Filipinos in Mexico
So now you live in Mexico, or just hoping to.
The life of an expatriate can be lonely sometimes, you are speaking a foreign language every day, it is the only way you can communicate with the local population. So expatriates often band together. The usual way is to gather together in some public place, a restaurant for example. But there is always the problem of finding this place where you can meet your fellow country people. This can be a very hit and miss affair - often a matter of luck, happening to see or hear a familiar face or voice. The Internet offers many new opportunities to form social groups: Facebook is an obvious example, but Facebook is a huge environment, and finding your way around can be quite a problem for someone new to the game. You will not know the vast majority of the billion registered users, and you will have to locate or form your own set.
A more local and directed set
What we are trying to provide is a forum for a particular, and probably fairly small, group of people living a relatively restricted area: Filipino nationals or of Philippine origin who are resident in Mexico. We hope to provide a discussion area, where people can meet each other and also pass along hints from their own experience of how to cope with everyday problems of living in Mexico such as residence, purchase or renting accommodation, driving licenses, tax, food, language, travel, legal help and even 'trivial' matters such as finding a good reliable plumber. Above to provide a sense of community with our own country people.
Filipino contributions to the Mexican environment and culture
Life in the USA is very different to life in the Philippines. One of the first thing you find is that life in Mexico is much closer to that of home. Not identical by any means, but close. The language is much more familiar, any of the tropical fruits and vegetables you miss are commonly available in Mexican markets. Even the money has the same name, pesos, even though the value of a Mexican peso is 3 or 4 times that of the Filipino peso.
A common history
Did you know that the city of Salina Cruz in the south of Oaxaca state was founded by Filipinos? Did you know that descendants of these early Filipinos are proud of their descent and celebrate it regularly?
A very quick look at Philippines-Mexico history
The Spanish conquistadores invaded and conquered Mexico in the 15th century. Their dominant activities were the conversion of the native Mexicans to christianity by the church of Rome, and the export (by Spanish adventurers) back to Spain of the gold and silver they found in Mexico. At roughly the same time, the Portuguese were doing the same in South America, and a papal decision, based on a very faulty knowledge of the shape of the earth, decreed that the Portuguese had the sole right to transport across the Atlantic Ocean, and the Spanish were relegated to the use of the Pacific Ocean, a much longer route. So the treasure looted from Mexico sailed east, across the Pacific and round the Horn of Africa to reach Spain. Half way around this long trip the Spanish founded a major trading, re-vistualling, and ship building and repair centre in the Philippines, and for almost 300 years they operated a shuttle service of 3 galleons each way per year. Most of the galleons were built of hard wood from the Philippines. The crews of the galleons were generally of mixed races, the hands on deck primarily Mexicans, Filipinos and some Italians. Not surprisingly some Mexicans stayed in the Philippines, and some Filipinos stayed in Mexico; Not surprisingly the cultures learnt from each other and from Spain.