Wednesday, March 18, 2015

post v : american culture

I moved here four years ago. It was all too weird for me. From the weather to the food to the people. It was a weird surrounding to be in, it was really clean and there was no pollution. I moved to Stevenson High School on my freshman year. On that year, I was constantly taking notes on how different I am and how different this place is compared to where I came from. I noticed that people does not really get attached with people. They get to know the basic things about people. It reminded me of the movie "Tuesdays with Morrie". Mitch is one of the characters, he basically represents a bunch of Americans. He is in a way of getting attached to people and is therefore a little scared of receiving and giving love. He took his girlfriend for granted for such a long time. Never made time for her. Maybe it is the fear of getting hurt is what hinders a lot of people of giving love. They  fear that their effort is wasted. I remember it took me a long time to get closer to anyone for they have some trust issues and most of the time they think that I am not interested in getting to know them. Americans has this belief that they do not deserved to be loved. They think so lowly of themselves and that made them assume that they are not worthy or receiving anything. A quote from the movie is stuck in my mind, "We must love one another or die". People in America are scared to open up to people. They are scared that they will not be wanted because they are not what other people expected them to be. Mitch from the movie took people that loved him for granted for he kept thinking that he did not deserve the love that he got. When I realized here is that Americans are not much of a fan of relationships. America is such a liberated county. People believes in hook ups and the no strings attached type of relationship. Back in the Philippines, everyone would wait a couple of months to be together. The guy has to court a girl for some time. In here, everything is rushed. Everything is not about getting a connection but more of what they can get from the relationship. Some people are lucky enough to find people worthy of them. Some of my friends are also good people. Thing is, they do not truly love another. They always judge and criticize and that is not what love is. This country is full of people who values love but they do not treat it as a necessity.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

post iv: values.

One of the things that I found unique in the Filipino culture was the "mano po". It is when a person giving the greeting bows towards the offered hand of the elder and presses his or her forehead on the elder's hand. The word “mano” is Spanish for “hand” while the word “po” is often used in Filipino culture and language at the end of each sentence as a sign of respect when addressing someone older. Put together, “mano po” literally translates to “your hand please” as the greeting initiates the gesture of touching the back of the hand of an elder lightly on one’s forehead. 
Mano po is still used in the Philippines right now. This gesture can be done to anyone older than them and it is just basically to show respect to the elders. By offering your hand to “mano”, you are allowing yourself to be subservient to the elder to accept their blessing and wisdom. It is considered impolite if one does not exercise the custom of “pagmamano” when entering the home of an elder or after seeing them at a gathering. Respect is a big thing in the country since Filipinos are truly loyal to their family. Everyone respects each other and everyone values people's authority. The gesture is usually followed with a "God Bless You". It is a unique thing Filipinos do, I've never seen other countries do such thing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

post iii: categories and stereotypes.

"you should not generalize about people-- that's the same as stereotyping and everyone knows that educated people are not supposed to stereotype. Everyone is an individual."

Those words came from an English professor at a university. He was emphasizing how sociology should not be about generalizing people. Even though some people are tied through certain factors such as culture or religion, one should not assume that they are all the same. In the article "Should We Generalize about People?",  it was implied that even though stereotyping and categorizing is not right, it is inevitable for some cases. It is often necessary with some material things, diseases, places and more. But it is never right to categorize a person in certain categories. 

I am Filipino and luckily for me, people knows that I refused to be categorized. There was situations in the past where people automatically think that I am friends with my asian friends because they were Asians. They were wrong, I was friends with them because I think they are fun to be with and relatable. People never really categorized me as an Asian. *excuse the usage of the word* Some dumb people does not even know that Philippines is part of Asia. They would always say, "you're not asian!! you're Filipino" and I would politely reply, "Philippines is under Taiwan and Taiwan is in Asia, learn your geography". 

This topic goes along with religion. I am a Catholic. I go to church regularly. I believe in God but I don't believe in other things. People automatically assume that I am already against gay marriage or that I am against a bunch of stuff when in reality, I don't really care about those things. I'm indifferent with a lot of things I don't understand. Majority of people already assumed a lot of things just because a person is a Catholic. Even though some things are right, it is still unfair because they don't even truly know what kind the person is if her culture and religion isn't included.

To end this post, I would like to say that back then, stereotyping did not go well. A lot of people fought for their uniqueness. A lot of things, lots of bad, happened that could have been prevented if stereotyping did not exist. From holocaust to civil rights and so much more all over the world. End stereotyping and embrace individualism!