By: Christie Dominique Alison Castillo, Greenheart Exchange CAP Ambassador Scholar

The United States of America is a unique country with tough people, extraordinary community and state of the art facilities in terms of technology and advancements. It belongs to top countries with finest jewels from its land to its waters. This priceless beauty of America reflects how the people took great care in preserving not only their places but also their culture and traditions.

The Philippines, as we all know is a developing country. It is still in progress to make its people unite and connect with one another. It has also its own treasure and pride. However, since it is still in headway, the opportunities there are also minimal and unstable. There might be a number of jobs but, it’s limited to those who have experience and it requires a lot before you get it. It is unfair to those who have no capabilities or degree. I believe that my countrymen are very talented, skilled, and intelligent; the problem is that they lack the chance on administering and demonstrating it. Also, because of lack of improved facilities, the learnings are limited and it might not be helpful, dynamic or refined. But, I am still positive that one day this will all be given priority and just like America, the Philippines might reach its peak in terms of economy and its people.

There is a big difference between my country and here in America. During my stay here, I’ve learned a lot in terms of its culture, especially on how to treat someone, respect everyone’s opinion, deal with anxiety and loneliness but most of all to decide for yourself and the importance of it, it will result in something that can make you happy nor turn you into worst, an immediate and inappropriate decision can tear you nor cause a lot of trouble. Unlike, when you are in your comfort zone, you are besides those people whom you trust and take good care of you. In this country I learned independence and self-reliance, this was the best difference or change I felt.

Resilience was the most common trait of people here in America and in my country despite abominations, threats of nature, and misfortune. People still nurture what we call determination and motivation; that all things just pass away and we still stand on a common ground to take care of each other spite of deterrent, frustration, and downfall. I believe this was also the reason why the Philippines and America remain friends.

This is my passion and dedication not only for me but for my family and my future. What I’ve invested here in America reflects how driven I am to finish this challenge. I will work hard for it so that when I go back to the Philippines I can bring what America has taught me through my experience and learnings.

From the Land of the Brave, Home of the free to Pearl of Orient Sea; this legacy will forever remain not only in my heart but in my whole self. “Laban! Puso!” (Fight with heart!).