MM2C Podcast by Ben Alagnam

SEARCH the Related FSW Canada Topics HERE!

Showing posts with label Job. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Job. Show all posts

24 April 2020

Benefits We Received in Canada During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Went to a creek near our rental cottage. Looks awesome!

I have been monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic cases online to know how the virus propagated to other countries. Surprisingly, it has spread so fast that it reaches millions in just few months.

Let's have a breakdown of the highest confirmed cases in the world and rank them.

Top 5 Highest Cases
Total World Cases - 2,622,571 confirmed cases

1. United States - 842,319
2. Spain -208,389
3. Italy - 187,327
4. France - 157,125
5. Germany - 150,062

It's an alarming number in United States that it's 4x than the other four countries.  Remember that we were alarmed by Italy when it was the highest? Now, the number is astronomical in USA, a great challenge on their health care.

Meanwhile, I'm also surprised about China, where the number of cases has plateaued. As of this posting, there is a city in China that is under lockdown, here's the news.

There are controversy theories spread online saying the country is hiding something from the public.  Unless proven, it will remain as that.

How about the status in Canada? 
I'm residing in Toronto, one of the biggest city in Canada, where the number of Covid-19 confirmed cases had already reached 41k, 41,650 to be exact, and growing. There are already 2,239 death, where Quebec is the highest with 1,243 people died.

Most of the residents are still staying indoors to help flatten the curve. The whole province of Ontario is in partial lockdown, meaning all non-essential businesses are closed down. To find out about the essential business in Ontario, here is the list.

After two weeks off work, I'm now back in the workforce as I'm included in the list of essential worker. I can now travel to visit customers, though some companies are closed for visitors as one of their policy.

Premier Doug Ford said that it won’t be reopening the province on May 24. They will continuously monitor the situation and will have weekly meetings to address the issue.

When going out to buy groceries or a scheduled visit to the doctor, we always wear mask and practice precautions like washing our hands with sanitizers. But, unfortunately, many are still not wearing mask because it was not set as mandatory from the Ministry of Health.

Our kids are still at home. It's been more than a month now that Canada had closed the school gates. Premier Doug Ford says it will be the last to open if everything is cleared up.  That means our budget for food has changed. Kids are constantly nibbling food so the consumption of our household food has increased. 

We are fortunate that the province had provided us benefits for the kids and me.

What are the Benefits We Received in Canada?
Workers Benefit
For us, workers, who have lost jobs or are off work for over 14 days, are grateful that the Federal government provided us the CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit).  It provides $2,000 a month, $500 per week, of benefits for a maximum period of 16 weeks.

Since I was off work for two weeks, I have $1,000 to compensate the no-work-no-pay from my employer.

When I applied for the CERB, the options are in batches of months, but the day I started and ended my "off work" are in both months, so I selected both.

For just three days, we received a direct deposit of $4,000 from the Federal Government of Canada.  I have to return the difference because I only need $1,000 or I will be taxed for the whole amount on next tax season.

Kids Benefit 
The government also had provided us benefits for the kids. We received $200 for our 8-year-old, but haven't received for our newborn yet.  Maybe the birth registration has not been processed, so his name is still not in the system.

Two days after processing, we received the $200 from the Support for Families MSP on direct deposit.

One of the Foundations of the Toronto District Catholic School Board had also provided $50 for each kid who is enrolled in that school. We applied for it and we gonna receive it soon. It will be a great help on our budget

Just recently, the Federal government also announced that College students will receive $1,250 monthly from May to August.

We are fortunate to be in this country and grateful for the benefits we received. So, still no regrets migrating to this beautiful country with a good governance.

Where to Listen?
Apple Podcast Episode EP166
Spotify - Episode EP166
Google Podcast Episode 166

Shownotes Links:

26 March 2018

From Working in a Factory, Housewife, and in a Financial Industry in Canada

Author: Net

They say if it's your destiny, no one can take it away from you and that it will be given to you at the right place and at the right time.

This is what exactly happened to us.  The moment my husband applied as immigrant years ago (we were only a couple back then), to what our "set-up" now as a family.

When he applied and was denied twice, I felt his sadness and dismay for this is his dream country, to raise our kids.  But I told him  that there's a reason for everything and maybe it's not yet our time or it's not the place for us.  Then years passed, he worked as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Singapore, which made him grew apart from me and our children.

Then one day he said,
"I will try it again for the last time.  If this still doesn't work, then I'll give up and plan our lives in Philippines."

"Ok, if that's what you want, I'll support you on that," I replied.

"But don't let your hopes up. I don't want you to feel the same frustration, keep it light, ok?" I added with encouragement.

The Update
Then the news came that he needed to submit certain requirements.  Good thing, he had kept all those documents intact.

Everything else followed, the next thing we knew was we're already packing our trip here in Canada.

