Three years ago today, I took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. It was a touching ceremony and an emotional day for me. I was sad and happy at the same time. Before the ceremony begun, I remembered the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) representative introduced us to the Judge who will lead the ceremony. For some reason, I felt like I wanted to cry. I also choked while repeating the oath after the Judge. I glanced at the other new citizens to-be (and their relatives) in the courtroom, they too were emotional like me.
The oath of allegiance as it stands goes as:
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
It’s been three years. America is now my home away from home. I am an American citizen. I am still a Filipino. I’m proud to be both.