Living to a new place is one of the most challenging events that an individual can experience. Other individuals may find it very interesting for they can meet new set of people and friends, different challenges and it is a new environment to explore to. However, others may find it difficult to cope up; thus, they have the feeling of being lonely and struggle to exchange goodbyes to their circle of friends and to the place where they used to live on.
This paper intends to interview an immigrant from the Philippines and know how he faces the new challenges he had faced in the US. The immigrant I have interviewed is from the pearl of the orient seas, the Philippines and his name is Andrew Delos Santos. Philippines is country in the pacific ocean of the southeast coast of Asia. The country includes several small island groups but consists mainly of the Philippine Islands, one of the largest chains in the Malay Archipelago Nearest neighbors are Taiwan and China, to the north, and Malaysia and Indonesia, to the south.
Surrounding waters include the Pacific and Philippine Sea on the east, the Sulu and Celebes seas on the south, and the South China Sea the west and separating the islands from numerous straits, bays, gulf, and seas. Among them are the Sibuyan, Visayan, and Mindanao Seas. The family of Andrew came to US when he was still fourteen years old. There were many reasons why his family moved here in the US. According to him, his family moved to the US for economic reasons. Both of his parents are nurses and to practice this profession in the Philippines would only give their family a small compensation.
His parents’ salary is not enough for their basic needs and would push them to lend money from others that have high interest rates. So when there was an opportunity for both of his parents to work and live abroad, they immediately grabbed the opportunity. It was the year 2000 when his family moved to the US. Both of his parents were hired in one of the prestigious hospitals we have in the States. He added that many Filipinos believe that the United States of America is a place of a greener pasture.
They believe that living in the States is a dream come true and working here would be able to give them a brighter future. Moving to the United States was not always easy for Andrew. He was culture shocked as he stated. Though he has a comfortable and better home to live in yet at first he was not that happy. His parents started to be very busy at work. His other 2 younger siblings were starting to complain that their parents have no more time for them. They can seldom see both of their parents every six in the evening where they usually have dinner together at that very moment.
He observed that not only his parents are busy but everybody is busy doing their thing. He realized that what his fellow Filipinos had perceived about the country is not always true. Yes, their material needs are being met but the emotional needs as family are not. He remembered his life in the Philippines where his family dine together and were able to have family gathering from time to time. He added that Filipinos have a strong family ties. Children are expected to respect elders and never talk back if ever they are reprimanded.
In the United States, he commented that parents cannot discipline their kids with rods or else you will be put into prison. But in the Philippines, parents always associate rods in disciplining their kids. The people are very religious. Though people experience difficulties and hardships in life yet he can see how happy people are every time they can have blessings it maybe small or big. He observed that Americans have a very high standard of living that is why people here seems so very busy and weary in striving hard to meet the said standards.
While in the Philippines, the lifestyles are very simple. Most Filipinos are already happy when they have food on their tables and they are easily contented of what they have. Moreover, the women are more reserved compared to the American women. American women as he commented are liberated and more game. They socialize and may get drunk till they dropped however Filipino women are quite laid back and somewhat innocent in some ways especially those who live in rural areas. Andrew said that when he came to US, he was very surprised because some of the American young men tease him as “monkey”.
He felt that he was discriminated. It was a hurtful experience as he stated because of that, he wanted to go back to the Philippines. Some commented because of his color (though he is not black and falls to the brown race). He explained that Filipinos are very fond of white people and they truly treat them with hospitality and respect when they visit their country but when it is their turn to visit or live in US, some of them are prejudiced. Andrew cleared up that not all experiences he had in US is bad. He has good times with new sets of friends.
He commented that seldom he can find good people in America who he have and be with right now. He also added that he really enjoyed the food and explained that in the Philippines, only the middle and upper class afford and eat the kind of food that everyone enjoys here in the US (though he also missed the Filipino food). I also like the weather here because since I was a child, it is my dream to experience the four seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) because the Philippines has a tropical climate. With regards to the educational system, he has good words to say.
He explained that educators really put an effort to make the educational system very competitive and have very high standards. They do not only have advanced facilities in related to learning but also encourage the students to go school. But the only flaws he found is that, most learners are not very serious in their studies. They never take advantage of what the US government had offered to them. But in the Philippines, learners really put an effort to learn. They hike several mountains and cross rivers (in some remote rural areas) in order to study and learn.
Some of these learners do not even take meals yet they are persistent to learn and be educated. They believe that education is the only tool for their success in life. Questions: 1. Which country are you come from? 2. When did you come here? 3. What are the reasons why your family moved here? 4. What are the major adjustments you have had? Elaborate your experiences. 5. What can you say about our culture? How will you compare it to the country where you come from? 6. Have you experienced racial discrimination when you arrived here? 7. What do you like most in staying here? 8. What can you say about our educational system?