Saturday, December 5, 2009

Missed Me?

Apologies for ignoring the blog world. Between work and the social life (that I do not have), I am also busy keeping myself warm. It's getting colder in LA and when the temperature drops to 50 degrees, I totally FREEZE and shut down. So to my in-laws, apologies in advance. I will never move to Michigan. If we do move, it's because we both lost our jobs, we're homeless and we need a place to live.

So what's going on with me? Nothing really. Just keeping up with the Kardashians, the White House crashers, Tiger Woods and the lives of the Jewish people I work for.

Thanksgiving


My friend TJ invited us to his new home for Thanksgiving. It's a Filipino Thanksgiving so aside from the traditional turkey, we had ribs, roast beef, pasta and spanakopita. Yeah, Filipinos kinda like to mix it up a little. Celebrating Thanksgiving is as alien to us in the Philippines as below-freezing temperatures. The best thing about Filipinos is being able to adapt easily. We can live anywhere in the world and still function. I actually have more relatives in the US compared to the hubby coz that is how I roll.

Temecula Wineries

After Thanksgiving dinner, the hubby and I went to Temecula to visit the wineries. Although I like to WHINE a lot, I'm not a wine person. I drink wine that has fruit in it -- Sangria. However, I like visiting wineries and do wine tastings just to remind myself why I do not like wine. I am weird like that and I feel sorry for my husband that he has to deal with my weirdness. I highly suggest visiting Temecula if you like wine. It's not Napa or Sonoma but it's a good alternative. Stay away from Cougar Winery, the winery that suggests you drink the wine but ignore the smell of it. Really? I'm no wine expert but don't you smell the wine and then drink it?

Caffeine Slave No More

First let me say that I've only had coffee four times since deciding to quit 6 weeks ago. Only because there are new coffee shops (Aroma Cafe & Intelligentsia) that the we recently discovered and they are just so hard to resist. If you wanna know if quitting has affected my energy, mood and effectiveness, I'd say NO. However, there are times when I just want to hang myself especially at work where everyone drinks coffee everyday! There was one time my co-worker spilled her coffee and I just wanted to lick the coffee off her chest & lap. It was that bad! So please join me in congratulating myself with this new achievement :D


Christmas Shopping

I just realized there are 20 more days before Christmas. I haven't done any holiday shopping. I have no plans to. I'm going the easy route -- Gift cards! So to my relatives (who are not on my shit list), I hope you enjoy your gift cards and I hope you buy me awesome gifts with those gift cards...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

When I'm happy I clap with my feet.

A tribute to the Filipino Boxing Champ. In a never before seen video of myself cheering for Manny Pacquiao....


video

On Saturday, he fights Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto. I, and millions of Filipinos around the world will be cheering for him. Hopefully this time, the hubby won't secretly video tape me or else he'd be getting an upper cut or right hook from me. Haha! Joke! I can't punch so I will probably just Taser him.

Go Manny! Make Mama proud!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Raising Kids the White Way

The hubby and I have talked about having kids, what they will look like and the challenges of having mutt kids. He's so American and I'm a fobbie Filipino. We're NO Jon & Kate and definitely not planning to have the PLUS 8 but the two of us raising kids in America will be very interesting especially for me. How do I raise half white kids in America without becoming the stereotypical "white" family raising kids?

Here are my observations...

Names - I don't like white, cheesy, trendy names. I actually have a "Names I Will Not Give My Future Kids" list. This list includes Hunter, Dakota, Riley, Casey, Cooper, Madison, Cassidy etc. Let's not even include stupid celebrity baby names on here. Those belong to another list.

Baby Accessories - I am the perfect example of a person who was once a baby and never had to be in a stroller, car seat or high chair. I also wasn't born in a hospital. I was born in my father's ancestral home with the help of a midwife and didn't have the luxury of a crib. I think that my parents put me in a shoe box or a picnic basket after they laid me down to sleep. Is it really necessary to splurge on baby accessories? I guess what I'm trying to say is, I grew up normal with my limbs intact without all these complex baby stuff.

Time Out - I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I only learned about "Time Out" when I was watching an episode of Super Nanny. It's a punishment for kids who are misbehaving. I've never experienced this. When my sisters & I misbehaved we get a good swat in the ass with whatever my parents can get their hands on. They believe in corporal punishment. I do too. However, I'd like to be able to spank my kids without them calling 911 and Social Services showing up in my house.

