|Book signing of Vermont local, Tammy Hedrick's "Stella Rose"|
As more Asians migrate to larger Asian-populated cities to join their families and friends all across the US, my family has always gone against the tide. From Oregon in the West Coast, we travelled to Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Florida, Connecticut, and now humble, quaint Vermont. We’ve moved for my parents’ work and away from the comfort of our Filipino community.
As I look back, I’ve experienced countless times “being the only one” – the only Filipino in my elementary and middle school, the only Asian in my friend group, the only one who ate chicken adobo for lunch everyday. The ride alone was often tough at a young age growing up in New England, but it challenged me to see different perspectives. In a sense, this made me feel closer to my identity as a Filipino-American.
I’ve learned over the years that I’m not the same as most Filipino-Americans I know. I don’t listen to the same music or know the same slang. My parents aren’t nurses or engineers. But the beauty of it is that it doesn’t really matter. Here in New England, we’re small enough that we get ecstatic when we see other Filipinos who have experienced the same journey to get this far.
|Driving through Vermont from Massachusetts|