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The Culture Of The Philippines Essay

Both my parents were born in the Philippines. They came here to the United States because of the higher standard of living. The rest of the family was also raised for the majority of their lives in the Philippines. However, my brother and I were raised here. Being this way, every now and then are some generational and cultural conflicts within the family. My parents arrived in the United States during the 1970’s. My brother was born in 1975 and I was born 9 years later. Not only is there a cultural difference between the rest of the family, but also a semi-generational difference between my brother and myself. In the Philippines, it is, from my understanding, a strict custom to always show respect to your elders, never talk back, and take care of your elders. However, here in the US, it generally isn’t so with the new modern culture emerging. The American culture emphasizes equality, and the by-product of this is that sometimes power-conflicts may come up from time to time. Equally so, people have the chance to voice their own opinion, and on some levels, it may seem as rude or a challenge to others.

In the Philippines, you take care of your relatives when they age. Here, there is the concept of retirement homes. The Philippine culture also is very conservative, while the American culture tends to lean on the more liberal side. When you address others in the Philippine culture, you show your respect on where you stand. For example, when you call or talk to older relatives, you address them as tita/tito (aunt/uncle), kuya/ate (older brother/sister). Here in the United States, other than calling someone Aunt or Uncle, it is usually not done. There are many differences between the Philippine and American culture that it can cause problems and misunderstandings from within the family. A recent example was a misunderstanding on who washes the dishes. Part of the cause was also miscommunication, but was resolved soon after.

Every now and then there is the occasional argument because of cultural conflict, and between my brother from generational conflict. My brother sees things differently than I do. Being a nine-year difference between us, he tends to think long-term goals and small things, whereas I think short-term goals and the overall picture. He still treats me as his younger brother and that leads to arguments sometimes. Although the family has nearly a distinct line between generational and cultural differences, there is always some point at which we all agree. We see the differences and come to terms. Just recently, some relatives came in from the Philippines and brought a fresh set of Filipino culture with them, but everyone, including them, adapted very quickly with changes.


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