Life Reminders

Many people are afraid of growing old. I’m afraid of
growing old and boring. Many people are afraid of
growing old,alone. I’m afraid of growing old, insane.
Many people are afraid of losing their looks. I’m
afraid of losing my dreams. Many people are afraid of
losing their youth. I’m afraid of losing my soul. When
you’re 15, 35 seems ancient. When you’re 35, 15 seems
juvenile. A turnaround in a split second – two decades
zoom past and before you know it, it’s only a mile to
the next millenium. Don’t’ fear age- it’s a right of
personhood. Don’t fear death- it’s God’s greatest
jest. Don’t grow old – you don’t have to.

Don’t date because you’re desperate. Don’t marry
because you’re miserable. Don’t have kids because you
think your genes are superior. Don’t separate because
you think it’s fashionable. Don’t drink because you
have troubles. Don’t gamble because you think winning
is inevitable. Don’t philander because you think
you’re irresistible. Most likely, you’re not.

Don’t associate with people you can’t trust. Don’t
cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t pretend. Don’t try to buy your
way into the kingdom of God. Don’t dictate because
you’re smarter. Don’t demand because you’re stronger.
Don’t sleep around because you think you’re old enough
and know better. Don’t hurt your kids because loving
them is harder. Don’t sell your self, your family or
your ideals. Don’t stagnate. Don’t regress. Learn a
new skill. Find a new friend. Start a new career.
Don’t live in the past. Time can’t bring anything or
anyone back. Don’t put your life on hold for possibly
Mr. Right. Don’t throw your life away on absolutely
Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking and
you can’t afford to have your eggs harvested before
the new millennium.

There’s always a mad rush to something, somewhere but
victory does not always belong to those who finish
first. Sometimes, there is no race to be won only a
price to be paid for some of life’s more hasty
decisions. You can’t always go with the throng who
could be wrong. Sometimes, you have to be alone to be
enlightened. To terminate your loneliness, reach out
to the homeless. To feed your nurturing instincts,
care for the needy. To fulfill your parenting
fantasies, get a puppy. Don’t bring another life into
this world for all the wrong reasons. To keep yourself
warm, buy a jacket. In the long-run, it will be less
complicated and less costly. To make yourself happy,
pursue your passions and be the best of what you can
be. Simplify your life. Take away the clutter. Get rid
of destructive elements – abusive friends, nasty
habits and dangerous liaisons. Don’t abandon your
responsibilities but don’t overdose on duty. Don’t
live life recklessly without thought and feeling for
your family. Be true to yourself. Don’t commit when
you’re not ready. Don’t keep others waiting
needlessly. Fall in love – it’s the greatest thing on
earth. But take care and remember, after the fall must
come the rise. Go on that trip. Don’t postpone it.
Say those words. Don’t let the moment pass. Do what
you must even at society’s scorn. Write poetry. Love
deeply. Walk barefoot. Hold hands. Dance with wild
abandon. Cry at the movies. Take care of yourself.
Don’t wait for someone to take care of you. You light
up your life. You drive yourself to your destination.
No one completes you – except you. It is true that
life doesn’t get easier with age. It only gets more
challenging. Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose your capacity
to love. Pursue your passions. Live your dreams. Don’t
lose faith in God.

Don’t grow old. Just grow-up…

25 Random Things

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are invited to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. Publish the note. Then click on the note and “tag” up to 25 people. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. I don’t care whether you do this or not. I just randomly picked you outta my list. Do whatever. I just had fun with it 🙂

25. I’ve been in the banking industry for over 5 years now. I’d say not bad for a 25 year old!

24. I love Ferrero Rocher chocolates. They’re the simpliest gift on any occasion.

23. I’d love to own a Bugatti Veyron one day! … Hopefully soon!

22. I’m very independent.

21. I love designer brands: Louis Vutton Gucci, Seven Jeans, Rock & Republic =)

20. I hate losing friends. I’ve had friends since I was in kindergarten on my facebook! =P I also can’t stand people who are very fake and pretentious!

