Just wanna start and bring up the location topic (and keep ourselves occupied while waiting)...:
Share ko lang po my thoughts because I stayed for a very short while in Canada, about three months. Baka ma-inspire kayo lalo.. haha! Maganda po talaga sya. Lots of green, clean air, etc. I lived in B.C. at the time, so Vancouver po napuntahan ko, and Victoria. And went to the Rockies (Alberta) on a long weekend, road trip with people I know who live there. Indescribable po ang feeling when I first saw/rode/drove through the Rockies. Sooo beautiful! Vancouver
First off, the mountains:
The mountains in Vancouver stunned me when I first saw them (lol!), the ones you can see across the sea/bay from downtown along Georgia or Burrard Street and Kitsilano. I guess kasi I wasn't expecting it at all when I saw them just across the waters on my way to dinner in Kitsilano district, my first day there after arrival from the airport. Dusk pa noon and it was transitioning from winter to spring so the mountains were a bit colored in white 'cause of the snow on them, and the scene/sky was kinda dark bluish all around (dusk and cold weather at the time) so you can imagine ganda talaga ng view... (at that time kasi Vancouver seemed just like any other big city to me, nothing exciting, until I saw those mountains just across the sea..) lol! I guess wala kasi non sa highlands natin. Lol! Imagine nyo parang Manila Bay without pollution sabay instead of nothing at the end of the horizon, aba, merong nice imposing mountains on the other side. And these massive mountains aren't the sort we see here. Medyo parang nakakatakot na something. Basta may arrive sila. hahaha!!
And then you learn those mountains are like just 30-40 minutes drive away. Oh my golly wow! hehe!
And then the people:
Mababait po mga Canadians generally speaking. From the supermarts, to the salespeople, to my neighbors, etc. Polite but friendly polite, not just civil polite. I didn't feel ostracized by the locals at all while there. I don't know if it helped that they're next door neighbors with a country like the US and somewhat similar culture that's why it's like that. Let's put it this way: Kung openness/approachability rin lang po -- according to a friend who has lived/worked in both Sydney, Australia, and Canada -- mas nagustuhan po nya locals sa Canada. And parang mas assimilated immigrants in Canada daw. Mas merong friendly/open vibe. Heck even their TV or print ads are modeled by Asians, and newscasters can be Asians, South Asians, etc. Meron pa nga ako napanood TV program with some Filipino in the cast and they portray Filipino Canadian immigrant/citizen characters na neighbors nung main characters or something. O di ba? haha! Assimilated na I guess.
Hit or miss. But mostly, I enjoyed the food more at the Asian restaurants: Japanese, Chinese, Filipino-Chinese... hehehe! It's either that or the theme restaurants (not too fond of those unless am terribly hungry or craving something like what's on their menu), or more expensive ones. Yung classic French resto along Robson, near a Kiehl's store or beside it, with expensive menu? Mmmmm... yun lang. haha! I don't think I'd go back there. Mas masarap pa po a similar counterpart nya (menu, price, etc) in Makati/The Fort. But then I'm no food critic nor a certified chef or something. Taga-kain lang. hehehe!
Maganda po mga parks nila. I'm happy to have seen many families in the parks. We hardly have those in Metro Manila. Instead of hanging out in a mall, you can do it in the parks in nice weather. hehehe!
Ang biggest con with Vancouver? The cost of living relative to other cities -- food, clothing, CDs, DVDs, etc. Taxes. Gaah. Enough said.
As for Edmonton, according to friends who've been there, nalulungkot sila pag dun sila. It's a flat area they say, and nothing much to do. And super cold. Maybe sanayan lang?
For me if there's a nice job in the Rockies, gusto ko dun.. haha!
So yun lang po. I don't mean to hijack the thread ha... just sharing some info that some of us might find useful with their decision-making on where to settle while waiting to get our passports back... Or maybe may gana lang ako tonight mag post. hehe!
Others might wanna share too? Like Calgary, how's it like there if anyone here's lived there or have moved there? I read in another forum (I think) about a couple who easily found jobs in a month, then 6 months later, start na house-building nila. hehe! They didn't mention what their profession is though.