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   Jovito Eugenio H. Salonga, known to many as Jayee, received his United States permanent resident status in early 2014. After 6 years of waiting in New York as an undocumented immigrant, Jayee and his wife had struggles living their new life in a city they are not accustomed to.


Jayee was raised from a simple and loving family. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, a grandson to the Philippines’ political hero, the distinguished nationalist, former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga+. He is one of the luckiest among his family bearing his grandfather’s name.


He met his wife in UP Diliman where they were high school sweethearts. Jayee worked in the Senate of the Philippines and his wife passed the bar and worked for a law firm. Until the day they both decided to migrate to the United States. His wife has a permanent resident status in the U.S. Traveling every year to keep her status will cost them a fortune as a starting couple. The decision they have made was a major sacrifice. With a good political background, and a strong career ahead of them in the Philippines, they decided to begin a new life again in the U.S.


This photo story shows some of his struggles in New York City. Compared to his life in Manila, his new beginning in the Big Apple is far more difficult and full of hardships to conquer. A young couple trying to survive in the city that never sleeps experiencing life in a different scenario. A life without a chauffeur, without a maid, and most of all, a life away from his relatives and love ones. Laborious and wearisome it may seem, he learned how to manage his new life in the states.


One thing that keeps his mind at ease amidst the chaos of the city and the big adjustment that he made is his love of running. He said he loves to run because it taught him many things in life and not just the physical benefits of exercise. He ran multiple marathons in the course of his life as an undocumented immigrant.


Life may be painful and tiring at times. But he said, just like running a marathon, when you persevere, endure, and continue to carry on, you will reach your destination.

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