Tony’s journey from a small town in the Philippines to Stevenson House began immediately after his high school graduation in 1967. He spent a year in Minnesota as an exchange student and earned a second high school diploma, after which he returned to the Philippines to pursue a college education. His father was a truck driver while his mother worked as a seamstress. With three brothers and a sister to feed and provide for college fund, his parents constantly struggled to make ends meet. With fierce determination and a strong desire to better himself and his family, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in philosophy with a minor in economics. He had a full scholarship. In April 1972, Tony graduated with honors from the Ateneo de Manila University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learnings in the country. He then enrolled in the School of Law at the University of the Philippines but after one year he left. In the early 70s, the Philippines was in the midst of political turmoil and upheaval. Martial law ruled the country. Tony decided pursuing a degree in law was not in the cards. He immigrated to the United States by way of a work visa, courtesy of a family he met when he was an exchange student. In August 1974, Tony enrolled at the American International University on a student visa in Springfield, Massachusetts to pursue a master’s in Business Administration degree. After eight long arduous circuitous years, he got his degree. During this period, he attended four different colleges and universities, all to take advantage of his student visa time. In April 1978, he ran out of luck. He was stripped of his student visa status. Time to go home. Tony waited two years before he was able to return to the U.S. in August 1981. This time for good. By all accounts, everything went uphill from here.
He worked with AT&T for 25 years (in various capacities), got married to a beautiful and wonderful wife in 1987 and bore an only child who is truly the love of their lives. He retired from AT&T in December 2000, bought their dream house, and sent their daughter to good schools (and adopted a Black Labrador to boot).
Today, Tony serves as a Board Director of Stevenson House, a volunteer job he has since long and crave for. The journey took thirty five years to get here but it was well worth it. He is finally home where he belongs.