Most were left intrigued when Brandon Vera, mixed martial arts superstar spoke Tagalog at NBA Café last September 3 during the announcement of his participation in ONE FC: WARRIOR’S WAY to be held this Dec. 5 at SM Arena.
It is not an uncommon fact that there are some Filipinos who would change their accent the moment they land in the US, even for a short holiday. One then wonders why Brandon Michael Vera, a US citizen would imprint the alibata, which no one even remembers from their Alaring Panlipunan days on his back for all the world to see.
He fought for 8 years in another organization and one would be surprised that he was wearing the Philippine flag or its logo boldly on his shorts most of the time. Brandon was left by his Italian-American mother at age 3. One would wonder why a mother would leave albeit a handsome child who would turn out to be 6’2” with the angst to conquer the MMA world.
Eventually he was raised by a Filipina step-mom and a Filipina grandma who would eventually teach him and his siblings to eat with his hands (kamayan). He is an expert at it and that showed when Mark Zambrano of GMA-7 had a one-on-one interview with him at Kamayan restaurant last October. Who among us even bothers to eat without utensils? Is it not that we have this ardent desire to depart from what our culture has inculcated on us?
Then here comes Brandon with all the privileges of an American citizen, born and raised in the land of milk and honey and he attempts to have a dual citizenship. Isn’t this ironic?
Perhaps he was abandoned by his other at age three, perhaps it is his need to put down roots to what he wants to call home, perhaps he just wants to come home this December 5 as he fights Ukrainian Igor Subora at ONE FC: Warrior’s Way. Whatever it is, let us welcome him home, as he has done so much more than most Filipinos who were born and raised here who have not embraced their culture and heritage as much as this man who wears tsinelas has.
Welcome home Brandon. See you on Dec. 5