Once we're here, we had all the basic requirements needed to settle in - applying the Permanent Residence card, Social Insurance Number (SIN), Health Card, bank accounts and sending my eldest son to school.

We were very eager to have our jobs here.  They say it's very easy to find a job in Toronto if you are not picky.

True enough, my husband got his job 5 days after landing and mine followed after few days.  Though my first job was sort of a seasonal job,  I got laid-off after working for 1 month. but after a week of "rest" , I got another job that is quite promising.

Got a Promising Job
Another good news came but with a catch in the end...

My husband got a new job that required him to travel out of town every month.  So the problem was who will take care of the kids when he's away and I have to work in the afternoon until nighttime.

We weighed things up, listed down all the pros and cons and ended up me having a new job...a housewife.

Our New Setup
Sacrifices were needed. The main reason why we're here is for our kids.  So they are our top priority.  And besides, how can you get a baby-sitter to stay until midnight 5 times a week? And my youngest son is the clingy one.  He might be crying the whole night until I reach home from work.

We were receiving the child benefits from the government and it's over C$300/month.  Not bad at all, it's as if I'm also working with the benefit to bond with my kids. They can eat fresh from the stove and not heated from the microwave.

- Ate Ana sends and pick up our sons to and from school, which we pay C$15/week.
- Food was heated by microwave.
- Bond with kids only during weekends
- Quality time was only on weekends
- No time to teach my son on his assignments
- No time to attend my son's school seminars and activities

- Send my sons to school everyday
- Newly cooked meal
- Bond with kids everyday
- Quality time with husband everyday except when he's out of Ontario to work.
- Teaching my eldest on his school works
- Attend seminars given by the school

We stayed this way partly until now while having a business as a Financial Coach.

See more videos and photos about Canada
Like the Community Facebook Page: MM2C Community

Join the Me Moving To Canada membership website:

26 February 2018

Farewell Letter to My Colleagues in Singapore

No automatic alt text available.

Few days ago, I was browsing my email and found the message that I sent to my colleagues before I left Singapore.

I remembered the last day of my work, preparing a cup of coffee and started writing the farewell letter to them.

The mixed emotions were deeply felt and I can't help but cry a little.  The four years of working with the company, my second family in Singapore, which I will leave behind be sadly remembered.  A team of workers were like brothers and sisters who has been in bad and good times together.

The coffee was still steaming hot as I typed in my first words. Cutting the cookies in half, thinking what words to type next, I came up with a beautifully crafted farewell letter...and here it goes.
"For the past 4 years, I’ve been lucky to be working with you, the team, with enviable reputation over the years that I would consider a privilege to be associated with. 
During my stay in Singapore, it’s been such a good experience, the joy and happiness at every day working with the team treating each other like one complete family. 
There is a moment in our lives where one member will need to go apart from the other to fulfill a longtime dream. It is my dream to immigrate to Canada that came first, which is a great opportunity for me to be together with my family once more and enhance my career goals and personal development in a new country.  
Again, it has been a pleasurable experience working with you, the rest of the South East Asia team, representing the company to the valuable customers in South East Asia, which will be truly missed. 
Hoping for the great growth and success of the company in the coming years. 
Hope to see you again in the next few years." 
Response From My Colleagues
The warm response from my colleagues from Indonesia, Cambodia, and Singapore began flooding my inbox.

This message was sent to me from our secretary.
"So touching, hiks…. ;( Your dream come true now, wish you and your family will enjoy and happy there. 
Good luck !! Please keep in touch with us, your family, always. 
See you soon."
Here's from my colleague in Cambodia..
"Wish you Good Luck and Success in your life . Hope see you again soon."
Here's one response from my Manager, who is so close to me like a brother...
"We feel the same like what you feel. The first come to our mind is upset and miserable, with a little bit joyful with tear.  
Its like a feeling from a parent seeing their kids grow up, married, and eventually moved out to live with their partner. 
A sudden of loneliness rush through our life. Imagine the rest of the day in the office there will be no more clown drinking coffee or eating snack in front of my desk. 
I had getting used of the snack crunching sound and a coffee sipping noise in front of my desk but suddenly become silent. 
No one is singing along with the radio which broadcasting the Mariah Carey – Emotion, using his very awful high pitch voice. It had come to an end now but also a beginning of a new story of your life. 
I wish you all the best in your future and success in your career. Winter season is coming. Removing the snow using a spade need to have a pair of strong arms.
Please wear gloves…. because it is cold. Good luck!! 
P/S: Do send us a red yellowish maple leave!"
Yes, as what the Manager stated in the letter, I am the clown, in the company, making sure that there were no dull moments while I'm inside the office and during our Monday morning meetings. 

It was never been a long, serious, and boring meeting when I'm with them.  For new employees, they may be wondering how a meeting came to a point that we were just laughing our hearts out while keeping the serious notes on track.

