I’ve been checking out the paperwork I need in order to immigrate to
Canada as a skilled worker. If I do as well as I think I will on the
English language proficiency test, then I’ll be just one point shy of
the 67 points I need to start the process. This is even before I
finish my master’s degree, which will put me well over the minimum.
All I have to do to qualify is to find out if my experience as a
university lecturer can be counted as part of my professional
qualifications. That will give me one year of experience under job
code 4121 (university professors/lecturers/etc.) and two years of
experience under job code 4122 (teaching and research assistants).
Another way I can make up that last point is to learn enough French to
pass a basic French exam. It will be a useful mental exercise, anyway.
As soon as I get that sorted out and take a test for English
proficiency, I can start the paperwork. Even with processing delays, I
should be able to get all the paperwork finalized while on a temporary
I need to be able to think long-term *somewhere.* If I don’t know
where I can be in five, ten years, then it’s difficult for me to
invest in anything long-term, and long-term investments are the ones
that really pay off whether you’re talking about stocks, careers, or
At the same time, though, I’m worried that I’m going to become just
one more statistic in the Philippines’ brain drain. I can bloom
wherever I’m planted. Why not the Philippines? Why shouldn’t the
Philippines get the best years of my youth? I know that the longer I
stay here, the more reasons I will have to stay and the fewer reasons
I will have to leave.
But the hints of what I can do here are so tantalizing…
Lucky those who never have to choose!
I think that every Filipino grows up knowing about diaspora. The
stories of overseas Filipino workers and domestic helpers and
scientists and teachers are all part of our blood now, something to be
dreaded and desired.
So here I am. All I can do is prepare as well as I can for all the
possibilities I can see. The choice will be clearer as I get closer,
but for now I must remember what my mother reminds me whenever I feel
homesick – I belong to the world, not just to my country.
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