Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tago ng Tago: An Overseas Pinoy View!

I came across this blog from this guy named Ton Ton ( I find these true on the countless stories I have read and seen on TV plus the stories my aunts and uncles living in the east coast of the U.S.A. or other people from other countries tell me when I am traveling from time to time. Ton ton's blog has details on what he has endured on his stay abroad with his high hopes and dreams of making it and returning to the Philippines. Sometimes he has these pessimistic thoughts on himself but if you see it on the brighter side you can learn a lot from his thoughts in the Philippines right now.

Another of stories when I stayed in New York for a very short vacation of one month after graduating and passing my licensure exam in the Philippines. It was spring break of 2004 when my parents decided that I needed to go to the United States for me to use the tourist / business visa (B1/B2) for travel because I deserved a break for making them proud in passing the exam and graduating from college in 2004 - a double celebration for my achievements.

Eventually, I wanted a car but it so happened that they do not want me to have a car instead wanted me to have a pleasure and experience of traveling and visiting America. It was my second time to travel again and the first time to see my uncles and aunt after years of separation from them. On my stay in New York, it so happened that I met some Filipinos there from the neighborhood (most of these people migrated in the U.S. during the early 1970's to 90's. My aunt left in 1995 after their 20 year petition was granted by U.S. C.I.S. As I walked around the block I observed that mostly Hispanic and Jewish denominations live together in our area. It was a community to behold with different colors, race and creed in the United States which is a immense diversified culture.

We were having a momentary discussion with my aunt the other time when we were eating in the kitchen. The owner of the apartment where they live is also a Filipino originally from Metro Manila and it so happened that my relative where the tenants of the ground floor. On the other hand, I was curious on the persons living below us who happens to be a old man who is also Pinoy with his family. The sad truth about the family living in the basement that they are undocumented aliens in the U.S. as what my aunt said to me. In short they are TNT (tago ng tago).

These people below us where are bit hesitant in meeting us when we were there. They have their own lives. They are busy at work like what normal people do at work. They toil for a much longer period in order to make a decent pay, they got no job security, no social security numbers in their names and always on a lookout against U.S. Homeland Security personnel or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who are on a look out for violators or undocumented aliens in their country. Incidence of being deported or caught in the East coast of U.S.A. are rare unlike in the state of California where are a majority of the Filipino immigrants in the United States lived would definitely report their own fellow Filipinos to the authorities if they found they were illegal aliens.

Indeed, tragic to the extent that your own countryman will sell you out because there is a price for confirmed tips on aliens caught but I am unsure if this is real.

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