How my Thinking Differs – Introduction
When I first decided to get involved with a Filipina, then again when I decided to live with her in the Philippines, I was certainly very naive in many respects. My initial belief was that the biggest problems I would face were going to be related to things like financial concerns and how to develop an income outside my own country in order to sustain a fairly decent standard of living here, or obtaining the proper visas to stay in this country legally. I wrongly believed that once I was able to overcome those types of obstacles, the rest would be a piece of cake and most days I could just lay back, relax and enjoy life in a sun filled paradise, far away from the harsh winter climate of Canada.
I of course knew that Filipinos had their own unique culture, which I had discovered and embraced on my numerous trips to the Philippines each winter over the previous decade. I also had a relationship with a well educated and intelligent Filipina who was fluent in my own mother tongue and with whom I could communicate with as well as any person back home. However somewhere along this exciting journey in the later years of my life I have come to realize that my biggest problem might well be something totally different and unexpected. My Filipina wife, and the majority of Filipinos I interact with on a daily basis, think in a way that is totally alien to me.
To digress a little, I believe the basic definition of culture goes something like “the beliefs, customs, arts, of a particular society,” and though the “way of thinking” of a particular society could be included as an element of their culture, what I have found is that while I can embrace and enjoy Filipino customs, I can not and never will be able(nor particularly want) to “think” like them, as they will never “think” like me.
This is a situation that myself, and most other people who have either decided to live in this country or have decided to have a relationship with a Filipino(a) have to learn to deal with in an acceptable way, or life for us tends to spiral quickly down into a misery of frustration, resentment and agitation.
Understanding Filipino Mentality and how it affect my relationships
In this series of articles about Filipino Mentality, I aim to reflect on my experiences that have shown me some of the ways that my thinking differs from what I believe is normal to Filipinos. I will try not to take the attitude that “my thinking” is correct or to pass judgement on Filipinos who obviously view the world differently, but rather focus on the simple reality that there are differences in thinking and how they affect my life and relationships here in this country I now call home. At the end, I hope that my process of reflecting upon my experiences of the differing mentalities will strengthen my core value of acceptance of people for who they are, and give me insights on how to better interact with the people in my new life.
Some background on Filipino Value that might affect their mentality as a society – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_values