“While I was flying over to America from the Philippines, I was discombobulated. At some point, I wanted to go back home, but I thought of all the sacrifices that led me to where I stand. I just closed my weary eyes and prayed for the best of what’s waiting for me in the ‘Land of Milk and Honey,'” said Bangsalud.

Fel Bangsalud shares her story about her professional achievement and the transition from her Philippine to American citizenship. Bangsalud serves as Jimmy Carter Early College High School’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher.

“AVID is a class that helps to close the achievement gap by preparing students for college readiness and be successful in society,” she said.

Bangsalud arrived in the United States in August 2002, hoping to become more professionally accomplished and earn more money.  However, it took a lot of relinquishing from her part to successfully come to America. 

“It was an extensive wait for the processing of papers, and it was also expensive. My mother had to lend me her retirement money, which I would later pay once I was stable, and my husband had to sell one of his properties,” she stated. “My family was not with me for nine months since they had to wait for their visas. It was burdensome, but the challenging part was leaving my young children behind.”

Bangsalud was 33 years old when she made the voyage and had obtained her master’s degree as an educator.  Since her arrival, she has been an employee at La Joya ISD. It took her ten years to be an American citizen. 

“That day I renounced my Philippine citizenship to be an American, I felt like I was betraying my country,” she said. “I cried out of sadness and happiness as I was renouncing and embracing something new.”     

She reclaimed her being a Filipino when she applied and was granted dual citizenship.  

“Having dual citizenship has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that you have to pay taxes in both countries, and one of the advantages is that you can enjoy the benefits of any citizens in the Philippines and the USA.”

In the 16 years of working at La Joya ISD, Bangsalud accomplished many things in her profession, such as being an educator for students with special needs in the Resource and Inclusion classrooms, Content Mastery, Functional Life Skills Unit, and Social Adjustment Unit.

“Not many people can say they have accomplished such levels of knowledge and skill, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities La Joya ISD  had afforded me,” she said.

Her colleagues have regarded her as someone very positive.

“Students feel comfortable asking her questions, she is very qualified, and she follows the rules,” Mila Obnial said. “She is patient, kind, teaches important study skills, and she helps students in all content areas,” added Eliza Navarro. “She is kind, hard-working, and she loves her job,” said Vanessa Brown.

Although Bangsalud has attained her American dream, she wishes to return to her birth nation when she retires.

“I am more of a provincial type than an urban one. I miss my exciting rustic life back in the Cordilleras, the verdant environment, rice fields,  fresh air,  and the rain!”                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Everything has a beginning and a finish point; a rule of life that never seems to end. They have names, of course, we know them as life and death. Humans and every other living organism take such cycle and as for me, well, I am not different. A cell, that was my beginning or the point where my existence was marked in the world. I was a morphosis that gradually took form as a human being. The city of Mexico was my birth place in December of the year two-thousand although I don’t have any memories of such a place, I hope one day I can actually visit my  beautiful city, so I may be able to learn from where I can from and know the real roots of my culture. Mother gave the named me “Abril” or April that’s what some people call me at least. My naming has no special reason, however it derives from the latin word Aprillis with a significance referring “to open.” Something about the meaning peaks my interest, it makes me want to own my name proud and high, to become something like my name( open to different ideas and opportunities). To blossom, to grow in life, almost like a lush spring. Life is too short for me, as I am young I don’t have the greatest story or the most interesting life, believe me, nor do I know where my life will lead me. I have goals but not straight ones, I don’t know if one day I’ll reach them, or the turns and curves of my life but for now its alright, sooner or later I will find out. Ambitions are fulfilling but I never had one, maybe what I seek is not ambition but understanding.

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