Migration Seminars

Since we were migrating to Canada, we were asked to attend 3 seminars

First was with Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP)

It was a 2-day seminar,
funded by the Canadian Government.

As such, we didn't have to pay anything, and libre yung merienda.
We were grouped according to the province of destination. Our's was Alberta.
So everyone in that session was going to Alberta.

The seminar talked about what you can expect there, tips on finding a job, climate etc...
It was very informative, in fairness.
Probably the most informative of the 3 seminars since it was focused on our destination.
And they have one on one career counselling too.

But I only have 2 comments:

First, they made me feel that they were selling something I already bought.
The trainors are all Filipino-Canadians.
And since they are Filipinos, they sort-off have a license to diss the Philippines.
(I mean, if a Caucasian disses our country, we'd be pissed right?
But if a fellow Filipino does it, it's kind of all right.)
So when they compared the Philippines to Canada,
they can't help but be truthfully nasty, over-selling Canada.
Canada might be a really nice country, but the Philippines ain't that bad.
We have beautiful beaches. And really interesting political system..

Second, they want us to call Canada "home" and the Philippines "our country of origin"
Although I have hesitations, it's a good way to give new immigrants the right way of thinking.
But the downside is that since they are Filipinos themselves,
sometimes they get confused too, and call Philippines "home"
I mean, if you are to convince me to renounce the "home" I've lived in for the past 27 years,
You will have to have more conviction than that.

The second seminar is with the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

In CIIP, you don't need your visa released to attend. For as long as you've applied for a permanent resident visa, you're welcome to attend.
But with IOM, they check your visa prior attending.
And unlike CIIP, it was only for an entire day.
But like CIIP, it was also funded by the Canadian Government.
Hence, there was no fee to pay and merienda was free.

Here, the focus was the entire Canada.
There were people going to different provinces.
So when our trainor asked us to group ourselves according to province of destination,
The five of us (mommy, daddy, brother, sister and me) got stuck in one group.
And it was just us.
So when she asked us to discuss on the stuff to bring, share our concerns and tips etc.
It was pointless. We discuss that everyday here at home.

With respect to informative-ness, CIIP was better.
They were more convincing.
Although our trainor was half caucasian, half Indian (hindu) she wasn't that convincing when she speaks. It was as if she wasn't sure of what she was saying.
But in all fairness to her, she was very pretty and pleasing to listen to.
And she gave as a long list of very useful websites which I really really appreciated.

Third seminar is with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)

As you can see, this is a branch of OUR government.
Therefore it was required.
You can't leave the country without the CFO stamp in your passport.

You have to pay a fee. 400 pesos for each person. And there was no free merienda.
And the hand-out they gave was one per family.
Kamusta naman yun, tinipid...

Redeeming factor lang is that the speaker was really good.
And she was very entertaining. So nag enjoy naman ako sa pakikinig.

Ang funny lang is dun sa lobby.
May TV and they were showing stories about the problems of immigrants abroad.
Sort of panakot sa mga nagtatangkang umalis ng bansa.
For me it wasn't effective.
Come on... if you've lived here for 27 years, you know that ain't true.
Sana Titanic nalang or Final Destination yung pinalabas nila.
Dun siguro matatakot pa ko sumakay ng barko o eroplano to leave the country.

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