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Asians take the front seat

SIZZLING HOT - SIZZLING HOT By Juliana Palermo -
It has only been a few days since I arrived and I honestly haven’t settled in yet.

I still feel a bit jet-lagged from all the things I’ve been doing these past few weeks.

The thought of getting ready to leave again in a little over a week seems a little stressful for me. The weather change has driven me crazy and I feel like I’m getting sick.

I guess that by the time I fly back to Seattle, I’ll finally be adjusting to the weather and time difference here in Manila.

It’s been quite a delight to come back and spend time with a few significant persons in my life again.

Being away has done me good. Now, I can somewhat see and appreciate the difference between our cultures and give more importance to time.

I’ve come to realize that change is not always a bad thing. It sounds scary and all, but sometimes changing our lifestyle and environment can do a whole lot more than just staying in our comfort zones.

It’s just a matter of staying focused and having a goal for the future. I must admit I’ve never appreciated an extra pair of hands to help me around the house anymore than now.

I’ve been in this comfort zone for so long now that I almost forgot how it’s like to really live independently and do things literally on my own.

Life here in the Philippines can either be very tough or very easy. It’s really all about managing our appreciation of things.

For about a month and a half, I lived and learned to temporarily set aside the lifestyle we have here in Manila.

A typical human behavior is that if there’s an easier way to get things done, we do it that way.

I’ve decided to step up and do everything on my own. I did my own laundry, picked up after myself, made my own meals and do all the everyday things someone else usually does for us out here.

Yes, it was a drastic lifestyle change, but I tried it and opened my heart to being independent. I know it will give me a peek at how life will be if I decide to pursue my career in the US.

Not even once did I feel like I was missing out on anything. In fact, I found peace within. I appreciated every minute of the time spent with my family and felt a special kind of satisfaction in accomplishing such small tasks.

So, I came back here and I have this totally different way of looking at people, especially those working for me.

I value and understand them a whole lot more now. Everyone of us lives in parallel worlds where we work hard and share the same amount of stress in different situations.

However, I feel that, as humans, we tend to subconsciously automatically listen to stereotypes and often judge others by their appearance or profession.

I watched the Tyra Banks Show this morning and they were discussing racism. Tyra’s guests came from every race and were seated according to skin color.

Due to the tragic 9/11 bombing some years back, the value and the identity of the Middle Easterns, Muslims and everyone in that category have suffered a great deal.

Just because they wear a special type of clothing due to their religion, most people automatically assume they’ve got bombs underneath their clothes.

It’s sad but true. It will be 2007 in just a few days and this harsh truth has just been put aside.

When we say Americans, we usually think "white," and that alone can be considered racism. Being an American can also mean "Black." Quite frankly, the "Black American" population is the next in line to suffer from racism as well as the Muslims.

Up until this very day, "Blacks" and "Whites" still have this invisible wall separating them. A black woman even said, "It’s a privilege to be ‘white’ in this country."

This topic really interests me because – believe it or not – Asians get a lot of respect from Americans.

Another woman even said, "When you see an Asian, you would think and expect that he or she is rich and smart."

I was very flattered to hear such a statement about Asians,because even though our system is not at its best, our hardworking citizens had done a great job to earn such respect from the "Americans."

I wouldn’t trade anything for being "Pinoy." So I still hope that someday, I would be able to represent our country in the Miss Universe contest or other international beauty pageants. Have a wonderful Sunday!

(E-mail me at [email protected].)

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