Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Random Thoughts and My Filipino Friends

First Things First
So it's been a few days since my last update and I'm still working through the guilt associated with missing a day(s). I suppose thinking of blogging as a marathon would be a healthier view of the situation, but I'm holding on to this outdated notion that blog = diary.

Anyway, with less than 10 updates in my archive, I'm amazed at the reach and attention these posts have garnered... I interviewed with a certain mouse-related media company last week and one of the interviewers had read some of it. Today, I was catching up with an old coworker and she also mentioned this blog and was surprised to learn that I'm remarried.

Filipino Friends
I'll qualify this by admitting that most of my Filipino friends were my wife's friends first. I've had Filipino coworkers in the past without ever realizing they were Filipino. I just figured last names like Gumayaga, Gapuzan and Ladaga were Samoan or Hawaiian or Polynesian or something, never really appreciating that your chances of encountering a Samoan in California are infinitesimal next to meeting a Filipino.

In general (I love to qualify everything I write so as not to paint myself into a corner) most of the Filipinos with whom I'm friends are pleasant, educated and very laid back. The men seem quiet, mild and a little hard to read. Maybe their personalities shine through when communicating in Tagalog or their native dialect, but my impression is that these people are smart, good-hearted souls who enjoy life without taking things to extremes. Again, most of my Filipino friends here in So Cal are physical therapists, nurses and professionals, so I admit that my perspective is limited. But it seems like my white friends (and Asian and African American for that matter) are a little more boisterous, a little more outspoken and a little more inclined to self-destruction and depression.

Filipino women, by contrast, seem more outspoken and assertive than the men. We attended a white guy-Filipina girl wedding in August and it was the women that took center stage at the reception. When we go clubbing, it's the Filipina women that seem to be a little more social than the men. Some other observations of Filipino men and women in America...

1) The women like to buy Louis Vuitton handbags.
2) Both men and women usually drive an import.
3) Filipinos often live in Filipino-dominated towns like Carson and Daly City.
4) A lot of Filipinos work at the post office.
5) Filipino tourists seem to enjoy shopping and sight-seeing almost as much as Japanese tourists.
6) Filipinos have cousins in every major city in the United States - my wife has more family in
the States than I do and my family has been here much, much longer than hers.
7) Filipinos will travel, out of season or in, all over the damn country. My Filipino friend took his dad visiting from Manila to Mt. Rushmore in December! Seriously, these people are hard core about their sight-seeing.
8) Filipinos like to take pictures of every thing, especially plated food in restaurants.
9) Filipinos like to read this blog, apparently. I've met a lot of cool people on Twitter by posting my updates there.
10) Filipinos can take a joke and have a sense of humor about themselves... I haven't gotten any hate mail yet!

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