Bitter cold pushes Pinoys to move back home to PH

By Connie Macatula-De Leon

Feb. 27, 2014

OSWEGO, Ill. – As many as 180 million people in various parts of the upper Midwest are going to have to brave through wicked weather as the polar vortex returns this week.

Temperatures in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, and Buffalo are expected to drop below zero.

Just this week in Chicago, more than 500 flights have been cancelled because of low visibility and high winds.

As Chicago anticipates breaking the 129-year-old record of 25 winter days below zero, some of the senior kababayans there are extremely worried.

“People back home think it’s so nice to live here in America because of the snow,” Ricardo Dela Cruz, 61, said. “But that’s not always the case. It can be tough on people too.”

“We’re scared to go out,” Elizabeth Dela Cruz, 66, said. “We’re scared to get sick, especially that we don’t have health insurance. It’s expensive for us to be seen by a doctor.”

But living in America is not easy. To many Filipinos, the long frigid weather this year does not help ease their homesickness.

“We miss the Philippines’ weather,” Elizabeth said. “We don’t get to mingle with neighbors here in America. There, in the Philippines, there are many people you can interact with outside.”

Ricardo served as a baranggay chairman in Pasay for 11 years. Elizabeth was very active in Church in the Philippines. They say their life has become very different here.

“Here, we’re stuck inside the house,” Ricardo said. “We can’t go outside.”

“We can’t wait to go back home,” Elizabeth addd. “We are just waiting for the approval of our green cards. Then we will go back home, away from the cold.”

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