Friday, December 05, 2003

American

It was very much like today: cold, overcast. It was Tuesday, December 5th, 2000. I took a couple of hours off from work to go do something that was 8 years coming. I took an oath that would make me a US Citizen. Along with over 200 people of different races, nationalities, creeds, I was brought into in a room, in front of a judge, where we recited our solemn oaths to forswear our old allegiances, our old countries. I didn't expect a welling up of emotions, or of tears threatening to fall, but there it was. After 8 years, it was a relief not to have to worry that I would have to leave the country if I lost my job, if I got fired. It was a long, frustrating, complicated process. First to get permission to work, then for immigrant status and then citizenship. I bent over backwards, to please employers, colleagues. I worried that this life that I have made for myself after leaving my own country would be taken from me.

Three years later. Today. I am an American. This is who I am. Although there will always be some part of me that acknowledges my Filipino roots, I am nevertheless a citizen of this country. This is my home.

I still worry about my brother who is still going through the same process I went through...

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