19. I want to move in to my own condo by next year in downtown toronto or back in Dubai after I’m done my banking & wealth management course! Or a cozy place by the beach would to too!

18. I don’t know what to do when people cry or get emotional.

17. I miss everything about dubai. It’s home to me, always will be!

16. I have zero tolerance for immaturity, stupidity & drama issues.

15. I hate being misjudged. I hate when people think they know me but they don’t have a clue of who I really am and therefore assume the worst in me.

14. I love all books by Sophie Kinsella & Cecila Ahern

13. I want to go back-packing all around Europe before I turn 30.

12. I want to learn to speak Arabic, Spanish & French more fluently then work for the U.N.

11. I can’t handle people who are very dependent on their partners. Makes me want to strangle them and show them that they are just as well worthy enough to feel complete.

10. I also can’t handle people who forget their friends when they start dating someone new. To me, it’s kind of pathetic to put all your attention on that person and forget who you are.

09. I like talking to older people because they are wiser and of the stories they tell you. I also like listening to babies laugh!

08. I like the sound of rain. But most especially, I’d have to be indoors and not out running about to go somewhere.

07. I like sitting at Starbucks with my Macbook sipping on a Caramel Macciato

06. I’m glad I came to Canada. It changed me in more ways than I can ever imagine.

05. I love my true friends more than anything. Very loyal and would do anything for them as they would for me. But once they break that trust, it’s a done deal.

04. I text a lot. I prefer texting than calling people.

03. I am very career oriented. I have so much that I want to accomplish in the future. I can’t be happy just doing so little with the mindset that I have. And I love knowing people who have future goals in life too. Not just to get married and raise a family.

02. I’d want to go and volunteer abroad

01. I still love him, more than anything in the world. Nothing or no one can ever, ever, ever change that.

Why immigrant women may be the stronger sex

This article impressed me because I really do believe that women are the stronger sex. Just look at the diversity of the roles women play nowadays. Whether they have suffered a lot from their origin country or simply motivated by the need to achieve and be confident about their ability to make their dreams comes true in Canada, women are the pillars of strength and vital participants in Canadian community. They go through a lot more than their male counterparts in terms of challenges and stressors surrounding their work in the daily living of settling in for their quest for ethnic continuity and attempts to enter the labour market. Everyday they face a multitude of personal, professional, cultural, and career challenges and from what I’ve seen firsthand, always keep motivating themselves to move nowhere else but up, even in difficult times.

Canada is a nation of immigrants. Elinor Caplan, the minister of Citizenship and Immigration personally believes that “Immigration made the last century a success for Canada. ” Immigrant women are always ready to make sacrifices for their families and to achieve their own personal goals in life. They spend more of their personal time catering to the everyday demands of their families than pursuing further education or career paths. There are many obstacles but immigrant women have strong personalities and most are able to overcome them. A few just stay separated and a few others melt down and become depressed. The ones that stick out are goal-oriented and will not mind barriers in front of them, instead keep finding ways to motivate themselves to do more in Canada than males.

Another similar article found in the hot immigrations issues folder talks about median earnings of women and men here in Canada. It showed that women earn on an average $15.12 while men only earned a dollar less. Eventually with experience, volunteer work and formal education, immigrant women have more opportunities. I choose to believe whatever unique personalities immigrant women have or how different they are based on their traditional mindsets and beliefs, they can make a successful living if only they are not daunted by the everyday challenges and defeats, but take it as an important learning factor. As a young woman myself, I believe there is no such thing as failure. Everything that happens right here in Canada, is an opportunity for learning and improving ourselves and those that surround us.

Women from I have lived in my entire life in the Middle East, have been constantly told on what to do their entire life. From their fathers to their brothers and husbands in their lives, they have been told how to look like, what to wear, how to act, what to do next. Their decisions were not counted and shared with.  Even if women are stronger than men in some aspects, such as physical pain, there is always some sort of tenderness that is proper to women’s nature. I think a woman’s warmth, kindness, and femininity are what makes them strong and powerful in the Western culture. I also believe a woman’s real strength and power comes from knowing who they really are and living their life to the fullest. Here, I know where I want to go in life, usually by trial and error. In order for me where I am today, I listened to my mother and few mentors from work and college to provide advice that are in my best interests. I was able to find creative means to apply my skills and experience from back home to here in Canada and found that I had taken more initiative and was determined to be successful here.

Recent studies from Newsnet, show that women have several positive attributes for leadership. We are more persuasive than our male counterparts. It has also been found that women tend to learn from diversity and are more persistent. Women develop an inclusive, team-building leadership style to solve problems and make decisions. Finally, women are more likely to ignore rules and take risks. Researchers say men also do exceptionally well in those areas, but women just do it a little better.  Immigrant women act more decisively. We think, plan accordingly and go about based on a combination of our skills and talents.

Once an immigrant woman is empowered to do more, she have the ability to analyze a situation and move forward in a rational way. We also tend to be more entrepreneurial because of the many open doors here in Canada. I personally have learned the value of women and our rights and I believe Canada can and should do more to protect immigrant women as they are significant contributors to the economy and our communities.

Intergenerational Conflict

1) How is intergenerational conflict expressed in migrant families? Use examples from the assigned readings to support your statement.

Most of us have good relationships with our parents but all families have conflicts. Research tells us that there are more problems when families live close together, are mutually dependent on each other, and have frequent interactions. The close interdependency of family increases the likelihood of conflict between generations.

Often the source of conflict comes from the question of who is in control. Both generations have a desire for help, support and nurturing, while wanting freedom and independence. Parents need help with computers, and aren’t able to do the hard physical work they once could. They appreciate help from the younger ones. The young adults would like help with their kids once in a while and could benefit from their parents’ stock of resources and wisdom. But parents have been in charge for a long time, and don’t want to relinquish control, while the young ones want their freedom, implement new ideas.

The story “My Father’s Life,” is a clear example of how he saw the difference between me and his father. He appreciated his father always being there for him in terms of financial support but not as a father figure. There were times he saw it difficult approaching his father and started to see his father in a different light. His father should have adapted himself through the different stages in the family life cycle.  I think parents should broaden their children’s horizon by providing them opportunities, and never force them to do what they want to do otherwise unrealistic expectations will impact negatively on the personal development. Through active listening, they both meet halfway and compromise for the better good of both their development in migrating to Canada.

2) How is intergenerational conflict expressed in your own family? Give an example, if possible.

Different cultural values and sudden shift change of lifestyle led to different expectations between me and my parents. There was also lack of communication because I did not want to appear as a burden as I saw my parents adjusting to the new environment here in Canada. I wanted to go explore places on my own, meet new people and adjust as fast as possible. Both my parents and I were facing transitional periods when one party tries to maintain stability in the family and the other seeks independence and control. Because also of foreign credentials not being accepted here in Canada and the difference in education systems between Canada and Dubai, I had to go back to college and start from scratch, which was a very difficult stage for me. My mother wanted me to take on a more professional career such as Finance or Nursing and even though she admits I am good in graphic design and photography, she insisted I be more practical in planning out my future. So I enrolled in Sheridan College for Banking & Wealth Management. There were different expectations, especially in regards to academic studies and career choice.

In other situations, my mother felt I listened to my friends more than her. She stated she often felt confused and helpless because she did not know what to do, and often felt frustrated because I could not meet her expectations. But she learned to compromise for minor matters and felt that I was a young adult ready to make my own decisions and test out my wings in the real world. We admit we both had undergone a lot of ‘pain’ during my adolescent period. But she understood my physical and emotional changes and has given me the support I needed. She strongly believes that a successful student should be an all-rounder. Therefore, she gave me opportunities to attend extra-curricular classes such as guitar and ice-skating lessons. Through positive communication, we were both able to understand my needs, interests and help develop my full potential. My parents wish I have a good education, learn broadly in various areas, and obtain good results in my studies. As long as I tried my best, they are happy. They do have expectations for me to work hard to obtain good results. My parents believe having a reasonable expectation from me is quite okay. It mobilizes me to work towards a goal in life.

