From Foreign Land to Simply Home: A Transformative Immigration Journey 

As a filmmaker, educator, and advocate for diversity, my immigration journey to the United States has been truly transformative. After completing my PhD in Hong Kong, I made the decision to leave my academic career in the Philippines and join my family in the U.S. Although navigating a new culture, starting over professionally, and coping with the challenges of living in a foreign land haven’t been easy, these experiences have tested my resilience and provided opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery.

Despite the hurdles I’ve faced, I have also found moments of joy and gratitude in the U.S. The country’s commitment to lifelong learning, entrepreneurship, and diverse cultural experiences has greatly enriched my life. Embracing the diversity of American society has broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of humanity.

As an immigrant, I have gained profound insights along the way. I have learned the value of perseverance and hard work, witnessed the unwavering spirit of Americans in their pursuit of success, and embraced the importance of diversity in fostering innovation and empathy. Additionally, I have come to appreciate the significance of pursuing my dreams while staying true to my cultural heritage and values.

Approaching my fifth anniversary as a U.S. immigrant, I am filled with hope for the future. I am grateful for the opportunities this country has provided me and am committed to continuing my journey with resilience, determination, and a deep appreciation for the lessons learned. I am dedicated to making a positive impact and contributing to the diverse fabric of the United States.

I am determined to utilize my skills to share the stories of the Filipino American experience, promote diversity and inclusivity, and empower students to pursue their creative passions. Furthermore, I am committed to advocating for immigrant rights and being a voice for the marginalized. My immigration journey has ignited a passion within me for creating meaningful change, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

When the time comes, I also intend to give back to my motherland as a Filipino filmmaker, film scholar, and educator. I am passionate about using my skills and knowledge to promote the art of filmmaking in the Philippines, contribute to film scholarship, and empower aspiring filmmakers. My immigration journey has instilled in me a sense of duty to support and uplift the Filipino film community, and I am committed to making a meaningful difference.

As I continue my journey as an American, I am filled with hope and determination. I am grateful for the support of fellow immigrants and allies, and I am excited about the positive impact I can make. My immigration journey has been transformative, and I am dedicated to utilizing my knowledge, skills, and passion to create a purposeful and fulfilling life in the U.S. This country is no longer a foreign land to me—it is simply home.