Play Date - OK. Someone please explain this to me. Why is this necessary? Does it really help improve your kids social skills? I don't remember my parents setting up a time for kids to show up in our house to play. I'm pretty sociable. If you still don't know, I have Twitter, Facebook, Multiply, Friendster and this blog. I think play date is just another excuse so parents can party & get drunk.

Kids Spa - The most annoying part in the world of beauty and spa is when you are getting your nails done and you are seated next to a 7 year old kid who is getting a massage, manicure & pedicure. NO. The pink nail polish with white flowers on your big toe is not CUTE. NOT CUTE AT ALL. Oh hai. Kids grow up so fast! I once painted my toe nails and my mother scolded me because she said I was too young for that crap. I used Liquid Paper! Not even a real nail polish! My mother was a hardcore disciplinarian.


American Girl Place - I am probably being judgmental by saying that the kids who come to this place are rich, spoiled, brats who will probably grow up like Paris Hilton. This is a place where young girls have tea parties with other young girls and their dolls. Did you hear they also have an American Doll Salon? Really? Salon for dolls? That is creepy! I read somewhere that they recently just came out with a Homeless Doll. The price? $95! Ohhh such IRONY! I probably just pissed off a bunch of American Girl doll owners. You can kill me now.


Hannah Montana - I am just glad that by the time I decide to have kids, Hannah Montana will be old. Too old that my kids won't find her entertaining. Too old that re-runs of her show will be shown on The History Channel. Plus, isn't Hannah Montana also Miley Cyrus? How do you explain that to the kids? It's so confusing! Also, how do you explain to your kids that you can be a star and make millions by being lame & untalented?



Kids (young boys) with Long Hair
For some reason I think a lot of parents are trying to raise the future Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder. Look, if you can bring the dolls to a salon why can't you bring your young son to get a haircut? Do us all a favor and don't put us in an awkward situation where we think your "daughter" is adorable and your kid responds "I'm not a girl!". Case in point, Celine Dion with girly son Rene Charles. How many of you want to bet her son will soon be getting a training bra?



I'm sure when the time comes and we decide to have kids, we will be ready. And since we're gonna have half filipino/half american babies, allow me to borrow the lyrics of Hannah Montana's song: "You get the best of both worlds. Mix it all together and you know that it's the best of both worlds. The best of both worlds."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today, I play Matchmaker...

The other day I was chatting with my grade school friend and she casually mentioned if I could set her up with one of my single American friends. This made me think. HARD. Really hard. Why the eff not? I mean if the Jews have JDate and pet lovers have all these ridiculous dating websites then why can't I play matchmaker between Filipinos & Americans?

My dating history and my very "successful" relationship with my American hubby makes me a credible matchmaker, right? I also have a handful white, latino, black, persian guy friends who are wishing to end up with their own Pacific Island princess.

Fil-Am Dating 101

American men (and other nationalities), here are things you need to know about Filipino women...

1.) Filipino women are beautiful.

We stand out. Our features are unique. We do not look like our Asian neighbors. We are neither white nor yellow. We are brown which makes white people very jealous. Now, I'm not saying our Asian neighbors are ugly. In fact, I should credit them for their contribution to our culture and exotic breed.

2.) Filipino women are generous.

We like to help our family back home in any way we can. Western Union is still in business because of us.

3.) Filipino women are opinionated.

Your opinion counts but our opinions count more. DUH. We've had 2 female presidents. Nuff said!

4.) Filipino women are caring and supporting.

If you are married to a Filipino woman you don't need to worry about a retirement home or a caregiver coz she or her relatives will take care of you. However, you also don't want to take advantage of her because she will not hesitate to break your balls.

5.) Filipino women are respectable, understanding and patient

We were raised to speak politely and never engage in arguments or quarrels. We should act refined and lady like and never bring shame to the family. I don't know what happened to me. I guess, I am the exception to the rule.


Filipino women, here are things you need to know about American men...

1.) American men like sports.

If you can't beat 'em join 'em.

2.) American men like to drink.

If you can't beat 'em join 'em.

3.) American men like extreme activites (bungee jumping, sky diving, skiing, etc)

If you can't beat 'em join 'em

4.) American men like to eat boring, white people food.

