Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The great american dream...or is it?

last february 9, i received word that i got selected for a teaching job in virginia beach city. my initial reaction was..." what happens next?" yeah, i felt...okay. contented that i finally got an answer after waiting for more than 3 months in a row. the news also, somehow, gave me a reassurance that i'm still doing well in this profession. only five teachers, out of more than a thousand applicants, were selected from three major cities within the country.

and so what now?

i wasn't ecstatic because of a couple of reasons:
1) since i'm going there on my own, i'll have to leave my daughter behind...with her dad. it poses a great risk on my part to be "en absencia" while my 9-yr old needs a mother to be with her. i must admit...i am threatened by the idea that she just might forget about me...forget about her love for me...

2) i am penniless...and what's worse? i have to depend on my daughter's dad for financial assistance...


the weekend passed and, as usual, i spent it with my daughter...i broke the news to her and she was so glad that i made it...all the more that i wanted to spend the whole time just hugging her and kissing her, exchanging stories about her friends and my (mis)adventures with men who make "porma" (oh yeah! can't carry that alias for nothing!). but time flies so fast and in no time, the weekend retreat with my one and only loved one is over...

monday came and i received news that the school who will be hiring me will pay the agent's fees that would amount to a hefty $4,500! whoa! i was astounded! not too many teachers get the same privilege! in that euphoric state, i literally dropped down on the floor like a rag doll, trying to feel the thump as i landed on my butt...was i dreaming? i couldn't believe what i just heard! and when i was finally sure that i wasn't simply imagining things, i let out a soft scream (heheheh...yes, you know what i mean ^-^). then it dawned on God is so good, He knows exactly what's in my heart.

i took this as a sign that my God really wants me to take this opportunity, to see and welcome the fact that i've been "down" for so long now, that He's giving me this chance to start anew. "...when you're down, there's no other way to go but up..." says my friend. i thought that the distance between me and my daughter will be temporary as i promised to come back for her. i thought that i have to sacrifice a bit for a greater cause (my ex was diagnosed to have cancer of the parotid gland in 1999 and is currently on remission. being the other parent, it's my responsibility to prepare for my daughter's future if in case her dad suffers a recurrence.). life would certainly be not easy when you're alone, but realities and entanglements of it should serve as inspiration to go on and do better!

is this the fulfillment of the great american dream? i'd say yes, but a greater part of me says no. when a filipino teacher leaves her country, it is not because she's lost her sense of nationality and service to her fellow her, *teaching minds, touching hearts and transforming lives remains her overriding feed her family and ensure a brighter future for them, however, is equally's in our nature...i hope no one argues with that.


my plans are clearer now...


i'm not worried anymore that my daughter will forget about me...
she took nourishment from me and breathed the same air i breathed
when she was inside me...
no one can change that...


i will miss my students...specially those who left special imprints in my life.


*a Lasallian teacher's creed


Shadowsoul said...

Hey! that is a reaction against the social tide in our country. You are right, everything is not peaches n cream in Uncle Sam. Only hardworking people go places, and Americans are melting pots of ill-breed egos who think they are the center of the universe, and there's nothing cute about that ;)

Anonymous said...

congrats!!! i share your sentiments about leaving your daughter behind. it IS hard. i, too, have plans similar to yours but i'm still at the infancy stage. everything will be okay.

joyce said...

hi dementedvixen!
the truth of the matter is, it's a struggle to be working for one's family...but it's even harder if you stay here and believe that better days will still come.
thanks for dropping by!

hi mari!
salamat sa *hugs*...i really, really need a lot of that! goodluck sa atin!

Major Tom said...

Hi Joyce...The American Dream was mostly sort of a myth to me until I came to your site. Now, I can say it can come true coz it just came true in your case. Separation anxiety may be your worries, but just think that you'd be part of a group of modern day heroes that could help our economy so well. More power and really, congratulations to you.

Anonymous said...

Joyce, it's a chance of a lifetime to work here in america. Accept it in a heartbeat because you and your daughter's future will be bright. I left the Phil. with only $100.00 in my pocket. Now my networth is close to a million dollars. Yes, dreams come true in this land of milk and honey, a melting pot of all races.
To dementedvixen, bawal ang tamad dito. Americans are warm and friendly and that includes me.

Anonymous said...

Joyce, it's a chance of a lifetime to work here in america. Accept it in a heartbeat because you and your daughter's future will be bright. I left the Phil. with only $100.00 in my pocket. Now my networth is close to a million dollars. Yes, dreams come true in this land of milk and honey, a melting pot of all races.
To dementedvixen, bawal ang tamad dito. Americans are warm and friendly and that includes me.

Anonymous said...

Joyce, it's a chance of a lifetime to work here in america. Accept it in a heartbeat because you and your daughter's future will be bright. I left the Phil. with only $100.00 in my pocket. Now my networth is close to a million dollars. Yes, dreams come true in this land of milk and honey, a melting pot of all races.
To dementedvixen, bawal ang tamad dito. Americans are warm and friendly and that includes me.

Anonymous said...

