Place of origin: Cebu City, Philippines
When did you move to America and why?
“Around 2003 and 2004, My mom was offered a better job so she moved to in 2000 and my older sister and dad followed. I wanted to be with my family so I moved to America too and then later my three other siblings came. My family wanted a better quality of life. My parents wanted to give us a better chance to succeed because the majority of people in the Philippines live in poverty.”
Was it hard for you to adapt?
“English was the hardest part. I felt very self conscious about my accent, I got teased a lot, and I felt weird about having an accent. I would try using TV lingo — thinking about it now it didn’t make sense in the context I used them in. I would say “radical” a lot and I would always use “totally” randomly. Also, a few culture shocks for me were when I noticed people didn’t take their shoes off in their homes, when kids called their parents by their first name, how disrespectful they were to their elders by talking back and not listening. ”
What do you like most about America?
“The girls are so hot…[Laughs] And the fact that I feel very safe here. I don’t have to worry about anything and It’s also easier for my family to feel at ease that we’re safe. And the opportunities here are great and you have a better chance to succeed.”
What don’t you like about living in America?
“Definitely the rudeness, compared to the Philippines everyone there is so nice considering they don’t have much. Sometimes I feel like people here think they’re better than everyone else.”