Between LA and New York there's nothing but Applebee's and Olive Garden. If you can't eat 'em join 'em.

5.) American men like porn.

If you can't beat 'em join 'em.


See? Men, in general and American men specifically are simple, like Corky from Life Goes On.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hmmm...wonder where I'll go next...

I love traveling. Whether it's for business or pleasure, just the thought of going to a new place excites me. I like meeting new people, eating local delicacies, seeing cities that are built differently and landscapes I've never seen before. My love for travel started when I was a kid. Then my last two jobs in the Philippines required me to hop in planes, stay in kick ass hotels and BS clients. A special shout out to Acer Philippines (now Wistron) and Watson Wyatt for the free travels & the opportunity. You rock!



Here's a list of places I've been and some highlights of the trip.

Taiwan

Highlights: First in everything. First travel abroad. First plane ride. First time to use chopsticks. First time to eat octopus. First time to order Coke in Chinese.

Hong Kong (the first time)
Highlights: I got in a fight with a lady who sells thongs. Apparently, if you're not buying then you can't touch the item. This photo was taken a few minutes before we had our yelling match.

Hongkong (after the first time)
Highlights: The second, third, fourth & fifth time I was able to earn enough miles to travel to Hongkong for free. Still waiting for the perfect time to use it. Who wants to go with me?

Singapore
Highlights: I conquered my greatest fear. Snakes!

London
Highlights: Big Ben is not a guy. London Bridge is in Arizona. The bridge in London is called Tower Bridge. Both bridges are NOT falling down.
First time I flew First Class. Thank you Cathay Pacific!


Barcelona

Highlights: I love, love Barcelona -- food, architecture, culture and people. Yes people! Someone flashed me and grabbed my ass. Also, naked beach.


Malta
Highlights: We paid 40euros to tour the city on a carriage. It was rough but it was worth it. The city is beautiful and there are ruins that are older than the pyramids.


Pisa
Highlights: 121 photos at the Leaning Tower of Pisa from our cruise earlier this year. I only posted 73. Yes I am a camera, picture, leaning tower whore.


Florence
Highlights: Climb 463 steps up (no elevator) and you get a spectacular view of Florence and the Tuscan hills. So worth it!


Rome
Highlights: I saw a gladiator. The Colosseum is pretty darn cool! There are fountains everywhere! Beware of pick pockets.


Vatican
Highlights: Now I know where the Pope lives. St. Peter's Basilica is HUGEEE. It can hold 60,000 people inside. Beware of pick pockets too. Those assholes don't care whether you're in a church or not.


Pompeii
Highlights: I'm totally diggin' this. No pun intended. This partially buried Roman town is BIG. Get a map coz we got lost finding the exit.
If you're into digging, take a shovel and join the digging club.


Sorrento
Highlights: Say CHEESE! Yeah so I watched a woman make cheese.

Monte Carlo, Monaco & Cannes
Highlights: I saw the hospital where Angelina gave birth to the twins. Saw the roof of the house of the King of Denmark (I think). Saw Tina Turner and Richard Gere's houses (just the side). Saw Vanessa Paradis filming a movie (I think the title is Heartbreaker). Oh and there's the cute medieval town called Eze. It's the playground of the Rich & Famous. If you're not rich & famous you do not belong here.


I don't know where my next destination will be. I have Greece, Egypt, Paris, Australia, Tallin, Japan and Germany in mind. I also have this dream of going back to Barcelona and Florence someday. For now I am happy at home sitting on my couch daydreaming. Till then...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

American Culture Shock

I thought that growing up watching American TV shows like Sesame Street, The Cosby Show, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Oprah etc was enough to prepare me for America. That wasn't the case. Six and half years later I am still not used to a lot of things and still get appalled & horrified by things I see and experience everyday.

Extreme PDA (Public Display of Affection)
I'm all for love and affection. Not a fan of groping & petting. Not a fan especially if the couple PDA-ing are UGLY. Seriously. Get a room! There's nothing wrong with showing affection but it should be done in the right place, right time and in good taste. In old Filipino tradition, if a man is caught kissing a woman or holding her hand, he is supposed to marry her. And that is how I got my hubby to marry me.

Snow
As a child I would sing White Christmas as if we experience snow in the Philippines. Seeing snow for the first time was a dream come true. My first snow experience was in Washington. Cool! Literally. However, after a few hours of snow, I was over it. I realized I don't like being in the cold. I freeze in 50 deg weather. It is wet, slippery and cold. That is why I live in LA. I'm a high maintenance beeyotch! In the winter time, I'd like to be able to sip my coffee in the patio of a coffee shop or wear flip flops while everyone else in the East Coast or Midwest is scraping off their windshields or shoveling their driveways.

Snuggies
I think even Americans will agree that this is a pretty ridiculous piece of clothing. Not only does it make you look like a member of a cult, it also makes you look like you dressed yourself while drunk. Whoever designed this is one lazy SOB. Don't get me started with Designer Snuggies or Snuggies for Dogs.

Toe socks
Wear it with Snuggies and you got yourself a winner!

UGGs
More like UGHHH! Wear it with toe socks & Snuggies and you got the woman of your dreams.

Super Size Me
For a $1 more you can get a large soda. For another dollar you get a large fries. So with $2 you just got yourself a future heart attack. What is up with fast food restaurants and huge servings? How can people stuff their face with that amount of food? Whenever we go out to eat, we always split the appetizer and the entree. Now if you're wondering why I'm big as a couch, it's because of my genes. We're just Big, Beautiful, Curvy Women.

Talk Shows
There was a time in my life when I worked the night shift and as soon as I got home I would turn on the TV and watch The Jerry Springer Show (Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!),Tyra "The Psycho Narcissist" Banks Show and Maury "The Paternity Tests" Povitch show. Did I miss anything? Oh. Dr. Phil... he thinks he is GOD and he tells it like it is. Dr. Phil, son of Oprah.

Reality Shows
Temptation Island, Bridezilla, Flavor of Love, 18 and counting, Real Housewives of ____________, Rock of Love, I Love New York... the list of ridiculous reality TV shows just goes on and on and on. Sure I watch reality TV. It's a hit or miss. There are just some shows that are difficult to watch because they are so trashy where the fame-whores would do anything for fortune and fame.

Trailer Parks
Also known as the breeding ground for the w**** trash. I kid. I kid. I call these "moving houses" . They kinda remind me of our version of moving houses. It's called bayanihan. It means a group of people in one community trying to achieve one goal. It can be manifested in many ways. However it is best demonstrated through an old Filipino tradition of neighbors helping a relocating family by getting volunteers to carry a whole house, and literally move it to its new location. [image source]


Ghetto Clothing
Pants should be huge and must be able to fit yo' entire posse in it. Get cool boxer shorts that should be hangin' out. Yo belt better be stylin' fo shizzle! Shirt better be long enough to fit hoops playah Yao Ming. Brand of choice? Nike or Fubu. Gotta have them shiny ass shoes mofo & be mixin' the orange, green, red or purple kool-aid colors. Remember NOT TO tie the knots coz that ain't gangsta enuf! Get a hat. Wear it sideways. If you got extra cash, get GRILLZ! Remember to walk with an OG limp and keep one hand on yo' gat and the other on yo' nutz!


You really cannot judge a book by it's cover. The America I envisioned growing up is not the America I know now. Living here is an ongoing learning process. Even if some Americans (you know who you are!) give me a hard time and I don't agree to do things the American way I still love this country. It's what I call home now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Football, the other woman in our relationship.

I can only think of two reasons for a woman to like or love football -- she was raised by a family who lovesss football or she slept with or dated a football player. I must admit, I am now a football fan. I, however, do not fall in either category. I dated and married a guy who is passionate about football... college football to be exact. I now look forward to yelling at the TV on the weekends, often see myself reading blogs or news about it or even calling plays and penalties. So how did I get here? It wasn't easy coz there's really nothing appealing about guys wearing tight pants caught in awkward positions when they pile on top of each other. [image source]

So to all the women who wanna be like me, here are a few tips.

Adopt a team
This is usually your boyfriend or husband's team. In my case I adopted the Michigan Wolverines. Yeah! Go Blue! The hubby is from Michigan and went to the University of Michigan so that explains it. I enjoy exchanging high fives (that usually lands on his face) with the hubby when they score or the other team gets a penalty.

Know your team
You should be able to identify who the players are and what positions they play. It is not enough to call a player "the black guy with the tattoo" (believe me there are dozens of them out there), "the one who just threw the ball" (quarterback), "the guy who is running" (running back), "the guy with dreadlocks" or "Number 28". The players have names, use them!

