Pinoy Loses Job in Canada, Lives Under the Bridge Even during Winter

A lot of Filipinos wish they could find a job abroad to provide a better life for their families, under the assumption that jobs outside the Philippines pay much higher and could bring them good fortune. Sadly, not everyone who goes abroad actually find greener pastures; many end up deeper in debt and finding it difficult to get back home.

Allan Par left a stable job under the Philippine government’s social work and welfare sector to seek greener pastures in Canada. He found a job in Winnipeg and lived with sponsors, but he was later laid off from that job for no apparent reason, he claimed.

While Allan was able to land another job, he lost that again – and the next one after that. He bounced from job to job, but had difficulty keeping one as he was repeatedly let go without explanation.

As he lost his jobs, his relationship with his sponsors also turned sour. Allan would soon find himself living in the streets, spending his mornings outside a West End community gym.

Photo credit: Bryce Hoye – CBC / Yahoo! News

To keep himself warm at night, Allan spent time at the airport terminal.

Realizing he could not always seek shelter from these places, Allan decided to build his own shack under the parking lot bridge over Omand’s Creek off Empress Street. He picked that spot because it was ‘peaceful’, Allan said when asked why he did not pick a homeless shelter in the downtown area.

Struggling to survive, especially during the winter when the place was covered in snow, Allan said he left everything to God and prayed.

Photo credit: Bryce Hoye – CBC / Yahoo! News

As a homeless person, he suffers from stress and could only hope to find another job soon so he would not starve. Though he expected a much better life in Canada, he now wishes he never left Manila.

The 41-year-old immigrant used to work with less fortunate people in Manila, teaching unemployed people how to use basic computer programs like Microsoft Excel and Word to help them find a job. It was rather ironic that he’s struggling to find a job in Canada when he used to help people do it while he was still in the Philippines.

Photo credit: Bryce Hoye – CBC / Yahoo! News

Someone called the cops on Allan, reporting him for ‘disturbance’. Upon inspection of Allan’s home, Winnipeg police Const. Brian Boyd concluded that he did not disturb anyone; however, the shop owners nearby think his home is an eyesore. The policeman referred him to Main Street Project, a community organization that helps the homeless.

Allan also told the police officer that he needed a job – and it might be possible he would find one soon, with the help of the local authorities.

Photo credit: Bryce Hoye – CBC / Yahoo! News

Boyd thinks Allan made a rather impressive home in that shack; thus, the policeman said he might give recommendation for the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) to find a job in a construction company.

My life here in Canada is very, very poor,” Allan admitted.

I need to be a hard [worker] because I want a better place, I want a better place to [stay] every night, especially in winter. In winter it’s very cold and it’s very hard to live in the street.

After years of living in the streets, Allan is unsure he would even find a job or new home now. He claims that most people just judge him instead of helping out…