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I want my life back, I want a future, I want to be in control of my life. And I'm here to tell my story.
When I was a little girl, my parents decided to take me and my brothers to the Philippines since my mother is a Filipina. My mother has a son in the Philippines that she left behind and the whole idea was to come for vacation, grab her son, and back to NY.. but the plans have changed and we ended up staying here.
I was 10 years old at the time, I didn't have a choice but to be where my parents were, everything went well.. I finished high school here and was proceeding to college until dad end up getting sick so I ended up pausing my studies to help take care of my dad. I had no idea about my status in the Philippines, I wasn't worried about citizenship or immigrations since it wasn't my responsibility at the moment whilst still being underaged.
In 2011, my father passed away. I was 21 at the time and still living under my parents roof as family here are tight and close and since my father was a Vietnam Veteran, he made more than enough to support the entire family. Dad never made me work, my only job was to be his caregiver, and I loved my dad so I was okay with what I was doing. When he passed away, after 2 years we hit rock bottom hard and that's when I decided to start working, this was around June 2013. I moved from Zamboanga City to Metro Manila, which was a few islands apart. I stayed with a friend and found a job at a contact center (call center) and was preparing all my needed documentation for work.. Slowly but surely, I got almost all my documentations in, but when came time to release my birth certificate, they wouldn't accept it because I was a US national despite my mother being a Filipino. My parents didn't get me proper documentation when we left America and turns out I am an illegal immigrant that has overstayed in the Philippines. So that meant, I couldn't get a job legally here. And this broke me.
Further investigating and figuring out how I could clear my names from the immigrations and live freely here in the Philippines, I found out my fathers and mothers marriage was a fraud. My dad, as a soldier being medically discharged from the service, met my mother in the Philippines. So now, my mothers marriage contract registered here in the Philippines under a different last name, which made me not their daughter here in the Philippines as I was a Cenate and not a Santos (last name my father used).
I have spent years trying to make up the funds to pay off the immigrations and move back to America, luckily I have my Aunt Alice in NY willing to help me out when I get there, my only problem is making the funds. Eventually I owe the Immigrations around PHP 400,000 for overstaying 19 years. All I want is to live a normal life without worries.
Have you ever has that feeling where you had a life but no control over it? That you want to make something of yourself but can't? I feel like I have no control over my life due to the lies someone else made. And to top it all off, I also suffer polycystic
Ovarian syndrome and can't get the proper medical attention I need since whiteout Philippine health care, physicians, check-ups and medications are expensive. I just want to go home, and try my best to make a better life there than what I have here.
For proof of legitimacy, I do have photos of my old US passport and some documentation to prove my US citizenship and I am willingly able to show any of you if requested, I am a DM away. I will be posting a video of me explaining the whole situation better since it will be a lot easier for me to explain in voice. I am literally begging for assistance and I will post updates time to time up to the day I leave to go back to NY. Every penny counts to me, no matter how big or small the amount is. As long as I can live a life worth living, because this life now has done me nothing but depression.
If you want any other information, please do not hesitate to send me a message, I would love to talk to anyone to better explain my story. I just want my life back, it feels like I was deprived of I life I wanted.
- Juliet Cenate
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