I dreamed of America when I was a little boy. From boyhood I pored over pictures of the industrial centers of New York,Chicago,Los Angeles,Philadelphia,Houston and Miami. I had always wondered what it would be like to live and enjoy one of the world's highest living standards.
I was born in Lucena City at a time when social unrest,turmoil and violence were prevalent not only in the urban centers but the rural areas as well. Amidst the economic
downfall, my family made ends meet. We could laugh,eat and make merry in spite of the grueling labor. The practice of cooperation within the family and with our neighbors
saw us through hard times.
In my youth, I was always fascinated with the prospect of an overseas job. My close friends used to tease me and call me an American dreamer. But why shouldn't I have been?
The government was frantic. The people were restless. Many were out of work. Those who had jobs were worried sooner or later they would get a pink slip,their last payment
voucher. The overall business climate was gloomy and uncertain. Labor migration would somehow
ease the economic problems that most Filipinos faced.
And so began an odyssey common to migrant workers who have searched the world in the hope that somewhere good future awaits them. I became a bartender on a cruise ship and enjoyed and experienced life like I never had back home. I met different people and that gave me challenges in life and I became determined to find a better living in America. Subsequently, I received an offer of emloyment as an office worker in a prestigious corporation in Miami,Florida. In the months that followed, I rolled up my sleeves and did my work as hard as I could but the routine begun to stifle me. Now I faced a crossroad in my life. I could remain where I was without hope for growth, but as time
passed, the human mind has resources beyond mere logic. Knowing is one thing and believing is another.
Living in America has taught me a lot of things I needed to know; that America was a much more complicated and surprising place that I could have even imagined. Second, if I kept my eyes open and my mind receptive, I would never run out of opportunity. Therefore, in 1992
I moved to New Jersey and began working at Rider University, an institution which gave me the inspiration and the privilege to work and study at the same time.
Looking back over all the years that I had been through, I discovered there was no magic in any of this, just human labor,honesty,courage and faith and I could make it. Though today I may not have what others may call the American dream, I realize that the richest experience in life,finding peace within myself and always hoping for the best, are achievements more fulfilling than anyone would ever know... "rgm"