Production team member Neil Siblag wears many different hats at KX News. “I direct GDD, two hours every day, cameras, cross-trained, graphics, audio, whatever production team can do.”
While Neil works mostly behind the scenes in a TV station, he has quite a story of his own.
“I was born in the Philippines.” I moved here when I was 13, September 8th, 2013.”
Born in the Philippines, Neil moved to the U.S. with his mom and stepdad when he was 13 years old. He remembers how tough it was to communicate when he started school in Bismarck without knowing how to speak English.
“When I first arrived here in America, I had no social life being as I didn’t know how to speak English, because of that I didn’t know how to cope with everything like the environment and stuff like that. I was really depressed… I actually, I got bullied because I couldn’t speak English.”
To help cope with his struggles, he turned to the universal language of song.
“So Freshman year, my one teacher told me to join a choir, so I joined a choir, never spoken any English before, so I joined a choir, and that’s when my singing started. Sophomore year is when I started literally singing, that’s when I came out of my bubble… Bismarck High (teacher), Brian Saylor is the one that brought me to life, I guess you call it, so yeah. Brian Saylor thank you so much, singing has been a passion of mine, it’s been a fall for me because it’s been a while since I performed live.”
He joined the school choir and his mom bought him a guitar. Neil says being involved in music was instrumental in learning the English language.
“I can sing it I know how to speak it… singing and movies is how I taught myself.” And giving him an outlet to shine.
“I’m Yours is the one I remember a lot because I actually performed that freshman year in choir.”
He’s now lived in Bismarck, ND for almost ten years. And is celebrating another huge milestone, Neil became an American Citizen this February.
“My journey has been a lot of like struggle because the pandemic really slowed things down. So I applied for my citizenship when I was like 2019, pandemic delayed everything. I got my citizenship on February 2nd, which is kind of amazing to feel official American.”
“I’m living the dream right now, I work with you guys… like I said, little Neil would be happy. I’d be satisfied with where I am today.”
He’s a creative force, an incredibly gifted musician, an American citizen, and part of our work family.” My co-workers, they’re so fun to work with, makes me feel like, I’m home”
In other words, we’re proud to say, “He’s ours.”