A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.
– Joan Didion
In the immensity of childhood memories that I treasure, a place that I have been longing to revisit is Bataan, The Philippines. For six months of my life, I was a refugee, being displaced from the homeland, but not yet reached the promise land that was known as America.
That place — the refugee camp — was a space in between, like a bridge that symbolically connected identities. Although I did not come to such realization then, but that six months of refugee experience was the beginning of my Vietnamese-American experience. It was an anchor, giving me a ground, but letting me rise up to the surface at times when I needed to make…
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