“But what about the discrimination there?”

Fellow Filipinos interested in migrating to Australia commonly want to know how bad the racial discrimination it is here. Take one of our readers who emailed us the other day:

Alam mo dito sa atin when you talk of migrating to Aussie everybody would say grabe ang discrimination daw diyan. Wala daw tayo pag-asang umangat dahil sila puti at tayo brown. (You know that here in the Philippines, when you talk of migrating to Australia, everybody would say that the discrimination there is atrocious. I was told that we have no chance to advance there because they’re white and we’re brown.)

I can only speak from my own experience. And that is, I haven’t really encountered any discrimination in the workplace (at least, not overtly). I guess it helped that I work in the information technology sector. I believe that discrimination usually stems from ignorance. People in IT tend to be less ignorant than most, after all.

In my six years living in Australia, however, I had my share of some racial discrimination from people I came across out on the street. Mostly from rednecks or people who don’t seem to be the intellectual type. Nothing I couldn’t shrug off, really.

I think that the discrimination that could be encountered here in Australia is just about the same as anywhere else in the world on average. In some cases, I’m embarrassed to admit that some of our fellow Pinoys can be discriminatory as well. For example, I’ve heard of cases where Filipinos who have lived in Australia for a long time tend to look down on new Filipino migrants (not us or our friends here, of course). Also, if you’ve grown up in the Philippines, you’d know how our society lamentably has this tendency to poke fun at those with darker skin complexion or those with disabilities (as evidenced from local TV shows or films of old).

Anyway, on whole, Australians are very nice, welcoming and friendly folks. They are eager to give a total stranger a helping hand. Australians generally believe in giving everybody a fair go. It’s actually something they hold to be a very important Australian Value. So whatever the colour of your skin complexion, that shouldn’t hinder you from advancing in your chosen career here in Australia. Just do your job well and you should be right.

Published in: on October 5, 2006 at 11:22 pm  Comments (7)  


Every weekend, Raquel would ask me what dishes I wanted to eat the coming week. I have a list of my current favourite dishes with me so that I wouldn’t forget. However, one dish I loved so much when I was younger was unfortunately absent from my list.

Growing up, I loved it when my grandma or my mum would cook Bistek (Filipino Beef Steak). The dish is basically dried beef steaks cooked in soy sauce and some onions (our family cooks it with potatoes, too). Unfortunately, since Raquel and I have both cut down on eating beef and pork (and lamb) for a over a year now, I haven’t tasted Bistek in a long long time.

One day, Raquel tried cooking a dish that usually needs lamb but replaced it with turkey instead. The end result was that the texture of the turkey was similar to that of the texture of Bistek beef. So, Raquel and I thought that maybe she could try cooking Bistek with turkey chops in place of beef.

And that’s what she did. She boiled the turkey chops first until they were cooked and then she fried them and that was used in place of beef in the Bistek dish. Since there is no beef in this variant of the old Pinoy dish, we couldn’t rightfully call it bistek anymore. So, we dubbed the dish Terstek (get it? Turkey Steak?).

It was easy to forget that I wasn’t eating beef. I absolutely love it. Well, this dish is certainly going into my favourite dishes list.

Published in: on October 2, 2006 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment