Alwyn’s Story: Seizing Opportunities in Canada
Alwyn’s story is about successfully reinventing himself and seizing opportunities in Canada.
I first met Alwyn two decades ago when we started working for the Livestock Division of a well-known pet company in the Philippines. I worked in research and compliance while he worked in sales. Back then, he was passionate about animal health and husbandry. His passion, knowledge, and experiences brought him to Manitoba, Canada. However, his courage to reinvent himself has opened up opportunities for a better life for him and his family.
Here is Alwyn’s story in his own words.
Experiencing The Joys and Struggles of a Simple Life
Life back home was simple. You work, make money, and have good times. It’s a day-to-day cycle and the money you make will not be enough for long-term goals like a house, a car, or education for your kids if you plan to have some.
Seeking Higher Grounds
It is typical for Filipinos to seek higher grounds by going abroad. The country of destination doesn’t really matter. It just so happens that Canada offered attractive opportunities at the time.
I found some posting on the internet about a Canadian hog raiser looking for employees. So I tried my luck, applied for the job, and was offered a position.
The immigration process was not entirely painless.
The first hurdle I encountered was the refusal of my first visa application. My application was denied based on the evaluator’s hunch. He felt like I will not hold on to the promise that after my contract is served, I will return to the Philippines. After a week, I gathered additional documents to support my application. I also wrote a lengthy plea explaining my economic ties to the Philippines and my goal of completing the graduate studies I was pursuing at the time. My visa application was finally granted. In the end, the evaluator’s hunch turned out to be correct. I never returned to the Philippines because I became a Canadian citizen.
The culture and the weather were challenges that I had to overcome. The culture is different and the weather is not for the faint-hearted. You must have the will to survive the coldest city on earth. Your family will be your motivation. Keep in touch with them and always remind yourself of why you have to make these sacrifices in the first place.
While surviving these conditions, you must waste no time in processing your residency and citizenship. All this can be done by yourself if you want to avoid paying an immigration consultant.
After the dust settles and you have adapted to the Canadian way of life, new concerns may arise. You will feel that the job that got you to Canada is not enough to provide for your family and the long-term goals that made you decide to leave your home country anyway. So, the quest is on again to improve your life.
Fortunately, opportunities in Canada are endless. I went back to school to complete a railway conductor program. It was not my first choice. I was initially enrolled in a nursing program but decided against it due to the length of the program. The nursing program takes 3 years while the conductor program only takes 15 weeks. To me, it was no longer about what I preferred but what would lead me to my goals in the shortest time possible because I had a family to feed.
I made the right decision. Now, life is good. I moved up from being a conductor to a locomotive engineer that makes 6 figures a year. I can now confidently say that I have reached my goals of creating a better life and securing a good future for my kids.
Our life stories are full of twists and turns. However, it is always up to us to go steer our own way towards success.
We may not always walk the path we initially envisioned when we move to Canada. But there will always be another path that will lead us there.
Were you inspired by this story? Please help spread the word about this blog as a way of helping newcomers in Canada find inspiration as well. Thank you!