Those were the days that I missed a lot. 

I was happy because I will be reunited with my kids and wife again. On the other hand, I was sad because I will be leaving my Singapore brothers and sisters behind.  

For some of you, there are times when you feel bad about the wrongdoings of your colleagues. It will just pass by and only time can clean that.

Don't dwell on the bad things that they shared with you, but rather do with the best moments.  Treat them well as part of your family, a brother and sister.

Don't  burn bridges because you may pass that path again.

See more videos and photos about Canada
Like the Community Facebook Page: MM2C Community

Join the Me Moving To Canada membership website:

29 March 2017

Job and Business Options in Ontario Canada

Having a job right after landing is an immigrant primary goal.  It will provide constant cash flow to the family.  Incoming bills like groceries, telephone, apartment rentals, and etc. It’ll be taken care of.

Unfortunately, some newcomers can't find jobs immediately and may result in anxiety and depression.  This is unhealthy for the whole family.  It will cause chaos and eventually leads to the couple's breakup.

This post is to give you insights on how to begin your healthy financial life in Canada.  Here are the options to do that.
Small factories on my way home from work.
Agency Jobs 
Assuming you haven't found any job at the first 3 days.  Go ahead and accept the offer from job agencies.  Even if the pay is minimum, grab it! 

You need to have an employer who will provide you a letter of reference.  It is mostly required in renting an apartment.  Some agencies pay workers in Cash or in Checks, I suggest to get the latter.  Checks come with payslips, which is good as an employment record and can later be used for other purposes.

It’s good to have a salary; minimum is good, while waiting for the perfect job.

Working as an assembler in a faucet company made me confident and motivated in living a new life in Canada.  It somehow removed a bit of my qualms.  Knowing that my family have a constant cash flow, I could sleep well at night.

Part-time jobs are always available in Toronto.  You can work in pizza chains such as this.

Part-time Jobs
If you are now working on a full-time job but the pay is scarce, get a part-time job.  It will provide you an additional income. 

Although part-time jobs help you provide food on the plate, it consumes your quality time with your family.  But with a proper time management with your wife and kids, everything will be in place.

I have a friend who has two jobs working 12 hours a day, one 8-hr full-time job in a factory and 4 hours in Walmart.  Others work for 16 hours per day. Yes, it's unbelievable, but it exists.

I didn’t try to do part time jobs in Walmart or Tim’s.  Time with my kids is limited because I have to take care of them after work.  That’s my part-time job, really.

How good it is to have your own business in Canada.  You will handle your own time.  You are your own boss. 

Having a business in Canada requires a lot of cash.  There’s an option to borrow money from the bank. For newcomers, no assets or credit history, it’s difficult to get a loan. 

How much do you need? 

Well, depending on the business, you may need a minimum of $50,000 to a million.   You also need to have a feasibility study in order to measure a viable business.  Considering hiring employees? It’s pricy.

If you have the capital as a newcomer, then go ahead build your business.  You can start any business you want.  Start with low initial capital and expand sooner as you get the feel of it.

I was really thinking about it and back when I was in the Philippines.  I have experienced in doing business back then and so was hoping to build one in Canada.  Due to a hefty amount of money involved, I decided to look for other options.

Independent Business in Financial Services
This option is applicable for full-time and part-time workers.  It gives you freedom to do it your way. The reason why it’s called independent is because of doing it without a boss. The opportunity to earn more than the corporate salary is staggering.

Even if you’re working from 9am to 5pm, you still can do the business part-time.  As you grow the business, it will eventually overcome your full-time job salary and eventually quit the job.

Unlike having a business with a high cost of initial capital, this business doesn’t need a lot.  You can start by licensing in the financial regulators and buying office equipments. Being one of the most regulated industry in Canada, which is investments and life protection, it requires you to be licensed in order for you to sell the products.

I was very lucky to have been involved in this business.  It was introduced to me a week after we landed on 2014.  I gained a lot of knowledge regarding financial matters and I‘ve seen the whole picture of Canadian investments.  Net and I are doing this business until now and both are licensed to sell these financial products in Ontario.  

You can email me if you’re interested in this kind of business.

What option to keep?
Whatever you choose in these four types of income opportunity, the most important thing is being happy doing it.  If you’re not, grab another one.

You’re the only one who can control your own destiny wherever you are in Canada. 

Is the information useful? Please tick the Like button below.
If you want me to post a certain topic,  you can leave a comment below or email me at

Enter your email address:

Delivered by BenAlagnam's FeedBurner



05 March 2016

Job Websites in Canada for New Immigrants

In the first few weeks upon landing in Canada, we need to process a lot of documents like SIN, CCTB, etc...We also need to find a place to stay temporarily that is near a school, community center, and stores.  Another important part of the process is to find a job.

