My sister, Ruby, and I were kids back then when our papers got approved by the immigration officers allowing us to migrate to Canada. That was 5 years ago, I was ten years old and my sister was 11. The memory is still fresh in my memory I even remembered what my grandma said before I left.
My grandma said “ mag-ingat kayo don at mag-aral ng mabuti” ( be careful and study hard), she said it with a big smile on her face but I saw her face trying to hold back her tears.
When the car drove far away from our house in Apayao, I lost control of my emotions my tears continuously fell off of my eyes. The hardest part of migrating to an unfamiliar place is saying goodbye to my family, friends, and to my neighbours.
It was August 15 at midnight we arrived at Edmonton International Airport. The first thing that my dad do was hug us. The emotions I felt after arriving in my new freezing home was not excitement but instead it was mostly the feeling of heartache, longing, and fear. At first I did not like it here, and my parents and I would have conversations about us going back home to the Philippines.
Me: “Gusto ko ng umuwi” (I want to go home)
Father: “ Mahal ang ticket” ( The plane ticket is expensive)
I won’t talk for a long time after that and I would just go to my room. I knew to myself that my dad is happy for us to be with him, for his family together. But he is also sad because of our urge to go home. Our first vacation together,that may entertain us and make us happy for a little bit, in Canada was in Banff with some friends with us. This vacation might entertain us and make us happy for a little bit and it did.
After 3 weeks of our stay in Canada school finally started. I found friends and they helped me cope up , they taught me about the Canadian culture and English language, and they also made me feel happy and welcome.
During a video call with my family in the Philippines my grandma said “ sini-celebrate namin birthday niyo dito kahit wala kayo” (we celebrate your birthdays even though you are not here) I was happy to hear that because they still remember our birthdays. I started liking Canada even though it is cold here because there are a lot of nice people that helped me and made me feel happy in Canada.