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The Joy of Having International Friends

Updated on October 14, 2013
May All Nations Join Together.
May All Nations Join Together. | Source

Being Of Two Cultures

I am born of two cultures. My mother is American, and my Dad is from the Philippines. By my last name people would automatically think I am from Cuba or Spain. I wish I could have a dollar bill for every time someone has questioned me or my Mom, " Oh, related to Fidel?" And the typical response has been, "No the paternal side of the family is from the Philippines. The Spanish explorers brought their culture to the Philippines.

I looked very Filipino from birth and as I grew older, I became looking multicultural, showing the other nations that my mother's family is from. Irish, German, English, Amish and Jewish. My Mom stated that her mother was from the "black Irish". When I got older I learned that black Irish means that the Irish may have some genetic links to a region of Spain. That influences the color of dark hair and eyes could either be the color of brown or green. I find my Irish heritage to be interesting.

I have always loved my family reunions because there are so many wonderful traditions and delicious dietary treats. The language Tagalog is spoken amongst the older individuals. Even though my parents decided not to teach me the other language since I was American born and they did not want to interfere with learning, I always could get the gist of the conversation and appreciate the language difference. My daughter even obtained a Tagalog to English dictionary. My children have learned to appreciate our multicultural family as well.


In the 1960s, the oriental racial population in my town was increasing. The reasons is that the United States is "a land of opportunity" and with the number of internationals entering in to this country for educational purposes and back then becoming an American citizen was so much easier. Even though the laws have gotten tougher in this new century for new people to come to live here, it is well that those who do find a new abode here will definitely benefit from what our culture has to offer.

There are so many opportunities for people born and raised in America to learn from the other cultures. Throughout the year there are municipal efforts where I live to celebrate with the festivals honoring all different countries. I have been to a few, especially the one for the Philippines, which is like a bigger version of one of my family parties! So if you come to Baltimore, MD in the summer time, make sure to check out the scheduled events for which International Festival is featured at that time. Just about all the ethnic groups have their featured festival, such as Greek, Italian, Spanish, Irish, German, African-American, Native American, Polish, Amish, Caribbean, to name a few. There is fun, food, music, and always a feeling of joy in the air at these festivals.

Other places where I have been culturally experienced is in schools and at the work place. To get to know Internationals at the Professional level has its challenges as well as positive feed back. The English language is taught world wide and there are educators I know who are hired to help those who have come into this country learn how to communicate effectively while living here. America's hiring policy that is, "equal opportunity" has offered the best way that they have to being a part of our country's workforce, especially when they have come here to be educated.


Since I live in a multicultural family, I know I am blessed because I have developed a sensitivity for those who have genetically inherited qualities. I am so impressed when my Aunt and Uncle who were both born in the Philippines and arrived to the USA in 1967 continue to provide their cultural experience in their home at every family party. I am comfortable with tradition. American Professional neighbors and friends to come and join our cultural parties. I always have an opportunity to meet Filipinos from their other extended families.

At the workplace, there is not enough time to discover individual's cultural interests or background because we are "on the job". Making off work social arrangements often has been done to get to know them. Many internationals that I know work extra hours so they can send Money home to their country to help the family who hasn't come here yet.

As a nurse, I have been assigned to international families who have come here for educational purposes, gotten married here and had their children while going to school. The babies and children of these families are surrounded by their culture at home and then have the opportunity to learn American culture when they enter school. While working in their homes, I get an education too. They are always happy to make me feel comfortable probably because I am respectful of their diverse traditions.

I always show respect and never express an attitude when it comes to language, habits or beliefs. I apply my Christian principles to accept everyone sine the Lord God accepts us.

HubPages has been an International experience. I was so impressed how many followers I have are from all over the world! And I am so excited to follow writers from all parts of the world. This creative potential lets me learn about others from everywhere. Thank you to the Creator of HubPages. Even if I only have ten minutes to spare, I have to see what my new international followers are writing about.

Because I am a Believer in Jesus Christ, I am so thrilled when I am able to meet an international who also believes in Him. God IS EVERYWHERE! I respect that all origins different ways of believing. It is so great that even time stands still and for that moment the National borders disappear.


My children knew from birth that they are multicultural. It is a wonderful experience to have variety in their lives. I always had a desire in my heart as a little child. I used to pray as a child, "God, teach me about the people in the city." At that time, I remember being in the car with my parents and they found themselves "lost". I remember it was in the West side of our city and all the people on the street were African Americans. God answered my prayer. When I became an adult and started working in the City!