As a newcomer, you have a little idea of where to look for a job.  The first thing you'll do is to surf the internet and find the job websites.

In Canada, job applicants rarely go find a job by walk-in, it is mostly online.  During winter, going physically to an employer's office is really difficult.  It consumes time, money and effort.

To help fellow immigrants find a job in Canada, I listed down some of the job websites available.  This way, you just send your resume online.  Though you need to create a resume beforehand.

List of Job Websites in Canada

1. Beyond (

2. Indeed (

3. Job Rapido (

4. Job Bank (

5. Career Builder (

6. Job Diagnosis (

7. Zip Recruiter (

8. Canadian Job Force (

9. IT Jobs (

10. IT World Canada (

Now that you have the tools to find a job.  Run your fingers in your keyboard and create your Canadian resume.

Please leave a comment if you find a job on one of these sites.

If this post is helpful, please tick the LIKE below.

24 June 2015

Immigrant Life As An Assembler In Toronto Canada

Winter Time: It was after a freezing rain. The top layer of snow becomes brittle and shiny.
Someone emailed me about how I got my job as an assembler, so I made a post about it on How I Got a Job in 5 Days!"

But for most of us, having a job is not the end of it all.  You have to work hard to earn for food, shelter, clothing and communication.

Waking up early or getting to work late at night is a daily routine.  This is what life is all about for a working immigrant, like us.  Although I'm not working late at night, but my wife does, so I know how hard it is to be in that situation.

Life in a Factory as an Assembler?
Back in Singapore, I worked from Mondays to Fridays at 9am to 6:30pm.  I am off on weekends and public holidays.  It was an ideal job and I enjoyed it a lot, especially the travels.

When we immigrated to Canada, things had changed. Although I was working from 7am to 4pm, my job was repetitive, which I'm not used to because I'm a multitasker.

To give you an idea, let me tell you about my life as an Assembler in Toronto, Canada.

At Home
The cellphone alarmed at exactly 5:15 am, my drowsy eyes opened up and was looking for the source of the sound.   Then I found it, I was so sleepy to remember that I placed it on top of the table last night.  I pressed the button to snooze and slept for another 15 minutes.  Then again, ALARM!!!

I got up and prepared our breakfast, then went to the bathroom, which I hated because it's too cold to take a bath early in the morning during winter.  Even though the heater was on, the first few drops or mist chills my skin and seeps into my bones.  I really HATED that feeling!

After that chilly bath experience, I dress up and wakes up SAM to let him prepare for school.  I heated up the frozen foods from the microwave, which my wife prepared the previous day, put the plates on the table and prepared our lunch boxes.

As my son was dressed up and ready to eat, I will then say goodbye to him and let him stay at the room where his mom and little brother were still sleeping.  As you all know that my wife works from 4:00pm to 11:00 pm and arrives home at around 11:30 pm.  So, I don't bother to wake her up early in the morning.

I wore my regular clothing for work because we don't have a uniform.  Got my keys and wallets and headed to the door. My son gave me a hug, which he does every day before I go out of the door.

Then I headed to the elevator, down to the building lobby and out to the main road.

But before I arrive at the bus stop, I'll prepare my GTA Pass so I can show it immediately to the bus driver.  Then I usually sit at the back and have a nap before the first stop, and at the second bus I'll sleep all the way until to the work site.

Our factory is 500 meters away from the stop so I have to walk through the thick snow and shiver with the cold wind blowing my body and face.
The aftermath of a thick snow that was cleared by a snow sweeper.
At the Factory
As I reach the warehouse door, I rushed in to punch in my time.  I always sigh for a relief from the cold air as the warehouse temperature heats up my frozen body.  While I'm inside a warm room, it feels so good as if I was just working in a tropical country.  Never mind looking at the glass window with the pile of thick snow.

As my body temperature adjusts, I'll quickly remove my jackets and layers and place it inside the locker, then headed directly to my worktable.

This is the path to my worktable.
"Good Morning Joe!"  I greeted loudly at the 65 year old assembler at the far end of the line.   Then at my back was Davey, who greets me with a "What's shaken?", another term for "What's up?".

"I'm Good! Had few adventures yesterday!", I replied while putting on my working gloves.

Job orders were already prepared on my table by the Supervisor.  I scan through the orders and take all the parts that are necessary to build up the product.  Then I laid it all on my table and clears everything up for a wider space to get ready for the assembly.

The assembling of parts will take an hour, one after the other, and usually consumes my time from 7:30 am to 10:20 am, on our first break. Fifteen minutes were all it takes to take a rest, have a conversation with colleagues then back to work for another job order.

Lunch time was at 1:00 pm to 1:20 pm.  This time, the usual belly laugh echoes the cafeteria, from a group of Portugees and Italians. It's all about their golf games on the previous weeks or how the thick snow covered their houses.  It's a never ending chain of stories from them.

