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    The Major Force of My Life


    Water quenches our thirst and food satisfies our hunger and my aunt, Pila fulfills my needs.  She is my guardian angel.  As I was growing up, I encountered many problems that made me struggle.  Fortunately, my aunt’s presence has guided me and influenced me.  She has a great impact on my life.


    My aunt, Teofila Calangi, is 40 years old.  She is a Filipino whose nickname is Pila. I call her “Tiya Pila” and “Tiya” means aunt.  She is 5 feet and 2 inches tall.  She has short, black hair.  She has a tan complexion and for me, she is the most beautiful woman in my life.   Cooking is her expertise, the characteristic that I really admire.  She is intelligent and industrious, too.  Although she is not my real mother, my relationship with my aunt is very good.  For me our relationship is inseparable.  She is my life.


    My Tiya Pila is the major force of my life.  She has influenced me ever since I lived with her.  When I was in my childhood, my Tiya Pila helped me to read, write, and count before I went to kindergarten.  With her help, I became an honor student from kindergarten until my fourth grade in Elementary School.  When I reached the fifth grade, I became so lazy at studying until I graduated elementary.  However, my Tiya Pila forced me to study hard.  She always checks my home work.  If there were things that I didn’t understand, she would be there to help me.  If I didn’t do my home works, she would get mad at me.  I know why she does that to me because she wants me to grow up disciplined and educated.  She loves me and I can feel it.  If it wasn’t for her love and concern, I wouldn’t have graduated elementary and high school and I wouldn’t be here at college level.  That’s why I owe her a great deal.


    When I graduated elementary and was ready to go to high school, I didn’t meet the requirements that I needed.  Therefore I was rejected by the school that I used to dream about attending.   Nevertheless, she was there to comfort me when I was in great disappointment.  My Tiya Pila is the only person who always consoles me when I am very sad.  She always brings my spirit high.  At the same time, she is also my talent scout.   I remember when she find out that I have skills in dancing, she told my friends about it who had a dance group called, Universal Motions and my friends asked me to join to their squad.  My aunt encouraged me a lot to go for it and I did.  Ever since then I have become more active.  That’s why I love her a lot. 


    My Tiya Pila also teaches me about life.  She often explains to me that life is a full of surprises, like a box of chocolates when you open it, you can’t expect of what you could get.  In other word, in people’s lives, there are no assurances of what might be able to happen in our lifetime and we must be realistic.  One example she always tells me is that , “If you dream to be a professional basketball star in the NBA, don’t expect that you will become one because there would be barriers that you will face that will stop you from becoming a professional basketball player.  Don’t lose hope because you can be something else like a good doctor that you did not expect to be.”  She wants me to be aware of these surprises and learn how to deal with them. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t know what I wanted to be when I grow up.  She made me dream of becoming a good doctor.  That is my dream and that is my goal now.  Any unexpected occurrences that I might confront that would stop me from becoming a good doctor will not be the end of the world because I can be something else.

    She also supported me financially.  She always buys me school supplies I be needed.  She bought me Barbie dolls, and other toys that a little girl always like to have.  She always gives me allowances so I could buy food in school.

    Because I didn’t grow up with my mother, my relationship with her is not that great.  My mother hates my father for abandoning us.  Sadly, my mother keeps comparing me to my father who I see as irresponsible man.  She always says that I have no different from my dad.  My dad didn’t give my mother the love she needed from a husband, but now she says that I also didn’t give her the love she needed from a daughter.  I do love my mother, but I grew up with my aunt all my life.  None of my parents has influenced me and touched my soul as my Tiya Pila has touched my soul.  She is the center of my life.  On behalf of the positive effect of my Tiya Pila on me, my mother hates her because I’m closer to her than my own mother.  She talks behind her back.  However, every time she needs a favor from her, my mother is like an angel to my aunt.  For instance, when she needs help from my Tiya Pila, she ask her favors to take good care of me while she is away from me. Because my aunt is very nice, she does the favor to them with all her love and respect.

     My mom took me away from my aunt and brought me here to America.  We took the risk of being apart from each other.  Being apart from her across the world doesn’t mean all the things she has done for me, and taught me will fade away.  All things that she instilled in me, I will always cherish and value.  She often tells me to finish my studies because it’s the only treasure that will last.  Now that I am in America, I still keep in touch with her.  I will never forget her and I will study hard so I can take care of her too someday when she needs me.  I write her letters and she writes letters to me as well.  That’s how we maintain our good relationship.


    Overall, I am who I am because of my Tiya Pila. 
     She leads me to the right path of life.  Everything
     that I’ve learned has come from her love and
    support.   I would like to thank her for taking care
    of me, for loving me and for giving me the love
     that I needed as a human being.  My success will
    be her success.  All things that I will achieve, I
    will dedicate to her because she is a very
    important person who has a gigantic effect on my