Stowaway to the Land of Milk & Honey

 

The year was 1930.

He was a 19 year old farmboy from a small town in the southern part of the Philippines. His family was not rich. His parents were just a simple couple living on their salaries as teachers. They were 8 in the family and there was never enough for everyone.

He left home leaving only with his clothes on his back. He traveled to Manila and secretly boarded a ship for the United States of America. He was a stowaway.

The boat landed in the shores of San Francisco in California. In 1930, Filipino farmers were in great demand in that part of the world. His first month was not easy. With no money in his pocket, he only has his lanky body to rely on in order to survive. He was able to land a job as an orange picker.

Tall, dark, and handsome, he was not without lady admirers. It was not always sunny and happy. He had to work very hard everyday. Toiling the soil, picking fruits, and carrying baskets full on his bareback day after day, six days a week.

There was one woman. Blue eyes, blond hair, and fair skin. She was in love with him. Though she could make him laugh, his eyes stil cast a certain sadness. It was not enough for him. His heart belonged to his country.

He considered himself only as a sojourner in the land of milk and honey. He moved to Chicago and eventually was able to work and study at the same time. It took him 5 years to save for his return trip back home and to be able to live comfortably. He never came back to the United States of America.

*** related by my father’s 100 year old uncle. romanticized by me.

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~ by Happy Sole on March 14, 2010.

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