I have been in and out of Canada for months now, experiencing summer, spring and winter all together. During those times, my main aim was to take as much photos and to visit as much places as possible. Touristy as I may, I wanted to see as much as I can. And thus making me miss out the most important part of travel, which is to trying to understand and live locally.
For my 4th time visiting Ontario, Canada – tourist places becomes familiar, public transit becomes easy, meeting friends becomes the priority and living locally becomes the adventure.
I am blessed with diverse collection of friends living in Canada. Many of which took time to meet and catch up with me. There I learned the harsh truth of Filipinos working abroad. How hard it is to juggle at least 2 jobs at a time. Dealing with discrimination and racism. And coping up with a culture far different from their own.
But I must admit the benefits outweigh the cons. Free education for children until Grade 8. Free medical and health care for everyone. Systematic and convenient public transport. And easy sponsorship for Filipinos aiming for a “Permanent Residency” card.
Being Canadian, or at least a citizen for that matter, definitely is something to be proud of. The economy is great, and the government is solid. Everyone is polite enough to acknowledge your presence. And each respects each other.
It was an amazing 1 week stay in Toronto. More than the tours and the photographs, it’s the culture and the ways of the Canadian that struck me the most. And the friends I keep regardless of distance and time zones.