The good old USA welcomes any hardworking individual of any race or color.....and who pays their tax.

marvin said...

Good luck Joyce! Be happy!

joyce said...

to major tom and marvin,
thanks so much for wishing me luck. the life that i'll be treading will not be easy, but i have to take things at a stride. and although separation anxieties may be wearing me down, i have to think that there's a greater purpose behind all these.
thanks for visiting!

joyce said...

to anonymous,
the US of A is indeed the land of opportunities, and, just like what my relatives have to say about the kind of lifestyle they have there, i can only surmise and say that life there is promising for those who value their work. i think i don't have a problem with that :)
thanks for the comment!

kookietaz said...

Congrats Joyce! God blessed you with that kind of opportunity because He believed that you deserve it. The blessing is a simple way of letting you know that He knows and sees through your every need. You may be away from your daughter for a while but for sure she understands and will appreciate all your efforts to provide her all the best. That thought alone should both inspire you to do better and love each other more... good luck my friend! :-)

joyce said...

hi taz!
thanks for wishing me well. i've been preparing like crazy for things that i never imagined i'd do. the complexities i'm faced with right now will be well worth it when i'm there, reaping my rewards in God's grace.

AnP said...

it's not that I am discouraging you but... watch that old correspondents issue about pooreigners. the closing message would make you think.

if you do not have access or if you really really want to know, email me and I will tell you. Warning, what I will say will definitely not be what everyone else is saying or what you may want to hear. so pag ayaw mo, don't mail me.

BernicE said...

hi miss joyce! its been a while. im praying for your enlightenment regarding this matter.

joyce said...

hi AnP!
i sent you a private e-mail at gmail. reply ka agad ha?

hi Ja!
ikaw rin...please share your piece of thought on this. email me at

thanks guys!

Gigi said...

Hi Joyce - Congratulations! I've met several Pinoys from Virginia Beach, and I know there is a thriving community there of Filipino-Americans, mostly professionals I hear. I have no doubt you will do great there. In all my time here I've encountered so many expats who had to leave their families behind for a few years in order to secure a comfortable and safe future for them.

One of my friends came here with $50 in his pocket and almost no support system to depend on. He now is financially secure (rich, actually) and got to where he is through a lot of hard work. Still he'll never forget the early days when he sacrificed and even suffered. It's not easy, to be sure -- and nothing is ever guaranteed -- but at least you have a good shot. Keep positive, focus on your goals, be true to yourself but open to meeting new people and taking advantage of opportunities, but never let your guard down.

And feel free to email me when times get really tough. I'm all the way across the country, but never too far for a pep talk.

Svelte Rogue said...

nice to meet you joyce, you might not know it, i'm your ka-berks. i envy you cuz you teach numbers. i teach letters and that's not a much-needed teacher in the states. i did turn down a teaching post in texas 2 years ago and sometimes i wonder if i did right by that decision. i just learned from my brother and his wife, who were a batch ahead of me in the same recruitment program, that the hiring is considerably less. if i were only a math teacher or a nurse or an engineer, i'd still stand a chance. but now... well, i can say that financially, i'm on edge. like you said in your post, only the lord knows what's really in your heart. i pray that what i want will match with what he wants for me... hello! first time ko sa site mo pala! *daldal na ano*

joyce said...

hi Gigi!
It's so nice to have you here! I am blessed that people like you share very encouraging words that make me feel that what I'm about to do is worth the separation between me and my daughter. I can surely use a good friend in you! Thank you so much!

joyce said...

hi rogue!
kilala kita noh?!? i've read your entries at blogkadahan though i don't have the luxury of time yet to write and comment. I know of English teachers who got hired in the States to teach ESL. Some of the teachers I know who plan to migrate take courses in SpEd, so their chances of getting hired are actually better! Perhaps you can consider doing that as an add-on to your credentials if you're still at it. Otherwise, the good Lord certainly knows what to give to those who ask with a fervent heart. Goodluck to us both!

BatJay said...

wow, good luck ma'am. sana magkatutuo lahat ng pangarap mo. you deserve a good break.

Anonymous said...

congrats, classmate! i know you're going to do fine for yourself and for your daughter. just try not to forget what we've learned in edtech. hehehe...

I have my blog page here, if you care for a look. I'm using a pseudonym because I don't want certain people screaming for my head when they read MY blogs.

See you soon! H

PoP said...

Hi Joyce,
Listen to anonymous, accept the offer and come here in the US. It's not everyday that you will be offered with an opportunity of a lifetime. Thousand of Filipinos risk their family's future by working here illegally (TNT), and you are one of the few lucky ones who can come and work here legally with all expenses paid. You are not a mail order bride or TNT so those horror stories does not apply to you. Every state here has a Filipino community that will welcome and take care and help you. Working here is peanuts compare to working there in the Philippines where crab mentality, controversies,rumors, envy is always part of the working environment. Everything here is just plain work, and it's not "work your butt" work, it's professional, all clean work. Being away with your daughter while you work should not be a problem since she can come with you as your dependent (i'm assuming your H1 or working visa and she will be H4), or you can get her later as soon as you are settled here which I'll bet will be just a short time. Good luck and hope to see you soon here...

joyce said...

hi hazel!!!
salamat sa pagbisita =) tapos ka na sa project natin? hehehe...thanks for dropping by!

hi PoP!
I'll take your word for it. I've been hearing nice comments about going there, and i'm positive that I can make it there too! Thank you so much for being supportive!

joyce said...

hi batjay!
salamat sa wish mo...inggit ako sa inyo ni Jet eh! kelangan lang, konting tiis at pananalig sa Diyos. thank you ulit!

BernicE said...

hi miss joyce!

circumstances will either leave you with a decision that would be the greatest or worst you have made in your life.youre leaving your daughter with his father, and to me that is better than leaving her to somebody else.temporary lang naman yan, maybe you could get her when everything works out. i pray for your enlightenment :)

Vintage Star said...

hello joyce,

visiting from pinoyblog. i totally agree with PoP. the filipinos here are generally supportive. the thing you will have to battle most is homesickness (and definitely, missing your daughter). explore on bringing her with h4 visa (i came here on h1 9 years ago and i could have brought my fiance, if i wanted to). good luck in everything and let me know if you're ever in the bay area, you can stay with me.


joyce said...

hi jaaaaa!!!
matagal na akong di nakakabisita sa yo ha? miss ko na blog mo...and yes, i know she'll be better off if she'd be with her dad...i'm contemplating on getting her after a year, or after she's done with her elementary schooling (that'll be 2 yrs down the road). kumusta lab layp? bisita ka sa blogkadahan!

hello vangie!
thank you for dropping by! when you say Bay Area, you're talking about San Francisco, right? salamat sa alok mo =) that's a very generous offer and i just might consider it when i get to visit your area. can i link you up?

Masbateno Ako said...

Being a "dreamer" myself, I would suggest that you really think about the opprtunity very well. Having a daughter myself, it is very hard for me to even think of being that far away.

But, kagaya ng marami sa atin, mahirap talaga ang buhay. Sometimes, kailangan talagang pagdesisyunan. Anyway, kung yung position mo as a teacher ay H1 ( type nung visa - bale temporary worker ) - pwede mong i-sama yung anak mo as an H4 - dependent mo bale.

If you have friends and relatives near the job, ok lang. You can also go get her an H4 before you come over, scout the place and then get your daughter once you've settled down.

Good luck. Hope you make the decision that your heart truly believes.

joyce said...

hi mr masbateno!
now that i've mustered enough guts to go there on my own, i actually plan to get her after one year...that'll be enough time for me to get settled. meantime, she stays with her dad, and hopefully, she would look forward to days when we can talk...salamat sa technology coz we will be able to actually see each other while we exchange stories =)salamat po sa pagbisita!

p.y. said...

Hi Ms. Jimenez! This is P.Y. Cotas, one of your old students. :) Congratulations on that job offer! We'll miss you in Zobel...thank you SO much for everything you've taught us, in and out of the classroom. Take care! :)

joyce said...

thank you so much PY!!! i'll miss your batch and, ofcourse, zobel...lots of memories to treasure :-)
take care always!

Anonymous said...

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effective goals said...

I like to leave a little “wisdom” to jolt your into thinking about goals you may have set over the past few years, months and days, after a good blog read.

Not earth shattering by any means, and you have read this before, but have you
actually practiced it lately?

You know – gnitteS laoG

Jot down a few new ones today or visit a few old ones that would make you a better person, better business person or a better provider.

I dare you!

Today’s tidbit…

There is a difference in setting your goals and setting them effectively. Anyone can set a goal, but doing it effectively means that it will actually get done.

There are so many things that you can do to better your life, but if you don't know how to go about it you are stuck.

The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals and help you manage your time in an efficient manner that will cause those goals to become reality.

State each goal as a positive statement

Express your goals in a positive way. That is a key component to setting goals that you can attain.

How often have you been excited to accomplish a goal that didn't even sound good when you brought it up? If you are not comfortable or happy with the goals that you have set, the likelihood of you succeeding is pretty low.

If you want to express your goals in a positive way, you simply have to first think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. Why would you want to set a goal that made you frown, cringe or cry?

When you are beginning to set your goals it helps when you are talking about them to others in a manner that states your actions as positives because it will have others seeing it as a positive as well.

That will garner you a great deal more support. In the end, don't we all need a little support when we are trying to do something positive in our lives?

Be precise

Set a precise goal that includes starting dates, times and amounts so that you can properly measure your achievement.

If you do this, you will know exactly when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

Being precise in setting your goals is no more than setting them with exact details. It is easier this way because then you can follow a step-by-step format. That's all there is to it.

Set priorities

When you have several goals, give each a specific priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones and follow each in succession. Setting priorities will force you into the step-by-step format above.

By doing the most important first and moving to the least important in succession, you are enabling each task to be easier than the last. It causes the accomplishment of each task to get easier and easier which will encourage you to complete your goal.

There’s a few more “tidbits” for you at lifetime goals

Enjoy your day – And have a GREAT one!