My name is Corinne and I am Filipino-Canadian.

Privilege. A tough word to swallow for some. It makes people who have it a little uncomfortable, myself included..

I am #canadian because I was born here in beautiful #britishcolumbia. My dad and mom immigrated here from the #philippines when my older brother was one year old, and I was but a glimmer in my mom’s eye. 😉

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My mom often tells me stories of how it was to adjust to living here in Canada. For one thing, she arrived in Canada on HALLOWEEN, a holiday they didn’t have in the Philippines at that time. 😝 So you can imagine her shock when kids dressed as monsters arrived at her door demanding candy. 

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But it wasn’t all fun and funny though. She also told me of how lonely and scary it was coming to a new country with no community, none of her family and being a new mom taking care of my older brother on her own. My dad worked early mornings and late evenings, doing whatever job he could find because that was what he needed to do to support his family, so my mom was often alone at home. And this was a time before Internet and phones so no mommy Facebook groups to keep her company. 😕

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It wasn’t until I became a mom myself that I understood exactly what this meant. A husband working long hours, being alone in a new country and feeling disconnected from your community. 

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Even though I have had struggles with postpartum anxiety and depression with intrusive thoughts as a new mom, I feel very fortunate that I didn’t have to navigate all my mental health obstacles plus new parenthood in a country that was foreign to me. 

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My parents got through it (because they are major bad-asses who get sh!t done 😉) but I do realize that because of their decisions and determination to push forward no matter how hard moving to a new country and starting over is, I am #privileged.

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Now before, this would’ve made me feel so uncomfortable that I would shut down, feel hurt and think “How could you think I was privileged??” and stop talking to the person who suggested such a thing. But today, I know that having privilege isn’t something to feel bad about.

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I realize that being a Filipino-Canadian puts me in a unique position to be able to be heard in both communities. It also means I get to bridge gaps between cultures and help people understand each other better because I have that awareness of all ways of living.

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I am proud of both my citizenship and my cultural heritage and it that way, I feel extremely privileged and happy that I get to make a difference in so many lives. Including being able to connect people with services in their community that they may not know about!

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For #newimmigrants in #vancouver, be sure to look up The Multicultural Helping House Society, a non-profit organization started by a Filipino to help get you settled. ❤ 

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For more information, send them a message on their Facebook Page or visit their website at http://www.Helpinghouse.ca

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