Saturday, April 4, 2009
I really have great time while I was in Los Angeles, CA. My experiences there were very enriching, life changing and one of those best times I had in the US since I got here. I was not surprised to know that there are many Filipinos there. The weather is perfect--sunny and warm during the day and cool in the evening and in the morning. It feels like Baguio. Anywhere- be it in the malls, church and restaurants you can see kababayans and they are speaking in Filipino. There are many familiar Filipino fast food places like Goldilocks, Jollibee, Chowking, Max's. I have never seen any of these fast food restaurants in our neighborhood in the suburb of Washington DC. That is why my first lunch in LA was in the Filipino restaurant, I had sinigang na sugpo, adobong baboy and ensaladang mangga, yum! yum! yum!...My cousin took me for lunch after he picked me up from the LAX airport. Denny and I also went to Goldilocks for dinner the following day and we had dinuguan, grilled na bangus and and Halo-halo for dessert!!. I felt like I was just eating in a restaurant somewhere in Manila, everybody was talking in Filipino and there was even one table there that were from my hometown General Santos. The whole time that I was in LA, I just played tourist and I had been meeting relatives and friends that I have not seen for years, and there was always a party to go to everyday. And in all those interactions I had with my kababayans, there is one common observation I noticed about Filipinos in the US--they are all very hardworking. In fact all the friends & relatives I visited are all successful and living their American dream.
There is one sentiment that all of them shared though. They feel that family and friends back home thinks that they earn those money very easily and the money they send back home to support them is always not enough, more is expected from them. And its one of the things that really frustrate them. They wish their family will realize that every dollar they earned, comes from hard work and many sacrifices on their part. They have to work harder just to have a better life and keep up with the standard of living in the US.
I had been to 3 or 4 filipino American parties and gatherings in the 7 days that I was in LA. In all those get together, I have always felt like I was in the Philippines except that there is no more rich or poor. There is no doctor or nurse, Ilocano or bisaya, there is no more Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. There is only one country that we all miss; family back home to think and feel responsible of; and there is that common goal that we all are focused on--to continue working hard to achieve that American dream. Sailing is tough right now because of economic recession and it might slow us down just like everybody else, but nothing can stop us in our way to finding that dream.
In my reflection I can't help but admire our kababayans. Even in foreign lands, they can be very successful in life and excel in their chosen careers and still keep that inherent Filipino values of enduring love and care for family. In our long term plans we take into consideration our family's welfare and we don't forget them in our abundance. We certainly are not country of servants as Hongkong columnist Chip Tsai called us in his column. We are a country of hardworking people who can be found on top in the different fields of expertise. We dream to be better than what we are now because we believe that our future is not defined by our present circumstances and we are willing to extend our net so our love ones can have a better life too. Most importantly, we don't only dream...We believe and we work hard to realize all those dreams!!!