Seeking for a moment of silence, we go in the factory again until 3:00 pm and have the second break for 15 minutes.  I usually eat bread during the break or a small box of fruit which I pre-washed and packed in the morning.

Then the go-home bell rings at 4:00 pm.  But, I stay late until 6:00 pm for an overtime, which gives me another $11/hr rate.

Before the clock ticks at 6:00 pm, I organize my table, prepare my things and heads to the locker where my 5-layer clothing were hidden.  There's another walk for 500 meters on a frozen road with knee-deep snow on the way.  If I can get on the bus on time, I'll shorten the agony of freezing.

Going Back Home
A walk for 500 meters was always like torture, for me. The cold air makes you shiver uncontrollably and it will take away all the heat inside your body.  Your fingers will freeze at around a minute of exposure to the cold air.  That is how a -20degC feels like.
Winter Nights: Taken after a day's work while walking to the bus stop.
If I missed the bus or it's late, another 15-minute agony awaits while the wind blows heavily inside the glass-covered bus stop.

When the bus arrives, I slowly get in and sit at the left side single seat.   I munch a bread on the way then take a nap until the first stop.

There were times that it was so exhaustive working in the factory, so I had slept so hard that I did not notice the first stop. So I have to transfer to another bus route to home.

Once I'm at our building, I will hurriedly head to my sister's apartment to get my two boys,  who were waiting for me.  At this time, it should be around 8:00 pm and I will be feeling hungry from work.

When my sister's door opens, two little guys rushes to me with arms wide open, shouting "DADDY!" and hugs me tightly with all the strength from their baby muscles.  At this point in time, the stress from the factory magically turns to happiness and body aches disappear in an instant.

Then the youngest will ask me to lift him up and kisses my cheeks with a smile, showing off his missing front teeth.  So, I bring my two boys to our apartment and help them dress up to go to sleep and teach my SAM on his assignments.

I was lucky to have a sister in Toronto, who temporarily took care of my kids while we're at work.

Then I prepare my dinner and wash the dishes and pans.  I have to sort all the toys that were scattered by my 3-year old with the help of his Kuya, prepare the milk for my 3-year-old and have them brush their teeth.

There will be a story-telling for both of them as they dropped their eyes to sleep.

If I have time, I'll watch few Television shows, do some blog posts, or sometimes I go to sleep with my little boys to get ready for another day in the factory.

That was my daily activity as an assembler in a factory.  It's a hard work at first, but as the time goes by, it becomes a routine and felt easier.

I was so optimist during that time cause I know that eventually a rainbow comes after the rain.

When I was assembling the parts, I wasn't thinking of the hardship.  It's the experience that I was interested in, which I needed to survive in Canada.

I was lucky to have a job in Canada and was proud to work in a factory.  But, because of my expertise on machines, I had to find a way to use it and contribute more in Canada's workforce and to be well-compensated in return.

Did I inspire you through this post? Please tick the LIKE button below.

01 May 2015

Top 5 Problems We Encountered As an Immigrant in Toronto Canada

Some of our relatives and friends that were in Canada may hide the negative aspects of their lives in the country, which they don't want us to know the real situation.

As always, my style was to give my readers all the positive aspects of a country where I reside in and true when I was in Singapore.

Like My Singapore Story, it's always focused on the positive side because I thought that showing those were easy than focusing on the darker regions.

This time, I had to lay down the "negative" cards in Canada because one of my readers (Anna) emailed me and asked about the problems that I had encountered here.

Here's her message...
"We just received the ITA from CIC yesterday so we will have to hand in the documents in 60 days and after 6 months should get the visa. 
I just read your wife, Net's writing on your blog that she just resigned from her job. How is your family situation now? Is it difficult to adapt there?...
....Please do share with us about your problems. We hope that we can see you soon in Toronto."
After reading her email, it made me realize that I should be starting to post about my problems that I've encountered here.  This is for the benefit of all FSW applicants and new immigrants.

Problems We'd Encountered In Canada
Like you, I was clueless about how Canada look like and how's life inside the country.  I got the information only from my relatives, friends and online forums.  

Although there are government sites that provide us information to settle, but it's not personal.  This time, you will have it straight from me in Toronto, Canada.

I will start from the month before we landed until the present.

1. Budgeting For The Airline Tickets
As we know the fact that the distance between Philippines and Canada is 6,921miles.  This means that the airline ticket is not expensive, but VERY expensive.

The price of our ticket on 2014 was PHP110,000.00 (USD2,500) for 2 adults and 2 kids, terminal fees and travel taxes are exclusive.  Instead of using the amount for my Proof Of Fund, it was diverted to my expenses.

