As a Westerner, I was at first intrigued and eager to get to know my new Filipino friends. How new and interesting their stories of traveling to and settling in the US as hard-working OFW’s in search of a better life for themseves and their children. What passion, what sacrifice, what hardship…WTF!
Six months later, I’m feeling baffled and somewhat duped. The same people who were at first kind and warm and welcoming have for the most part now shown themselves to be manipulative, greedy, selfish and dishonest. Add to that the fact that they do perfectly well when they are being complimented or unquestionably agreed-with, but any dissent or objection or downright directness and I am extremely rude and unkind.
I have found that a quick answer, whether it is correct or not, is much preferred by a Filipino than God forbid admitting that they don’t know something. That lying is preferable if they achieve their desired result, and that their concept of timeliness is absolutely non-existent.
Rules do not apply to Filipinos, however they love to enforce and apply rules to others, whether or not these rules make any sense. That even when they are OFW, the American is expected to conform and assimilate to their culture rather than make the others uncomfortable in any way. When I bring up a discrepancy or ask “why” on a matter- I am accused of “nit-picking” and paying too much attention to detail. When they harbor a TNT, I’m suposed to look the other way.
I have sincerly been trying to accommodate where I can, even to the point of leaning Tagalog, which has been a slow but interesting process.
I stand culturally confused!