I'm A Filipina Immigrant And Here Are16 Things About Canada That Continue To Blow My Mind

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Hi, I’m Alia. I was born in the Philippines and grew up in Dubai, where my parents were Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s). At 19, I decided to pursue a university degree in Canada. While I have grown to love this country as my home, here are a few things that I am still wrapping my head around:

The author, a filipina woman, is looking off to the distance wearing a Philippine flag jacket.

Tita Collective


Canadians walk really fast.

A,P. BIO / / NBC / Via media.giphy.com

Slow down, why are you in such a hurry? Stop and smell the sampaguitas (the Philippine national flowers).


Canada has a ridiculous number of ways of being cold.

Z Nation // SYFY / Via gph.is

The most diverse thing about Canada is its cold weather: snow, sleet, freezing rain, polar vortex, and more. I moved away from a warm, tropical climate with easy access to the beach, for a ‘better life’ here. LOL.


Calling older people by their first name is normal.

Superstore / / NBC / Via media.giphy.com

In the parts of the world I grew up in, calling someone older than you by their first name is a sign of major disrespect. No Mr. Professor, I will not call you Bob.


People who know how to masterfully pronounce Strachan, Glencairn, and Roncesvalles will struggle to pronounce your name.

Key & Peele // Comedy Central / Via media.giphy.com

Even though it is pronounced exactly how it is spelled: Alia (ah-lee-ah).


People will be confused by your “good English” even though it is your first language.

Escape The Night // YouTube / Via gph.is

I usually tell them that I learned all of my English by watching Degrassi: The Next Generation.


Canadians sing badly during karaoke… on purpose.

MTV NEWS / / MTV / Via gph.is

In the Philippines, butchering the masterpiece that is Journey’s Open Arms is a crime punishable by law.


Speaking of karaoke, Canadians prefer to sing in rented private rooms instead of shining like a superstar in front of an audience.

GRAMMYs / / CBS / Via gph.is

Leave the door open! Don’t you want witnesses for when you unleash your inner Bruno Mars?


Canadians will not stop talking about dressing in layers because of the weather.

Friends / / NBC / Via gph.is

The only layers I care about are langka, ube, leche flan, shaved ice, sweet beans, macapuno and nata de coco. I am talking about halo-halo, baby.


Canadians will consider a meal without rice, a meal.

JoKoy // Netflix / Via media.giphy.com

Every meal needs rice. Don’t @ me.


Canadians do not revere the chicken drumstick; they prefer the white meat.

KFC / Via gph.is

Why are people willing to pay more for the drier, less tasty part of the chicken?


Canadians don’t know how to do all-you-can-eat buffets properly.

HilariousGifs.com / Via gph.is

The most important rule: you always make “balot” (make a doggy bag) at the end, whether you’re allowed to or not.


Someone had the audacity to mess with the hours of the day to create Daylight Savings Time.

Dr. Who // BBC / Via gph.is

Does it work? Is it successful? All I know is that this didn’t exist in the Philippines and we were all okay.


Canadians really like running.

lululemon / Via media.giphy.com

Like what? Why do you choose to suffer?


Many have yet to be initiated into the way of the ‘tabo’.

Dharyl Zuniega II / Via facebook.com

Also known as the hand-powered bidet.


Canadians are obsessed with ketchup chips.

Melissa Filipino Shop / Via Facebook: MelissaFilipinoShopPerth

Please try a superior chip, like Chippy or Piattos.


We think we can celebrate all Asian heritage in just one month.

Jodinand Aguillon / Via Facebook: 670419686375952

Asia is the largest continent in the world; it is rich with history and is culturally complex. How can we fit this all in one month? Maybe we start with one month and then we slowly take over the year.

May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. Check out how BuzzFeed is highlighting Asian voices and culture and check out more BuzzFeed Canada content!

BuzzFeed / Kathy Hoang


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