Imagine if we are going for a vacation in Philippines, 4 of us, we might need to save money in 2 or more straight years just for the ticket and I wonder how much would it be then.

2. Permanent Residence Card
As soon as we arrived in Canada, the immigration officer at the airport informed us that we will receive our PR cards 8 to 10 weeks upon landing.

We waited for over that timeframe until I decided to call the CIC customer hotline to follow up our PR cards.  I was informed that they had sent a letter 2 months ago to my address and that it was returned to them due to a wrong address.

I can't remember how I mistakenly stated the address, but maybe I did.  They added that the reason for the delay in the issuance of our PR cards was because of our photos, which the Case Processing Center (CPC) was requiring us to submit a new set.

Usually, when CIC requires me to submit something, they'll send me an email in conjunction with a physical letter.  But, I was wondering, for this time, they haven't sent me an email correspondence.

We've been here for more than 5 months without the PR cards.   The proof of our status was only our COPR copies and passports.  So, we sent a new set of photos to CPC.

Few days ago, the PR cards came at last, but the bad news is, my card wasn't there.  Well, I need to inform them again.   The postman may have accidentally dropped it on his way to our mailbox.  We'll see how it goes.

3.  Effects of Winter in Our Tropical Skin
This is our first time to experience winter with temperatures that reaches -22degC and feels like -30degC.  You will know how it feels with these numbers and units once you get here.

The first few weeks and months were a total adjustment for us.  We are clueless on the changes, which the cold weather affected our tropical body and skin.  We had experienced nose bleeding, super dry skin, skin pigmentation, clogged nose, and cracked skin that develops into a wound.

4. Time and Schedules
My wife and I were both working days after we've landed.   That was a good start and we're working enthusiastically on the first days and months in our job-site.

Our finances were good, we can buy the groceries we want and need for our daily necessities.  Bills are paid on time and the kids can have their weekend delight and surprises.

Then we realized that TIME was the culprit of us being unhappy with our job and setup.

To give you an idea, agencies hire people who were eager to work anytime and anywhere.  The schedules that they provide were the following:

Morning shift - 7:00am to 4:00pm
Afternoon shift - 4:00pm to 11:00pm
Night shift - 11:00pm to 7:00am
Normal shift - 8:00 to 5:00pm

For me, I was working on a normal shift.  On the other hand, my wife was given an afternoon shift. This is a good setup if we don't have children.  But, it's not the case.

My eldest son, SAM, should be in school at 8:30am to 3:00pm and my youngest stays home the whole day, playing.

I made a chart here to give you a better view of our situation.

The Yellow color is represented as the time when each of us is away from home. On the other hand, Green represents the time that we're at home.

The color that we need to focus our attention is at the Red line.  That means, at this period, me and my wife were both away from home and SAM and TOM's schedules were Green.  It was a big issue for us as to where to leave them with while we're away.

I was lucky to have a sister near our place who had an evening shift.  We send them both to her during our Yellow time.

5. Doing the Chores
When I arrive home from work, I had to fetch the two at my sister's house.  Coming from work, tired and hungry was the worst thing that I don't want to experience at the end of the day.  My wife was out to work and the problems were:

* Who prepares our dinner?
* Who prepares the milk and taking our kids to sleep?
* Who cooks our breakfast and prepares lunch?
* Who cleans the house?

So, my wife cleans the house, cooks dinner and breakfast when she's at home.  For me, I prepare the milk, clean the house, heat the food in the microwave, wash the dishes and put my kids to bed while I'm craving for food and sleep.  *sigh*

It was difficult having this type of setup.  Since we are new, we've closed our one eye and moved on with the uneasy setup for a few months...

If you've noticed, the problem of clothing and furniture were not included in the list, it's because I have my sister who happened to have a network of generous friends who provided us most of our winter, spring clothing and furniture.

If you don't have networks yet, you can buy second-hand clothing or buy at cheap factory outlets here in Toronto and this will be discussed on my future posts.

Do you think this post is helpful?  Please tick the LIKE below.

Do you have any questions in mind?  Leave a comment below.

25 March 2015

My Last Day Working As An Operator in Canada

Author: Net Alagnam

As my eldest son tapped me gently saying, 

"Mommy, it's time to wake up! Come on, let's go!"

I got up brushed my teeth, washed my face, wore my sweater, and looked for my keys in the bag. Back home, I don't go out without taking a bath and put some powder and lipstick on my face.

But here in Canada, everything is different. I'm not that conscious of my physical appearance especially if the place we're going to is just 3 floors below our unit.

As I went to our sala, I noticed that my youngest son is already watching his favorite episodes in YouTube. I told him to get his slippers for we will send kuya to ate Ana's unit for the last time.

