A Little Princess

Relationship: Im/migrant
A Little Princess book.
A Little Princess book.

Waiting inside the cramped airport, I thought of everything I would soon leave behind, but my mind returned to one object nestled in my luggage: a worn, green clothbound book of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. When held at the right angle, the spine of the book shimmers with the title engraved in golden lettering, but the real treasure lies on the first page: a note left by my Ate Mika. In neat purple writing, her bubbly voice shines through, “Because all girls are princesses, and this book should be given from one little princess to another. I LOVE YOU!” 

At the age of six, I packed all of my life into a suitcase to bring to the United States, with the book following my adventure. Running my fingers down the yellowing paper, the story of Sara Crewe longing for her loving father resonates with me deeply. Family is an integral part of Filipino culture; it is a value that has been written into the pages of my history and future. Though the chapter of my life in the Philippines has closed, the memories filled with unending laughter and tight embraces are held closely to my heart. I will always long for home, but I can soothe that craving by reading the novel once more. 

While the spine is now cracked and the edges are roughened, the book sits fondly on the coffee table of our home as a token of the childhood I once knew. As I reread Ate Mika’s note, I cannot help but smile—there is a warmth in her words that reminds me that I will always stay connected to those I love. 

Place(s): Philippines, Las Vegas
Year: 2013

– Angeline Roldan

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant