Individuals who are in an an intercultural relationship often find themselves in the middle of a culture they are unfamiliar with, with a set of traditions and customs which are very different from their own. This is often the case with Filipinos in a relationship with Australians. However, as much as our two cultures are different, we must have something in common for our relationships to work—for our marriages to last. We talked with a couple of Filipinas who are happily married and are currently living in Australia. G. and R. gladly talked to us about their relationships and life in Australia in general.
How long have you and your partner been together?G.: We’ve been together for two years and ten months. R.: Three years.
How long have you been living in Australia?G.: I’ve been living in Australia for a year and five months. I’m here with my two kids from a previous partner. (G. has recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, who is now a month old.) R.: I’ve been here for three months, and I’m planning to stay here forever.
What aspect of living in Australia did you find most difficult?R.: I’m finding it difficult to get a job, and subsequently manage my expenses. G.: I am very much missing my family and friends in the Philippines. The cost of living also surprised me. As for my kids, they couldn’t speak well in English when we first got here. They were often shy and anxious, because they wanted so bad to understand what others were saying—there were instances when they got into fights with other kids because of this. But they learned fast. Now, they can speak English fluently and are even better at it than me!
By contrast, what part of Australia do you love the most?G.: I can’t say about other parts of Australia as I’ve never travelled to any other parts of Australia, aside from Melbourne. But my partner is super bait and understanding. I didn’t have much difficulty in adjusting to Australia because of this. His parents and family have also been very kind to me. R.: Australians are very friendly people.
Filipino and Australians are known to have very different cultures, but both of us have a great fondness for food and beaches! What other similarities did you find between your and your partner’s culture?R.: We actually share the same habits, and we usually have the same attitude towards different things. G.: I think Australians are similar to the Filipinos in a way that some are good and others are not.