Ask questions
If you did not grow up watching football, it will take a while to understand the rules of the sport. It is OK to ask questions... even the stupidest questions. Some guys are so passionate about football that if you ask them about it, it is all they want to talk about.

Learn the Lingo (or at least be familiar with it)
Turnover - Not to be mistaken for the apple turnover
Sack - Not to be mistaken for a large bag for potatoes
Scrambling - It has nothing to do with eggs
Red shirt - Not an actual red shirt
True freshman - There is no such thing as a fake freshman

It is OK to get emotional
Don't they always say women are too emotional? Football is the best way to vent out all those different emotions -- happy, sad, mad, psycho etc.. It is perfectly OK to yell, cuss & throw things around. You'd never guess I am Filipino when you hear me swear. I am proud to say that because of football I now cuss like a sailor and at the end of football season we may need a new couch (I will probably break our couch from jumping on it!).


Football could be a guy thing, but not for long. More and more women are getting into it. It ain't rocket science. Just a bunch of guys wearing tight pants running over each other trying to score a touchdown. See? Easy right? OK gotta go. I'm gonna watch a replay (we Tivo'd) of Michigan's epic victory over Notre Dame. [image source]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Things uniquely Filipino and Corporal Punishment

For dinner tonight I made Spicy Red Curry Chicken that has coconut milk in the recipe. I don't know... but for some reason I don't trust coconut milk in a can. Where I came from, we extracted coconut milk the old school way. There's no exact translation in English but we call it kudkuran ng niyog (niyog being coconut). It looks like a low stool with a sharp metal object at the nose of the board. The sharp metal object is the actual coconut grater. It's not easy to describe how to use this coconut grater but I hope the photo helps. This link (courtesy of Burnt Lumpia) actually shows you an actual photo of the grater and a HOW TO video. Anyway, to extract the milk, the shreds of coconut are put in a cloth and squeezed. Pretty cool huh? Oh and it also requires strong arms & a lot of patience.

image source


The other things uniquely Filipino...

Walis Tingting. Broomstick. We are no witches but we sure love our broomstick. It is made out of the rib of dried coconut leaves that are bound together mainly used to sweep the ground. It is more like an "outside" broom. I remember when I was a kid and I was being stubborn my mother would chase me with it and if she caught me she'd whack my ass with it. I have one at home that I sometimes use to clean our patio but most of the time I use it to wack the hubby's ass if he's being stubborn. Like mother, like daughter. My mother is sure proud of the daughter she raised.


Walis Tambo. Apparently the best Walis Tambo in the Philippines comes from my hometown Baguio City! Wohoo! Shout out to my peeps! This is the "inside" broom. It is made of grass. Not sure which grass (definitely not weed). Even with the popularity of vacuum cleaners & the Roomba, the walis tambo is still very much part of any Filipino household. It is easy to use without the gazillion attachments. Yes. You guessed it right. My mother used to chase me with this too.



Bunot. Another cleaning tool made of coconut husk use to polish the floor. You step on the husk with one foot and just slide it back and forth. You have to be healthy and fit to do this. By healthy I mean no hip, leg or knee problem. It's a good way to shed those extra pounds. I used to do this which explains why my right leg and thigh is more muscular than the left. Yeah call me a freak. My mother did not chase me with this but I remember her almost throwing this at me like a frisbee. Don't get me wrong, my mother is a nice person. I love and miss her to death. But I was just a bad kid!



Tabo. In English it's a water dipper (I had to Google this shit!). It is used as a toilet paper alternative (explained in detail here) and also used to take a bath. Every bathroom is equipped with a bucket full of water accompanied with a dipper. To take a bath, you dip the dipper in the bucket to get water and pour the water over your head or your body. I just found out (while writing this blog) that there is a Tabo Travel Troupe. Their goal is to take pictures of the humble TABO in various locations around the globe and share them. (My mother never chased me with this, coz this thing was in our bathroom. She may have been firm but at least she's hygienic. Thank God!)


