Posted by : VANITY Blog Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Courtesy of: Markus Spiske

I was never really given a personal allowance, instead, I was always given a sum of money every week that would be enough for my commute to school, and anything else I needed. Money for personal use, well, that wasn’t really something I had growing up.

Part of it was because money was tight, but that was something my parents never wanted me to know. They took it upon themselves to hide anything that may indicate financial struggle. Even though I never had an allowance, I didn’t think I needed one, because when I was a kid, when I wanted something, they would give it to me. Every time.

My parents struggled to put me through school, mainly because they wanted me to go to the best private school in the Philippines, and not once did they complain about shouldering the huge expense by working longer hours and placing themselves in debt.

I only learned about our financial situation when we moved to Canada, when I was finally old enough to understand why they did all that they did, and why they never wanted me to learn about their hardship. They just loved me so much, they didn’t want me to be bothered with all the stress of not knowing how to pay the month’s bills or this year’s tuition.


So now that I have a job, now that I earn money to pay for my own tuition, I think it’s only fitting to pay them back. Every time I get my paycheck, I save some of it for my parents. I have a plan, you see.

Every Christmas, starting from way back when I was five, my parents would always surprise me by pretending to have forgotten about what I wanted, then giving the gift to me when the day was over; it’s a tradition that has so much more meaning to me now that I know the full story behind everything they’ve ever done.

My plan is that with the sum of money I’ve stashed away, I’ll use it to buy them the things they want, and as it grows, so will the gifts. Small gifts for now, given that I’ve only been working for a few months or so, but as the years go by and as (hopefully) my paycheck grows and the sum increases, I can give them the things they’ve gone without just for my sake.

I’m a simple guy with no real need for anything other than food and internet connection, so who knows, maybe with enough time and effort I can get them a vacation in Hawaii for the Winter, and, maybe with my brother and sister, buy them a house when we’ve all grown up. It’s the very least I can do.

- Carlo

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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