Somewhat funny story from today. In a feeble attempt to try and learn some of the local dialect before my time is up at site, I was having a language lesson with my co-teacher. She talks EXTREMELY slow for me and I pick up about 1/4 of what she says. I know, I'm linguistically challenged.
Anyways, we were having a conversation about what I plan on doing when I return to the States. I have some ideas about moving to Georgia to teach and go back to school. Her next question was, you're parents want you to go there? Meaning, this is your parents plan, correct? I at first gave her this strange look and said, a well... I'm 24, my parents don't really decide for me. She IMMEDIATELY busted out laughing, saying, I forgot, I forgot, you're American, you're so independent!!
In short, it's completely normal for Philippine kids to follow the plan that their parents have set for them. If I ask the fourth year students (seniors) what they plan to do after graduation, I often get the response, Well my parents want me to go to VISCA (a local agricultural college) or my father wants me to be a nurse. I guess maybe the thought process may be that if the parent is paying for the college, they also get to choose the course.... which makes a lot of sense now that I think about it.
But immediately after thinking that makes sense, I think how I never asked my parents if it's ok if I became a teacher. I don't think I ever even thought to ask them. I definitely ask my parents for their input, and usually take their words into consideration when I make major life choices, but I don't sit and wait for them to make all my plans... cause let's face it, I so would not be on the tailend of my Peace Corps experience if it had been up to my parents to sign me up! :)
Final thought: I didn't think about it so much before I left home, but if I had to pick one word to describe Americans, it would be INDEPENDENT.