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    The transition guide for Filipino youth

As the saying goes, “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Here in Winnipeg, you could learn a lot about where you stand in the Filipino community by the kind of friends you have. In my observations, I came up with eight broad categories where Philippine-born Filipino-Canadian youth may fall under. See where you may fit in or where you might be headed!


BD stands for bagong dating (newcomer). It is a temporary stage all newcomers must undergo. One of the most common characteristics of the BDs is their excitement over the snow. They embody typical Filipino traits such as using an umbrella on a sunny day and wearing semi-formal attire at a job interview. After a few months, they will be in a different category below, depending on how well they adapt to their new environment.

Born-here wannabe

This type of Filipino-Canadian youth hates the BDs even though they were once one of them years back. They no longer use or try to speak in their native language. Often, their Tagalog disappears after a year of arrival. You’ll also notice that they use the word “like” in every sentence. In terms of their lifestyles and fashions, they are always trendy. Today’s fad includes dyeing their hair and/or piercing different body parts.


Unlike the wannabes, they are transparent. They are friendly to different ethnic groups. They help BDs adjust in their new environment by sharing their past experiences as a newcomer.


This group is simply “proud to be Pinoy.” They are not ashamed of their identity or origin. They are also friendly to BDs, but limit their friendships to Filipinos only. It is for this reason they stay in their comfort zone where they feel they can talk naturally and still be understood. They are most likely to join Filipino organization to help establish the Filipino community.

McArthurian – “I shall return” is the common motto of this type of Filipino-Canadian youth. McArthurians miss their friends and love ones that they left behind in the Philippines. They work so hard to save money for their plane ticket and pocket money (and probably join the You can go home again contest on CKJS). McArthurian also includes people who travel back to the Philippines just to buy their favourite brand of shampoo.

Street Fighter

It is another category of Filipino-Canadian youth who brought their street-bum attitude from the Philippines. They are resistant to changes especially in school rules and regulations. They are at high risk to become a member of a gang or group with negative peer pressures. Most of them are members of group with interests that they share in common such as cars, music, dance, technologies and a few others.


(Acronym for out-of-school youth). Some Filipino-Canadian youth do not wish to continue studying for various reasons. One common reason is that they are the breadwinners of their families. Others just enjoy earning rather than studying. Some McArthurians are also OOSYs for obvious reasons. They work double jobs to earn money for plane tickets.

Ricardo Reyes is a member of ANAK.

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