* I wrote this as a journal entry in Tagged in 2010 and I'm revisiting my reflections with my buddhist friend in celebration of our Independence Day , 12th of June 2011.
This is how he reflected on it...
Having had what I call a blessing in being in the United States Air Force and being able to travel to different countries I have learned a lot. I have also been to the Philippines among other countries.
On my very first trip there my fellow Americans were telling me how cheap it was to get a woman for the night. I found this rather interesting. Not one of them told me about the culture or the people. So being different, I decided to check it on my own.
I learned that because of the economic struggle, women with college degrees were forced to work in bars to make a living. Forced to do jobs they really would not do, but to support the family, they did. I was taken by total surprise on how some of these very beautiful and educated women handled themselves around the ignorant foreigners that only had the ONE idea of them.
I must admit that not only did my heart go out to them, I found myself apologizing for the total disregard that foreigners had for them. I saw them talked down to, humiliated, and forced to do acts that would make a normal person shudder. I will admit that some of these women did enjoy doing what they did. They became what I would say, experts. And even to this day I know some that try and use people to get what they want rather than being honest and sincere.
This does not only happen in the Philippines, it happens in other asian countries as well, everwhere in this world. I felt ashamed at times to be an American. WAIT! I am very proud to be an American and to have served my country. Not all Americans can be judged by the ignorance of a few, just like the acts of others cannot define the people as a whole.
I love your culture, your family connection that no one can break. The pride I see in your fellow countrymen here in the states. The willing to sacrifice for the family by leaving your country and working abroad to support the family left behind.
Take BIG BIG pride in being Filipina. It is what you are. It is YOU. I cannot write more because I have written too much.
Always remember, take care and remember that there is someone out there that cares for you.