Taking the children to museums, historical societies and cultural events, showing them films about different cultures and listening to music of other nations are all the ways to broadening their knowledge and to teach them not to have an attitude. And when listening to the World News with the children, let them know that certain events that occur in the World does not involve a Whole Race of people but certain individuals who have certain issues going on in their own personal history.

The experience of having International friends, acquaintances, work friends, meeting internationals on line, and interacting with those of "different color and origin" makes my life a more diverse and exciting. I am grateful for the fact that I have parents from two different countries as well.


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    • CMCastro profile imageAUTHOR

      Christina M. Castro 

      5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Thank you, Phoebe, for visiting me on the hubpages. Anyone can write on hubpages and it is for free. Why not join the hub family and spread your written joy! I am glad to meet many from around the globe. Hope to see you again.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi there, I enjoyed reading your post. I also enjoy meeting friends from different countries. my blog is . I am a writer as well. :)

    • aziza786 profile image

      Zia Uddin 

      5 years ago from Birmingham

      Beautiful hub about cultural differences and how people can be taught to be civilized rather than inviting bitterness towards each other. The reason why the Lord created different sects, races and cultures in this world is because so that we can and recognize and understand each other and be respectful. Thanks for sharing the story about you and your family, voted this hub up.

    • CMCastro profile imageAUTHOR

      Christina M. Castro 

      6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Hello JessHubpages, I do share the same values that you have when it comes to creating international relationships. So many have attitudes that are negative. I "have a dream" just like Martin Luther King that one day all people of color and race will be as one. Then we will have God's fulfillment of His Kingdom. Peace and God Bless you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Filipinos can easily adopt to any cultures anywhere in the world. It's a blessing that is not to brag about but to thank for. God bless

    • CMCastro profile imageAUTHOR

      Christina M. Castro 

      8 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      Hello richtwf, thanks for your comments and compliments. I live in a family with wonderful Filpino Heritage. My most memorable event in life was going to the World Trades Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee in the USA in 1982. My father's brother was Trade Commissioner and Atache for the Filipino government, and the Philippine Pavilion was his home for four months of that year. I remember sitting at a table dining with family and dignitaries from that wonderful nation being serenaded by the expressiveness in Tagalog for 3 days and 3 nights.Even though my paternal family is bilingual, by parents choice I am not, but I feel comfortable around multilinguals. My brother's wife is 100% French. So this hub means a lot to me. Thanks, Twin Sis

    • richtwf profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks twin sis for sharing your thoughts in this very useful hub.

      We live in an ever-increasingly multicultural society and with the exceedingly rapid growth of the worldwide web, it's very important that we understand that we're all one human race and that we share this one world with each other. With technology, it should enable all of us to be able to self-educate and inform ourselves about other cultures and traditions that others live by. Life would certainly be boring if if weren't for diversity not only in individuals but also in groups of individuals.

      To be able to develop friendships internationally enriches our lives in my opinion and makes us more understanding and empathetic towards others. The internet does have its evils like all things do but used positively can make a difference to our lives and allow us to integrate more with others in this one world and to unite in mind and spirit even though we maybe thousands of miles apart.

      Thanks for sharing this very thoughtful hub - there's so much more I could say but must go because I have lots to do today!

      Cheers twin sis!

    • Judicastro profile image


      8 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

      Great hub cm. When I was growing up I was surrounded by predominantly white community. When I met and subsequently married my second husband his family was multicultural. His dads origin was from Spain and his moms family were from Hawaii. When I would go to his family reunions I was amazed at the varied hues of skin color. They took in every shade and the cuisine was as varied as their skin color. As you were saying people ask you if you are related to Fidel, I usually beat them to the question and tag "like Fidel" when I tell people our last name and his dad was not from cuba but from Spain.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Being a multi-culti I enjoyed your hub greatly. Hope other can also learn from it.

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 years ago from Barefoot Island

      This is a wonderful hub. You bring out all the things about being of a multi-cultural background. I also have a blend of nationality from Hawaii to a few European nations like Portugal, Romania, France and Italy. This is a great hub. It gives those who read it a chance to gain an understanding that otherwise would not be there. Thank you for writing this one. Thumbs way up :D ~aloha~

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent hub my dear friend.. I love your talent for writing...


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