15 “Culture Shocks” This Woman Experienced After Moving To The US From The Philippines

15 “Culture Shocks” This Woman Experienced After Moving To The US From The Philippines

Moving to a new city might feel disastrous to a teen. But leaving your life behind and starting a new one in another country? That's a real challenge for anyone.

Christen Eve grew up in Davao City, Philippines. However, when she was 15, Christen had to pack her bags for the US. Now 28, the singer/songwriter has been revisiting the big transition in a TikTok video series where she reveals the "culture shocks" she had experienced back then.

It provides an interesting comparison between the two countries so we figured you might enjoy it as much as Christen's 395K followers.

More info: TikTok | Instagram

P.S. If this turns out to be something up your alley, check out Bored Panda's publications on the "culture shocks" this Canadian woman went through after moving to Sweden as well as the ones this American woman faced in Australia and this Brit was exposed to in the US.


Breakfast in the Philippines vs breakfast in America. A huge adjustment for me when moving back to the States is how sugary the breakfasts are here.
"What do you want for breakfast?"
"Oh oil and sugar pls"
In the Philippines we always had rice for breakfast. I mean you had rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but like with fried spam, egg or like fried sausage w/ eggs. When I first moved here and I would try eating the typical American breakfast I would feel sick afterward honestly cuz it's just so bread-based and corn syrup and sugary

Image credits: christen_eve


Note: I understand this doesn't include everybody in the U.S.

At our house in the Philippines we always had lizards or geckos, whatever you wanna call them, all over the walls and they were great at taking care of flies and mosquitoes. It was common to just be, you know, going about your day in your house and all the sudden just hear *gecko noise*. And the other thing we always had was ants - ants all over the kitchen, forming a line, doing their thing. We didn't bother them they didn't bother us. When I moved here I was so surprised at how much people freak out over having these things in their house and ants in their kitchen, and they buy all these chemical things to get rid of them.

Image credits: christen_eve


When I moved to the U.S. at 15 I was surprised to find out that not everybody in the world uses cement and shards of glass as their security system. At our house in the Philippines we didn't have an alarm system, hell, we didn't even have a smoke alarm, but we had broken bottles of glass dammit and that's all we needed

Image credits: christen_eve


Everybody eating bread with almost every meal here and barely eating rice. Bread is a snack and rice is a staple

Image credits: christen_eve


In the Philippines the uterus is called Matris(In Bisaya). It's what I heard my whole childhood when older Filipina women would talk and I literally thought it was English term for it too. We took a trip here to the States one time when I was like 7 or 8. I was with all my girl cousins and our aunt was telling us a story. She said this woman couldn't have kids and I was like "Did she get her Matris removed?" All my cousins started laughing at me and I was mortified

Image credits: christen_eve


I moved to the U.S. when I was 15, I'm 28 now... I still don't know how to not stare. In the Philippines, staring is not a big deal. It's not considered rude or bad manners like it is here in the States. Staring is Caring OK. If there was an accident on the road, you would always know, because a huge crowd would form in the middle of the road watching whoever got injured, yes, in the middle of the road with traffic continuing to go by, and of course because I grew up there since I was a baby, it is very normal for me to just sit and watch people. People would stare at me and I would stare at them. Now in America my boyfriend has to tell me all the time to stop staring

Image credits: christen_eve


No stray dogs all over the place. Now again this is when I lived in the Philippines in the 90s and early 2000s things could be different now but when I lived there dogs were everywhere, all over the place and when I came here I was like "Where're all the dogs?" There are cats everywhere but no dogs

Image credits: christen_eve


Barely any honking! Now I don't know if this is just something from when I lived in the Philippines in the 90s and early 2000s it could've changed by now... I don't know. But when I lived there, honking is all you did on the road, honking is all you heard. Just honk honk honk and when I moved here I was like OMG the streets are so quiet. Why is nobody hoking?!?

Image credits: christen_eve


McDonald's, McDonald's instead of McDo and not being able to order chicken and rice or spaghetti at Mcdonald's. That was a really weird one and I was super bummed out about it. Because the brown gravy that goes with the chicken and rice at the Mcdonald's in the Philippines is to die for and yes I would drink it

Image credits: christen_eve


In the Philippines I was so used to just leaving the house with my hair wet. Everyone did it, all the women did it, that's how I grew up doing it there. Take a shower right before you leave the house, and you just leave with your hair completely wet and not dried or styled. When I mover here and found out that's not really a thing I was like *squeak*. I still didn't care. I was like "I can't do this" even in winter I would leave the house with my hair wet and it would get so hard and cold

Image credits: christen_eve


There weren't any Sari Sari stores anywhere. Sari Sari stores are everywhere in the Philippines and our neighbors had one next door so we would always go there and get snacks. You walk up and just pick out what you want, pay for it and just get it out of that little window right there. Also if you were out and about and you were thirsty, you could go up to one of these, you could get a little plastic bag that had been filled with water, tied at the top and put in the fridge. You'd just bite the corner and drink some cold water

Image credits: christen_eve


Growing up in the 90s and early 2000s in the Philippines, you would refer to pads for your periods as napkins(In Bisaya). And then I come to the States and learn that it mean table napkin. Like to wipe your mouth with. I was shocked. And it was so hard to adjust to changing it in my brain

Image credits: ChristenEve


The brooms! This freaking "broom" doesn't do s**t. My boyfriend and I got into an argument about this one day when we were cleaning the house because he was like "What's wrong with the brooms here? I don't understand. There's nothing wrong with them" I was like.. this thing you're gonna defend this really? When I had to sweep with this crappy thing for the first time here in the States, I was like I'm not gonna survive here. This thing does not do anything and it's awful it's stiff and just bleh. Now this is a broom that actually sweeps PROPERLY

Image credits: christen_eve


Ok story time of when I was leaving the Philippines to come back here to the States. I used Cream Silk conditioner basically my whole life in the Philippines and I knew they didn't have any here in the states. And they won't allow you to bring bottles on the plane of course. But in the Philippines they sell packets of conditioner that are attached to each other in a strip, like a strip of condoms. So we get to the airport and they start making a fuss about it saying I can't bring it with me and I start having mental breakdown. They finally decided that they could duct tape it in a box and put it with the rest of the luggage

Image credits: christen_eve


The way people would make a big deal or freak out over words being shortened or how I referred to things. For example, when I would say "Hey can u go put this in the ref for me?" They'd be like "In the what?" "The ref.. you know... refrigerator

Image credits: christen_eve

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