Friday, July 19, 2013

A Filipina Moves to San Francisco

   San Francisco is home to over 382,950 Filipinos.  The Gold Rush saw the founding of Wells Fargo in 1852.  Levi Strauss opened a clothing store and Ghirardelli began making chocolate.  Immigrant laborers gave the city a mixed culture and set it as a financial capital.  Even the 1929 stock market crash did not hurt a single San Francisco bank and at the height of the Great Depression, San Francisco built the Oakland Bay Bridge completing in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937.  

   Tony Bennett sang in the 60's that he left his heart in San Francisco as the city gave birth to America's counterculture like the Beatniks and Hippies.  In the 70's, the city became the center of the gay rights movement.

   Sheila found an apartment in Daly City.  She loved that the homes are connected to each other like the apartments in the Philippines.  Having neighbors nearby always gave her a sense of security.  Not to mention that she has family all over California that she could run to.  The family is the Filipinos’ security system.  

   There are so many Filipino restaurants and Asian stores.  There is a Mexican convenient store at the corner of her street that sold her favorite jar of Green Mango in Brine which she uses as an appetizer dipped in fish sauce.  

   People park in the streets so that the residential areas have streets lined up with cars on both sides.  It is a dash for a spot every time.  Each side of the street has a "no parking on cleaning day".  One has to move the car away on the cleaning day for 3 hours.  Parallel parking was Sheila’s biggest challenge.  She felt guilty every time she scratched her new tires on the gutter or the roads that rolled up and down scraped the under chassis of her beloved red Saturn Ion coupe.  She would apologize to the car and feel bad that no one answers back with “it is okay, I understand”.

   She got lost a couple of times but she learned the Freeway, Bayshore Blvd., Highway 101, 82 and 280 in two weeks.  She learned to take the bus named MUNI, and the train called BART.  

   Life has turned a page and a new chapter has began in the life of an adventurous middle aged Filipina.  Only God knows what this new chapter will bring.(Jeremiah 10:23

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