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Antonio, Marie Antoinette, 1970-


"Interviewed by Cecilia Winchell and Stefani Evans. Marie Antonio was born in 1970 in Cagayan de Oro which translates to Golden Friendship. Her father was a doctor who worked as a government employee while her mother was a piano teacher who inspired her love for music and piano at the young age of four. Her grandparents lived on a small island where they would visit for holidays and celebrations, and in her free time she spent her days embracing the beautiful nature of the Philippines and playing outside. Growing up, religion had a strong presence throughout her community, and Christmas was all about celebrating Christ and being together with family. Life in the Philippines was hard but simple and fun; everything was in walking distance including the all-girls' school she went to. In college, she majored in music, still passionate as ever, and talked about all of the ways living alone in Manila challenged her to grow as a person. Moving back to her hometown after college, she met her husband, and eventually received a work visa to work in Guam as a music teacher. While in Guam, she describes performing exploitative work at the Catholic school, working overtime for no extra pay, and much preferred her later job as being a music director for a church. It was her time working for the church on a R-1 visa that quickly led to her being sponsored and receiving a green card. With her new immigration status on hand, she and her family packed their bags and first moved to San Jose, California, where she worked again as a music director. After finally moving to the mainland, she experienced a form of culture shock in terms of language, and quickly found that the cost of living in San Jose was very high, which was partially what finally prompted their move to Las Vegas. Already having a high school friend in Las Vegas, Antonio saw the cheaper cost of living as well as the affordability of housing to be attractive and made the leap. Throughout the rest of the interview, she discusses topics ranging from the American dream to cultural celebrations, food, and discrimination." from OHRC interview notes