This story appears from our archive of Pacific Islander Voices stories, originally shared by our participants in 2010.
If you just work hard in the U.S., you can earn a living. In the Philippines, it’s very hard to get a job if you are not in the civil service. I moved here ﬁrst, and then I petitioned for my family back in the Philippines to come over. When I landed here, I got a job in a bakery because the owner of the bakery is the niece of my husband. I had a job as a cashier. You do all the things there. You have to mop the ﬂoor, you have to wash all the cookware, everything. But I said, “Oh, it’s okay. I have a job.” It’s a very little amount of salary, but you have to adjust your living – not like the Philippines.
When my husband passed away, my friends told me, “Why don’t you apply at NAPCA?” I said, “Oh, yeah. I will try it.” I don’t want to stay at home because I just remember my husband. I am an oﬃce assistant here at the Second Samoan Church. I enjoy my work. I help everyone who needs help who comes here.
I don’t feel like a senior. I just go with the younger people, older people. I feel happy. I am also fond of going to parties. I engage in a religious organization. Every Tuesday, I go to Bible studies. I was elected treasurer of the organization.
I am happy with my life. I met many kinds of people here. Not only Filipinos, but also any nationality. I am comfortable working with the Samoans. They are good. They treat me as their family, so I enjoy working with them. My goal is that maybe I will retire here.
Luz was born in 1933 in Luzon, Philippines and arrived in the US in 1995. NAPCA assists seniors such as Luz with job training and placement, among other services. You can read more stories and donate now to support the continuing mission of NAPCA.