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An Immigrant Goes Back Home to Cebu cover

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  • 246 pages
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  • 246 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches

personal memoir, biographies and memoirs, Southeast Asia memoir, emigration and immigration, Canadian immigration memoir, Philippine cultural heritage, ethnical and national memoir

An Immigrant Goes Back Home to Cebu
by Lillian Cui Garcia

An Immigrant Goes Back Home to Cebu is the author's memoir about living within and between the Philippine and Canadian worlds.

While this is one professional immigrant's narrative about persistence and fulfillment in Canada, her host country, it is also every immigrant's story about resourcefully dealing with everyday interchanges and challenges in the new country while tapping the old not only for fond, moving remembrances but also for learned coping mechanisms to resolve commonplace and sometimes convoluted issues, such as racism.

It is also about our pasts and continuing quests to discover who we are and what contributes to forming the persons that we continue to become. It attempts to answer two existential questions immigrants in the latter part of their journey often grapple with: Is it worth it to continue staying in the now-familiar host country where one has worked hard at having a happy and fulfilled life? Or, is it beneficial and practicable to respond to that call of one's first home which is still compelling despite the new challenges of a changed system and a new set of characters?

From the author's journeys with both stayers in the host country and returnees to the native home, she shares with us inspiring stories about creating and extending a meaningful life guided by a sense of others, kindness, and a duty to speak out and act on one's principles. These unsung heroes didn't just stand where they were planted --- they were useful.

Lillian Cui Garcia photo

The writing of An Immigrant Goes Back Home to Cebu was largely inspired by the author's serendipitous sighting of a school of sockeye salmon swimming against the water current from their interim home in the Pacific Ocean to their natal stream north of Terrace, British Columbia in Canada, where she has resided in the past 26 years. She has used this as a springboard to present her own migration journey to Canada from her home province of Cebu, in the Philippines, and recently her homing in on Cebu for good at this point in her life. From the University of San Carlos in Cebu, she earned her B.A. in the Social Sciences (summa cum laude) and M.A. in Anthropology. She was a recipient of the American Field Service, Ford Foundation, and Fulbright scholarships before migrating to Canada in 1978. She worked with the Alberta government as a researcher/policy analyst before moving to Terrace, British Columbia where she taught at the Coast Mountain College. Retired from teaching in 2012, she now runs with her husband, Anecto H. Garcia, the Roberto and Vicenta Cui Foundation for Cebu's poor. She has written another memoir: A Teacher Between Worlds (2019).


Lillian Cui Garcia

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