Coming from a third-world home country to a first-world country is a bit of a challenge, especially if it’s your first time migration. I have highlighted below some of the favorable/unfavorable things which I have realised over my eight-month stay in Australia.
1. More fun – It is definitely more fun in the Philippines. When I said “fun”, I meant waking up early in the morning to the sound of cheerful neighbor’s voices already up either singing, playing, drinking, gossiping (ha ha), and fighting (rarely). Philippines is a very beautiful country and a lot of provinces/islands are yet to be developed into becoming eco-tourism spots. I haven’t been to all of them yet I have seen enough to make me conclude that there are more beautiful beaches and tourist spots/activities (e.g. the exciting ziplines, banana boat riding, hot air balloons) here.
2. More passionate people – My first impression of the neighborhood in Australia is good because I saw plenty of gorgeous houses. Then, I realised that it is just common for them to have such kind of a inhabitable houses. However, in general, the neighborhood is like a ghost town. It is so quiet everywhere. People are where they should be – work, school, trains, buses, parks, etc. except home. At the end of whatever day’s activities they had, they will eventually go home, eat, and sleep. There is a very big possibility that you don’t even know the names of your neighbors. In the Philippines, everybody knows you especially in the provinces where it is less crowded. If you wake up hungry in the wee hours of the dawn, be not afraid. There are lots of tapsilogans and other restaurants still up 24hrs a day. Public transport is still available as well.
3. Rigid training – I have worked for Shell and they provide rigid learning & development trainings (Greenbelt & Lean Sigma trainings) to their employees (at no cost to employee at all) all throughout each year. I am working part-time in one of the most prestigious employers in Australia as well and they did not provide formal training. Training here is informal. They will provide you an orientation consisting of a brief overview of the company and its procedures; a conduct of where and how to log-in and log-out, get your uniform, and ID but no formal orientation on the actual tasks per se. I did a lot of volunteering also and noticed that they are all the same. They will show you how to do a job and after a few minutes will expect you to be independent already and be able to find out your own way. In Shell-Philippines, every training is documented and signed; and submitted to HR or relevant managers. Let’s see once I get a white-collar job here if things will be a bit different
4. Easy to get lost – If you get lost in the Philippines, it’d be very rare to use GPS. First option is to ask someone out on the street for more than likely you will find someone “na mapagtatanungan” (someone you can ask). In Australia, GPS has become my second best friend. 🙂 Every trip has to be carefully planned ahead of time.I once had an interview in a very very far place, got lost, and couldn’t knock on the houses for fear of trespassing. Luckily, help came as always at the time of need. One neighbor pulled out of his driveway, and I approached him kindly as he emerged from his car. In fairness, I have always been extended a great amount of time and help by Australians. Most of the time, they are happy to help. 🙂
1. Less warm people, sometimes so formal – As I have described earlier, the place seems like a ghost town. It will never occur to you that a party might be going on inside the house. They do house parties all the time, bbq parties are their favorite. Sometimes, it feels so formal to joke around them. I guess, that’s how you are when you are still unfamiliar with their culture, likes, and dislikes. But once you get to know them, it’s not hard to love them.
2. More professional – I have received letters from employers stating that I have not been shortlisted as candidate to their company vacant position. I have never experienced that in my whole career life in the Philippines. It shows that Australians are more professional.
3. A lot are educated – In relation to #2, it could have been because a lot are more educated in a first-world country that they are more professional. There is less poverty in Australia and the government is exerting all effort to help each Australian achieve optimum literacy. Trainings are provided to jobless people and loans extended to students which they can pay after they graduate and have found a job. However, the education system cannot be discounted in the Philippines as well. There’s a lot of good public, semi-private, and private educational institutions as well in the Philippines. The government only have to push each child to be educated and finish their chosen degrees. I strongly believe that it is one way of getting out of poverty. The more educated the Filipinos become, the more they can participate intelligently in political matters and arrive at informed decisions that can change the society and eventually their and their grandchildren’s lives. To add up, you’ll see people in all ages reading novels everywhere.
4. Less crime – There is a smaller crime rate in Australia. In the Philippines, you are guilty until proven innocent whilst here in Australia you are innocent until proven that you are guilty. If they have mistakenly imprisoned an innocent person, they will pay the latter an amount deemed equivalent to the damages made to the innocent victim plus more!
5. Very disciplined people – You can see this even in simple things like getting the rubbish ready the night before the scheduled waste collection, people crossing at pedestrian lanes, in-congested traffic, and disciplined motorists.
6. Effective government system – Australia is progressive because the leaders are effective and less corrupt.
7. Realisation of taxes – It is not hard to compute in your head where do your hard-earned money go when taxes are being deducted from your payroll. You can easily see the cost to maintain such beautiful roads and high-end services almost commensurate with your contributions.
8. Equal opportunity – Australia gives equal opportunity to all. It is up to the people who will take advantage of those opportunity presented in front of them. So long as one is working hard and wisely, one can achieve a comfortable living unlike in the Philippines where most of the time you will feel that all your bones are aching from hard work and you still cannot comprehend why your lifestyle is always at the same level. So the more leverage you have in Australia, the higher are your chances of success because they are fair.
9. Anti-racial discrimination – Discrimination is everywhere but at least in Australia it is part of their law – that anyone who discriminates will be apprehended!
To conclude, there are big differences of living in a 1st-world country from a 3rd-world one. They will not be called “first-world or first-class” in the very first place for nothing. They are rated in that manner because of the country’s GDP, contribution to worldwide economy, etc. There’s more fun in the Philippines, but there’s more money here in Australia. Though it is sad to be away from the people and place I have loved so dearly in life, a friend once mentioned to me that my comfort zone should not be my home country. My comfort zone should be God. So long as He is my comfort zone, I will be fine any country I go to. And she’s correct. It is easier for me to live here now. I am well adjusted, have made new good friends, and have come to accept their culture as well. But one thing is for sure, whichever country it is and whatever their culture and customs might be, what all people want is just a bit of respect. There will always be gossipers, people who will back fight you – may it be Australian or a Filipino; however, the same rule in life applies. Just go placidly amidst the noise and haste of life. Try to be at peace with everyone and your own soul. And the only way to do this is just to be respectful at all times of everyone regardless of his nationality and status in life.