You Know You’re Filipino When…

Your middle name is your mother’s maiden name.
Your parents call each other “Mommy” and “Daddy.”
You have uncles and aunts named “Boy,” “Girlie,” or “Baby.”
You have relatives whose nicknames consist of repeated syllables like “Jun-Jun,” “Ling-Ling,” and “Mon-Mon.”
You call the parents of your friends and your own parents’ friends “Tito” and “Tita.”
You have four or five names.
You greet your elders by touching their hands to your forehead.
You always kiss your relatives on the cheek whenever you enter or leave the room.
You follow your parents’ house rules even if you are over 18.
You live with your parents until and at times even after you’re married.
You decorate your dining room wall with a picture of the “Last Supper.”
You keep your furniture wrapped in plastic or covered with blankets.
You have a Sto. Nino shrine in your living room.
You have a piano that no one plays.
You keep a “tabo” in your bathroom.
You use Vicks Vapor rub as an insect repellant.
You eat with your hands.
You eat more than three times a day.
You think a meal is not a meal without rice.
You think sandwiches are snacks, not meals.
Your dining table has a merry-go-round (lazy Susan) in the middle.
You bring baon to work everyday.
Your pantry is never without Spam, Vienna sausage, corned beef, and sardines.
You love to eat daing or tuyo.
You prop up one knee while eating.
You eat your meal with patis, toyo, suka, banana catsup, or bagoong.
Your tablecloths are stained with toyo circles.
You love sticky desserts and salty snacks.
You eat fried Spam and hot dogs with rice.
You eat mangoes with rice–with great GUSTO!
You love “dirty” ice cream.
You love to eat, yet often manage to stay slim.
You put hot dogs in your spaghetti.
Everything you eat is sauted in garlic, onion, and tomatoes.
You order a “soft drink” instead of soda.
You hang a rosary on your car’s rear view mirror.
You get together with family at a cemetery on All Saint’s Day to eat, drink, and tell stories by your loved ones’ graves.
You play cards or mahjong and drink beer at funeral wakes.
You think Christmas season begins in October and ends in January.
Your second piece of luggage is a balikbayan box.
You’ve mastered the art of packing a suitcase to double capacity.
You collect items from airlines, hotels, and restaurants as “souvenirs.”
You feel obligated to give pasalubong to all your friends and relatives each time you return from a trip.
You use paper foot outlines when buying shoes for friends and relatives.
You’re a fashion victim.
You can convey 30 messages with your facial expression.
You hold your palms together in front of you and say “excuse, excuse” when you pass in between people or in front of the TV.
You ask for the bill at a restaurant by making a rectangle in the air.
You cover your mouth when you laugh.
You respond to a “Hoy!” or a “Pssst!” in a crowd.
You’ll answer “Malapit lang!”–no matter the distance–when asked how far away a place is located.
Goldilocks is more than a fairy tale character to you.
You refer to power interruptions as “brownouts.”
You love to use the following acronyms: CR for comfort room, DI for dance instructor, DOM for dirty old man, TNT for tago nang tago, KJ for kill joy, KSP for kulang sa pansin, OA for over-acting, TL for true love, BF for boyfriend and GF for girlfriend.
You say “rubber shoes” instead of sneakers (or trainers as the British calls it), “ball pen” instead of pen, “stockings” instead of pantyhose,
“pampers” instead of diapers, “ref” or “prijider” instead of refrigerator,
“Colgate” instead of toothpaste, “canteen” instead of cafeteria, and “open” or “close” instead of turn on or turn off (as in the lights).
You use an umbrella for shade on hot summer days.
You like everything imported or “state-side.”
You love ballroom dancing, bowling, pusoy, mah jong, billiards, and karaoke.
You have a relative who is a nurse.
When you’re in a restaurant, you wipe your plate and utensils before using them.
You can squeeze 15 passengers into your five seater car without a second thought.
You wave a pom-pom on a stick around the food to keep the flies away.
You always ring a doorbell twice, assuming that the first ring was not heard.
You let the phone ring twice before answering, lest you appear overly eager.
You use a pumice stone or bath stone to scrub yourself in the bath or shower.

