Ester Zambrano

Born: Lanipao Narvacan, Ilocos Sur

Migration Date: 1978

When I was in the 5th grade, we began our lives in Hawaii. It was my choice to migrate to the United States with my father and two oldest brothers. I am so thankful for my dad for giving me the opportunity to migrate to the States because if I had stayed back, it would be difficult for me to make a living and I would not be where I am now. I was sad to leave my youngest siblings behind because I was so young back then, I wanted to have a better life but I wanted all of us to be together. My dad could only take the three of us and leave the other four behind because since my mom died, it would have been difficult to have raised all seven of us. Migration is hard, my dad’s sister had to petition for us to live here; that’s why he could only bring the three of his children.

After high school, I moved to California for college. I was basically on my own and I did not know anyone. It was like I started a whole new life again from the bottom and had no help from family because my dad’s focus was bringing the rest of his children to America. I met my husband in California, married at 20 then started a family. It was not easy at all.

My advice for young pin@ys that have recently migrated or is wanting to migrate is that they should go to school to pursue their education. Education is so important because it will open many doors and give more opportunities than the Philippines. Work hard, appreciate everything you have and when an opportunity is given to you, you take it.