Living My Dreams
By Jacob Jerson T. Jala
It has always been a dream of mine to come to Canada for a very simple reason…to see the snow. That simple dream was realized in September of 2008 when I received my working visa for a coffee chain in Edmonton. The excitement of coming here was tremendous, but the sadness of leaving my country, my home and especially my family filled my heart until I set foot in this city. Many of my countrymen leave the Philippines to look for a better future, because working overseas is the greatest opportunity, at least I think so. It is not easy to leave everything behind, however hope for a better future keeps one's heart strong to face the challenges in a foreign land.
My first day at work wasn't bad at all. In fact, I have the greatest employer and most wonderful co-workers who make me feel welcome and inspire me to do my job better. During my days off, I made a point to explore the city as much as I could. I had to go online to research which ETS route I should take, where there is a nice place to hang out, and a great spot to take pictures. Months have passed, and I feel that I’m no longer a stranger to this place. I’ve been to almost every mall in the city, the landmarks, some schools, seen different kinds of people, and most special to me…I made more friends.
In less than a year I've been able to witness most of the declared holidays here in Edmonton. I’ve had my first fireworks display at Sir Winston Churchill Square during New Years 2009, my first parade on Canada Day, my first "Taste of Edmonton," as well as my first Capital EX and Heritage Days experience. As a witness to these events, I see people who are not ashamed to embrace the diversity of their land and who are so proud to be in this city. As a foreigner, I could even say, I think I've found my second home.