Red ~C Diary: Waking Up In a Nation of Immigrants

"As often as I listen to the worries
about China eating the jobs of the West, I hear the concern about the
influence of the American way of life in the East. The question is:
‘Does globalization mean Americanization?’ My short answer is no. In
measuring globalization, we can count telephone calls, currency flows,
trade sums, and so on, but the spread of culture and ideas cannot be so
easily measured. Embedded in the present is the unrecognized paradox
that culturally, America itself is changing more dramatically than
America is changing the world. It is the world that is changing the
world. Immigration is reshaping America more profoundly than America’s
influence around the world."

John Naisbitt : John Naisbitt
Source: Mind Set!: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future, Page: 179

I
remember it like it was yesterday. I could still smell the scent of my
first rental car. It was a Hyundai Accent from Enterprise. It was my
first time driving an automatic transmission on Interstate-90. A
motorist gave me the finger. It was my fault. I was too slow merging
with traffic. I was overwhelmed. Where I come from the roads were
narrower, the traffic lanes were imaginary, and cars moved bumper to
bumper. Ahh, so this is how it feels like driving on the freeway. Cool.

I
blamed the crappy car rental map for making me lose my way. It took me
two hours and a couple of gas station stops before I found Red Roof
Inn.  As soon as I entered my room I put my belongings aside, took a
deep breath, and plunged myself on the bed. Suddenly, reality hit me.
For the first time in my life I was alone, away from my family. I was a complete stranger. I just
moved into a foreign land with only a suitcase full of clothes and a
box of books. I wanted to wallow in sadness, but there was no time for
melodrama. I was hungry. Now where can I buy a pizza?

Fast
forward ten years later. Everything feels surreal. I’m in a room full
of people from all over the world–more than thirty countries. Along
with these ninety-nine people I’m renouncing my citizenship from the
country where I was born and taking my pledge of allegiance with the
United States of America. I’m neither sad nor ecstatic. But I feel a
sense of gratitude for being granted special privileges, like voting in
the most powerful Democratic nation in the world and being able to
travel more freely to other countries without restrictions.

Pero ika nga ni Bamboo, Pinoy ako, buo ang aking loob, may agimat ang dugo ko.

I
may have taken an oath, signed some papers, received a fancy certificate,
but I don’t feel any different. This morning I woke up as a Filipino.
Tonight I’ll be sleeping as an American. Tomorrow I’ll wake up as a
citizen of the world. But I’ll always keep in mind that I’m neither
this body, nor this mind, nor this nationality.

Today, this holy Monday, I become an adopted citizen of this great nation of immigrants. So help me God.

Comments (4)

  1. Dave wrote::

    Congratulations!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 1:11 am #
  2. Nicq MacDonald wrote::

    Congratulations, my new fellow American. 😉

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 8:10 pm #
  3. kate wrote::

    wow . . . this is awesome! congratulations . . . welcome to the state of existance known as being An American 🙂

    Sunday, April 22, 2007 at 6:58 am #
  4. decentralized wrote::

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    I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page repeatedly.

    Friday, October 3, 2014 at 3:19 am #

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