In the Philippines, the majority of the population aims to at least finish their college or tertiary level of education which is sufficient enough to land you a job. With this as building blocks, most Filipinos are able to make a career out of their college degree, without considering to study again to earn higher education. Graduating college marks the end of their student career because in a more traditional Filipino set up, the way to life is to study, get a job, get married, and start a family. That is it; your life has peaked once you tick off everything in this conventional checklist. Of course, no one can blame breadwinners for putting family first above their own personal development and career advancement. However, what most of us should understand is that our ability to provide and support our family is based on our money making abilities.
The higher your education is, the better the career opportunities that lie ahead of you. It sounds very cliché, but education is really the key to open the doors of your future. To choose whether to study or to work is a tough decision to make, especially if there is a lot to weigh in, but no great thing ever comes without a sacrifice.
Here is Reymar Afable’s inspiring story that despite his success in the Philippines, he has seen the value of pursuing higher education in Canada.
His happy and successful life in the Philippines
Reymar is a family man blessed with three daughters Reina, Rhianna and Rey Niña, together with his wife Angelica. He is currently pursuing a Co-op Diploma in Business Management with Specialization in Business at Vancouver, British Columbia. He had established an impressive career in Education. Perhaps, being in academia, Reymar has long valued the importance of education in the makings of a prolific career.
“I am in the Department of Education, working as a School Administrator/Head Teacher III of Dulag SPED Center and a member of the Management Team. This position is a part of top management in the district level of our department, meaning to say I am a school manager without [a] teaching load. As one of the members of the managerial team, taking a management [program] is highly encouraged especially in an international level of study.
Taking a business management program from a business school takes me further and deeper in my understanding of fiscal innovation, management research, operations, and strategy in terms of management in an organization. I am also designated lately as one of the members of the District Financial Task Force [whose] main purpose is to check, manage, and liquidate school funds under fiscal management aspect in the whole district. School operations don’t only depend on the government funds given to the school. As a school manager, I always find ways to sustain the limited fund given by the government to the school especially now that we are implementing flexible learning. We, the management team [and] stakeholders, will also initiate different activities, which involve fundraising income by generating school projects from the different clubs and organizations. In order to gain funds to support the implementation of the initiated school projects, [we operate the] school canteen as a business for the school to generate income.”
Reymar’s Top Reasons to Pursue Higher Education in Canada
- Through studying abroad, I can experience a different style of education system and see another valuable side that I may not have been exposed to in my homeland.
- Immersing in the education system of Canada is a great way to experience it. It will develop my people skills, give me in-depth knowledge to understand other people from different cultures.
- Another benefit is learning the English language. It is advantageous studying in a country that speaks the English language. The considerable language practice I will get in day-to-day life will help to develop my language skills.
4. I chose Canada because it has been recognized as one of the safest countries abroad and that it embraces multiculturalism.
5. The cost of living in Canada is lower compare to other countries like Australia and the US.
6. And lastly, I can benefit from a world-class education system that encourages cross-disciplinary studies and develops highly transferrable skills.
“This program will help me meet the pre-requisite for a promotion. The best leadership development programs nowadays are all about “whole” leadership, meaning you must be a master of all types of management skills. This will help take my career to new heights. In fact, taking business management courses will make me competitive in today’s fast-changing world. So, finishing this program can help me learn the advanced techniques and skills that I will need in my managerial work and merit for qualification to apply for a higher position too which is my end goal.”
Becoming an international student was exciting for Reymar, but even exciting things can come with challenges. Mainly, Reymar had to deal with homesickness, weather and climate, cost of living, and culture shock.
“I feel homesick and I miss my family back home [in the Philippines], and despite of the whole Covid-19 pandemic situation, I keep going for the future of my family. It was difficult at first because of the adjustment period, I have to wake up early to prepare for school and for my part time job afterwards. I also walk quite a distance, rain or shine or snow, because there [wasn’t a] bus route. On top of this I have to make time for household chores, assignments, and school projects. So, time management is important – self discipline and attitude matters too, it plays a big role in overcoming the challenges I face as an international student. I live by a principle – “K-SAG” – Knowledge, Skills, Attitude and God Fearing character here in Canada. I also use the S-M-A-R-T method: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Resourceful and Time Bounded. As time goes by, I find myself enjoying my studies and my part time work. Remember to always be humble and keep your feet on the ground. Love your motherland, the Philippines, and do not forget all the people who are part of this wonderful journey called “life”.
Reymar’s story is an example of dedication and great sacrifice, but life as we know it rewards those people who know how to sacrifice good things to achieve greater things.
Little do we realise, continuing education is an essential part of a sustainable and successful career. Learning is an inevitable part of life, from the moment we were conceived in the womb, the only way for us to grow is to learn, and the quality of our lives depends on how much we can put what we learn into use. What happens when we stop learning? Stagnation. We get too accustomed to what we already know and forget that we can learn and become more.
Contentment is for sure a positive state of mind, however, along with contentment comes complacency. We become complacent and it derails us from actually peaking in our lives. Of course, to live in the moment, to appreciate what is in front of us is important, however we must not let it stand in the way of seeing a brighter future.