Pinay Diaries (Part II)-A A +A
Sunday, July 15, 2012
WHEN you find yourself flung in the midst of the unknown and you are the minority in a foreign land, your adventurous impulses can be repressed by that sudden surge of fear—that instinctive anxiety you get when you realize you’re no longer swimming in familiar waters. Much as the option of turning back is so tempting, you are more or less left with no choice but to brave the storm you have brewed for yourself.
The apprehensions come from being confronted by totally alien ways. More than adjusting to the startling shift of culture and lifestyle is the anxiety developed from self-doubts that cloud your once confident self.
It hits you that no amount of emotional, psychological or even physical conditioning can thoroughly prepare you for your new environment. But then again you know it’s rather too late to chicken out, so you cowboy up and start facing what fate has in store for the impulsive you.
We’ve experienced being amongst strangers and humane impulse has dictated us to immediately seek solace in similarities found within people there.
Like in a group full of individuals from different regions, we instantly find ease when we meet a “kailyan.” It’s ultimately the same scenario when you are overseas, primary instinct is to search for a “kabayan.” For those sailing in the same waters, you probably know more than I do how comforting it is to be among fellow Pinoys. You may be very capable of taking care of yourself but you also know that you will always seek out your “kabayans.”
What I once took for granted back home was made apparent and essential upon arrival, and even up to now that I’m adjusting to new routines and an entirely different lifestyle. Strangers became instant friends, acquaintances became families, and now I have a whole new set of Manongs and Manangs, Titos and Titas, and even Tatays and Nanays. The help and support being voluntarily and wholeheartedly given is overwhelming. I swear I’m not romanticizing (not to mention dramatic and exaggerated) when all these efforts move me to tears. I thought I was a tough chick who can manage to pull off even tougher facades given any situation. But the truth is, I become this seven-year old toddler who cowers behind mama’s skirts when bombarded with Lady Fate’s harsh realities.
I know that I would never make it through without the aid and guidance of fellow Filipinos. Even more amazing is how people are sincerely there for you without ever expecting anything for their efforts. Now that’s true goodwill.
Recent events have made me realize and wholly appreciate once more the values we have as Filipinos. How even though we’re far from the Motherland, treading foreign waters, we are always grounded with our national intrinsic values. I am deeply humbled by the sentiments that I need all the help I can get to establish and adapt in new territories, but proud of the fact that I belong to a lineage of people with such pure hearts.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 16, 2012.