The project mostly focuses on stories of Filipino migration. These stories can be long but with 2 minutes I shared a small snippet of my families migration story.
My folks immigrated with the big wave of Filipino professionals in the 1980s. In the midst of martial law, the writing was on the wall. My nurse auntie and engineer uncle had left in the 60s brain drain migration. They tested the waters in a new country. The report backs of opportunities and jobs set the plan in motion for my clan's move to the States.
Mom came over first. In the late 70s she came with her two sisters and my Lola Sabel. Mom would be Pops' touchstone. If she could see herself in the States, so could Pops. For three years she created a life in San Fernando Valley. She came home to marry Pops and wait for their time to make their big move.
In the meanwhile I became a bun in Moms oven while they lived in Ozamis. This hometown is where both my maternal and paternal families are from. Where folks speak bisayan. Where the island of Mindinao doesn't strike fear immediately. Where it is simply, home.
While I was hanging out in Moms' belly the need for some place cool to go to took over. Mom and Pops went to the local movie theater to take in that sweet cool air con. Pops has a tendency to scan every room he walks into, so he noticed a weird dude in the theater. He kept his eye on the weird dude, who simply wasn't acting right, and found a seat in the theater with moms. They waited for the movie to stratt but it was delayed. Pops didn't feel right about the whole situation so he decided to go home. This did not go over with Moms. She was very pregnant with me. All she wanted to so was sit in air conditioning and enjoy a movie! Pops insisted they leave and so they did.
They found out later that the movie theater they were in was a target of a faction of Filipino Muslims in the area. They have been fighting the Christians in the area for years. Several movie theaters were targeted that day. Some went off, but the theater where Moms and Pops went to was spared. The weird dude Pops spotted, was supposed to set off the bomb. That guy chickened out.
My parent left the Philippines for a better life, like most folks. But they also left because they did not want me to grow up in an area constantly at war. It isn't in an oil rich country, so this won't be in the news. But it was my families reality. This is why they left their homeland. This is my story. This is the story I shared through the Saysay project.
Many thanks to all the hardworking folks who put fpac together. It was an honor to share my story and have folks share their own!