So, What Do You Bring When You Migrate?

By , on February 1, 2014

Pangarap: So, Our Journey Begins

Finding yourself alone in a strange country can be so humbling that were it not for your dream and your faith, you will never make it.

In the previous issue of this column, we tried to answer the question, Must You Leave Everything Behind?”

You can literally leave everything behind, but we all know that you can never, never leave whatever is ingrained in your mind or etched in your heart. But as we said, be that as it may, make sure there will be no reason for you to want to quit and go back home in the face of even the slightest failure or frustration in your search for a job or a new life somewhere else.

When we travel even as tourists, the more organized and systematic among us usually come up with a checklist. This checklist includes things to bring, to buy, to settle, to pay, places to visit and people to call. The list is as huge as you yourself, with the certain age range you belong in, your civil status, the size of your family, and your clan or professional circle. The Canadian immigration procedure, for example, extends this list to asking you to determine what to bring now and what to bring later or to follow among what you possess now.

When you do the checklist, you will realize how cumbersome it can be. Or perhaps, how mushy. It is as if your whole life flashes back before you. As you sort your valuables, your son’s first teddy bear or the first Barbie doll your Dad gave you pops up in your mind. And the temptation is to bring all these “firsts.” The opposite is also true. Anything that reminds you of pain or anger is the first to travel to the trash can, never to be seen again.

There is really so much we pack and unpack when we migrate, only to realize when we begin to settle in that none of the material things that we have brought with us will mean anything at all or will last us for long.

Having been through this, I almost like to believe that there are only two things that you could bring that will matter at all—your dream and your faith.

The “for the children” line is almost like a broken-record, so to speak. This line may be logical for those who have less in life or whose previous life has not been too prosperous, but what about those who had it good, a stable career, a solid fortune, a gorgeous and jet setting social life, a happy circle of friends and family? Is leaving all these worth it?

One of my friends back home called me suicidal. She said she had not realized that I was a masochist. She knew how much I gave up to be able to bring my children to this country.  She knew how much it broke my heart to leave family and friends, and my wonderful job, to be able to give my children this option in life. They thought that I was so brave to get into this.

The truth is, I am the most cowardly person on earth to have made this decision. I was so scared that I would not have enough to leave to my children when I am gone. I was so afraid that nothing I left could ever secure their future. I was gripped with so much fear that they would not make it as I had made it.  They were not scholars, they were not geniuses, they were not so sociable, they were not aggressive, they were not confident, they were not good enough.

In my aloneness, I realize that it was so unkind of me to think of my children that way. It was so unkind to ever think that God does not love them just as God has loved me. It was so arrogant to even think that only I could make it to a successful life. It is so irreverent to even think that I could be like a god and try to secure their own future. Can God forgive a mother?

God understands that I am a mother. God can forgive a mother, I said to myself.

Because mothers dream. Mothers have faith. My dream and my faith will see us through. Coming here was a fluid decision.  As such, I feel that the long arm of God continues to lead the way in this journey of a dream and faith.

Whatever I have brought with me in the beginning may be gone, or almost gone by now. Yet, I know, only my dream for my children and my faith will remain in the end, and that, if I take care not to let these die, then I will be all right in this passage.

None of the material things you pack with you will mean anything. Only your dream and your faith will carry you along in this journey. Keep them alive and you will be all right.

Nobody ever said that our journey, will be easy. But as I write and as you read, we share our strengths and we can hold to the promise that “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20.

Bolet is a marketing communications practitioner and dabbles in writing as a personal passion. She is author-self publisher of the book:  The Most Practical Immigrating and Job Hunting Survival Guide, proven simple steps to success without the fears and the doubts. The book is available in, Barnes & Noble and other online bookshops worldwide, and in National Book Store and Power Books in the Philippines. Please check out