At the age of 6, I migrated to . Sad as it was, I needed to. My parents and my two younger siblings lived there. And in order for our family to be completed, I needed to move. I was reluctant, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to leave my school, my relatives, my classmates, and especially my friends behind. I had so many things and people left behind in Bacarra. I remember crying on the day I left Bacarra. I cried until we got to Manila. I remember hanging onto my Aunt’s hand, begging her to let me stay with her. My grandma and grandpa carried me away and we bid our farewells. When I got on the plane, I still sobbed. Until the plane took off, I stopped crying. Why? I was fascinated with the take-off. As soon as the pilot announced our take-off in the intercom, I felt butterflies in my stomach. My stomach flipped upside down! It felt like a roller coaster ride. I looked out the window, we were flying up in the sky! After 11 hours of a grueling, vomit-filled plane ride, we finally arrived in what they called the “paradise”, . We stepped out, there were so many cars, so many people, and so many luggage! Then suddenly, both my grandparents rushed to this lady and man. Then soon, this man and lady hugged me real tight. I guessed they were my mom and dad. Then I saw a little girl, about 4 years old and another girl in the arms of another lady, a year old. I guess they were my siblings. I still felt awkward around them, and I felt shy. Being the 6 year old that I was, the only English word I understood and spoke was “yes” or “no.” I couldn’t communicate with my cousins nor my siblings, even if I wanted to.
I remember my first day of school, I felt like crying. Everyone seemed scary, I didn’t talk to anyone. After that first day, I didn’t want to go back at all! I missed home every single day, I remember crying every single night, begging my grandma to take me home. I wanted to go back to Bacarra real bad. Then soon enough, I made some friends. They didn’t make fun of me and my broken English. I was glad that I was put in an English as A Second Language program. I owe a lot to that program, without it, I wouldn’t be speaking as fluently as I am right now. As years passed, the more accustomed I got to the American culture and the Hawaii culture. As years flew by, the more comfortable I got with the English Language and school. I soon made friends, friends that I treasure now.
It took me about a year to get used to my new environment. Took me a good 2 years to comprehend and speak English fluently and gain my confidence with my speaking abilities.
I’ve been living here in Hawaii for 11 years now, more than I have lived in the Philippines. I now consider this state as my home. But will always be my homeland. =]
This story was emailed to me by my friend in Hawaii.