Undocumented Pinoy who got amnesty is paying it forward

SEATTLE, WA — Abandoned by his parents when he was only 7, Greg Rosas was raised under the care of Aling Ludi — his adoptive mother.

In 1978, Rosas came to the US under a tourist visa, but eventually overstayed his visa.

He worked as a dishwasher making $2.90 an hour until he legalized his status in 1982 — thanks to President Ronald Reagan’s amnesty for undocumented workers.

He was promoted as cook at this popular diner in Seattle, Washington.

“Sinabi nung may-ari na, I was the best person that she ever employed, and then she called the attorney and said I’m gonna give you the business,” said Rosas.

In 2001, when his employer passed, he inherited this restaurant business that made him set for life, and renamed it after his adoptive mother – Ludi.

Ludi’s restaurant grew, and Rosas added Filipino breakfast on its menu.

“Even though they’re not my relatives, you don’t have to be blood you know,” he said. “I was helped by 2 Jewish families, I don’t know them, I was blessed with the first Jewish family; they bought me a house and lot. The second Jewish family; they give me a restaurant including bank account, so I felt like I have so much to give.”

With a soft spot for abandoned kids, he adopted two more children on top of his own 2 daughters.

Rosas touched the lives of many more kababayans in need, especially those who were abandoned by their parents.

When Rosas saw Barry Bogert’s emotional plea on TV six years ago.

It became natural for him to help an abandoned Amerasian kid reunite with his US veteran father in Patterson, New Jersey.

Barry was the first Amerasian that Rosas helped reconnect with his biological father, and certainly not the last.

Daryl came to the US – thanks to Greg’s assistance.

He has never met his biological dad, who provided all the paperwork he needed to come to America.

“Although hindi niya kami kaanu-anu, tinutulungan niya po kami… sa tatay ko na rin po, hindi po man kami nagkikita, at least po lahat ng supporting documents na kinailangan ko,  binigay niya po lahat,” said Daryle Grigsby. “Pag-aasikaso po ng passport o, sa DNA na kinailangan ng embassy.”

Without the money for their airfare, he had to leave his family behind, for now.

“Mahirap po, mahirap po kasi, ngayon lang po nangyari na nagkahiwa-hiwalay kami…hindi naman po kadali yung dadalhin ko sila dito tapos pare-pareho naman po kaming mahihirapan, kaya sacrifice lang po talaga.”

Daryle works as a bartender at Ludi’s restaurant and lounge, owned by Rosas. He has only one goal in mind — to bring his wife and 4 kids to Seattle as soon as he can.

“Yun nga po sana maging successful po ako dito para sa kanila po ito,” he says.

This is a picture of a special kind of family, who are not related by blood, but they all have one thing in common – they were once abandoned kids who are now paying it forward to the next kababayan in need.



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