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  • This Is James Yap, Michela Cazzola's Solution To Difficulties In Raising A Biracial Family

    The Filipino basketball star and Italian expat have two children.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
This Is James Yap, Michela Cazzola's Solution To Difficulties In Raising A Biracial Family
PHOTO BY Instagram/michelacazzola, jamesyap18
  • When James Yap and Michela Cazzola's panganay Michael James, was just starting to talk, the couple had a big realization about raising a mixed-race family.

    “Translating in real time is hard,” Michela, nicknamed Mic, told Smart Parenting back in 2019 (read here), “so sometimes I just say a word in one language and point at the item, for example, without translating.”

    James, a top pro basketball player-turned-newbie politician, hails from Escalante City in Negros Occidental where the Visayan languages Hiligaynon and Cebuano are widely spoken.

    Mic, on the other hand, is an Italian expatriate working at a Philippine-based international financial institution who, aside from her native language, communicates in English and Filipino.

    Their solution? "We mix English and Italian," Mic tells us in an interview this June 2023, "but the main is English. We mainly speak English 'cause James doesn’t understand Italian, so for faster communication.

    "We use the language we don’t need to translate. It’s really time consuming if you need to translate everything. But when am alone with the kids, I speak Italian."


    Speaking of kids, Michael, who turns 7 on August 8, as well as their bunso Francesca Michelle, 5 on June 27, already go to school.

    "They don’t speak [a] local language yet," Mic says of Michael and Francesca, "but they hear it from people around and they pick some words. I would like them to learn it. For now I just focus on 2 so they learn it thoroughly."

    In terms of parenting styles, Mic admits to going with the flow while adjusting "based on moods, situations, etc." She then notes that "James tends to be more permissive in general."

    She elaborates on her parenting style, "I follow my ideas, without really thinking if it’s more Italian than others. I am strict when I need to be, while I am not for sweating the small things.

    "There are limits that must be respected, like being polite and respectful to others. I let them use the the  iPad, gadgets, etc., as familiarizing with technology is important, but with time limit.

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    "I have many Filipino friends and I see many similarities, like I see similarities with Italian friends. I think there are internationally common shared good practices based on values."

    Read here on when to teach your kids a second language.

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