Leaving New York
I was pretty bummed to be leaving New York since I wanted to spend more time there, but it was the holidays so I was also anxious to come back home & spend time with family.
It had always been my dream to visit New York because it was where my family first immigrated to from the Philippines. My aunt first immigrated here around 1968-1970, followed by my uncle, my grandma, grandpa, my mom in 1978, & then my aunt.
I always wondered, why New York? From what my mom told me, they immigrated to Queens, New York because we already had relatives living in New York & New Jersey.
When my mom immigrated in 1978, she convinced the family to move all the way to the other side of the coast for California that same year.
When I asked, “Why California?” She said it was because she didn’t like the weather in New York, always got sick, constantly got nose bleeds, & it was overcrowded. & from what I was told, my Grandma also got into an accident because their neighbor didn’t shovel their yard like they were supposed to. Apparently it is a law there that you had to shovel your yard when there’s snow.
So my family trekked across the coast for California & my dad followed in 1982.
I had to do a little interview with my mom to get some of this family history. Plus, I think it’s important to ask as many questions as you can while people are still around. I want to know & learn my family history so that I have something to tell my future kids someday.
I was also able to get the address from my mom of where they used to live in Queens. Whenever I visit next, I’d like to see what it looks like. I think it would be really meaningful for me to see where my family first immigrated to & lived in. I’m grateful that my family immigrated here to give myself, my siblings, cousins, nieces, & nephews a better life. I can only imagine that leaving your home country & others behind could not have been easy & I’ll always be grateful to my family for making that sacrifice. I’m grateful to be a child of immigrants.