“One beef croissant with extra cheese and mayo please.” I said.
“Sure Maam! Anything else?” Said the guy from the counter of Tim Hortons.
“Oh and one Iced Cap.” I added.
“Sige po maam.” He said.
And there I learned that this guy, and the barrister at the back and as well as the waitresses are all Filipinos. You know how you get that feeling of excitement when you find a kabayan abroad? It feels like you’re not far away from home. Like you’re in the Philippines. Like as if you never left.
Toronto probably is one of the most diverse city I have been to. With Asian saturating the market, and Western people flocking the scene. It’s diversity collaborates to its beauty. And its history actually celebrates with it.
CN Tower Revolving Restaurant
Glysa, one of my medtech friends from college, picked us up in our hotel to tour us around downtown Toronto. It was the first time I tried the train system here – for doing so, makes me feel like I am actually submerging myself in their culture. Their train has comfort rooms inside! And even has second floors to accommodate more passengers. Really amazing! But of course I had to subdue myself and pretend like as if I’ve seen such before. Lol! Even though I haven’t.
We had lunch at the ever famous 360 Revolving Resto! It’s on top of CN Tower, where in you could actually enjoy a literal 360 view of the whole city. We actually skipped line, because Glysa booked us seats prior to going there. It costs us around 65 Canadian Dollar each for a 2 main course meal. (Plus add 13% tax and 10% tip – which is compulsory btw) The whole experience was worth it though. Dining inside a fine restaurant while literally touring the city. I had my appetizer with the city-cape as my view, and then the next thing I knew – I was basking in the serenity of the beaches while eating the mains. It was worth the hype, and the expense. I must say.
Canadian National Exhibition
I am ecstatic to be able to experience their Annual CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) this year! It basically is a pop up carnival, that is being celebrated by Canadians every 18 days leading to their labor day every year. It was a mass celebration of growth in diversity and innovation. The 18 day fair includes mix shopping areas, exhibits, sports events, games and rides! The whole place was in full celebratory vibe – with families doing so as their yearly tradition, and couples date to get to know each other. Me and Audrey (a friend back during my local pageant days) dated each other instead. Haha!
It was a very fun experience – for I am a fan of carnival games and extreme rides. We had to spend almost 50 Canadian Dollars in games, being able to win stuff toys afterwards! It basically is just a more fancy way to play inside a “perya” – a Philippine version of a pop-up carnival. But with cold weather, and western people as your rivals.
Royal Ontario Museum
I was told by my friend, Alyssa, to be careful with natives. I was a bit confused, because when I got here in Canada – locals are relatively kind. They greet strangers, open doors for them and even involve themselves in small talks once in a while. I was able to take a glimpse of Canada’s history when we went here at Royal Ontario Museum. There I learned that “natives” actually can be identified if it runs in your blood. Native Canadians can have a lot of advantages today, “Indian Status” or “Aborginal People” can mean that the government give exemption to income-taxes, coverage with health care, funding with houses and attend educational institution reserves. Really interesting concept!
So I asked my friend, Audrey, if that was true? And if it was, then why should I be careful with natives? She then told me that natives living in the provincial area of Canada can be a little bit more morbid. Morbid in a sense that maybe they feel like they are being regarded as someone below if not equal to a normal citizen of Canada. I was a bit confused, given all these benefits – they should even feel more privilege. But maybe there are things in the world that I can learn, but not fully understand.