Catherine Tagalicud Taylan, born and raised on the island of Kaua’i, grew up speaking Ilokano. Her parents, father from Dingras and mom from Sarrat, were very militant with speaking Ilokano and learning the language and culture. The household rules were if someone speaks to you in Ilokano, you must answer back in Ilokano or say nothing. Which became very unfortunate for this “sao a sao a bao”. Like any home in Hawai’i, her parents worked 2 jobs each and were babysat by her Ilokano grandparents- who also had full-time jobs. Her maternal grandmother, Carmen Tagalicud, worked at McDonalds and one of the first few Ilokano sentences she had to learn was over the routine phone calls- “Grandma, kayatko ti McNuggets no agawidka.” Translated- Grandma, I want McNuggets when you leave. Almost every day of the week, each meal was something Ilokano/Filipino- her favorite dish, Dad’s freshly butchered and gathered Chicken Paria. Bonus points if the chicken was a hen and a few of the internal eggs popped and seeped into the meat. After graduating High School Catherine moved to O’ahu to attend the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. That’s when she saw the need in her community for Heritage Language and Culture Learning amongst the new generation. On a mission, she graduated with a BA in Ilokano Language and Literature. That’s also when LAING Hawai’i happened. Simply put- it’s just a group of individuals who came together and loved our cultures so much to where we want to teach it and make spaces for it and grow in community building and knowledge.