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#REALTALK: What they don’t tell you about life in Canada

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Tagalog Version:

Akala ng mga tao na nasa Pilipinas kapag nasa Canada ka akala nila madami ka ng pera. Ang totoo,madami kang utang, dahil credit card lahat ang gamit mo sa pagbili mo ng mga gamit mo. Kailangan mo gumamit ng credit card para magka-credit history ka, kasi pag hindi ka umutang o wala kang utang, hindi ka pagkakatiwalaan. Pag wala kang credit card, ibig sabihin wala kang kapasidad magbayad.

Akala nila mayaman kana kasi may kotse ka na. Ang totoo, kapag hindi ka bumili ng kotse sa Canada maglalakad ka ng milya-milya sa ilalim ng init ng araw o kaya sa snow. Walang jeepney, tricycle o padyak sa Canada.

Akala nila masarap ang buhay dito sa Canada . Ang totoo, puro ka trabaho kasi pag di ka nagtrabaho, wala kang pangbayad ng bills mo sa kotse, credit card, ilaw, tubig, telepono, insurance, bahay at iba pa. Hindi ka na pwedeng tumambay sa kapitbahay kasi busy din sila maghanap buhay pangbayad ng bills nila.

Akala nila masaya ka kasi nagpadala ka ng picture mo sa Disneyland , Seaworld, Six Flags, Universal Studios at iba pang attractions. Ang totoo, kailangan mo ngumiti kase nagbayad ka ng $70+ para makarating ka dun, kailangan mo na naman ang 10 hours na sweldo mong pinangbayad sa ticket.

Akala nila malaki na ang kinikita mo kasi dolyar na sweldo mo. Ang totoo, malaki pag pinalit mo ng peso, pero dolyar din ang gastos mo sa America o Canada . Ibig sabihin ang dolyar mong kinita sa presyong dolyar mo din gagastusin. Ang P15.00 na sardinas sa Pilipinas , $1.50+ tax ang isang pakete ng sigarilyo sa Pilipinas P40.00, sa Canada $10, ang renta mo sa bahay na P10,000 sa Pilipinas, sa Canada ay $1,200++.

Akala nila buhay milyonaryo ka na kasi ang ganda ng bahay at kotse mo. Ang totoo, milyon ang utang mo. Ang bago mong kotse 5 taon mong huhulugan. Ang bahay 30 taon mong huhulugan. Ibig sabihin, alipin ka ng bahay at kotse mo. Nagka-asawa at nagka-apo ka na, may hinuhulugan ka pa ring utang. Madaming naghahangad na makarating sa Canada. Lalo na ang mga nurses, mahirap maging normal na manggagawa sa Pilipinas. Madalas pagod ka sa trabaho. Pag dating ng sweldo mo, kulang pa sa pagkain mo. Pero ganun din sa ibang bansa katulad ng Hindi ibig sabihin dolyar na ang sweldo mo, yayaman ka na, kailangan mo ding magbanat ng buto para mabuhay ka sa ibang bansa. Kailangan mong kumilos at kumita upang mabuhay sa araw-araw. Matitikman mo lang ng buo ang iyong naipon sa pagreretiro kung ikaw ay edad 65-70 na. Isang malaking sakripisyo ang pag alis mo sa bansang pinagsilangan at malungkot iwanan ang mga mahal mo sa buhay.Hindi pinupulot ang pera dito o pinipitas. Hindi ako naninira ng pangarap, gusto ko lang
buksan ang bintana ng katotohanan

English Version:

People in the Philippines think that once you live in Canada you’re already rich, but the reality is, you are head over heels in debt because a credit card is all that you can use to pay for your necessities. Using a credit card in Canada is mandatory because you need to have a credit history so that the bank would trust you enough to lend you money. Meaning, you need to get certain Credit Cards to Build Credit. If you don’t have a credit card then that means you don’t have the capacity to pay.

People in the Philippines assume that you’re rich because you have a fancy car. The truth is, if you don’t buy a car here in Canada, you should be prepared to walk for miles under the heat of the summer sun or under the harsh cold of winter’s snow. There are no jeepneys, no tricycle, no pedicabs, just public buses which, in a lot of ways, could be very uncomfortable.

People in the Philippines assume that life is good in Canada, but that’s not always the case. The truth is, your life would only revolve around work, work, and work because if you will not pick your ass up to earn dollars, you won’t have the money to pay for your car bills, phone bills, hydro, gas, insurance, house and a whole lot more. Hanging out and chit chatting with your neighbours would be an impossibility because they too, are busy with their own work to pay for their own bills.

People assume that you are really happy when you post your travel pictures in Disneyland, Seaworld, Niagara Falls, Universal Studios and what not. But the truth is, you need to force that smile because you paid hundreds to thousands of dollars just to get there and you need work like a dog again to recover the amount you paid for your ticket.

People assume that you earn big because you earn in dollars. Yes, that may be true if you exchange it to pesos back in the Philippines, but you are also spending dollars here in Canada. There’s no exchange whatsoever because you buy through a dollar to dollar transaction. A P15.00 can of sardines in the Philippines only cost $1.00 in Canada, a pack of cigarette cost $1.50+tax (depending on the place) and P40.00 in the Philippines, your apartment rent in the Philippines costs roughly about P10,000 but in Canada it’s $1,200++. You do the math.

People assume that you’re living an extravagant life because you have a beautiful car and a beautiful house, but truth be told, you are inches deep in debt. Your brand new car would take you 5 years to pay off. Your house would take you 30 years to pay off completely. This only means that you are a slave both to your car and your house. You already have grandchildren and you’re still paying for that debt.
Many Filipinos aspire to come to Canada to get a chance to change their lives forever. However, the path towards the “good life” isn’t an easy one. Oftentimes, you will get home late from work feeling awful as hell then you have to wake up as early as the dawn to get back to work. Then your payday comes and you realize that your income is not enough for your daily expenses. It doesn’t mean that because you’re earning dollars, you’re already on the road to riches. You need to get up and move to produce income that would support you and your family. The only time that you can actually taste your savings is when you retire at age 65 to 70.

It’s always a huge sacrifice to leave your home country to work abroad. Imagine the agony of being separated to your loved ones. Because the reality is, you won’t see money lying in the streets, you have to work for it. I’m not shattering your perception of how beautiful and splendid it is to live in Canada but as harsh as it may be, that is the reality of life in Canada.

Life is tough wherever you are. The difference of life in Canada is that you can see the fruits of your labor and you can actually enjoy it, not so much as in the Philippines where, even though your bones are failing, you still have to race up against fellow commuters to catch a crowded jeep just to get to your job that doesn’t pay much. In Canada, you are free to borrow money just as long as you can prove that you can pay it back. In the Philippines, however, it would be an amazing feat if you could buy a kilo of rice (using credit) even though you have a white collar job.

So, to our fellow kababayans who are currently working abroad to support their families, I hope you read this. This is for you. Mabuhay po kayo!

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