Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Curious Case of NSC and One of Its Many Pinoy-Expats”

Tempus fugit (time flies) ! It seems that it was just like yesterday when we faced with the grim prospect of a floundering National Steel Corp (NSC) and mightily armed with a resolute conviction to preserve our family’s way of life, aspired to brave the next frontier and sought greener pastures elsewhere. For us it was a leap of faith bounding halfway around the world, from Lanao Norte’s steel city-Iligan, to Austin the capital city of Texas and the proverbial land of milk, honey and er… y’all cowboys. It surely was not smooth sailing at the beginning being confronted with diversified cultures, mindsets deeply rooted in an eastern psyche but somehow my one-score stint with NSC seasoned us and made us malleable enough to weather whatever trials and tribulations are hurled our way.

I was a tech ‘road warrior’ from the outset even though it was not easy as saying that I always hit the ground running on Day One as I hopped from one computer project to another as Sr Systems Analyst/Programmer. My tour of duty brought me to Boston, the nucleus of the New England states affording me to comb the urban sceneries of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and upstate New York (Buffalo-Niagara Falls!) in my spare time. Also a stint at St. Louis, the gateway to the west-astride the grand Mississippi River, paved the path for scouring Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas. Throw in leisure trips to New York, Washington DC, Richmond Virginia, and Orlando (Disneyworld) rounded off nearly most of the US eastern seaboard (plus Vegas, San Francisco and LA on the western front). By no stretch of the imagination, or even in my wildest fantasies have I thought of stamping such a huge footprint of the American landscape or not even while dreamily making daily harried walks along the corridors of Admin Bldg’s 3rd floor.

After my ‘road warrior’ days I decided to settle down in Austin, located in central Texas where the clime is as tropical as you can get, not unlike Iligan’s (typically not as hot as depicted in John Wayne western movies and where snow, drifts only once in a blue moon). Austin as one reputable research group described it, is one of the Top Ten most livable cities in the US (tech or non-tech), the new Silicon Hills (a variant of San Jose’s Silicon Valley) where giant IT conglomerates Dell, IBM, Samsung, AMD, Apple, Motorola and Applied Materials to name just a few and a sprinkling of notable companies calls it home. Austin is also home to the biggest educational institution in the U.S., the prestigious University of Texas (even though not to be outdone, the University of California also claims the same tag ).

Austin is just ‘hours away’ as the hub that intertwines US super metropolis(es) Houston, San Antonio and Dallas (the fourth, eight and ninth biggest US cities). It is now our ‘away from home’ sweet home and where I worked full time, just one in an 11,000+ strong state office that espouses a noble battle cry… ‘protecting the unprotected’.

By : Gerry Cruzabra

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Gerry for this excellent article! Don't retire the writing hat - you still have not lost the touch.