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Boodle fight and the battle of Filipinos – A preview of OFW’s life in Canada

boodle fight
Eating is a part of becoming a true Filipino. We eat when we are happy, sad, proud, in love or even broken hearted, food is one big outlet of our emotions. And just how do we do a boodle fight, is the same as how we prepare, fight and savor the victory of migrating, working and struggling here in Canada.

Boodle fight is a military style of eating where there is a long table arranged with food on top of banana leaves. Usually these are grilled fish, pork, chicken vegetables or any viand that you would love to prepare and eat but of course, rice will always be the big part of it! You can have side dishes and appetizers; or fruits and dessert to complete the meal. There is jug in one side to wash your hands because you will be using your bare hands for an “eating combat”. During these days, when the host signal to start the boodle fight, everybody has to be on their position and is ready to eat.

Canada may not be a dream for everyone, but for someone who sacrificed a lot just to work and migrate in this place is definitely a dream come true. And in whatever way, for sure he was able to win that personal race by believing in God and himself, fighting with focus and inspiring thoughts from family and friends just like when we do a boodle fight where we need to plan, prepare, implement, take the risk and enjoy.

  • Plan. It is how you see the big picture. Plan the timing, what is the specific place in Canada that you plan to work or migrate. Are you going with your family or just by yourself? Study and do research on how you would be able to do your plans, the things that you have to take , the amount of money that you need to save and the kind of life that is waiting for you in case you continue with your plans.
  • Prepare. Do you have a passport? If none, how are you going to go outside the Philippines? So you better apply now. As part of preparation, start looking for jobs or check the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) website on what category you’ll be going to take in making your dreams come true. Documents required should be processed and readily available when needed. By the way, staying healthy should not be left forgranted.
  • Implement. When you hit that chance and the perfect time, when you got an employer or an invitation to apply and migrate in Canada, make sure to implement and stay focus. It is the hardest part of all the things that you need to do. When the reality is almost near and decision making is the most important thing.

Now that you are in Canada, does it mean you already made your dreams come true? Of course not, but you are already in the starting point of your boodle fight. So what should you know?

  • That life in Canada is never easy. You can see Filipinos here still smiling especially those OFWs who don’t even have family and relatives here. Homesickness is the number one that you need to combat with.
  • That working in Canada needs a lot of patience, hardships and trust to no one but only yourself and God. You don’t know and never will you know unless you experience directly or indirectly how things go here. Everybody has his own battle, and to be able to survive, some would do things even if it means hurting or risking other people or kabayans lives. I know you know what I am talking in here so be careful in sharing everything about your life.
  • Don’t expect that you will land on the same job as what you do in the Philippines. Nanny jobs or care givers have been one of the categories that most Filipino used to enter in Canada. But when you say nanny, it doesn’t mean that they are undergraduates. They are holders of bachelors degree in our country, some are nurses, teachers, and some do even have their masters degree! This is sad about our education system; our four (4) year course has an equivalent of only two (2) years here in Canada in spite of how tedious and competitive our education is. I do hope that K-12 will be implemented soon in the Philippines to level with the international education system and that additional education  may not be needed in the near future just to be able to work with the profession that you used to do in our country
  • A lot of OFW’s left the country with their family values intact, then after two (2) or three (3) years, someone from one side or another will find another shoulder to cry on, or another heart to ponder with. It might be the one left in the Philippines or the one in Canada. You cannot blame anybody with this instance; for sure working abroad of one party is consensual between husbands and wives. So you should be preparing on the things that might happen and plan ahead to be able to avoid those. For single people, this might be their chance to find the right person for them. And for those whose family life has been at stake from the very start, it can be a time for mending broken hearts by meeting other people. And yes, you can get a divorce in Canada.
  • Expect that there will always be mini and big Filipino communities who will be more than willing to help or give suggestions if you need one. Thanks for the technology and Facebook as there are websites, groups and forums where you can raise your concerns and ask for suggestions or answers from those who had experiences. And that wherever Filipinos are, the essence of camaraderie is always in our system so don’t be afraid to reach out and find new friends.
  • Have faith in our Almighty God and enjoy your life to the fullest. Those things, how big or small will always be fine as long as you don’t forget to be thankful, ask for help and lift everything up to Him trough prayers, because it is the ultimate weapon that we can be sure of. With prayers plus perseverance and a heart , success will surely be achieved.

After reading all the things mentioned above, then you too may say that battling with life in Canada in one way or another is a like an eating combat, a boodle fight, where after all the hardship comes a feast in life, a happy meal to enjoy the journey with smile and laughter together with your love ones.

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