Philippine society is quite remarkable as it deviates from our concept of Oriental culture. While the Philippines is located in the South East Asia, its society displays more resemblance to Western culture. As far as the written historical records of the country would show, the country has under been Spanish and American control thus explaining the Western tendencies. Filipinos, as they call themselves, are increasingly becoming a major global workers as they search for greener pastures in other countries. Many of them have found employment here in Ireland and I had the opportunity to interview one of them and ask him about how he adapts to the host culture.
When asked about the first major difficulty encountered in his first few weeks in work, he related to me that it was the difficulty in understanding Irish English. While Filipinos have a good knowledge of English language, they were accustomed to American English. He had difficulty in understanding Irish English because of the intonation and the pace. There were also words which were uncommon to him. This language barrier became a major problem as it made him look to his superiors like he was ignorant and unable to follow their orders. Miscommunication was common. It was not long, however, when he began to be accustomed to the eccentricities of the language. According to Kim and Ruben (2004), the process of cultural adaptation with regards to communication is indeed stressful but it does develop over time. The process of being bicultural or intercultural usually begins with overcoming the language barrier. and once that is breached, becoming "enculturated" with the host culture and "deculturated" from one's own culture becomes easier.
The next serious issue is the negative labels and being treated as someone inferior. Stereotyping or generalizing certain characteristics is a social phenomenon described by many researchers such as Searle and Ward (1996) and Asuncion-Lande (1990). It was established that this tendency is often unavoidable because one is so proud of his own culture. Feelings of being discriminated upon was very high according to my interviewee not only in the workplace but in other environments as well. Comments on the quality of his education and training was often brought up before. Once he experienced being offended and insulted by a patient. He does recognize that this is to be expected but he is trying to show them of his skills and abilities so that he will earn their respect. This is not unusual according to Skinner (2000). People will have the tendency to try to adapt to the host's norm as much as possible because of the need to make a good living and socialize with other people.
Another major cause of concern is dealing with other people of other religion. Majority of the Filipinos are Christians and the minority are Filipinos. According to my interviewee, there is a certain undying emnity between the two due to the long wars between the two. Being a Christian, there is the certain feeling of fear when dealing with Muslim people. Nonetheless, the exposure to another religion made my interviewee have a broader understanding of the eccentricities of other cultures. For example, he