but
Mei Jackson 01:00:09 Nobody but your, my kids don’t wanna hear
Asia Jackson 01:00:11 That. I wanna hear about it <laugh>. I’m sure everybody listen. Wants to hear about it too. Maybe we’ll do like a part too. Yeah, sure. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll talk be
Mei Jackson 01:00:18 About like the eighties and Yeah. What is the party seen at the time and how is it like to be like a student, you know, like the places that I hang out with, what type of music we listen to.
Asia Jackson 01:00:31 Yeah. I’m sure people wanna hear about that. Mm-hmm.
Mei Jackson 01:00:33 <affirmative>. Well tell us, tell us if you want more.
Asia Jackson 01:00:36 Yeah. Let us know. Send us a DM at Skin influencer, leave a comment, send us an email, let us know if you wanna part two.
Mei Jackson 01:00:46 Yes
Asia Jackson 01:00:46 Ma’am. Yes ma’am.
Mei Jackson 01:00:47 If you love, if you love me, please leave like heart <laugh> emojis on the comment section. Okay? Okay.
Asia Jackson 01:00:59 Well thanks girl.
Mei Jackson 01:01:00 You’re welcome baby girl.
Asia Jackson 01:01:02 Peace.
Mei Jackson 01:01:04 Peace. <laugh>.