Since today is my last day of work in Citamit, it is also my eldest son's (Sam) last day of letting someone (ate Ana) send him off to school. The following week, the three of us (Me and my two kids) will be going to school just across our building to drop him off. At least I'll be 15 dollars a week richer :D

As we went back to our unit, I started cooking food for my friends/co-workers for my "farewell blowout". I began working with the pork belly that I marinated already and shove it into the oven.

Next I cooked noodles for my spaghetti. By the way, I missed the ingredients I've had back home. My spaghetti won't be the same because of some lacking "secret ingredients".

But before making the sauce, I took a bath first so that my hair can dry itself while I'm finishing my dishes. 

After making the spaghetti sauce, I started placing them in containers. I also included garlic bread to go with the spaghetti. Adding disposable plates and some spoon and forks, my bag is ready to go.

My Last Day At Citamit...

As I stepped down the vehicle of my carpool, I removed my phone from my pocket and I took a picture of the building of Citamit. I sighed as I enter the door saying to myself,

" This is it! My last day in this company.."

As I go to the lunchroom where all of the workers (afternoon shift) stayed while waiting for our turn, I sat across a friend who greeted me saying, 

"This is your last day right?", I nodded.

"Do you really have to go?"

"Yeah. I have to... no one will take care of the kids if my husband will go out of town..."

"You'll come back right?"

"Maybe after a few years. My kids can't be left at home till Sam is 12 years old... and his only 10 now..."

Then the bell rang. Time for us to go downstairs for work. As we go down, I saw our supervisor giving us our assignments. As I passed by him, he said, "aisle 2".

Looking at my machine located in aisle 2, its lights closed. It made me think that we will not be making the new pack (approximately 15 lbs per part)... which means I will be transferred to another working station. This is what I've noticed, that whenever we make an old pack (where the parts are lighter), they transfer me somewhere...

True enough, I saw Mat coming towards me and said,

"Net, did I say aisle 2? I mean aisle 4, you go there now."

I bid farewell to my co-workers and went to my new assignment. Seeing the team leader of aisle 4, Kiko,  he told me to put bushing on some parts. Talk about having the easiest job on your last day. :D 

Then few minutes came, 3 of my friends (all Filipina) came working with me. I said to myself,

"Wow, this is getting better! As if they are giving me special treatment! How I wish they've done this earlier. :D"

My Last Breaktime With Friends/Co-workers...
The first break came then we ate the spaghetti I made as fast as we could for our break time is only good for 10 minutes. Our friend Lemak came and treated us with a  container of Tim Horton that has the capacity of more than 10 cups.

Then the second break came where we can eat for 20 minutes. We usually eat together sharing our meals with one another. So I brought out my version of "Lechon" (roasted pork) and they loved it.

After dinner, Kiko told me,

"Take it easy, make chitchat with your friends..."

"I will!"

But deep in my mind, I can't do that because the company is paying me for every hour I work so it will be unfair if I'll be chatting for hours while waiting for the bell to ring. Besides, I can do quick chats while working :)
My Last Minutes Of Work

So 11 pm came that marked the first bell, meaning we need to wait for another 10 minutes before we could go up to the lunchroom. While waiting for the 2nd bell, I went to aisle 2 to bid farewell to the people I've grown fond of for the past 2 months.

Second bell rang, I went up to timed out for the last time and went back to the office of the supervisor to return the key ID. I also passed by Mat and told him that I returned already the ID. I don't want to have a bad reputation so that I could come back easily if ever.

As I went to the lunchroom, I met some friends and exchanged hugs for one last time before going out to meet my ride. We also exchanged phone numbers and facebook account just in case we'll be missing each other and just want to hang out. :)

Though I've worked with this company for only 2 months, I made a lot of friends not only Filipino/Filipina but of different races as well. I learned some of their culture - Vietnamese, Chinese, African, Indian, Jamaican and a lot more. That even we were of different races, we accepted and respected each others beliefs as long as it won't hinder our work.

If you have questions about my post, please email me at 

I'll be posting some more of my experiences here in Canada. If you want to receive my latest posts, email me at to Subscribe.

08 March 2015

A Minimum Wage Earner in Toronto Canada: Salary Vs. Expenses

After the job interview and knowing that I will start working on the next Monday, I was excited to tell my sister and everybody about the job.

It was a great feeling, knowing that I don't have to worry about my finances anymore, well at least for the time being.

While on my way home from the interview, walking along the pathway with more red maple leaves blocking my way, I appreciated more of the beauty of the surroundings.   What I saw was that...
* The grass is greener and the red maple leaves were not just red but has different sizes.   
* The pine trees along the way are not made of plastic at all.
* There were no trash along the road.
* Lastly, I was the only human walking along the pathway... 
The thought of my dilemmas that I've gone through with my FSW application to get in to this country, marks a smile of fulfillment on my face.
* I remembered how CIC returned my 2007 application on 2012.
Seeing the flag, with a red maple leaf, in front of the buildings made me realize that I'm now in Canada and soon to be part of their workforce.