Bayong. In the States we have paper bags & plastic bags, in the Philippines we have a Bayong. It is simply a basket made of indigenous materials like rattan or bamboo that are woven together used to carry purchases from the market. It is better and more reliable than paper and plastic bags because it doesn't break easily. It was so much fun going to the market with a bayong in hand. I remember carrying a bayong with a bunch of vegetables in it with pig ears or a dead chicken's head sticking out from it. My mother did not hit me with this because we got along very well when it came to food, cooking & market-ing! (RIP Ma!)


Although I wanted to impress the hubby with my coconut grating skills, I decided to make the chicken curry with store bought coconut milk. It turned out really good and made Mr. Ober Da Bakod a happy hubby!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What can brown do for you?

I borrowed the title of this blog from UPS' very popular ad campaign. I, however will not talk about the cool peeps of UPS. Brown refers to my fellow pinoys. Just like UPS I'd like to think that most Filipinos are hardworking people and they have a lot to offer. Some Americans or foreigners don't notice it but they probably encounter a Filipino everyday in their life.


The Nurse
They are considered the unsung heroes of America. They are all over the States. Every Filipino knows or is related to a nurse and every hospital has at least one Filipino nurse on board. Remember Octomom? She had a 52-member labor & delivery team composed of mostly Filipinos.

The Caregiver
My boss' mother is being taken care of by a Filipino caregiver. She stays with her 24hrs a day, 6 days a week. In Beverly Hills, almost every old, rich person has a Filipino caregiver. They are perfect for this job because Filipinos are caring, patient and very respectful to the elders. So next time you see a Filipino, be nice to them because when you get old they could be the one taking care of you.

The Physical Therapist
These are some of my friends who can make or break your bones... so be nice to me! (I hope they still want to be my friends after stealing and posting this photo)


The Customer Service Representative
OK. So you can't figure out why your internet and cable don't work. You call your cable company's 1-800 hotline. Ashley or Joshua answers the phone and helps you. The hotline connects you straight to the Philippines. Ashley's real name is actually Maribel. Joshua's real name is Fortunato. Their names are made to sound more Western because they mainly cater to US, UK & other western countries. The Filipinos' edge is their ability to speak English -- very GOOD English. The Philippines is the 3rd largest English speaking country in the world and that gives them the competitive advantage. The typical call center agent can mimic any American accent from any US region.


The Cruise Ship Crew
Earlier this year the hubby & I went on a cruise with his family where we met a lot of Filipinos. The ship's staff is 60% Filipino. I had a chance to talk to some of them and they all say one thing -- life at sea is not easy. They work 10 straight months & spend 2 months back home. The pay is not that big but board & lodging, food & uniform are free & health insurance is included. Despite the low pay, they manage to support their families in the Philippines and send their kids to school. Joseph, our cabin steward is awesome! He made sure our group's rooms are clean. everyday. I think that we were treated like VIPs because of the Filipino connection. It only gets better when the bar tender is Filipino (Hello?! Alcoholic in da haus!) and the staff gives you first hand gossip about celebrities on the ship. If you ask my opinion, they are the real unsung heroes.


Journey
Who doesn't love Journey? Who doesn't love the fact that the new lead singer sounds like Steve Perry? Arnel Pineda -- the small town boy who was discovered through Youtube.


The Chef
Who feeds the Most Powerful Man in the world? Cristeta Comerford, executive chef of The White House. So in reality (minus Secret Agents & food tasters) the life & health of President Obama & his family are in the hands of a kababayan.


Finally...
She brings color into a very white family!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dating (The Filipino Way vs The American Way)

This is when my life gets really interesting. Dating is a challenge. If I look at my dating history (in America only), I feel like I need to write a whole blog about it. I've dated a lot of interesting & NOT SO interesting men. If there was a job opening for a Dating Guru, my dating experience will definitely get me that job. Allow me to share what I've learned from dating in America and how it compares to what I am accustomed to.

***This post is not meant to offend american guys. These are all based on my observations & dating experiences.***


Courtship
The Filipino Way: If a man sees a lady he likes he would seek out the help of a friend or a family member to get her name and number. He then asks the permission of the girl's father whether he can visit her at home. The ardent suitor patiently pursues the girl of his dreams. This is the gentleman thing to do. The parents can approve or disapprove of the suitor. There is no physical contact such as kissing & holding hands at this point.

The American Way:
You snooze, you lose. Courtship? What is that? If a man sees a lady he likes, he gets her name, number and arranges a date ASAP. He is not interested in meeting the parents right away and is more interested in the physical contact at this point.


