Life in the Heart of Cebu City:

A Returning Immigrant’s Memoir

by Lillian Cui Garcia



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/1/2023

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 266
ISBN : 9781669864615
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 266
ISBN : 9781669864608

About the Book

Life in the Heart of Cebu City: A Returning Immigrant’s Memoir is a sequel to An Immigrant Goes Back Home to Cebu (2021). In that previous memoir, she revealed how, as she was retiring from her senior instructor’s position at a community college in Canada in 2012, she took to heart the persistent call of home from Cebu in the Philippines and decided that Cebu is her spirit place where she’d stay around for retirement. This meant, however, that she had to give up continuous and readily available access to the medical health care provided by Canada’s social safety net to which she had contributed and enjoyed as a provincial government employee for more than 30 years. Despite losing this advantage, she has set herself up to regain a foothold in a place where she knows her belonging is not questioned as she makes practically livable and pretty her brand spanking new condominium in the heart of Cebu City in the past year and a half. She recounts how her new living arrangement has provided a convenient jumping board for engaging with friends and acquaintances from the past and present as well as planned and serendipitous engagements with people from all walks of life. Interwoven in these narratives is her rather disconcerting recognition of the widening gap between the rich and the poor and that between the emergent middle and the lower classes. Nonetheless, grateful that she is not on the needy end, she recounts with optimism the first concrete steps in her self-assigned project to build a permanent food bank depot and lodging house for poor students in a now run-down city area where she once lived during her student days. Underlying this apparently workable enterprise are reminiscences of her parents giving to others often at so much cost which they lightened up somehow with a metaphor about the talisay, a tropical almond tree’s fruit which could be found along beaches as rivers carry them into the sea usually after a storm: “No matter how small the talisay is, it still could be shared if there’s a will to do so.” On this note, the author also pays undying tribute to the good-hearted overseas donors who share their talisay to fund the feeding programs and other community projects she has operated with her husband since 2008. Gratefully, she recognizes their empathy for the condition of the poor back in the Third World who, unlike the First World’s poor, have meager access to social assistance, if at all available.

About the Author

The author earned her B.A. in the Social Sciences (summa cum laude) and M.A. in Anthropology, both from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, Philippines, where she’d taught sociology and anthropology courses for 10 years. She was a recipient of the American Field Service, Ford Foundation, and Fulbright scholarships before her migration to Canada in 1978. She worked as a researcher/policy analyst with the Alberta provincial government before moving to Terrace, British Columbia where she taught at the Coast Mountain College for 18 years. Retired from teaching in 2012, she has since run with her husband, Anecto H. Garcia, the Roberto and Vicenta Cui Foundation for Cebu’s poor. She has self-published four memoirs available from Amazon and more than a hundred bookstores worldwide: A Teacher Between Worlds (2019), Family Journeys Through Peaks and Valleys (2020), An Immigrant Goes Back Home to Cebu (2021), and On Writing and Publishing (2021).