Lourdes Cereno Markley (LCM) and Julia Markley (JM)
JM: Can you tell me how you came to the United States?
LCM: Ooh, that’s interesting story. I applied to Seattle University in Seattle, Washington. And having been accepted, there was a delay in my student visa, so knowing the power of politics, I wrote President John F. Kennedy an aerogram letter. I’m sure it’s in the archives, and asked him if he could help me go to America faster so I won’t be late in school. After four days or so, the American Embassy in Manila, Philippines, called me and told me to report right away. And on that day, the first question was, “Did you write the President of the United States?” And then I said, “Yes, did they write you back?” And the American interviewer nodded, and guess what…the next day I was flying to the United States of America and I credit John F. Kennedy for coming here. And since he’s a Democrat, I decided to be Democrat ever since.
JM: Can you tell me about one of the hardest times in your life?
LCM: When I was at Seattle University, the Dean of Education told me that I would never be a teacher because of my accent. So I took some speech classes, I took advantage of the American guys and asked them to correct me by reading a poem before I date. So I did it, I’m a schoolteacher until now.
JM: Tell me about your first dates with my dad.
LCM: Well, in the Filipino culture is you have to have a chaperone when you go out dating. So, my first date with Charles, I bring my cousin, he was twelve years old. And Charlie said, “I’ll never date you again if you bring your cousin, he eats more pizza than I do. I have to pay for his drinks and movies.” Well, guess what, I decided I’d like to go dating alone so I did that. That was fun.
JM: You give advice to schoolchildren all the time, and I was wondering if you have special advice for us, your children.
LCM: Sure, if others can do it, why can’t you? And believe in yourself.
JM: Well, Mom, I really have learned a lot from you and I love you.
LCM: Thank you very much, I love you too and I’m proud of you.
JM: Thank you, Mom.