From one home to the next

Far from Home: Alyanna Galura (The Philippines)

Its hard to leave part of yourself behind.

ID Photo

It’s hard to leave part of yourself behind.

Alyanna Galura and part of her family moved to America from the Philippines in 2018, but she still misses those who stayed behind.

“My mother is still living in the Philippines, and I haven’t seen her for about five or six years,” she said. “Most of my relatives are over there, so I miss them, too.”

It’s not just family that she misses, however. “I also miss the food, and playing in the neighborhood. I just miss everything about the Philippines,” she said. “Life in the Philippines was more comfortable since it was where I was born and I spoke the language. However, if I had to choose, I would want to stay in America…

“The food and traditions are the main differences. School is also really different because I have to wake up really early in the morning, and [in the Philippines] I would go home really late. We had to learn about nine subjects all in one day,” she said.

That is because there are more educational opportunities in the United States and Galura sees many other benefits as well. “I didn’t bring much with me besides some accessories like bracelets, necklaces and things like that,” she said. “Besides that, it was just the usual clothes and bags really.”

Every foreigner has a way to overcome the language barrier and the feeling of being different from others. “When I first moved here, I went to Crystal Middle School. Over there, I took ELD [English Language Development] classes and the teachers and my friends helped me with my English and helped me get used to American culture,” she said. “I had to face many challenges because I was not fluent in English, and so expressing myself was the worst part. I was afraid people would hate me for who I am.” Moving into a new country helped her step out of my comfort zone little by little until she was more comfortable.”

While she enjoys her experiences here in the United States, she still recognizes the beauty in the Philippines that she would like to see others appreciate. “I think people should visit Boracay because that is one of the most famous places and it is really beautiful, and it is a place the Philippines can be proud of,” she said. Visitors “can also taste some foreign foods like Sinigang, Adobo, Sisig, Kare-kare and many more. There are even desserts that are good like Leche Flan, Halo-Halo, Buko Pandan, and more,” she said. “The Philippines is a great country to go to and I’m sure people will enjoy it. The only bad thing about it is that it is really hot, but for the most part it is amazing!”