Wednesday, May 15, 2024

First Impressions of Filipino Newcomers in America

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Many Filipinos dream to live in America to find better income opportunities as well as keep their children in a conducive and safe environment. When immigrants first arrive in the United States, they usually have to go through a lot of adjustments since there are different things and situations that are not present in the Philippines.

Immigrants to the United States may have a variety of first impressions of the country, depending on their background, experiences, and expectations. Here are some of the initial impressions immigrants observe when they settle in the United States.

Table of Contents

The diversity of people and cultures

Many immigrants are struck by the diversity of the population in the United States, including the different cultures, languages, and backgrounds of the people they meet. Although there are also foreigners living in the Philippines, the United States, especially big cities are a melting pot of races so Filipinos might be surprised to find people from all walks of life. There are individuals coming from countries like China, Japan, India, and other nations. They will find it interesting trying to listen to different languages. Children also tend to speak in a more mature manner in America. Since many homes do not have their own maids to care for children, the young ones are encouraged to take on roles and learn how to speak to adults very early in life.

The difference in climate

The Philippines has two major weather seasons – rainy and sunny. The United States features four so Filipinos have to adjust to each and wear the right clothes to stay comfortable. The weather in some cities also tends to get extreme so Filipinos can sometimes feel depressed or get sick because of the harsh conditions. The surroundings also get very interesting during certain seasons such as autumn when the sky turns pink or purple and the leaves on trees are comprised of various colors.

The available opportunities

Many immigrants come to the United States in search of better economic opportunities and may be impressed by the abundance of job opportunities and the potential for upward mobility. Filipino migrants may be familiar with such opportunities, thereby prompting them to make the leap and decide on moving to the United States. But the sheer number of opportunities available to hardworking individuals should generate a positive outlook for the newcomers.

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Emphasis on individualism

Immigrants may notice the strong emphasis on individualism and self-reliance in American culture, which may be different from their own cultural background. Back in the Philippines, locals have a strong affinity for the family, such as taking care of the elderly, higher tolerance for grown ups or even married children to live with parents, and other forms of family support. This may not be obvious, but Filipino migrants would soon observe this pattern.

Transportation and Food

Depending on the location, Filipinos have to learn how to get from one place to another via bus or train. Riding a taxi or hiring a private car also tends to be very expensive. Some cities also have subways that are relatively fast. Buses arrive and leave on time so Filipinos have to get at the bus stop early or risk getting left behind and wait for the next trip.

Food in the United States can be quite cheap and servings in restaurants are big. Filipinos may gain a lot of weight trying different food and snacks in giant sizes. Many also enjoy trying new recipes and concoctions made by famous chefs. Buying meat at the grocery store is generally affordable. You can also buy groceries through the internet. Fast food restaurants are always available in many parts as well as food carts and street vendors.

Filipino communities

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There are thousands of Filipinos living in various states in America. Some of the main places where they reside include California and New York. There are also several Filipino communities and organizations that get together regularly to celebrate national holidays, provide aid and support to Filipinos back home and simply to share local cuisines and spend time with family and friends.

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