Serenading
(Harana)
The Filipino Way: In order to show that the man is serious with his intentions to a woman, the man sings a love song in front of the young lady's house. The man or one of his friends usually plays the guitar to provide background music to his song.

The American Way: Guitar Hero or reciting the alphabet backwards during a sobriety test.


Love Letters
The Filipino Way: Poetic writing is a sweet way of winning a woman's heart.
The American Way: Post It!




Who pays?
The Filipino Way: The man pays even if it's the woman's idea to go out.
The American Way: Whoever did the asking. Tip: If you don't wanna pay, don't ask.


Physical contact (Kissing & Holding Hands)
The Filipino Way: Usually happens after the courtship -- when the woman finally accepts the man as her boyfriend.
The American Way: Usually happens after the woman had a few drinks -- when she has lost all inhibitions.

Sex
The Filipino Way: Traditionally, most couples save themselves until the night of the wedding.
The American Way: Traditionally, the men (the responsible ones at least) always carry condoms in their wallets because they never know when they are getting laid.


Dating especially in a city like LA is not easy. It is expensive, risky and just like in real estate -- it's all about location, location, location. You have to be where the action is. I guess that I got tired of dating that when I met the hubby I tricked him in thinking that I am the girl of his dreams.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Coming to America (Not the Movie)

When I was a little girl, my mother used to bring me to church and at some point in the mass I would sneak away and sit next to the lightest skinned people in Church. I also remember running after planes & helicopters when they flew over our house. My mother knew at a very young age that I have a fetish for white/light skinned people & I would enjoy plane rides. She knew I'd go places.

[image source]


The Big M
ove
In 2003 with the blessing of my parents, I packed one suitcase and one balikbayan box (with dried fish and all) and came to America. First stop was Seattle/Tacoma. Coming from a place where it's usually hot & humid, I froze to the 60 deg weather that greeted me upon my arrival. So my original plan was to visit, see how I like it & maybe (just maybe) find an american citizen to marry and we will live happily ever after. HA! I didn't mean to end this blog this soon. OK. So my plan was to visit and see how I like it. Eventually I moved to Los Angeles, found a job, got a work visa & posted my profile on Yahoo Personals -- Beautiful Filipina (Better than Russian) Looking for American Husband. Just kidding. I'll get to that later.


First Impression

There are just too many freeways in America! Way too many to remember. You have to take the freeway to get to almost every place. I'm usually good with numbers but freeway/exit numbers are not my favorite and if you include the North, South, East, West directions then I'm really fucked! In LA alone, I know at least 22 freeways. There's the 5, 10, 134, 22, 110, 105, 60, 405, 118, 170 etc. The list just goes on and on. Then there was my first meal in a diner by the Seatac airport. I ordered a burger & fries (very American!). I'm used to eating burgers that are as big as my palm so when my order came I almost collapsed. The burger was as big as my face! And the fries? It looked like they harvested all the potatoes from Idaho, fried it and served them to me. That movie Super Size Me? I can totally relate to that.


Making friends

Once settled in LA, I did what most first timers did. I went to Universal Studios, Disneyland, took a picture of the Hollywood sign & took at least one picture with a "star" at the Walk of Fame. LA is great city with so many things to do -- the beach, shopping, dining & celebrity sighting. My roommate Lucy was my first friend (God Bless her soul). She introduced me to binge drinking Latino style. Every Friday after work Lucy & I somehow end up in her friend's friend's house or any random place to get drunk. I remember waking up in the living room of some navy guy's apartment in San Diego. I remember getting kicked out of some college dorm (WTF? Being a 30yo woman and the oldest in the group, this is soo embarrassing!). I also remember spending the night at a Norms parking lot (the breakfast place) because everyone was too drunk to drive. I also remember Lucy & I taking the train (after a night of partying) from Manhattan Beach to our home in Pasadena in our PJs! Keeping it classy was not in our vocabulary. Then I met new friends -- a bunch of binge drinking, sloppy white people. On the weekends, my filipino friends & I would be seen hanging out with them in dive bars while pretending to dig their shallowness. Unfortunately, my first three years in America were spent drinking and I still feel hungover to this day. The saddest part? If one of my relatives need a liver, they cannot count on me for help.

To Be Continued...

What? You think I can put all the crap I've been through in one blog?