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LIVING in VANCOUVER by Mel Tobias Living in Vancouver Full view



Hello and welcome to the first DAHONG PINOY “Living In Vancouver” column.  The column will celebrate life and living in Vancouver.

It will highlight the growing and vibrant Filipino-Canadian community, the third largest ethnic group in the province. It will feature the contributions of Filipino oldtimers who have set the stage for the newcomers, along with the youthful second generation who are now actively in the work force. Filipino Canadians have become a positive force in Canadian society. We hope to reach this exciting new demographic known as global Filipino Canadians.

These are Filipino Canadians who are willing to absorb new cultures and ideas.   They can easily integrate, assimilate and learn constantly about the world today. They are not isolated or trapped by ethnicity.

We are lucky and blessed to be in beautiful and peaceful Vancouver.  Our multicultural city is a place of vision and cycles, movement and clarity, where life moves in harmony with a higher level of consciousness.  We have solid infrastructure, health system and perceived safety.  We can surf, hike, ski and golf in a single day.

The world has many positive impressions of Vancouver, beginning with the most livable city, with a high quality of life, best city to do business and aspiring to be the world’s greenest city. Greenpeace was born in Vancouver and we have the best Chinese food in Canada.  It is so easy to fall in love with Vancouver and here are some of my personal perceptions that I would like to share with the new arrivals.

  • The people of Vancouver are generally fit and healthy because they love to exercise, do yoga, or climb a mountain.  They also love to participate in sports, love to walk, take public transport and bike around the city. 
  • They love to complain about the weather and politicians.  They are crazy about hockey, beer, seasonal, organic, free-range food and food trucks. 
  • Vancouver is a coffee town, just like Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.  It looks like there’s a café in every corner.  The restaurants are cosmopolitan and multi-cultural. coffee-791201_640
  • The residents are a bit laidback with practically no high pressure living. The word retirement has been replaced with lifeshift.  It has an energizing ring to it and at the same time politically correct.  Senior executives who choose meaningful retirement at 55 are actually wealthier than average, healthier than most and genetically wired for longevity.   People live longer and happier in Vancouver.  It is an age-friendly city.  They love to use words like “awesome” and “cool” 
  • Vancouverites are generally humane, caring and enjoy volunteer work. They are more spiritual instead of religious because they don’t go for organized religion. They are intellectually and spiritually exempt from external restrictions. 
  • Vancouver is a city of film festivals and residents love going to the cinema.  Many are into Netflix and some enjoy downloading.  But mature and educated viewers enjoy the art houses.  Vancouver has at least one film festival every month.  Late in September, there is the annual Vancouver International Film Festival.  It has been ranked third in rank in the Canadian film festival of events, after Toronto and Montreal.  Commercial Tagalog films get screenings at Tinseltown, with great patronage from homesick Filipinos. Picture-13
  • People here dress casually and not into designer clothes except some Asians who are into brand names.  You can look strange or quirky if you’re overdressed for an event. We are budget conscious and are always looking for good value for money products, bargains and special sales and discounts. Impulse buying and ostentatious show of wealth are not considered to be very Canadian. web-PNE-0902
  • Cocooning is popular.  It means staying at home longer and enjoying it.  This means more time with family as refuge or haven.  It acts as insulation to society.  It is not a sacrifice but a state of mind.  This lifestyle can be interpreted as being thrifty and frugal.
  • Asians or immigrants from Mainland China are currently buying or building palatial homes with king-size gardens, and condos with spectacular views, not cramped basement apartments without windows. 
  • Vancouverites are getting older and soon the senior citizen boom will be a large group of the population. 

There’s much, much more to say about our city so keep reading the column.






George Verdolaga’s New Book – THE MAVERICK EFFECT ( How To Be A Daring Innovator and Effective Change-Maker)

Verdolaga is a longtime Vancouver resident.  He was initially known in British Columbia as an interior decorator and founder of Flowform Design Group.  Later, he created an added career as writer and career planner through The Verdolaga Learning Systems, a self-help program aimed at urban professionals.  As a public speaker, he talked on subjects that are meant to help people to be in control of his/her career.

His first book was THE CONTRACTOR LIFESTYLE (How To Be Highly Sought After By Employers and Develop a Career That’s Immune To Layoffs and Recession).  Published in 2011, the book was in tune with the changing times brought about by the information age. He stressed that we have learn how to change or be left behind.  We have to learn how to reinforce new structures or be redundant. We have to be ready anytime to be independent and be able to launch one’s own business without doubts or fears.

Two more books followed, SITTING PRETTY and THE JOB FARMER.  Verdolaga’s latest book will be launched this October, titled THE MAVERICK EFFECT ( how to be a daring innovator and effective change-maker).  The author teaches us how to be a maverick.  Mavericks are the change-makers and ground-breakers who set the trends that hipsters follow.  He provides advise to pave the path for anyone who has the drive to embrace the lifestyle of a maverick.

This would be a perfect inspirational gift to friends or special friends who seem to lack leadership or lack the passion for self-improvement.

Bye for now till the next column. END

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