Yellow moon behind mountains

CapFed® Celebrates Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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Junel Villela, CapFed® Loan Service Representative, arrived in Topeka, KS in 2014 all the way from the Pearl of the Orient Seas, Philippines.


Not only did Junel quickly adapt to life in the US, he quickly became a valued employee who brings much positivity and enthusiasm to the office.


To celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we sat down with Junel to discuss his country, beliefs, culture, coming to America....and CapFed®!


Tell us about your native country? Family, Language, Culture, etc.

The Philippines was colonized by Spain in the early 1500s. This has had a profound influence in a variety of Filipino modern customs and traditions. I am the youngest of seven siblings, and it is very common for each Filipino houseful to have five children or more. The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. English is considered the second official language and is used primarily in education, legal purposes, entertainment and business.


When and why did you decide to come to the United States? What opportunities have you experienced in this country?

I moved to the United States on St. Patrick’s Day 2014 to be with my spouse. The things I have experienced, and do not take for granted, are learning how to drive, having warm running water in the house and air conditioning on a hot summer day. The United States is much larger than my homeland, and I have taken the opportunity to travel to several states.

What do you enjoy most about living in the United States?

I enjoy living in a country with four very different seasons. The Philippines has a very steady temperature, distinguished by either having a sunny or rainy day. Topeka has easy flow of traffic compared to my homeland, which has very congested roads. It often takes an hour or more to travel five to seven miles. Healthcare is more advanced and available in America then in the Philippines. I definitely enjoy all the conveniences the United States has to offer.

What brought you to Topeka, and how did you get connected with CapFed?

I moved to Topeka to be with my spouse who was already living here. While in the Philippines, I gained seven years of call center experience. When I saw Capitol Federal needed call center agents, I applied so I could put that experience back into practice.

What do you enjoy most about CapFed?

I enjoy the friendly and welcoming atmosphere at Capitol Federal. Even simple, yet genuine, greetings like “good morning” or “hi” makes me smile. I also admire this institution for its charitable acts to the community.

What is one thing you want people to know about your heritage?

Filipinos are a proud people, known for being very hospitable. We go out of our way to make someone feel welcome. Filipinos like to share authentic Filipino dishes to any and all guests. Oh and, by the way, we take karaoke very seriously, too!

What does Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month mean to you?

America is considered one large cultural melting pot. I am honored that for one month a year the United States honors the cultural contributions made by Asian Americans. Whether Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean or Filipino, we all come together to make the United States what it is today.

Thank you, Junel, for being True Blue®

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Categories: CapFed® News
Tags: About CapFed , Kansas City , Lawrence , Topeka , Wichita

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