My story

Posted: 21st August 2011 by admin in Uncategorized

Everyone has their story. Here’s mine.

I was born in Philippines. At 5 years old, my family moved to Brunei. Soon after Brunei, my family moved to Canada. I was out of my passport country for a total 10 years. We then moved back to Philippines where I completed my college degree.

I never felt I truly belonged in my passport country. So I moved abroad to U.S., where I received my MBA degree. I now understand why my 3 years in the U.S. felt so magical to me – why no other experience in my life can compare. It was because my group of friends were all international and we all felt that we belong. We were all the same and we had our own world – I also understood now why it was so hard for the locals to fit in our group.

I decided to move back to Canada after U.S.. I was excited when I touch-based in Vancouver, meeting an old childhood friend. For the first few months, I felt like this is it. This is my home. After a year of being back to Canada, I’ve been analyzing how I was meeting people and how I introduced myself and such. I always said Ft McMurray to avoid confusion, if I said Philippines, “They would say, that’s odd, you don’t have an accent at all, etc.” For awhile, I would even say, U.S., Oregon, because it was the last place I lived in.  The locals accepted me, they like me, but that’s because I’m a TCK. I easily fit into other cultures. But deep inside of me, I didn’t feel like I truly belong. And in the long run, will I be able to really build relationships with the locals? It’ll be just like Philippines, I have close friends, but I never felt like I really connected with them.


I feel like, I’ll never find my group again. My international friends from my time in the U.S. is gone – we all went back to our home countries. Where am I supposed to be? I want to settle now, but I don’t know where I truly belong. Philippines or Canada? Neither. Nor.


This is my ATCK story.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thing is, I was living your lifestyle throughout my teenage years.  I think there’s always that anxiety, constantly asking “What if I end up being not Korean/American/whatever the country you adapted enough?”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jinno,  I can relate a lot to your story.  I, too, spent 9-10 years in the USA, but it’s not my passport country.  I think the part of trouble is that we know too well about the places we lived, yet being a “foreigner,” we tend to have clearer look on each places’ shortcoming and strengths.  I’m pretty much in the same dilemma.  I can’t stand the homogenous Korean society with strict hierarchy system.  But Korea has the best infrastructure and service industry.  On the other hand, USA as much more diversity and respect privacy more.  But their infrastructure and service suck, and sometimes I can’t stand how ignorant Americans are (including educated ones).  I had wonderful time in Japan, and I know it’s easier for me to live in Japan overall, but their bureaucracy and how people are unwilling to accept change or state their opinion clearly sometimes drive me crazy.

    I feel the same.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I keep feeling “missing something” until the day I die.