On Monday, I will be included in the Minimum Wage Earner job market.

What My Friends Thought About My Job?
Besides announcing my new job with my wife and relatives, I also informed some of my close friends.  They like the idea of me having a job as a new immigrant, but they kept on advising me not to work at that level for a long time.

They advised me to look for a job that is more relevant to my experience and credentials.  As they were explaining their thoughts on me, their facial expression show signs of discontent and regret.

To give you an idea of my background,  I'm a licensed Engineer with more than 10 years of experience in my field, and worked in Singapore as a technical support for the Southeast Asian customers.

I fully understand what they thought of my new career, an Assembler, but the most important is my own decision.

When I arrive here, I never stopped planning. Although I haven't planned to be an assembler,  I know that this will soon to be part of my future success, which I was prepared for.

My Thoughts of Being in the Minimum Wage Earner Workforce
The first thing that I considered when I accepted this job was our cash flow.  The fact that I'm a new landed immigrant, with a limited money to burn, it's logical for me or "anyone" to get any type of job.

I have to cling on to something before I fall down completely.  Failing to have a job in Canada or any other place is not acceptable especially when your wife and kids are with you.

Being in this kind of job has a minimal stress and responsibilities.  The decision making is simple.  All I have to do is to pick some parts, inspect for damages and assemble it.   If there's something wrong with the parts, just call the supervisor for help.

Budgeting My Salary 
Having an $11.00/hr salary is minimal, it is insufficient to supply us with our weekly needs if I work alone.

Let me breakdown my salary and our expenses to give you an idea...

Salary: ($11.00 / Hr) x (8 hours/day) x (5days/week) = $440 / week
CPP (Canada Pension Plan) = $18/week
Employment Insurance = $8/week
Tax (Federal Tax) = $43/week

Laundry ($60/month) = $15/week
House Rental ($880/month) = $220/week
Food ($60/week) = $60/week
Mobile Plan ($76/month) = $19/week
Internet ($95/month) = $23.75/week
Transportation = $56/week (using a GTA pass)
School Tuition = FREE
Hospitalization = FREE

If we do the Math...
Salary - Expenses = C$440 - C$462 (We are short of $22 per week)              

The good thing about Canada is that our kids have their own allowances from the government.  If parents are in the minimum wage, they can get around $300-400 per month more or less, depends upon the assessment.

This will compensate our negative income.  But, for me, I don't want to wait for the government's subsidy.  My wife and I agreed that she needs to have a job so that her income ($440/week without tax) will be our savings and so we can send some in Philippines.

So, if we add our net income together..
Ben = (- $ 22)  /week (negative income)
Net =    $ 371 /week ($440 less CPP, EI, Tax)
Kids =  $ 75 / week            $ 424 /week (Total Savings)           
Having this net income per week is enough for our family savings.

Of course, there will be expenses for our new house like furnitures, gadgets, new TV, etc... These can be included in the budget but is not considered as the essential expenses.  It means that we can still live without these items.

As long as we don't buy luxury things, we will be fine for now.

Is this information useful? Please tick the Like button below.
If you want me to post a certain topic,  you can leave a comment below or email me at

Enter your email address:

Delivered by BenAlagnam's FeedBurner


05 June 2014

50 Eligible Occupations for Federal Skilled Worker Canadian Immigration 2014

As of May 1, 2014, Canada released the new set of occupations that are eligible to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker category for the Canadian immigration program.

Before applying for the FSW, you must check the list below to know which occupation that you have experienced for at least one year of continuous, full-time (or at least equal amount of part-time) with salary within the last 10 years.  

Click on each occupation below to know its corresponding job descriptions.  

Please remember that once you click a job number, it will direct you to the Canadian National Occupational Classification official website. 
What are the 50 Eligible Occupations for FSW Canadian Immigration 2014?
This affects you only if you applied on or after May 1, 2014. If we got your application before that date, we will process it using the rules that were in effect at that time.
You must have one year of continuous, full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) paid work experience, in at least one of these occupations within the last ten years:
These occupations are either:

After You Know the Code, What's Next?
After you've checked your occupation and its corresponding job description, remember that you need to show a proof of this occupation.  You will later indicate this code at the application form.

You need to have a Certificate of Employment (COE) or Letter of Reference from your latest or the previous company as a proof of your experience.

Take note, you must get an original copy from your employer, better ask for 2 or more copies, have it photocopied.  Do not send the original with the forms yet, send the photocopy instead. The original may be requested later by the Visa Officer.

For all the contents of your Letter of Reference or COE.  Check the checklist below under "No. 12 - Work Experience ".

Checklist for Document Checklist (FSW Canada 2014) Source: 

If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment at the ASK ME.

If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.
Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada