Does My Future Belong Here?
The ultimate question still remains in me whether Norway is already my first home, or second home, or a mere work place. In the last two years, I have built a life in this Scandinavian country. I have made friends. I got a job and a place to live in. I speak sufficiently the language. I start to think like Norwegians and plan further to advance my career. However, are all these reasons enough to stay in this land with the rest of my life?
Now, I honestly do not know. It is likely possible that my career will advance in Norway. It is another phase in my life, not seen in any degree in the Philippines. I could not say life has become totally better, but life here is at least different. I could decide on my own. I learn to become independent and rely more on myself. I get to grasp the essence of life. That is living on the moment, thinking most of what makes best for oneself. This is an exact opposition to what a family-oriented Filipino philosophy, but this also does not mean I have the intent to forget my roots. This is just, at least a manifestation that I learned to value myself more than anything else.
What are the reasons to keep me here in Norway? More and more months, more and more reasons are surfacing. Although the greatest hindrance still is looking back to the Philippines on how I could use my experience in Norway in improving the Filipino system. This is something that fuels my doubts that I belong here. Deep inside, I desire to create systems for Filipinos that will be efficient for them to be better and more learned individuals. In my belief, I could fulfill these tasks when I am nearer to my subjects- the Filipinos. Though there are ways for me to partially begin my plans in Norway and just visit the Philippines more often in the future, still I wanted to pursue my advocacy for the Filipino nation.
However, the downside of this advocacy is the Filipinos themselves. I have worked in the Philippines for almost five years, lived almost 90% of my life so far, so I know how ungrateful and critical Filipinos could be. Filipinos are no longer gullible. That is good point, but they have transformed into suspicious, non-trusting, pessimistic individuals. The question on my advocacy would work in the end is in danger, because if Filipinos themselves do not see the importance of the advocacy and cooperate genuinely for positive change, things will be unproductive still.
Filipinos are complex group of people. Soft but generally stubborn. Shy but chaotic. Intelligent but too complicated. It is quite opposite to the general simple, straight-forward and relaxed nature of Norwegians. You can absolutely speak to them, without fear of oppression. Authority is a mere formality of bureaucracy, but not a way of life. The obvious hierarchical Filipino social structures requires one to be obedient with blind eyes to superiors over. This results one miss the sense of responsibility and indepence, virtues much stronger and evident in Norway.
My point is to answer the question whether my future belongs in Norway is a question on whether the focus of advocacy, the Filipinos worth gambling my future for? In a nationalistic point of view, the answer would certainly be affirmative. However, the reality may prove otherwise. Sacrificing one's life for a group of people that will hardly appreciate and be contented maybe a discouraging thought, but perphaps it is still worth a try. A try, which might spell the difference between staying in Norway or going back in the Philippines. There are just several things, which are certain: I feel more I am in Norway. I still react like a Filipino. I admire both cultures. Those are indeed confusing in a more general perspective.