𝑰 𝒑𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆, 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒅𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉, 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒎 𝒎𝒚 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅. 𝑰 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒄𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒍 𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒈𝒚.
This month marks my 12yrs in Toronto, without counting the years when I was flying back and forth deciding whether or not to stay for good.
As an artist who finally decided to move from Manila in 2008, I had challenges in pursuing a career in my chosen field. Suddenly, a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and years of experience in Film and Advertising Production doesn’t matter because I am Filipino, because I did not have Canadian experience. I accepted change with open mind, I made peace with the past to understand the future.
I was introduced to a new career path not by choice, but because a restauranteur of colour was the only one who gave me an opportunity in the entertainment district without the stigma of hiring a fob (a slang that I never heard of, until I was called a "fob" on my 6th day in Toronto at a family friend's gathering. I find it offensive and very ignorant of them - that single moment was engraved on my memory that I hardly discuss with others). I became part of the community even some of my non-coloured circle of friends and family are uncomfortable with the reality. I did not let others affect my judgment. I used that moment to move forward, to build a career and to follow my dreams.
Up to this day, strangers of different races, still ask if I am or was a nanny, a caregiver or a housekeeper; amongst all these strangers only one race did not question my profession based on my nationality. I have invested and I will continue to support small and black-owned businesses the way they supported me.
I stick to what I’ve learned and what I believe in. I stand by the people who had my back when I was starting a new life.
Toronto is Home.
*By no means I am against or do not respect the nannies, caregivers and housekeepers. I am very proud of what they do, I admire their courage to do what it takes to support their families. What I do not agree with, is the social stigma associated with Filipino immigrants.