My personal narrative

My story begins with my mother’s decision in settling down here and completed the immigration form since 1998 and was approved by June 2005. I felt that if Canada needed professionals from various backgrounds, why did it take 7 years to make that decision? We had lived in Dubai my entire life. I had pretty much moved to Dubai since I was 3 years old. My mother was a surgeon working in one of the well-known hospitals and my dad still is a Public Relations Officer owning his own business as well as working for the government. My younger sisters were still in high school and had found it difficult to leave their friends they’ve known since pre-school behind. As for me, I was working in Standard Chartered Bank as an Assistant Team Leader in the Auto Loans Collections department. Within 10 days of being approved, we had packed up all our necessary belongings and booked our flights. Next thing I remember was saying goodbye to my friends and colleagues at the airport on June 12, 2005. We arrived and had stayed with my uncle and his family in Mississauga, Ontario. My mom fell in love with Mississauga because of how convenient everything was and how residential the city was. My uncle had toured us around so I had a chance to see Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Casinos, etc. But as soon as it came to finding jobs, my parents especially had found it was very difficult to get accepted to a similar professional position that they have back home. My mom was not even allowed to work in any departments of the hospital without having any prior Canadian experience. My dad had applied everywhere and was not even telephoned back for an interview. My dad and I left after 10 days of arriving as I was getting homesick and depressed. I went back to work in the same bank and dad went back to work the next day we arrived. My mom would fill me in with the details of having to move out from my uncle’s house and getting an apartment near to my sister’s high school in Port Credit. They had struggled so much trying to find how to survive on a daily basis as they were not familiar with the places to go buy stuff they had needed for the home, or had no car to get there. They learned how to use the subway; Mississauga Transit as well as the Go Train/Bus to go to downtown Toronto. I had flown alone on March to celebrate my mother’s 40th birthday and she had told me it was nothing she had expected. She felt really sad about leaving Dubai, a place where we both call ‘home’. She had to start her nursing Master’s Degree all over again because it had been more than 10 years since she had taken the test. She needed to go to York University and pursue further education to be employed as a RN. My sisters were slowly adjusting to the life in Canada. They met kids their own age and were getting to know places and people. I went back to Dubai by the end of March and decided to move finally with my mother who needed my help in August 14, 2006. Experiencing exactly what she had warned me about was very challenging. I had to apply for a job and study high school credits since my university credits were not recognized in any colleges or universities here. I had to take English 12 and Math 12 again as well as other pre-requisites required. It was very tough and at times, I felt I just needed to go back home. But after seeing my mom suffer, doing so would make me a selfish person.  I still have great difficult establishing what I want to be here in Canada because of its very limited career prospects. I felt that my skills were withering and my finances were definitely tumbling. It does not seem to offer a common culture, a common language, or even a common protection under the law. It took me a year and a half to recognize my situation when I found out that I had already developed depression. Today Canada still has more problems than before such as racial segregation, low salaries among minorities and overly educated blue collar workers. I feel there are no real opportunities for newcomers. It is built on false hopes and dreams. By October 2006, I was lucky to get accepted in a similar job position at the Royal Bank of Canada working for the Visa department in Toronto. And now, I was also lucky to be accepted in the Banking & Wealth Management program in Sheridan Trafalgar campus and have friends from different places, which makes life a bit more exciting.