The US seems new, but she’s learning

Far From Home: Tanya Evangelista, The Philippines


Image by titus_jr0 from Pixabay

Strong ties keep Tanya connected to the Philippines.

Last year, when Tanya Evangelista was 16 years old, she moved from the Philippines and started going to Armijo High School.

When she was living in the Philippines, she had all of her friends, but once she moved to the U.S. she only had her sister. “It’s kind of a massive change,” she said.

While she’s only been in the United States for a short time, she has noticed a lot of differences from her home country, differences in the weather, the food, the people and their attitudes. Evangelista is more comfortable in the Philippines because “my friends and family are there,” she said. “I am closer with them than the people here.”

Evangelista said that she adjusted quickly after moving from the Philippines. It wasn’t just moving to a different country, though. It was also the adjustment to moving to a new school, and both take a lot of adaptability. “You don’t know anyone, you don’t know their culture,” she said. All she knew about the cultures of the U.S. was through the media.

The media prepared her for many things, but she still misses some of the things she’s more familiar with. For instance, the food here is “a lot bigger than the food in the Philippines,” she said, and she identified that the U.S. is more diverse than the Philippines. “Everyone else is also from other countries as well,” she said.

There are a lot of differences in education, too. The schools in the U.S. are more spacious than the schools in the Philippines, for interest. The schools in the Philippines have all the grades in one (elementary school-high school) unlike the schools in the U.S..

Evangelista did notice that media in the Philippines is similar to that in the U.S. “They focus on locally and also focus on internationally,” she said. The words may be different, but each culture has distinct slang. Some slang words in the Philippines are “Jowa” which means “girlfriend” or “boyfriend”, “Kilig” which means “being flattered when someone compliments you”, and “Lodi” which means “idol”.