family, personal, vancouver


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

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This year, I’m especially grateful for being able to live in this BEAUTIFUL city that is Vancouver/VanCity/YVR. #westcoastbestcoast. What other city has the beach, the mountains, and a city district within 30 minutes of each other? It’s got the perfect balance of a city life with all the shopping and nightlife, but it also has the slower-paced neighbourhoods that are perfect for brunch, afternoon strolls by the beach, and food tasting in the public market.

On Thanksgiving day, Patch flew back from Toronto and we decided to go for a walk along Kitsilano Beach. After walking in the deceiving 12 C degree weather (it felt like 5 C), we ate dinner at Burgoo as a celebratory dinner before her first official day at work, and my…break from studying for midterms and celebratory “made it through 1.5 months of school”. Yup, I deserved it. Ever since we moved here, Kits beach has been my favourite spot — it’s seen heart ache, homesickness, celebrations, new friendships, and rekindling old ones…I get taken back to those times whenever I go here.

Out of all the areas my parents chose to buy a house I’m so glad they chose one here. It’s funny to think back to when we were house hunting in 2008/9, I remember driving to dozens of houses in different neighbourhoods. Out of sheer luck and perfect timing, we ended up finding a house in one of the best neighbourhoods/areas in Vancouver, one that we would quickly call our new home.

Never in my life did I think I’d have the opportunity to call two places my home. The world used to be pretty small growing up in Alabang. We lived in the same house for a long time and had everything and everyone we ever needed. Then suddenly, everythingEVERYTHINGeverything changed (that was for dramatic effect).

I always talk to my sisters about how “strange” our lives are, in the sense that we have two different lives. Majority of immigrants that I’ve met here in Vancouver (and trust me, there’s a lot) have assimilated here and plan on staying permanently. In our case, since we moved here we’ve stayed very close to our roots.

Over the last seven years of living in Vancouver I’ve spent six of my summers in the Philippines so that just goes to show how half-and-half my life is between the two places.

I still feel so connected to the Philippines and it’s largely due to family being back there. My parents mentioned a couple months ago that it was always their intention to keep us close to our roots (which I wasn’t aware of). Their intention for us in Canada was to grow into independent adults while getting the best education, but hoped that we would bring back all our new perspectives and knowledge to the Philippines and contribute to improving the country.

So far my parents have done well in instilling that, for me at least. They’ve left it up to us to decide where we want to work and settle down, but hope that we find our way back home…and I just might end up doing that. Vancouver is the perfect city and has been so good to me all these years, but there’s always the lingering feeling of the Philippines calling me back home. I know the quality of life is so much better here, but I feel like I have an obligation to serve the place that made me who I am, and to give back to those who aren’t as lucky. Call it patriotism if you will.

It’s been an ongoing internal debate whether I should stay or I should go, when is part of the question.

Well, I’ve got a year left in uni to decide (and figure out my life, really) but for now, I am extremely happy to call Vancouver my home.

Anyways, fall has definitely arrived here in Vancouver. There’s nothing like orange/red leaves scattered all over the ground, chilly wind blowing in your face (while your nose is running, of course), and seeing people dressed so cosy.

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