By Leila Castro
Personally 2017 was such a one of a kind year for me. It was the year when I best understood what “leap of faith” means and I experienced it as well. It was like living like a fish and knowing only water, then the next thing I had to learn how to fly and live like a bird. 2017 was my transition from fearing uncertainty to becoming its beshie. But who cares about my 2017 story, what I am excited to share here are the highlights of 2017 for the people I interviewed.
“My daughter who is based in Vancouver planned for a surprise party for her dad. My daughter told me that she wants her dad to experience a grand party while he is still alive. It was last year when my husband suffered from a mild stroke, but he recovered in just two days, thanks to his being a regular gym goer. On the day of the surprise party, that was month of July, my husband was clueless that my daughter was visiting Winnipeg and that a big celebration with close relatives and friends was awaiting him at Garden City Center.” — Marilyn Elia
“I bought our house in January of last year. Prior to owning a house, we always transferred apartments, I think 3 times since we arrived in Winnipeg in May of 2013. I consider buying my house to be the happiest episode of my life. It really feels great to be a homeowner, and the house blessing event was very memorable. I have always dreamed of a spacious house with each family member having its own room, and it was exactly what I acquired.” — Evelyn Mendoza
“I am from Davao and my husband is from Cebu. I have 3 children, 2 of them came to Canada with us in 2011. Last year, one of my children bought a Honda Civic car. Our day to day is more convenient now with a new vehicle to use. We were a little sad though in 2017 when the immigration application of my oldest child had to be returned to him. He was not able to join us in 2011 because he was already overage at that time. But we are not losing hope. Anyway at present, he is enjoying a rewarding job in the IT field in Cebu.” –Zarah Montero
“2017 was the year we started the habit of having lots of family bonding time. We did a lot of trips within the province – we visited beaches, lakes, and we did camping. The families attending our church went to Birds Hill for fun and bonding time. These might be just simple holidays, but truly pleasurable specially that both my husband and I became permanent employees at our work starting last year. Such employment status gives us a better sense of security in life and more peace of mind. However, it was last year that my father passed away. It is very painful when a parent dies while you are miles away. My consolation is knowing that during his living years, my father was proud to have a daughter staying in Canada.”–Gemma Vedua
“2017 was an exciting year for me because I shared to a lot of people my knowledge about financial literacy. I’ve been in Canada since 1986. Prior to migrating here, our parents raised us the traditional way. They told us to study, finish a degree, get employed and save money in the bank. I had that mindset when I came here, to keep my savings in the bank. Just few years approaching our retirement, my husband and I were surprised, because the money we invested in the bank was not growing. It was an eye opener, we searched for other options because the rate our money was incrementing did not meet our expectation. We realized that if we put our money on typical savings account, it will eventually not be enough for the convenient life we want at retirement. I was glad to know about WFG (World Financial Group) and decided to be full time on it. My satisfaction with WFG is not just about the money I earned from what I invested, but I also get to help people understand about financial literacy. Many people do not see that a money can work for them, instead of them working to earn money. It is about saving smart and earning smart. A sad part of my 2017 was the passing of our oldest brother. We used to call ourselves the Lucky 9 (we are 9 siblings). It is something that until now is really hard to accept.” –Julie Panergo
“Petmalu ang 2017!! Starting from Valentine’s Day, then spring, Independence Day, Halloween, New Year’s Eve, all the local concert events that I produced under FAJ Productions were successful. Aside from myself, Frank Rano and Jason Paredes are the other persons behind the FAJ Productions. I have been producing shows and events since year 2009. For me, the most important ingredient to the success of events is my good relationship with the local businesses. The latter support my events, in turn I promote them. I help all the businesses even the small ones. I also promote the local Filipino talents. Some of them start at young age and it is a good feeling to see their parents happy about their achievements. It is always my wish to see all the Filipino events in Winnipeg successful.” — Ardie Gervacio