Many might be surprised by the content of this article
Everything I will say here is completely true
My wife, Feyma is from the Philippines. I visited the Philippines for the first time in 1990, then we got married. It took about 4 months to get my wife to the USA, after going through the Immigration process. We lived in Southwest Washington through the 1990s. In around 1997 or so, I started getting the urge to move to the Philippines, but Feyma would have no part of it, She did not want to go back to live in the Philippines. I thought it would be an adventure, though.
Over the next 2 years or so, I kept trying to convince Feyma that we could have a nice life in the Philippines. Finally, in 1999 she agreed to make the move! It took about 6 months to prepare everything for the move. In March 2000 I quit my job and made final arrangements to move halfway around the world.
We moved in May 2000
On May 2, 2000, we stepped onto a 747 and flew to the Philippines. I thought I’d never come back to the USA.
We did have a good life in the Philippines. I nearly became a Philippine Citizen, but in the end, elected not to do that. Life was good, though.
I was an immigrant in the Philippines. If you are an immigrant from a Western country, you can’t help but be noticed, and you will always be an Immigrant. Even if you became a citizen, all of the Philippine people would still call you a foreigner, because you are obviously not of Filipino descent. Most Filipinos like foreigners, particularly westerners, but there are some who hold hatred for foreigners.
Truth is, many Americans hate foreigners or immigrants. I hear people every day talking bad about immigrants. Many Americans say terrible things about immigrants. When I hear those things it makes me think about my Immigration experience. there were some people in the Philippines who hated me too because I was a foreigner, but the vast majority liked me and treated me well.
We moved back to the USA in 2019
On January 17, 2019, I set foot on American soil for the first time in nearly 2 decades. It felt weird. I did not set foot in the United States that I remembered. Everything was so different than it had been when I lived here in the past.
So many things were just way different. Every part of life was different. Could I adjust? Would I ever get used to livi9ng here? I was not sure if I would be able to make it.
A few months after arriving, things still felt strange to me, but I was getting more comfortable for me than when we first arrived.
You know what?
I recently realized that after more than 3 years of living in the States again… I feel like an immigrant here. I don’t feel like this is where I “belong”.
When we go out and meet people, I tend to gravitate toward Immigrants, because I feel a similar journey to what they have. Yes, this is my home country, my country of birth. But, I feel like I am an immigrant.
Who are my friends?
I have friends of all races and nationalities. I have quite a few Filipino friends since my wife is Filipino, my kids are half Filipino, and I lived in the Philippines for many years. I also have a lot of Hispanic friends, because they are immigrants, and Hispanic people are very prevalent in our area.
As part of my business (I am a reseller on eBay and other platforms), I usually meet a lot of people at places like bin stores where I can buy merchandise for resale. I meet a lot of immigrants (and also Americans) at these places. I usually have a lot of Hispanic friends at these places and I enjoy seeing them when I go shopping. It kind of makes me feel “at home”.
Do, I feel “at home” in the USA?
No, I really really feel at home here in the USA anymore. I hope that someday I will, but after 3 years on the ground here, I don’t feel this is my home anymore, and it is a strange feeling.
I am starting to get used to the many changes that occurred in the USA during my absence, but it might still be a while before I feel at home here.
What about family?
I really don’t have any extended family alive anymore. My Dad and my Sister died before I moved to the Philippines. My Mom died about a year before we returned to the States (she visited us in the Philippines 3 times, and seemed to enjoy that). My brother died of a brain tumor about 2 months after we got back to the States.
These days, I feel pretty strongly about choosing family. People that I love and am very close to are the people I consider family. I’ll be writing more on that in future articles.
So, I don’t have any family to make me feel that this is home.
Am I moving back to the Philippines again?
Feyma and I have been discussing the possibility of moving back to the Philippines, but we have mutually decided that we will stay here in the States, likely in Indiana, where we are living. Although each of us misses the Philippines, we do like our life there too and need to give it enough time to be more comfortable. I don’t expect we will ever move back to the Philippines.
But, I think I will always feel like an immigrant in my own country. Kinda strange, right?