Saying goodbye is never easy.
Moving forward in life to make our dreams and aspirations come true requires us to leave some aspects behind and look forward to what else is in store for us.
We Filipinos here in Neepawa have considered each other as family being that our real families are in the other side of the world. Therefore when the time comes for us to part ways due to the demands of financial stability, we have to unclasp that tight grip which we call "friendship”.
In the past few months, many of my Filipino and Canadian friends have moved on to either find "greener pastures" or have simply moved back home to the Philippines.
There is no denying the fact that a number of Filipinos who resided in Neepawa have sought employment elsewhere. Some workers and their families have moved to parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Many of these people made the bold decision to "broaden their horizons" due to the lack of employment opportunities for their wives. It has been found that in order to sustain a family, both parents have to work to make ends meet.
Besides our dependents who are with us here in Canada, we must also consider the welfare of our extended families back home.
Many of my friends find this unnecessary and disturbing but it is part of our tradition. Filipinos have very strong family ties which seemingly "obligates" us to share our blessings/earnings with those we love.
The workers claim that, although they have learned to appreciate the peacefulness and friendliness of the community in Neepawa, their drive to improve their lives is and always will be a priority.
Another concern is that their job is just too physically exhausting already. The turnover rate of migrant workers is seemingly noteworthy, but they are almost immediately replaced by the continuous entry of new-hired workers.
Housing is still a major concern despite the departure of those who are considered the "veterans" or those who have been here for more than two years.
Our Filipino brothers and sisters whom we have partied with, bumped into at church every weekend with, and celebrated numerous community activities with, will not only be a block or street away for they will now be a Skype or Facetime away.
A very good friend of mine has recently made the "big leap”. Although I am sad, I also feel a great deal of pride because I know that he is very much capable of doing so much more.
I will forever be grateful to Kaiten Critchlow for the opportunity he gave me.
He enabled me to take the first step in making one of my passions become a reality, and that is writing. For the past two years, he has been a terrific editor who has generously given me encouragement and has never ceased to support me, my family and friends.
I often say, he is the one who made me "look good" in my little corner in the paper.
I am thankful to him for the inspiration. Our friendship is one that will transcend any distance or bond.
Personally, I hate goodbyes. I prefer to say, "See you later” or “Till next time”.