Those of you who frequent our campus are mostly familiar with our staff; whether or not you know our names, you are at least familiar with our smiling faces. An employee of once the school and now the church, Mr. Alfonso Mangaoil is one of those smiling faces that has an interesting story to tell.
Mr. Al was born in the Isabela region of the Philippines; educated at Far Eastern University, Mangaoil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. After completing his education, Mangaoil moved to the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It was while living in Dubai where he met his sweet bride Rowena, also a native of the Philippines. As coincidence would have it, Rowena also moved to Dubai shortly after finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the Philippine Normal College and 33 Master’s level units at the University of the Philippines.
While living in Dubai, the Mangaoils started their family with the birth of daughters Mae Anne and Nathania. Although life in Dubai was pleasurable, the Mangaoils longed for more opportunity.
In 2008, Rowena applied and accepted a job as a Kindergarten teacher at Westminster Elementary School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It wasn’t until 2010 that Al and the girls were able to join Rowena in the United States to once again live as a family.
The Mangaoils enjoy life in Louisiana. The climate is very similar to the Philippines and most of all they enjoy the culture and the rich Catholic tradition of South Louisiana.
In September of this year, the Mangaoil family will apply for their Green Cards. As you can imagine, this is a very stressful and costly process, however, the Mangaoils are strong in their faith and remain positive of the outcome. If the family is successful in obtaining their Green Cards, they will begin the process of applying for citizenship once they have waited the mandatory 5-year minimum.
Those who know Mr. Al and his family know that they are proud of their accomplishments and enjoy living the American dream. As we celebrate Independence Day, let us pause and give thanks for those who bravely paved the way for our freedom and for the opportunities that our great country affords to natural born citizens as well as those seeking a better life.
Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States of America – Pray for Us!