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Albert Chiang

Episode 009

Understanding the Past to Appreciate the Present

Albert is a certified CPA. who lives in Arcadia, California. He was born in Korea but is firmly Chinese in his heritage. His parents escaped communist China and landed in the Korean War.

Growing up in Korea, he always felt out of place. When he went to the National Taiwan University, he finally felt like he had a connection.

After graduating, he went to the United States, Kansas, to start his MBA. He visited his uncle in Arcadia and decided the weather was too good and to stay.

He then finished his degree at Cal State Northridge. He then started at Hsu, Yao, Thuang, and Chiang Certified Public Accountants and is now a CPA, ABV, and CFF officer.

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Albert Chiang Quotes

  • “We have to appreciate what we have.”
  • “My mother’s grandfather [was] hung upside down, and they just killed him.”
  • “I opened each page of the thrown away letters, each letter theirs two words. It says ‘mother,’ and then it’s being thrown away.”
  • Albert’s family fled from communist China in the 1940s
  • The Korean War started less than a year after they arrived in Korea
  • Despite being born in Busan, he always felt like he didn’t belong
  • He went to Taiwan and finally felt some connection
  • Albert went to Kansas to start is MBA
  • He moved to SGV after falling in love with the weather (who could blame him)
  • He graduated from Cal State Northridge and passed his C.P.A.
  • San Gabriel Valley has almost a reputation for being a beacon for all who have made the hard choice to immigrate from another country, especially those of Asian descent.
  • Albert stems from this background, but it’s not so cut and dry. This is Albert’s road to success in the San Gabriel Valley.

How did you make your way to the San Gabriel Valley, Albert?

In the 1940s, the Chinese Civil War was underway, and the communist party of China took over China. Many fled China to Taiwan. Albert’s parents ran in late 49.

With three gold nuggets, Alberts’s grandmother bribed her and her daughter’s way out of a country they couldn’t support anymore and onto the Yellow Sea for a month with the rations meant for two nights.

Alberts’s mother and father met after that night at sea in their new haven of Korea. But Albert’s parents had terrible luck because they ran out of the frying pan into the fire. In 50, the Korean war started around them.

Albert’s life started in Busan, Korea, in 1961, the Chinese zodiac sign of the Ox. Even though Albert was born in Korea, his parents were of Chinese descent.

Albert was raised with a strong respect for his parent’s homeland, meaning he still spoke Chinese and was educated in Chinese schools. At that time, Albert’s parents were limited in what they could and could not do in Korea.

Albert lived with his Grandmother for a long time in the middle of rural Korea. He learned to respect the country and what comes from the land living there.

In 1983, on July 27th, Albert came to the United States to study for his MBA after getting his undergrad from The National Taiwan University.

He initially attended a small college in Emporia, Kansas. After two years in Kansas, he moved in 1986 to the San Gabriel Valley.

Understandably, Albert was won over by the weather, like many others. Albert finished his degree at Cal State Northridge and passed the CPA exam.

What do you miss most about Korea?

It might seem harsh, but Albert said he didn’t miss anything about it.

He did have more of a fondness for Taiwan. This answer came from a feeling of belonging that Albert didn’t have in Korea.

What about your family?

Albert has three children, two girls and a son.

His son is well on his way to following his father’s footsteps as an accountant.

Albert has been married for 31 years. His wife’s family had a similar background to Albert’s family, and their families knew each other.

What are some struggles you May have had?

Luckily, Albert’s struggles are minimal, according to himself.

He perceives “struggles” as a challenge rather than something to stop him.

In Albert’s junior year, his father received a letter from Albert’s paternal grandmother, who was separated from the family in Taiwan. Albert told how his father stayed up all night at the table trying to write something. He was never able to finish that letter by himself.

Albert’s father found it to be too much for him.

All the trauma of running to a new country just to jump into another war and then having to relay all the good that was missed made his head spin.

Thankfully, Albert’s uncle was able to write a response.

After this, Albert’s father got to see his mother. And in 1986, Albert got to meet his paternal Grandmother.

It’s hard for Americans to understand the real struggles that Albert and his family went through.

Experiencing the communist takeover to another war starting in his new country, Albert’s and his family’s lives are much more extreme than what the average person who has never had to share these hardships could understand.

A person could hardly imagine the joy a grandmother who was finally reunited with her family in a place where they escaped could feel.

Picture of Albert Chiang

Albert Chiang

Huntington Drive