Armando Regala

Country of Origin:

Philippines

Themes:

Immigration, Adjusting to Life in Canada

Photos:

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Armando and his family had a difficult time finding jobs when they first arrived in Canada. They decided to live with other family members in Nova Scotia to try to find work. Armando's story follows the path he took to set up a new life in Canada.


Story

My name is Armando Regala, and I presently reside in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. We arrived in Canada in 1977. Our port of entry was Montreal, and at that time I had a sister who lived in Montreal. And we stayed there with my sister for approximately a month. It was my wife with me, and my oldest son who was about four and a half years old at that time.

After a few days of looking around and taking in the sights in Montreal, we started looking for jobs out there. We experienced some difficulties finding jobs, actually. We were out there, combing the sidewalks and putting in applications to all kinds of companies. And we were not very successful in finding a job.

After about a month, we decided to go down to Nova Scotia and visit with my brother who was living in Nova Scotia. So around July – the fifteenth of July – we came down to Nova Scotia, and we stayed with them for a while. And again, after going around for a couple of days looking at the sites we started putting in applications for jobs with different companies - universities, hospitals.

After about a month, I was able to find a job with a university, and we decided we’d stay here in Nova Scotia. My wife kept looking for a job for herself, and she did find one in another month or so. After being there with my brother for about two or three months, we decided that we’d start looking for our own apartment to stay in. After a few months we found one that was suitable and we moved in. Started living by ourselves and trying to settle down and put our roots in. We actually got to like Halifax, because we found the people to be really quite friendly and the environment was quite suitable. It was very pleasing, and we decided it was a good place to raise children and a family. So that’s our start here in Canada. We were able to start putting down our roots here in Nova Scotia, once we were able to find suitable jobs.

We started being active in the local association of Filipinos living in Nova Scotia, and becoming active with the association and taking part in the activities. And eventually accepting responsibilities within the organization – becoming an Officer, and later on I served as President for the Association for two terms, which is about four years.