The rapidly growing song library is making me anxious, so I have to make sense of it fast! I get annoyed when I listen to the radio and it’s very clear that the DJ didn’t do his job and just left all the playing to the shuffle button.

I’m curious about how you guys arrange or choose songs for your playlist.

For me, I associate it to a certain scene in my mind. It could just be me walking in a mall or my neighbourhood. Or it could be an imagined moment between two people. Sometimes, I associate it with the temperature outside or the weather itself. Is that weird?

For this playlist, I was thinking of a story of two young people running away. If it was romanticised, this is the sound I would probably associate with the part where they both realise that it was a bad idea.

I really don’t know. I’m just making this shit up along the way.

Enjoy xx Bessy

01. It Is What It Is – Blood Orange
02. Bedroom – Litany
03. Had To Let Me Go – Nite Jewel
04. China – Furns
05. Stupid Boy/Girl – Blond Ambition
06. Runaway – Julietta
07. Playing With Fire – Nick Leng
08. casanova. – Denitia and Sene
09. Further – TOPS
10. Different – Turbotito and Baby Alpaca

The Afterhours Vol 2

It’s been a while since I posted a playlist here. Life happened, A LOT.
Anyway, this playlist is perfect when you’re going home alone from a night out.
Or, when you’re deep in your heartbreak. Whichever way it goes.

Enjoy xx Bessy

01. In Your Eyes – BadBadNotGood and Charlotte Day Wilson
02. Remember The Rain – Kadhja Bonet
03. Call Me – Joon Moon
04. Skyline – Izo FitzRoy
05. Heart of Grass – Silk Rhodes
06. September Rose – Cailin Russo
07. Bet She Looks Like You – Nick Hakim
08. Beautiful Little Fools – Jorja Smith
09. Dark Minnie – Sarah Chernoff
10. Don’t Run Into The Dark So Quick – Jon Bap

CLICK HERE for Volume 1.

Newcomer Pt. 3

One phrase: Show up.

When you move to another country, it’s a given that everything will become unfamiliar. But, give it time. I’ve been in Canada for 5 years now and I only really started to have friends around 2-3 years ago. Before that, it was a blur of acquaintances and coworkers that stop communicating after you or they leave the job.

In my first few jobs, I noticed that people bonded over attending the same university. Now, I’m in university, I notice that people bond over attending the same program or the same classes. Because you’re a newcomer, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll meet someone at work who went to the same university.

So, I did a few things to (1) socialize and (2) practice my spoken English:

I volunteered for a couple of film festivals. Growing up, I used to watch international films on Saturday nights. There was this one TV channel that would feature them late at night. They were really obscure in my home country. It was quite difficult to discuss “Farewell My Concubine,” “Postmen In The Mountains,” and “Not One Less” with people I knew. I continued watching what I used to call “offbeat” films in university (back in the Philippines). I met a few people who shared my enthusiasm for these things. I even found a personal bootlegger to get me weird films for a lower price because we both knew no one would buy those. That’s how I learnt about “Volver,” “Where Is The Friend’s Home?,” and “Welcome” (2009). In Canada, volunteering was a nice way to talk to people from different walks of life who had the same love for film. I also enjoyed the freebies that came with volunteering.

Whenever I got invited to a party, I showed up. I didn’t care if the only person I knew in that party was the person who invited me. I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin that being a wallflower is not something I find negative at all. Sometimes, people do approach and make small talk. You don’t have to force rapport. If it’s there, it’s there and you’ve made yourself a new friend. If it’s not there, that’s perfectly fine too.

I enrolled in some hobby classes. The Toronto District School Board has this program called Learn 4 Life and it has seasonal evening classes. It can be anywhere from basic French to sewing. Community Centres have sports facilities that may be free to use. The Art Gallery of Ontario has art classes too. Or, go to Meetup or Eventbrite to find your niche.

Some nights, especially in your first couple of years, will be lonely. But, if you put yourself out there, you’ll find your tribe… or tribes. Sometimes, you won’t even need a tribe to just do what you want to do. Grab a pint at a local pub because you can. I go there for the Irish music. I often go to art galleries and museums alone because I enjoy looking at artworks in silence.

The opportunities are there, you just have to show up.

I used to feel homesick a lot. I still do, from time to time. It’s still very important to keep in touch with your friends from your home country. But, I’m sure you have room for new friends and new experiences. You have a new home here in Canada, so start feeling comfortable.

