Landing in the United States was like opening a gift

Arnold Pasia with family. (Courtesy photo)

Arnold Pasia described the feeling of landing in the United States as if he was opening a gift. He initially did not want to immigrate there, though. In the Philippines, he had a Master’s degree, a stable government job, and a child on the way. However, he realized that immigrating to the United States would provide better opportunities for his daughter.

Shortly after arriving in Seattle, he and his father-in-law went to a McDonald’s. In the Philippines, McDonald’s and its competitor, Jollibee, served spaghetti. Arnold and his father-in-law realized that McDonald’s in America did not serve spaghetti, but not before trying to order it first!

Although he earned a Master’s degree in economics, he first worked as a customer service agent at United Airlines, where most of his coworkers only graduated high school. While immigrating to the United States was a big change for Pasia, he worked hard to establish a life in Seattle. Looking back on his journey, Pasia is very glad he made the decision to move, and how he was better able to provide for his now-grown daughter.

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This story was produced in partnership with the First Days Project.