My name is Abelardo Bustillo.

Manila, Philippines

Buffalo, New York


Ann Arbor, Michigan



Lucas: Hi Lolo. How are you?

Abelardo: Alright.

L: Good. Could you tell me about your first day in America?

A: My first day in America is...when I arrived in Buffalo, Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, New York, we rode a taxi from the airport and we thought that the taxi driver is trying to roam around for our fare from the airport, and I didn't know that the airport is far from the hospital. So we were suspecting that we were being roamed around by the taxi driver, but it's not, it was really far. So, I don't know, I don't think about the American culture. I changed my, my contract from, from Pittsburgh, I had a contract with a Pittsburgh hospital already. I cancelled it. It was, it's going to pay me $375 a month to $270 a month at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo. So, because my classmate, [inaudible], is going to Buffalo, New York. So I changed my, I called them, I told them I'm not going be an intern in their hospital and I'm going to Buffalo, New York. I got the, when we arrived there, we were at the emergency room, orthopedic surgery interns were there to greet us. We were only, I don't know how many Filipinos were there.

L: Were there a lot?

A: Uh, I think five or six. But we are only two from our university. [Inaudible] is the chief of internal medicine at the Philippines General Hospital where we finished. The food that we are going to eat is different.

L: Different? How is it different?

A: We used, we used to cook at our dormitory, and we signal Dr. Junga if it's done already because they are missing the Filipino food. So we, our signal is to turn on the light and turn off when it's ready in there, in the library in the hospital. So they come and eat with us. We have two from, two people, Spanish speaking interns. I remember one of them is, the name is Carasco. So we call him Caraho. And it's different, you know. We haven't seen the snow until November 2nd. The first time we saw the snow we got out.

L: Was that the first time you've ever seen snow?

A: Yeah. We don't know how the snow is. I think Kennedy was just assassinated at that time in '61 or '62. We took a jet from the Philippines. We haven't ridden an airplane before and then we landed in Hawaii and then San Francisco and, we took another plane, which is propellor not jet anymore from San Francisco to Chicago. And then from San Francisco to Buffalo, New York.

L: I have two more questions Lolo. Where did you move from in the Philippines?

A: We live in the suburb of Manila.

L: Of Manila? And when did you move, your first time being in America?

A: First time is 19, it was 1962 when I finished med school.

L: OK. Thank you Lolo, thank you very much. That was, that was a really good story.