Today is a very special day for me because it marks 21 years that my family has been in the US as Filipino-Americans. This is the second post where I have used past photos of myself with the first being Goodbye to the Lion of the Senate. FYI, I’m the little kid in the front wearing a striped shirt. I wanted to take this opportunity for this post to share my experiences as a Filipino-American. These include both good and bad experiences that have shaped me into the man that I am today.
Reminiscing about my past, I realized that I am very thankful for the sacrifices my parents’ took to bring their family to the US in 1988 from Bohol, Philippines and to provide a good life for their children. I don’t know what my life would have been if I would have grown up in the Philippines where I noticed a lot of my male relatives gallivant and take for granted opportunities in improving the Philippines. However, one of the many things that I envy of Pinoys in the Philippines is that they did not have to struggle with being Filipino in a predominantly white neighborhood or be forced to assimilate. I’m not going to lie, I actually hated growing up in America. I’ve been a resident in Chicago longer than President Obama who moved to Illinois in 1992 and I still get treated like a foreigner. These experiences have shaped me into a better person, being able to overcome discrimination in a civil manner and realizing that I should be proud of who I am, a Filipino.
One of the many reasons why I created Fil-Am Ako was not to only spread Filipino awareness but also to attain something that I thought was lost when I migrated to the US with my family, which is knowledge of Philippine culture & history. I know that many of you probably have similar stories to mine and please feel free to share your experiences on Fil-Am Ako by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.