According to experience here are three rules on how Filipinas abroad should treat one another:
1. Don’t break something if you won’t be building anything in its place. Time and effort wasted tearing down takes away from a person’s energy and lifetime. Unless there is a definite desire and absolute resolve to accomplish a specific gain any counter-productive act goes against the instigator. For example, any person who hears a backstabber will take note not to be the next victim in this case backstabbing a friend could only effect in losing the friend but not in gaining a new one neither does it add to the backstabber’s popularity. Whatever was said becomes a clue to the backstabber’s character. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, … thefts, false witness…” (Matthew 15: 18-19).
2. Do not over price when you sell an item to a friend or buy on verbal credit then pick a fight with the friend to avoid paying. The friend may tolerate it and not say a word for friendship’s sake. It does not mean he is totally ignorant of the ruse. An intelligent person knows there is nothing to be gained by being confrontational. An objective assessment of the victim’s intelligence should give an idea however the tricky one always thinks that he or she is the smarter so it is assumed that all is well without further consideration. “Now in case you should sell merchandise to your associate or be buying from your associate’s hand do not you wrong one another”. (Leviticus 25:14).
3. Do not assume you are smarter because you’ve been abroad longer. The year of arrival and the length of stay in the US are not proof of intelligence. Like what we say about death in the Philippines “una una lang yan” which means we can’t all go at the same time. The person’s character and abilities are fostered from childhood. Family upbringing, education, provincial values (every province has its own subculture) and actual life experience shape a Filipina’s cleverness. Study the person before making assumptions. No two Filipinas are alike i.e. they could both be from Metro Manila but if one was an urban poor and the other is middle class or one has been conservative family sheltered while the other is street smart, the list of difference is endless. Then uniqueness comes into play i.e. one could be from a middle class conservative family and get street smart by association or one could have less education in years but make up for it in with a long and varied reading list. “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool lay open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16)