Ang dami mong reklamo!

“Got complaints? then go home!”

Every now and then I would here a Filipino sigh, wishing that they were back in the Philippines with their comfortable lives. Two maids, three cars, their high ranking position in a prestigious company, regretting the choice of coming to America and doing whatever meager work they could find.

Well if that that’s how you feel, then by all means!

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Then they would back up and realize that they have been here to long and that starting over would be as much pain as slugging it out. Realizing that their current job here is not worth losing over whatever they could go back to, so as their medical insurance, car and that most, if not all of their families are already here!

I remember someone said to me, that if I had complaints about my situation, where I am or what I do, then go make the change, otherwise, suck it up!

Like they say, “When you complain, you’ll remain”. Blabbering about the negatives will only focus your mind on what you are blabbering about, which is negative, thus we remain in the rut.

We already have to many things we need to do and focus on just to make it out here in America and we only make it even harder when we complain and reminisce of the comfortable life we once had back in the three stars and a sun.

You are already in America!

A country that you once just dreamed of setting foot on! The reason you stayed in line for days on end just to get your application processed at the U.S. embassy. Fortunately they changed that procedure and now allows people to make an appointment rather than lining up outside the embassy, as if it were woodstock with lawn chairs, blankets and tents.

I remember when it was my time for that unnerving interview at the embassy and this lady beside me didn’t have anything on her except a comb and a mirror and what looked like the visa application form. She was really concerned about her looks but hardly put any thought on what she was going to say or if the papers she had were even complete. It was no wonder that when it was her turn, she was denied right off the bat. She spent more time waiting and combing her hair than actually talking to the consul.

Of course there are others who, even with all the necessary paper works and preparations are still denied due to some technicalities.

Probably due to what is seen on TV and movies, Filipinos have, a quite lavish impression on life in America, and with this, they aspire to migrate or at least visit the U.S. willing to give it all up, spend what ever they got, put it all on the line just to get here.

And yet here you are, complaining?

I do understand that life here can be a struggle. Starting over isn’t a small feat but why ponder on thoughts of past achievements? Why not aspire for something new? Expect that your best days are ahead of you!

It is not all about monetary gains, just a simple and healthy life.

You may have been an executive at a company in the Philippines and here you are doing some clerical job, but don’t you appreciate that you are not as stressed or as pressured as before? And that even with such a clerical job, you can still afford to buy what you need, eat what you want and then some.

Fresh out of college, with the intention of just staying here to visit, I wasn’t established enough to have a hard time leaving the Philippines. Even so, I was still offended when employers would not recognize my Bachelors Degree in Architecture and would not give me a chance to prove myself since I didn’t have local experience.

And yes, I said what we usually say when it is our first time job hunting, “How can I have local experience when none of you would give me one!”

I admit, not only did I not have local experience, I literally didn’t have any experience at all. My resume was quite impressive, if I was applying for High school? It was all a bunch of crap from a school setting, nothing from the real world as they call it. There were even a couple of times when I was literally humbled to the point of embarrassment, when the skills that I learned in school where put to the test and I didn’t even come close to passing. It wasn’t that I didn’t learn anything or had no skills, it was just the skills that I had wasn’t what they were looking for, and that my local knowledge was zero. Anything that I know and use now at projects were learned on the fly, college years did not even come close to preparing me for an actual job.

When it comes to the weather, aren’t you glad that you we are not sweating as much as we used to back in the Philippines, where we are already sweating right out of the shower? (of course this don’t include Fil-Am in tropical states such as Florida and Hawaii)

Actually the weather is what I really appreciate here in California, even though I don’t experience an actual four seasons, the winters here are cold enough to be cozy and the summers are warm enough in the shade and at night to comfortably sleep.

Let’s say you had three cars back in your days in the days and here you are riding the metro, but aren’t you glad that traffic here is not as bad as in the Philippines when there are times that it is literally faster to walk than to drive?

I have had my share of riding the metro and it had it’s advantages. One, I didn’t have to drive, two, I saved hundreds in gas and car maintenance. We still had to pay insurance since we use our cars on the weekends, but it was still quite a savings. It was not until we had our baby that in order to keep up with our rigid schedules that we went back to driving to work. If only Los Angeles had a more efficient public transportation, we would probably be still using the metro.

Yes, you probably had a house back in the Philippines, while over here you are renting an apartment or a house, but have you thought about that new found freedom that you have? That you do not need to fix or maintain the apartment yourself! Just call the maintenance guy and he’ll have it fixed for you at the expense of the owner. You can move anytime you want to another city or state, with out being attached with the mortgage!

Aren’t you happy that with a few months wages you can bring your family to Disneyland, Universal Studios or which ever theme parks around California that are just a drive away!

That is why, even with all the disgusting economics and politics here in California, I still appreciate that we are just a drive a way to beaches and theme parks that really make our daughter happy, which to us as parents is our joy.

If material things are what makes you happy, and of which you had plenty of back in the Philippines, then by all means, no one is stopping to buy them all. You will even make the credit card companies over joyed. 😛

Besides material things, to appreciate that we were one of the few that were granted the opportunity to actually live in the United States of America is already of great value. That is why instead of complaining, let us be thankful for the life we have built here and for the blessings that are yet to come.