I left my heart in Toronto [To-ro-no]
I and my mama had been praying for the trip all year long back in 2012. I remember I had made it as one of my faith goals during MOLE (Mingle, Open up, Laugh and Enjoy? Haha. Eeps. Forgot.) at the beginning of the year. I wasn’t sure how to get there but I was sure that God will be with me every step of the way. Initially, we had planned to have the trip in March in time for Mama's birthday. But due to lack of resources, we pushed it to June and instead have Mama come over here. Come June, I felt that I wasn't ready financially too. But Mama already submitted her papers and wasn't successful. Then again we pushed it towards November so I could better prepare for the requirements. This time sadly, I knew I was the only who could make it.
Then September came, I had been praying really hard as I really wanted in my heart to visit my sister and nieces there. I wanted to check if they're ok and how's the life going there. I just missed them so much. Then upon seeing the Visa stamp on my passport - I knew it's going to be a blessed trip.
My angels, Mel, Bell, Dengs and Monet sent me to the airport and wished me well. They knew I had been praying and waiting for that day. On my entire time aboard the plane, I can't help myself but be overwhelmed with so much excitement - excited to see my sister; excited to hug and kiss my babies; excited to see and experience Canada; and excited to meet people. Oh one thing though - I was also anxious to go pass the customs with my daing. Que horror! Haha! And just as I prayed for - the officer didn’t even ask me anything about my luggages unlike the guys before me.
And outside while waiting for them, I can just imagine the surprise in the faces of my nieces. "Love!" called my sister while she was approaching me with teary eyes. Hugged her. On the car, I loved the looks on my babies’ faces as they were so happy to see me after almost 2.5 years. We took photos and then I knew I would have my time stop ticking for the next 3 weeks.
I remember having breakfast with the family before I bring the kids to school. I giggled on the way as I saw a real big Pine tree. I love breathing through my mouth as I see the smoke comes out. I was loving the cold weather and the thought that I was actually able to play with my nieces, reunite with my sister and experience my future home!!! Claiming it then!
I had the chance to meet the small Filipino community there where my sister’s family belong to. They were really fun-loving people. One Sunday afternoon they decided to bring me to Niagara Falls. I was so delighted because I not only had the a grand time seeing the MAGNIFICENT NIAGARA FALLS but also had my splurge time at the Coach and Guess Outlets for quite good marked-down prices. In there I got to buy 6 items from Coach for $SGD 400 while I would have to spend $SGD 1,000 for the same items here in Singapore. Really cool!
|loved the double rainbow. they were too close that I could almost stand on one end|
|breath-taking view - one of the proofs that God exists|
|Yes, pede na ba pang Canada's Next Top Model|
|baby you can ride my cycle... hehe|
|who's more beautiful? haha! the falls said he!|
|love the golden crisp leaves|
|Must-try hotdog bun on the streets of Toronto|
I also had the chance to visit yet another streets of outlet stores in Orpus housing 20+ shops selling top brands at almost 50-75% marked down prices. Enjoyed the hotdog buns they sell on the streets, which come with fries. Love that I can actually choose whatever bits and pieces that I want to go along with the bun – bacon strips, Jalapeno, Pickles, etc. I had a chance to chat with the old man vendor who asked me where I am from. I said I am from the Philippines. He said he and his family were from Italy. They migrated to Canada some 10 years ago. He said he was impressed at my accent and enunciation because I didn’t sound Asian. I could imagine how hard it must be for him to bear the cold winter weather to sell those buns. May God bless him and his family, I prayed after I bade goodbye to him. It’s those moments of meeting people and getting to know the life on that side of the world that I love the most when travelling. I bring a piece of them with me. And I feel gratefulness in my heart all the more.
|Canada's famous Tim Horton's Hot Chocolate and Panini|
One of the things I loved too with this trip was my chance of seeing my aunt whom I haven’t seen for some 15 years. She and the kids prepared a welcome dinner for me. They even wrote me a welcome note. And yes, I ended up getting all her pre-loved clothes and shoes. I just love being the recipient of someone else’s generosity really! Haha.
On my last day, just how lucky I can get noh as I was called for my personal interview at my company’s branch there. That gave me a sign that it certainly wasn’t my last hurrah! And true enough! Almost a year after the interview, I got the final interview and now as I write this I am just waiting for my working VISA. Indeed, God has been faithful to me. Or was I the one who’s been faithful to God’s promises. Either way, I am just grateful and blessed!
|Casa Lomo Castle|
|One of the car stalls in the business area which sells yummy hotdog buns|