for Better or for Worse

One can say that Life in America can be compared to a man and a woman’s relationship. At courtship, there is no one more beautiful than lady liberty. One would promise the moon and the stars just to be granted that approved Visa.

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Once set foot on the so called land of milk and honey, as if on a honeymoon, everything seems so bright and colorful, but once the awe has died down and reality sets in, then starts the bitterness. We realize that America is the same as any country with its own kind of corrruption, greed, lying politicians and so called leaders that have their own agenda. We learn that the red white and blue is more gray.

Some leave, realizing that they were worse here than in their own mother land where they are familiar with the culture and territory while others stay and slug it out because for them, America is now their home.

The fervor or disdain of a person to live in America mostly depends on their status in life before migrating to the U.S.

There are those who were born to be “Americans” just in another country. No, I am not talking about citizenship, I am talking about people who even at a young age already long to live in the United States, all their decisions and preparations are tuned to one goal, to set foot on this land of the free, hence once they get here, they truly value their stay.

There are others who just went for a visit and fell in love with it. Some had no other option but to stay while there are others that are running away from something, someone or just to leave an old life behind.

For folks who have already invested most of their lives in the Philippines, perhaps with a high paying job, a sustainable business, properties and a good network of people, migrating to the United States might be more terrifying than someone who is just starting up. To leave all the things that has made life comfortable, the people and culture that have supported ones accustomed life style in the hopes that America has greener pastures, is quite a big gamble.

Elderly filipinos who have been used to having the family over together at every occasion from children to grand children might be upset to find that the fast paced consumer based life style here which demands long and stressful working hours just to make ends meet, not to mention the other activities and commitments; is rather lonely.

Children of well to do families who grew up with their own room, their own car and even with multiple house maids might be dismayed by the amount of chores, errands and responsibilities they are charged with.

While for a skilled worker who has been earning minimum wage in pesos suddenly finds an opportunity to apply those same skills and get paid in dollars would surely be overjoyed!

Filipinos who came to America with a mission to work and earn to support a family back in the Philippines, America is the field that they have to toil day in and day out, in the hopes that someday, harvest season will come.

There are also executives back in the Philippines that gave up their grandiose positions for a meager life here in America, are still appreciative for what ever work they could find, not only were they relieved of the stress of their previous position but their pay even evens out at the end.

A few just could not adjust, went back to the Philippines, to the support of their families and start all over. These people are actually fortunate that they still have a safety net in case their endeavors here do not bear fruit.

At the same time Filipinos who do not have such luxury is also blessed, because having nothing to fall back on is a a good motivation to give it everything you’ve got to survive and even thrive.

Like any marriage, it takes commitment to live in the U.S., a conscious choice to stay and slug it out. At the end of it all, whatever we have gone through, from whatever status in life, Life in America is simply what we make of it.