Country of Origin:
Citizenship, Immigration, Asian Heritage
Carmen's life before Canada she describes as "typical". She focused on her work and family. Canada was an inviting place for her because of the opportunities offered to social workers.
My name is Carmencita Subibi, but everyone calls me Carmen. I’m from the Phillipines. I’m a mother of two: my son is twenty-three years old, and my daughter is fifteen years old.
My life before coming to Canada was basically… well, typical of any life. I worked, I had my kids. I’d been very stable in my job. I’d been a social worker. I worked in hospitals, and I worked with people with HIV/AIDS. And the reason why I came to Canada was because of my profession. They invited us to apply as an immigrant, because they said there were a lot of opportunities for social workers. So it didn’t take a lot of time for me to get my visa. Within five months I got my visa, and I just prepared to come to Canada.
Everything was… things that I didn’t really expect, because it came very fast. But I was excited, and I was looking forward to my new life in Canada. I came here and in a way I got disappointed when I couldn’t find any job as a social worker, but then I started some work related to my profession. And then at that time I went back to school at Ryerson University and finished my social work degree. And I was so happy and fortunate because I was given a chance to work in the field through an organization that I did volunteer work with at the beginning. It’s called Asian Community Aid Services. And there I started my path to my career.
After that I involved myself with the Filipino community by working as a volunteer at the same time – giving my time to do work with women’s groups. That really was an inspiration for me because it really helped me bring back or give back to my community.
Canada means a lot to me, because I consider myself now… this is my home. I learned about that when I went to Europe almost three years ago. I went there for almost three weeks, and I was saying to myself, “I want to go home.” And then when I came back to Toronto, that’s when I felt that Toronto is my home because this is where my family now is and where my home is. And so I really thought to myself, “This is the place that has accepted me, and has given me all these opportunities.