Monday, May 25, 2015

post ix: race

Growing up, I did not really pay attention with races. I was surrounded with Filipinos and I was aware that there are other people because there are other countries. Moving here, I was very amazed and excited since I was exposed to a bunch of people with different ethnicity. I made it my goal to get closer to Europeans and Asians and know things in their culture. Freshman year, I was with Europeans. My friends were from Greece, Russia and Moldova. It was a completely different thing from what I was exposed with but it was really interesting since I was the random Asian. They were not mean, since people would say Europeans are arrogant and mean. They felt more comfortable in speaking with their own languages. Come sophomore year, I made it my goal to get closer to Asians and so I surrounded myself with Koreans, Filipinos and Chinese.They were not nerdy. It was a strange experience since they were very white washed and Asian at the same time. And the more white washed a person is, the cooler the person is. I noticed that they would dress up like "white people" and would play "white" sports and would do "white" people things. It was a really interesting group of friends but I could relate with them more since I have some sort of connection with them.  Junior year, I wanted to be closer with Europeans again and so I did. I was with Brazilians and Bulgarians. It was another amazing experience since they were so foreign yet Americanized. I was able to relate with them and they looked like they were not from other countries since they managed to assimilate pretty fast. Being surrounded by "white" people, I always felt uncomfortable around them since they intimidate me. Everyone made them seem so cool and it is really hard to not want to be like "them". But as years goes by, I did not realize that as I was trying to be one of them that I was really losing my Filipino side. I dress up like them, I eat things they eat and that is me being like them. I was never bullied with my race since I never saw any problem with being Filipino. But my Asian friends were bullied back then for being Asian and that is really stupid. I don't think people were born racist and biased to some race. Sometimes, they think they are greater than other races and that is where conflict starts. No matter how many times people say everyone is equal, it will never be a true phase. Some people will always be greater in different aspects.One example was the article where two different people took some food from a grocery and the white ones were "picking it up" while the darker toned was "looting". It will never be equal because in the eyes of people, some race are going to be "higher" and more "dominant" than the others.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

feed my starving children (1.5 hour)

On May 12, 2015 at 8-9:30 pm was when I volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. Going in, I have no idea on what I will be doing. I knew I would be packing but I didn't know who it was for and what we're packing. I ended up packing for my country and it made me feel excited. People are going to eat the food and will be better and won't be hungry for a day and that gave me a sense of accomplishment. Me and the rest of my classmates packed "Potato D" and it is supposed to help with Diarrhea and malnutrition. The time went by so fast and all I did was mix 2 powders together and that's it. It was an easy job and I got to do it fast and easily. It was a great experience, I would do it again.
The sealed bags of Potato D

Learning about the product!

Sociology class with Sal squad :)

post xviii: social class

One of the things I noticed here in Stevenson are that my classmates and schoolmates wears a lot of branded stuff. The list I came up with was consisted of: north face, uggs, hunters, michael korrs, nike,  lululemon, iPhones and so much more. Those brands aren't expensive and most of all, students are not able to afford. And that gave me a realization that the parents of my school mates are rich that they can afford such brands. Most of the students at least has 3 of the brands listed above. In sociology class, we saw statistics and living in Buffalo Grove, Long Grove and Linconshire gives an impression that the parents earn higher than the average Americans. I have lived in the Philippines and a typical person can survive there with $1 for at least 2 days. Moving here, I felt really privileged. I felt like I became part of the average class or above average. I got to experience things I never did. I can afford branded clothes and eat at nice restaurants and it helped me adjust better in living in a community with a bunch of rich people. Back then, I never really appreciated the things I had. I realized that I am actually more privileged and it changed my perspective with everything. In the Philippines, I did not have my own bed and bathroom and other things that I take for granted. And now, it just made me feel grateful. At the same time, being surrounded with more privileged people makes it feel like what I have is not enough but we read the article "Nickel and Dimed" and it made me think that people have it worse. The people at school are richer and more privileged compared to the rest of Americans. It is possible and inevitable to be jealous of the things that is never achievable for some Americans. Even though some people are in poverty, the government (in my opinion) is doing a great job on helping people. The government can only help for a little, it is up to the person to actually take advantage of it. In the video "The Line", the government has provided them money for the month's expense and it seems to be not enough. It is understandable, but people just has to be thankful and appreciate because in other country, if a person is homeless the government does not really do anything with it. They seem to not bother with them, to be exact.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bocce Ball (8.5 hours)

It was not the best weather to be in. It was a little chilly and cloudy but the players didn't seem to mind. Before going to the olympics, we were taught that the players have been training for weeks and months and this is a legitimate thing and that we should respect it. I had a weird mentality, I did not know what to expect since I have never been exposed to a special olympics. When the games started, I got to be with such a fun group of people. We were enjoying and making sure everything is going smoothly. My job was to hold the flag and point to where the polina was. I thought it was the easiest thing but little did I know, it was actually such a great help to the players since some of the people can't see the polina. The time went by so fast and it was such a nice feeling seeing the players so happy and accomplished with their awards. I enjoyed how carefree other people were. They just wanted to enjoy the game and not compete as much. It was... very refreshing. The event ended around 3-4 on April 18, 2015. 

(my group)

Project Dance (4 hours)

It was my first project dance. This year's theme was Star Wars. It was on April 11, 2015 at 5:30-10:30. I was part of the group called "Blank Space" with my friends. The dance itself was super fun but the raising money isn't. This dance was for Lincolnshire's Riverside Foundation and Stevenson's Kids In Need (KIN) Fund. The Riverside Foundation is a residential facility that helps enrich the lives of adults with developmental disabilities allowing them to live more independently, participate in recreational activities, and learn new skills. The KIN Fund was established to help provide financial assistance for our own Stevenson High School students in need. In order to raise money, I posted a link of my website so if anyone wanted to donate, they had an access to it. My family relatives were the one's that helped me raised the amount. The thing that really amazed me is it wasn't a lot of effort in my part but it helped so much. I raised around $40 and that mattered. Over 100 kids did the same thing and we have raised above what was expected. Not only we enjoyed the dance but we also got to help foundations that needed it. It's a great thing because it is not much but it truly made a difference in their lives. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

post vii: socialization into gender

The moment this unit started I knew it was going to be an interesting one. It changed my perspective with a lot of things. I thought I knew things but in reality I didn't. Coming from the Philippines (A very conservative country with mostly Catholic people), I thought America was a very liberated and open minded country. In some ways, it is considering they have adapted the concept of gay marriage and such. Watching the film "Tough Guise" for the first time, made me realize how ignorant I have been with the issue. I was guilty of being the person who would say "man up", "don't be such a girl", "what are you? gay?" and so much more to my little guy cousins and to my boyfriend. It was all connected. People loves it when guys open up to them but only to a certain extent or it would decrease their masculinity. And because of this, guys tend to keep their feelings to themselves until they reach a limit and they start acting up based on their emotions. That is when violence to one's self and other people come up. After watching the movie "Tough Guise", I realized how I became one of the ignorant ones and I then decided to change this certain part of myself. Another part of the film was how there was a lot of crimes was done by man. Statistics were high and the film made a point that over time, this issue become Women's issue. In the world we live in, we are the ones that has to be cautious.We were the ones that cannot provoke or bad things would happen to us. The topic about masculinity made me disgusted on how the man in our society thinks they have the right to dominate and hurt woman just to prove they are more masculine. 

On the other hand, the topic femininity made me more sad and sympathetic of the women all over the world. It is inevitable to be insecure and feel like one is not good enough. It made me realize that instead of bringing each other up, women tends to tear each other down. In the film "Killing Us Softly4" is where it showed how media affect how women deal with their body. In the film, women are usually the weaker one. The men are the more dominant one, the women are perceived as someone who just obeys and follows. It basically showed that women needs to please men. It definitely made me feel really hopeless because it is true that men see's women as object. Only a few are treated well. I can say that everyone felt more of an object at least once in their life. In this unit is where it emphasized how women are different. There are different body types and it is okay to have them. That we, women, does not need to force ourselves to look like someone else. The film made me appreciate how it is okay to be skinny. That I cannot let myself be categorized as an object and the one that pleases. This topic is something everyone can relate too and if women everywhere accepts and makes each other feel comfortable in each other's skin then it would benefit everyone. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

post vi : socialization

Few weeks ago, we have learned that everyone is being influenced in every way and every day. From small to big things, everything we do is based of how we were raised and how people around us are. Recently, we came across the "Agents of Socialization". It is where people get and learn values and know what to do and it is where how they think came from. It was divided from family, friends, school and more.

The foundation of everyone would be family. Without a doubt, families shape people. From what to wear, how to act, what to eat and more is when the influence starts. I definitely agree with this because I am an example of it. At such a young age, I was taught on what and what not to wear. I was taught how to act at certain places. I ended up liking things that they liked. I ended up eating things they usually eat. And now, I still find myself doing things they usually do. I still eat things they feed me. I still have the values they taught me growing up.

Another saying that stuck was "tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are". All my life, I was taught to pick my friends. To not be with druggies or people who drink alcohol or one will lead to the wrong path. Growing up, I never believed in peer pressure. I never felt pressured to do anything because whatever it is, I wanted to do it anyways. I became the one that made people do things, it was not bad or anything. It actually turned out for the good. The friends that I have are friends for we can somehow connect to one another. We like the same things and often hate the same things. If a person surrounds itself with good people, eventually that person will be influenced and be good as well or do less bad things. The influencing is really strong specially in friendship.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

post v : american culture

I moved here four years ago. It was all too weird for me. From the weather to the food to the people. It was a weird surrounding to be in, it was really clean and there was no pollution. I moved to Stevenson High School on my freshman year. On that year, I was constantly taking notes on how different I am and how different this place is compared to where I came from. I noticed that people does not really get attached with people. They get to know the basic things about people. It reminded me of the movie "Tuesdays with Morrie". Mitch is one of the characters, he basically represents a bunch of Americans. He is in a way of getting attached to people and is therefore a little scared of receiving and giving love. He took his girlfriend for granted for such a long time. Never made time for her. Maybe it is the fear of getting hurt is what hinders a lot of people of giving love. They  fear that their effort is wasted. I remember it took me a long time to get closer to anyone for they have some trust issues and most of the time they think that I am not interested in getting to know them. Americans has this belief that they do not deserved to be loved. They think so lowly of themselves and that made them assume that they are not worthy or receiving anything. A quote from the movie is stuck in my mind, "We must love one another or die". People in America are scared to open up to people. They are scared that they will not be wanted because they are not what other people expected them to be. Mitch from the movie took people that loved him for granted for he kept thinking that he did not deserve the love that he got. When I realized here is that Americans are not much of a fan of relationships. America is such a liberated county. People believes in hook ups and the no strings attached type of relationship. Back in the Philippines, everyone would wait a couple of months to be together. The guy has to court a girl for some time. In here, everything is rushed. Everything is not about getting a connection but more of what they can get from the relationship. Some people are lucky enough to find people worthy of them. Some of my friends are also good people. Thing is, they do not truly love another. They always judge and criticize and that is not what love is. This country is full of people who values love but they do not treat it as a necessity.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

post iv: values.

One of the things that I found unique in the Filipino culture was the "mano po". It is when a person giving the greeting bows towards the offered hand of the elder and presses his or her forehead on the elder's hand. The word “mano” is Spanish for “hand” while the word “po” is often used in Filipino culture and language at the end of each sentence as a sign of respect when addressing someone older. Put together, “mano po” literally translates to “your hand please” as the greeting initiates the gesture of touching the back of the hand of an elder lightly on one’s forehead. 
Mano po is still used in the Philippines right now. This gesture can be done to anyone older than them and it is just basically to show respect to the elders. By offering your hand to “mano”, you are allowing yourself to be subservient to the elder to accept their blessing and wisdom. It is considered impolite if one does not exercise the custom of “pagmamano” when entering the home of an elder or after seeing them at a gathering. Respect is a big thing in the country since Filipinos are truly loyal to their family. Everyone respects each other and everyone values people's authority. The gesture is usually followed with a "God Bless You". It is a unique thing Filipinos do, I've never seen other countries do such thing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

post iii: categories and stereotypes.

"you should not generalize about people-- that's the same as stereotyping and everyone knows that educated people are not supposed to stereotype. Everyone is an individual."

Those words came from an English professor at a university. He was emphasizing how sociology should not be about generalizing people. Even though some people are tied through certain factors such as culture or religion, one should not assume that they are all the same. In the article "Should We Generalize about People?",  it was implied that even though stereotyping and categorizing is not right, it is inevitable for some cases. It is often necessary with some material things, diseases, places and more. But it is never right to categorize a person in certain categories. 

I am Filipino and luckily for me, people knows that I refused to be categorized. There was situations in the past where people automatically think that I am friends with my asian friends because they were Asians. They were wrong, I was friends with them because I think they are fun to be with and relatable. People never really categorized me as an Asian. *excuse the usage of the word* Some dumb people does not even know that Philippines is part of Asia. They would always say, "you're not asian!! you're Filipino" and I would politely reply, "Philippines is under Taiwan and Taiwan is in Asia, learn your geography". 

This topic goes along with religion. I am a Catholic. I go to church regularly. I believe in God but I don't believe in other things. People automatically assume that I am already against gay marriage or that I am against a bunch of stuff when in reality, I don't really care about those things. I'm indifferent with a lot of things I don't understand. Majority of people already assumed a lot of things just because a person is a Catholic. Even though some things are right, it is still unfair because they don't even truly know what kind the person is if her culture and religion isn't included.

To end this post, I would like to say that back then, stereotyping did not go well. A lot of people fought for their uniqueness. A lot of things, lots of bad, happened that could have been prevented if stereotyping did not exist. From holocaust to civil rights and so much more all over the world. End stereotyping and embrace individualism! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I am going to introduce myself as B. As much as I'd like to talk about myself, this blog is all about my views and thoughts about things. It may contradict with yours, it may agree with yours. If there is one thing that would define me, it would be my experiences. As cliché as it sounds, I am who I am because of my experiences. Here's a little a little blast from my past.. I was born in a different country, lived there for 14 years, and fluent in 3 languages... Safe to say, I am not from here. Living a life in a third world country is quite interesting since I did not know much about living it the other way. I am from Philippines. I lived in one of the place with the happiest and caring people. I lived in  
a very religious place and was raised by religious families so my views about things would have a hint of my religious belief. Although, after I moved some of my moral were changed. I learned to adapt and learn stuff on my own. In short, I am who I am because of my experiences in the Philippines. It made me tough and somewhat fearless but also appreciative and grateful

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As of right now, I don't have any influence in my life. As bad as it sounds, I have been trying to do my own thing and not let anyone affect my decisions and such. Although I lack influence, I am overflowing with inspiration. Some of my inspirations are my family and my best friend. 

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My goal in life is to be happy. And also have a decent job and an adventurous life. As of right now, my purpose is still a bit blurry and is still unknown. But I cannot wait to know what is in store for me.