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Richelle Villabona

Where did You Come from Lady (PYT)

2 min read

My family comes from the Philippines, an archipelago located in Southeast Asia.  The Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands.  My father and mother were born in the northern region of the Philippines.  My mom’s family (pictured above) is from Pampanga and my dad's family (pictured below) is from Manila, the capital of the Philippines 

I have been to the Philippines six times in my lifetime.  In one year, I went to the the Philippines three times.  In those six times, I have continued to meet more and more of my relatives and learning from them.  Last summer, I met this lovely little soul, my second cousin, Sam, and she and I are pretty much inseparable. (Pictured above: She is the one with her arms around me).  I will be continuing to visit my family, as I grow older, and who knows, maybe I’ll even teach there for a little bit.  

I am the only girl among us Villabona’s.  I have to fight for my independence, voice, and food.  Pictured above is my family family, along with my Dad’s best friends.  I see them almost everyday, and we eat together almost every hour.  My uncle, aunt, and their kids live less than two minutes from us and Danny, my oldest cousin, is my best friend.  In 2009, my mother passed away from leukemia, and since then, my family has grown in numbers and in strength.

When I say “in numbers”, I mean that my family is not only my blood family, but also the family that is my friends.  Some of us have known each other since diaper days, and others though I have met more recently, I know will be friends all the way until we reach diaper days again.  My culture is my family and from them grows love, strength, and support.  I am from strong families and even stronger bonds.  I am from big smiles and even bigger hearts.