See hometown through eyes of someone else

Sometimes it’s difficult to see what’s really before us.

We recently published a feature story about Pia Morris as part of our series of profiles designed to share the interesting stories of people living and working in our communities.

In the article that published on our front page we learned a lot about Pia. But we just might have learned more about Warren, Ohio. That’s because seeing Warren through Pia’s eyes is quite different from what many of us longtime residents see in our minds.

Pia grew up in the Philippines. Her hard-working parents — her father an auto mechanic and electrician, her mother a nurse — instilled traditional values into Pia and her five siblings. The parents worked to educate his children so they could be what they wanted to be.

Marrying a Marine, Pia’s husband’s work brought them to Ohio and Warren — her new home. She has been the assistant general manager of the Best Western Park Hotel for the past four years.

“The traditions of Warren are much the same. I love the grittiness of Warren and the diversity of our neighborhoods. It’s a city of character and soul,” Pia said.

Having spent an earlier stint in the hospitality industry in Hawaii, Pia makes a remarkable comparison.

She said working in downtown Warren is more like working in Honolulu. The traffic, the constant flow of people on the street and in the park, appealed to her.

“Warren is a beautiful city filled with charm, love, potential and many opportunities,” she said. “It is not without challenges. Yes, there is violence, there is crime and there is racial division. We have infrastructure issues, vacant homes and problems in our schools.

“But we also have tight-knit communities, lush green spaces, rich history, outrageous characters, friendly neighbors, great food, creative visionaries and an unbreakable spirit.

“I love the energy of this city. Warren is me; Warren is you. Warren is home,” she said.

What a wonderful portrayal of our city!

We thank her for pointing out the positives that sadly are so often overlooked as we go through our busy days.