Sa una biru-biruan lang: "Tara lipat na tayo sa BC! Malapit ang Jollibee doon!" But on April 2016, we found ourselves talking to a realtor. On the first week of May, for sale na ang house namin.
I've always wanted to live in (Metro) Vancouver. When I first visited
Canada in 2012, dumalaw kami sa Tita ko sa Surrey at nagandahan ako sa
place. Hindi gaanong malamig (bihirang mag-snow) saka ang daming pwedeng
gawin at pasyalan, hindi kagaya ng Deadmonton. Tapos cross border ka
lang, Washington na. May Seafood City doon at Jollibee, Red Ribbon, at
Chowking. Isa pa, mayroon nga akong Tita doon (na sobrang ka-close ko
dati) kaya talagang na-engganyo ako.
Pero syempre hindi
kami pwedeng lumipat noon kasi settled na si Ford sa Edmonton. May
magandang trabaho siya, may bahay na kami, at may malalapit na kaibigan
na rin. At mahirap din kasing iwan talaga ang Alberta kasi nga mataas
ang sweldo doon (prior to recession) kasi nga mayaman ang probinsya.
Tapos 5% lang ang sales tax (sa BC ay 12%) kaya mas mura ang cost
Pero by April, we realized that we had to leave Edmonton already. We already knew for a fact na matatagalan pa bago maka-recover ang Alberta. Ford's employment insurance will only last until February 2017. Sure, we could get by later on kung maghahanap muna siya ng kahit anong odd job tapos tuloy ang work ko, pero we had to consider his career. Hindi siya pwedeng ma-stagnate nang matagal. Yung ex-officemate niya na nalay-off din, nagrelocate na sa Ontario and found a job there.
It took a while bago nabili yung house. Again, recession. Sino ang bibili ng bahay sa mga panahong iyon? Medyo skeptic nga ako eh, pero sige lang, wala namang bayad sa realtor. Magkakaroon lang siya ng commission kapag naibenta na niya.
At dahil matagal nga inabot, medyo naipit din ang job-hunting ni Ford. He couldn't apply in Vancouver kasi nga paano ang bahay kung hindi pa naibebenta? Hindi naman namin pwedeng iwan syempre. Hindi rin naman pwedeng mauna siya sa Vancouver, paano naman kami ni Nathan sa Edmonton? Ni hindi ako nagda-drive doon. So we had no choice but to wait.
My cousin in Toronto once asked me, "Buti hindi umiinit ang ulo ni Ford? Buti hindi siya nai-insecure na ikaw muna ang nagtatrabaho?"
Actually hindi naman. Hindi talaga. Una, mas malaki pa nga ang nakukuha niya sa insurance kesa sa sinusweldo ko noh. So mas malaki pa rin ang share niya sa household expenses namin haha. Pangalawa, mataas talaga ang EQ niya. He knew na temporary lang naman ang sitwasyon, that everything will be back to normal once na nakarelocate kami at nakahanap na uli siya ng work. At pangatlo, I would like to believe na hindi ko naman kasi siya dinown during those times. It wasn't his fault na nawalan siya ng trabaho, usaping ekonomiya yan. I reminded him that when he was earning well, he's been so good and generous to me. Kaya walang rason para maliitin ko siya sa puntong iyon ng buhay niya.
Pero minsan nang sabihin ko na pagod na ako (physically tired), he said: "Sana magkatrabaho na ako uli. Kasi pagod ka na." I assured him that I wasn't complaining, na wala naman talaga sa akin yun. Pagod lang talaga ako kasi may physical aspect din naman ang work ko.
After what seemed to be an endless home viewings, we finally got an offer on August. Syempre we didn't get the amount that we initially stated, nagtawaran pa kami. In the end, break even lang kami. Pero ok na rin, at least makakapagsimula na kami uli sa BC. Saka two and half years pa lang naman kami doon, kaya wag magexpect ng equity. Masuwerte pa nga kami kasi nabenta, ang dami-daming properties (both old and new) that time na nakatengga kasi nga walang pambili ang mga tao ng bahay.
By the way, ang nakabili ng townhouse namin ay isang matandang mag-asawang Intsik yata. They used to live with their child (and his/her family) in one of the units din in the complex, pero gusto na nilang humiwalay. Kaya bumili sila ng unit (cash ha) doon din para malapit lang din sa anak nila. We were thankful kasi nga kung hindi sila tagadoon din, I doubt kung bibili sila ng second hand house. There's a new array of townhomes just across our street na marami pang vacant units, pwedeng doon sila bumili kung tutuusin.
We agreed to turn over the house on the last day of September. We thought that should give us ample time to look for an apartment in BC, pack, and bid goodbye to our friends.
Pero kaloka ha, mid-September na eh wala pa kaming malilipatan. On my birthday weekend (August 27-29), we drove all the way to Surrey to check a townhouse-type rental apartment that's big enough to accommodate all our things. Akala namin makukuha namin, given my husband's good credit history and our savings (that will prove that we are capable of paying), kaso we got declined. We were shocked, ang sakit palang ma-reject. Ang only reason na naisip namin is because Ford was jobless at that time. Our savings (plus the sale of our house) didn't count. We really never saw it coming, we were too confident na walang magiging problema sa paghahanap namin ng matitirahan.
We searched and searched online pero walang vacancy sa mga apartment complexes sa Langley, Delta at Delta (iyon kasi ang mga target cities namin). Mukhang booming talaga ang BC, naisip namin. Marami nga rin kasing naglipatan doon from Alberta simula nang mag-recession. I tried emailing / text messaging yung mga homeowners na nagpaparent ng basement but nobody replied. Mukhang hindi ako sineryoso.
We were getting desperate. Malapit na kaming maging homeless. Ang tindi ng pressure. Thankfully, meron isang nakausap si Ford na apartment manager who was willing to take us in kahit na hindi na namin ma-view ang apartment. When Ford informed her na wala pa siyang trabaho, enough na daw that we email to her our bank's statement of account para lang masigurado na may pambayad kami sa mga susunod na buwan. I guess she took us in when she learned na Filipino kami, marami raw kasi silang tenants na Filipino. Gusto siguro nila ang Pinoy kasi maayos sa bahay.
The only problem though was that we could only move by October 1. The only solution was to rent a huge storage in Surrey (hay, gastos!) and dump our things there at least a week before September ends kasi we needed to clean the townhouse pa before the turnover.
My parents-in-law came over in September and helped us pack the house. I quit from my job na rin (my last day was September 17). Then Ford rented a truck and they brought all our things in the storage on September 21.
We stayed at our good friend's (Mylene and Obet) house for a couple of days before the townhouse's turnover. We spent those days with our distant cousins and closest friends who became our family in Edmonton. It was bitter sweet. We were excited because a new adventure awaits us, but it wasn't easy to leave the life that we've built in Edmonton.
With a heavy heart, we left on the night of October 1st.
---- To Be Continued ----