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  • 'Every Year, I Cry' Pinay Mom Reveals Life As A Tractor Driver In Canada

    ‘Put in mind that working abroad is not paradise, it’s way opposite of what people imagine. Be prepared.’
    by Allison Estrella .
'Every Year, I Cry' Pinay Mom Reveals Life As A Tractor Driver In Canada
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Leizel Alegre
  • Canada takes pride in being one of the world's most diverse and cosmopolitan nations. Because of its natural beauty, sophisticated cities, and international cuisine, most Filipinos have picked Canada as their top destination for visiting, studying, working, and immigrating.

    However, establishing a new life in a foreign nation is never simple.

    “Hindi po ako dumating dito para mag OFW, nakapangasawa ako ng Canadian kaya nakarating ako dito sa Canada,” Leizel Alegre told Summit OG.

    "Nag divorce kami, hanggang dito na rin ako naghanap ng trabaho," she said after her relationship didn't work out the way she intended. “Right now, my boyfriend is my employer. After a two-month stint at the farm, I moved in with him and began working for him as a part-time farmer and tractor operator."

    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Leizel Alegre

    Farming in Canada

    Liezl revealed that her boyfriend and current employer taught her all she needed to know about working on a farm, including how to operate a tractor and labor in the field.

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    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Leizel Alegre

    Farming is a major industry in Canada, which many people are unaware of. The agricultural business, like other natural resource industries, contributes significantly to the livelihoods of both Canadians and non-Canadians. And, as they say, in Canada, there is no such thing as an "average" farm, much less a typical farmer.

    As a five-foot-two tractor driver, Leizl Alegre demonstrates this time and time again: “When I pass by the highway, people are looking at me with wide eyes, parang [amazed sila] kasi hindi naman ako matangkad, 5’2 lang ako tapos nag d-drive ako [nitong malaking tractor], parang hindi sila nakakakita madalas ng driver [na katulad ko], kaya proud po ako na natutunan ko itong trabaho na ito.”

    “Wala talaga siya sa list na I wanted to be in the future, tamad nga akong mag dilig ng halaman sa amin! Kaya hindi ko ineexpect na magugustuhan ko, na mai-inlove ako sa farming,” she expressed.

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    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Leizel Alegre

    Liezl's job entails plowing and working the soil, checking the soil quality to see whether it's ready to work, picking up rocks, and planting soybeans, which she struggled with.

    "I've never driven in the Philippines; dito lang talaga ako natuto. My main struggle is yung mag plant ng soya talaga, which made me cry three times. Every year, I cry kasi sensitive talaga siya na trabaho," she explained.

    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Leizel Alegre
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    She stated that there are moments when she wishes she could leave this career and find one that is more suited to her structural qualities. However, she never gave up and welcomed it year after year, “Parang magaan na sa loob ko yung mga trina-trabaho ko."

    Giving back to family

    Liezl noted that she grew up with hardworking parents who didn't have much when their business failed, and they struggled to obtain food, which influenced her to work hard as well. She frequently devotes nearly all of her earnings to her family, believing that they are deserving of moral and financial assistance.

    “I have no regrets about my decision sa buhay ko, wala po talaga. Kasi kung may struggle man o challenges that I have had in my life made me the woman I am now,” she proudly stated.

    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Leizel Alegre

    Liezl demonstrates that women can do manly occupations well, “My advice to women who also want to try a manly job like what I have is: not to be scared to try new things and push yourself. Perseverance and technique is the key to enjoying this kind of job. Put in mind that working abroad is not a paradise, it’s way opposite of what people imagine, so be prepared.” 

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    Want to know more about her inspiring story? Allow Liezl Alegre to take you through her journey filled with ups and downs, and how she ended up becoming a tractor driver in Canada here: 

    Want to meet more modern-day heroes? Watch OG's new series: OFW diaries only on the OG YouTube Channel

    Subscribe to the channel here.

    Watch more OG videos here.

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