Fredeliz (Fredi) Guerrero

Born: Batac, Ilocos Norte

Migration Date: August 1999

In 1999, after my maternal grandparents petitioned us to come to the US, my mother, younger sister, and I migrated to Maui, HI. At that time, my mother and father were not married, so I had my mom’s last name: Misay. My grandparents informed them that it would be harder for them to migrate together if they got married before migrating, so they waited.

For some unknown reason, our ability to migrate to the US from the Philippines was delayed. At that time, my mother was pregnant with my younger brother, so he was born in the Philippines instead of the US as planned. As a result of this, my brother was raised without our mother.

The most saddest thing, I think, about my story was that my brother and mother were separated.

I asked my mom how she felt at that time and she said, "every time I saw a mother with her baby I would always cry." 
It was not until a year and a half later that my mom, sister, and I were able to see my dad and brother again. My mom and dad were able to get married and 7 years later my dad and brother were able to migrate to Hawaii. My dad was not able to see his little girls grow up-- he missed out on our childhood.

My family decided to migrate to America for the same reason as everyone else: to have a better life. All my parents ever wanted is for us to get the education they did not get. They wanted us to attend college and pursue great careers. Of course, they didn’t expect life to be easy here. I felt lost in school and I couldn’t speak English. I was homesick and very sad because I missed my dad and brother so much. I remember crying everyday at night before bed and at school.

However, I eventually adjusted to the new environment. I met friends and started to learn how to speak English. My second grade teacher paired me with another Filipino girl in the class who translated everything to me until I eventually learned to understand and speak the language. This girl became a really good friend of mine.

If we had stayed in the Philippines, I think we would have been limited to do many things such as traveling and exploring the world.
However, the one thing that I think I would have gained if we had stayed in the Philippines is having a simple life.