In the next part of this series, I’ll write about future plans; because everyone needs to have at least one.

Other parts of the Newcomer series are available here:
Part 1
Part 2

Evening Stroll #1 Playlist

I enjoy a little stroll around the neighbourhood sometimes, when my mind needs a reset. This playlist is best enjoyed at sunset into early evening.

1. Coney Island Stroll – Slow Hands
2. Dear To Me – Electric Guest
3. Fight Or Flight Or Dance All Night – Kommode
4. Begin – Shallou featuring Wales
5. Higher – Two Another
6. Locked In – biLLLy
7. anemone – slenderbodies
8. Cool Blue – The Japanese House
9. Good Love – Zola Blood
10. Warm On A Cold Night – HONNE

See you later, xo

Newcomer Pt. 2

Disclaimer: I’m not a legal or policy expert. I’m writing based on my own experience and I recognise that this may be different from another person’s experience, especially if that person lives outside Ontario.

I’m assuming that before you arrived in Canada, you are well-educated and most likely the best in your field in your home country. Unless you came here as a skilled worker (like a caregiver), it will be challenging to find work in the same field.

You’ll hear the phrase ‘Canadian experience’ in your job search. 100%! This means having work experience in Canada. So, regardless of your expertise, say being an engineer for 20 years plus with several projects under your name in your home country, Canadian firms in that field will be hesitant about hiring you. I’ve met several people in Toronto who’ve had successful careers in their home country but moved here because they wanted something better for their family, only to find themselves driving an Uber, cleaning toilets or delivering pizza.

The Canadian government made some initiatives to address this underemployment. Universities offer bridging programs, as in the case of foreign-educated nurses and doctors. I think Canada will benefit greatly from the talents of immigrants. I personally find it unfair that highly experienced people are stuck in service jobs when there are several sectors in the job market that barely have any applicants, and the only thing stopping these people from applying is ‘Canadian experience.’

So, what did I do?

I started in service jobs, from fastfood restaurants to hotels. I looked for tasks and acquired skills that I can transfer in the next best job I could find. I used my customer service experience to land a position in the mailroom. My boss sent me to different assignments outside the mailroom too and that gave me experience with reception. Reception led me to office administration work. The entire process took me 3-4 years.

My heart is in health and science, though. So, I went back to university last fall. But, that’s an entirely different blog post.

So, here are some things to keep in mind. Determine whether your occupation is regulated in Canada. If it is, regulatory bodies will let you know what you need to practice in your field here. It might involve some schooling. If it does, make sure you have enough money to fulfill your basic needs while you are in school. Do the math. You might need to work for a few years or maybe 6 months, depends on how long you’ll stay in school. If there’s no regulatory body for your occupation, some of my older friends suggest getting your foot in the door. It may mean starting as a cleaner, mailroom guy or volunteer. In this case, networking will be your friend.

It’s hard work, I know. Sometimes, you’ll feel worthless. I did. Other times, you’ll find yourself questioning whether you made the right decision on moving here. You made the right decision, I’m sure. Canada is a great country for so many reasons (that may need its own blog post too). I can tell you one thing: if you work hard enough, you’ll see the fruit of that hard work.

Next time, I’ll write about homesickness, making friends and going back to school in Canada.

For Part 1, click here.

Summery Daiquiri Playlist

I’ve been told that my music is summery. Here you go!

  1. Riquelme – Yumi Zouma
  2. Say Yeah – Kishi Bashi
  3. Agitations Tropicales – L’Imperatrice
  4. Crush – Tahiti 80
  5. I’m Callin’ – Tennis
  6. Florida – Luke Temple
  7. Moai Y Yo – Maria Usbeck
  8. Suddenly – Drugdealer feat. Weyes Blood
  9. City Boy – AM & Shawn Lee
  10. Yesterday – Swim Mountain

Lounge/Chillout #1 Playlist

I’ve been into downtempo music lately. I need a vacation, can you tell?

1. Light Pattern – Bonobo
2. Sunday Drive – Stephane Pompougnac feat. Charles Schillings
3. Epoca – Gotan Project
4. Jazz Lick (Unreleased) – Moodorama
5. All I Ask – Rae & Christian
6. Memories – Waldeck
7. Universal Traveler – Air
8. Fine (Album Mix) – Kate Rogers
9. Anything You Want (Not That) – Belleruche
10.Sweet Sadness – Gabin
11.My Society – De-Phazz
12.Alright – Unforscene

Enjoy xx Bessy