A Photo of my Father

Relationship: Im/migrant

For the most part, my childhood was relatively normal. It was just the three of us - my father, mother and me for the first seven years. As most children, we went to school, tried to get good grades, and played with friends from school.  We would sit as a family and eat the dinner made by my wonderful mother. Sometimes dinner would be tinola, kare-kare or pancit - and always eaten with a cup (or more) of rice. We were an ordinary family living life but because of my father’s job, we never stayed in one place for more than three years. In 1987, my father joined the military and became part of the Navy military branch. While my dad was on shore duty for a couple weeks in the Philippines, he met my mother and within a year they got married. Through military orders, my dad was moved to Sasebo, Japan, and my mother followed. Since I was born in Japan, my home was in the military housing for 9 years. That first initial move from Japan was the hardest. But over the years, I learned to adapt easily with each move to a new country. When we moved to Hawaii, we had gotten our final documents in becoming U.S American citizens. When I was 11 years old, I remember signing my naturalization papers. I chose to put a polaroid photo of my father because he was the main reason of how we got to the U.S in the first place. I know that he struggled plenty in his job, but because of his perseverance, he stuck it out for his family. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been born in a military family and I’m most thankful for everything my father has done.

Place(s): Philippines, Japan

– Andrea

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant