After completing the Bridging Multiple Worlds (BMW) survey, I came towards a realization that at the early stage of my development, I did not have any say in the cultural knowledge, values, and beliefs ingrained in by my designated world. By ‘world,’ I am referring to “cultural knowledge and behavior found
within different spaces (I) occupied.” My various worlds “contains values, beliefs,
expectations, etc” that has shaped me directly and indirectly (Phelan et al., 1991).
Like most of us, our first identifiable world would be our immediate family. My parent’s both decided to raise me in the Philippines, because my father did not want to raise me in what he thought was a toxic culture prevalent in the United States. With all the freedom and privilege advocated here in the mainland, my father understood that great distinction of the culture in the Philippines and America. My parent’s expectation of me to develop into these perfect male model- the “breadwinner” of the family- put a lot of pressure on me being the oldest, and resulted to internal repercussions that I had to battle alone, with our long-distance relationship.
I was brought up in third-world country, infested with poverty, and influenced greatly by conservative values enforced by a partnership of the church and state. I was raised in these conservative values. My parent’s acknowledged the negative parts of their upbringing and try to protect me away from that. It was always about church, family, and school. There was a huge emphasis on what kind of behaviors are right or wrong- to a point where my expectations of myself became narrow and limited. But, I didn’t realized these before encountering and being ingrained in various worlds with unique people carrying with them unique experiences. My parents were directly dominating figures of my life until I was 5, after that our worlds were only connected through a phone call. When I started going to school in the Philippines, I learned more about the limitless possibilities in various worlds. I was very conflicted with myself growing up, what was right and what was wrong was set to stone to me by my parents- literally beaten into me. My immediate world and their expectations played a huge part in my development and that it stuck with me until now.
Moving to the states and finally experiencing a life with my family together, I thought my life here would be an upgrade to the way I lived in the Philippines. We moved here because my parents expected me to find more opportunities and have higher potential for success in this rich and privileged land. I upheld those expectations to the best of my ability, however, I realized that with the pressures of upholding all my parent’s expectations, I was undermining the expectations of the new environment I was in as well as my own expectations. It was like my voice was being suppressed by the fear of diving in to my new found worlds of friends, organizations, even sport’s clubs. to thIt doesn’t necessarily mean that I upheld those expectations, but I definitely contemplate on most decisions I make because of those initial expectations of me. In fact, I found a sense of power and identity in finding my out of those expectations. However, with my experience literally moving to a new world (country) permanently, with new culture, new normalized beliefs, I was put a disadvantage in terms of having to navigate to both worlds that is pulling me in. I felt like I wasn’t really sure of myself, or what kind of voice or persona I should be embodying, because what was expected of me was polarized.