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  • Writer's pictureEli Africa

The Two Brothers Who Raised Me

Updated: 2 days ago

This is a story about my uncle and my dad, the two brothers who raised me.

My uncle and my dad were both raised in a small town in the Philippines.

My grandfather, a poor farmer, could only support them up to the sixth grade.

"Life was hard" I was told, as they helped their parents live off the land.


As a young man, my uncle got on a boat to Hawaii. With no money down, he worked off his

fare, laboring in the sugarcane fields. Following his older brother's lead, my dad found himself

in Hawaii as well. And after a few years, they tried their luck in California, working as migrant


Like nomads trekking up and down California, the brothers picked and packed fruits and vegetables. They endured a lot together, including racial discrimination and all the challenges of the "Great Depression".


When World War Two broke out, my dad joined the U.S. Army. He was one of the soldiers that stormed the Philippine beaches with General Douglas MacArthur. And that's where my dad met and married my mom.


Four kids later, I was born. Two days after my birth, my mom died.


My uncle, knowing my dad all too well, couldn't imagine my dad raising all of us all by himself, so he made a decision to try his best to fill in the void.


And although I'll never know what it's like to hear my mom sing or feel her unconditional love,

I'll always have loving memories of my uncle and my dad.


Maybe, I could become what they never imagined me to be...someone who could tell their story...



Two Brothers Raised Me
The Two Brothers Who Raised Me

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