My Family’s Immigration from the Philippines to America Kyla Pomer
My Mom’s Life in the Philippines Lived in the province of Bataan on the island called Luzon Parents are Doroteo (salesman) and Rufina (teacher) Herrera 2nd out of 4 children Although, the Philippines has a high poverty rate, they did not struggle financially They had a two-story house and a maid (which was common for a middle-class family) My grandparents were able to send all four of their kids to elementary school, high school, and college
Family is a very important aspect of Filipino life. A lot of kids in America are out of their parents’ homes by the time they turn 18. But my mom and her siblings lived together even when I was born.
The ImmigrationProcess My grandma’s younger brother (Alberto Roman) was the first person from our family to come to America. He came with very little money in his pocket. But he was eventually able to open his own grocery store, which he later converted to a Filipino Restaurant. Soon after he came here, his 6 other siblings and his mom were petitioned to become American citizens. During my mom’s childhood, my grandma would often go back and forth between America and the Philippines
The Immigration Process (cont’d) After my grandma became a citizen, she petitioned my mom and her sister and brothers to come to America When all four of them graduated from college they moved to America in 1989 and later became citizens.
Adjusting to Chicago Mom had to get used to a long distance relationship with her boyfriend (my dad ) My grandfather was also left in the Philippines Weather here was different Except for those things, adapting to the country wasn’t too hard. This was mostly because the whole family was there and because she already knew how to speak English
Adjusting to Chicago (Cont’d) mommy Another thing that made the adjustment easier is the fact that mom was a nurse. It is an in demand job which made her financially stable. mommy Also, most other nurses she worked with were also Filipino immigrants. She was never too far away from home
Getting Married My parents had been dating for 10 years before they got married. Since my mom was in America, my Dad asked her to marry him over the phone…(I think) So mom went back to the Philippines to marry him, but she went back to America after the honeymoon. My mom found out she was about to have me when she came back to America, but my dad was still trying to get a visa to come here.
I was really sickly as a kid And my mom didn’t want to wait for the petition to follow through for me to meet my dad So we went to the Philippines every 6 months to visit my dad
He was finally able to come here when I was four years old. (1997)
Dad Adjusting to America It was more of a struggle for my dad than my mom My dad left his family in the Philippines Dad was a doctor in the Philippines, but he had to start over here. He had to find a hospital that would accept him into a Residency program. We moved a lot to try to find a hospital for my dad to become a Resident. (even to California for a few months)
Dad Adjusting to America (cont’d) 2001-2004 Dad was finally accepted into a Residency program in 2001 at Mount Sinai Hospital He finished the program in 2004 and became a licensed family doctor He and my mom opened up a clinic in 2006 (on my birthday )
In Conclusion… My parents’ immigration stories showed me that immigrating with a family can make a big difference in how well you adapt