Saturday, January 31, 2009


Chinese New Year made me think of China and myself. China is changing and the West finds it too painful to accept the fact that this former Ice Princess is growing into a warm, temperate economic super power.

Yes, the West is pretending and is hiding that it is hurting from this change in economic climate.

It made me think of myself. The fact that I've overlooked and have resisted change since I´ve moved to this country. The fact that I haven't acclimatized, acculturized, and am suffering because I've failed to adapt to my new environment.

My English friend Alice told me that perhaps the reason for this is that, people tend to rule out things that they don´t like.

Perhaps, she's right. I mean, I see living in the West as a threat to my `old ways.´ I don´t like it. And no matter what I do and how hard I try to structure my life to serve specific motives and goals to survive, it is still too painful.

In truth and in fact, nothing and nobody is taking over me. When I look at my husband, I realize that he is being Filipinized more than I being westernized. My husband who now eats rice and gulay (meat & vegetables in coconut milk, shrimp paste and spice), and drinks water instead of wine. My husband who now dares to eat the head of a fish and dips it in a sawsawan (fish sauce with lemon juice)! My husband who is not threatened by change.

So I reckon that if I want to preserve myself and my culture, I have to preserve what West stands for (me) and I must change many things. After all, those who fail to see change and adapt, perish.


maricel said...

Ay sus .. maski ngani physical adaptability to climate shift lang..nosebleed!!

Mel said...

i'm going through the same phase dear. i am in canada right now but i don't feel a part of it. i found mysel not wanting to immerse in the system- in fact, i don't watch canadian television, don't read canadian newspaper and don't give a heck what the canadians do to their lives.

at work, my canadian colleagues are very friendly and polite. but it seems that i'm the one putting the barrier between us and them. come to think of it - i'm the one guilty of racial discrimination! i don't want to associate with this and that nationality because of preconceived notions i have about them.

my dificulties in adjusting seem to manifest in my physical condition. i get nosebleed too every now and then and the tip of my nose is so tender and painful to even the slightest touch. everywhere i go, i bring saline solution to keep my nosetril moist. my back is perenially aching due to colds, and my throat is forever dry and painful. my body is finding it hard to adjust to the change, as my heart is.

in the midst of what's happening around me, i always remind myself that for me to grow and evolve as a human being (which is the very reason i came here), i need to adapt to the new culture while preserving the non-negotiable values i hold dear in my heart. it will be difficult, i know. but i hope the process won't last long.

Droomvla said...

I went through this stage too. Shutting out everything that is Dutch. Food, friends, and yes, tv programs.

I know that winter could be so harsh there, but wait till you experience it in Europe. My aunt who lived in Wisconsin and Vancouver told me that it's colder here and more depressing. I guess, it's also because of how people relate to each other here. Dutch are friendly and fun-loving people, but they cold.

I imagine that people in Canada are friendlier because aside from the fact that it's a relatively new nation, the majority of the population are migrants from all over the world. Equal footing kamo.

Western Europeans on the other hand, are a proud race. Migrants will always be considered a lesser race here. And you should be happy that you don´t have that in Canada.

In Canada (as it is in the US), everybody has equal opportunities. Here, you will always be considered third class citizen IF you are a migrant. And also, there´s this general notion that if you´re an Asian migrant, you´re either a prostitute or an opportunist. How´s that for starters?

Ay sus, one day.. I´ll write a book about my life here as a migrant. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA