Deer Island, New Brunswick 2013

A Pinay's Diary

In late September year 2013, I had the privilege of being a part of a special visitation to encourage our Pilipino brothers and sisters in New Brunswick. Not only was I spiritually refreshed from the spiritual gifts the brothers brought with them, my soul was also refreshed by the beauty of God's work of art. We visited quite a few places and Deer Island was one of them. I was thrilled as this is my first time visiting the island myself.  It's a visit with a purpose and adventure!

A Pinay's Diary

Sail-by pictures during our 20 minute Ferry Ride to Deer Island New Brunswick. 


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary

Isn't the location of that house just lovely? Oh, there were many times when I dreamed of living in a home by the lake.  Imagine all the lovely mornings you can wake up to the serenity of the ocean? Have that very warm beverage on your hand, sit outside for a bit, feel the cool breeze on your face. take a deep breath, close your eyes and drift into its peaceful calmness... ahhh...


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary

I was thoroughly enjoying this ride. As the ferry crosses the ocean, you can get out of the car to enjoy the wind and fill your eyes with delightful views. (You drive your car on board a big barge that floats towards the next Island.) You could tell how after some time, people who live here stop to bother. No other people besides us stepped out of their vehicles. I even saw some passengers busy on their cell phones or taking a nap. Oh well, it left the view unobstructed to take better pictures. 


A Pinay's Diary

A Pinay's Diary

After we visited a few homes in the Island, we stopped by the 'whirlpool' to visit the seals...


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary

Just a stone throw away ~ that Island is East Coast Maine USA.  We went to Maine two years ago and it was a great treat!


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary

My dear seal-friends are very elusive to the camera.
I managed to get this one, my many other pictures ends up just showing the water. They puff their heads out and stares at you,as if posing for a photo. Then quickly dives into the water when you take their pictures - such a tease!

A Pinay's Diary

It's hard to get a good shot of the whirlpool.. but can you see a little sign of it in this photo?
A Pinay's Diary

More drive-by and random shots on views from the Island


A Pinay's Diary

This is the backyard of one of the homes that we visited.

A Pinay's Diary

Fishing boats.

A Pinay's Diary

Fishing nets and cages to catch lobster.

A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary


A Pinay's Diary

The fish plant in the Island employs more than 70 Pilipinos among many others.  
The plant in the mainland employs 40.
Work at the fish plant allows many Pilipinos to come and get employment in Canada.  IT is a hard and demanding work with minimum pay. I saw some workers while doing our Filipino Search Work in the past.  They were were wearing aprons, rubber gloves that cover up to the arms, boots almost to the knees, and blue plastic coverings from head to toe. This work lasts for only particular seasons in the year. That means busy only a few months in the fair-weather and mostly closed in the winter.  Workers labor for long hours 7 days a week during the busy season.  So, many locals choose not to work there.  Good for us as the companies resort to foreign workers to fill the need.  


Some fish plants, including this one in Deer Island, support and sponsor the workers so that they can eventually apply for their residency.  That is one of the greatest advantages of working in a very remote location.  Other fish-plants, in larger cities, are not able to do this since the government sets higher standards for immigration - like the need to be in a supervisory position to qualify as skilled workers.  Still, you'd be able to find many of our hardy countrymen working there. 

Most unskilled workers in Canada are allowed to stay in the country for only up to 4 years. After which, they are required to leave. Only after another 4 years outside Canada can they come back and work here again. Marriage to citizens has become a common way for many to remain here. Gladly, there seems to be no difficulty on that matter. Pilipinas are the sweetest and most charming girls I know, uhmmm ;) I have seen and heard of many get married in the last couple months... 


Back in Toronto, I was one of the many Pinays who came to Canada under the 'live-in caregiver program'. After 2 full years of employment, we can apply for permanent residency.  That's what I did and I thought that every Pilipino here had their start that way... You know, endure patiently until we get qualified and then work out our residency? Along with a mother's application would be sponsorship for her family - That is Husband and kids.  That's not always the case.  Only after I came to Moncton that I realized many of our dear kababayans come here for many other employments without the promise of permanence.

For a long time I did not bother visiting the mall. Someone told me, if I wanted to meet Filipinos, I should go. And he was right! I met many working at the food court. That's also how I first got acquainted with Pilipinos working at the Fish Plants. Later on I realized, we're everywhere! Restaurants, hotels, fast foods, coffee shops... Name it! Almost every Pilipino here knows each other. They ask me, "How long have you been here?" Or "How come we've never seen you before?"

It's a hard life - it's always a struggle... There's always anxiety over the uncertainty of what happens next - what awaits them and those who rely on them back home?  But Pilipinos are tough and they weather anything. They always find a way...  






The fish plant workers rent and share bedrooms in houses like this:


A Pinay's Diary

A regular rent would be $400.00 for each person and usually 2 people would share a bedroom.  Mostly, there are 4 bedrooms in a mid-size house like this.  That rent is exorbitant!  $800.00 can get you a nice 2 bedroom apartment in the city, with all the utilities included.  Well, this living arrangement gives a good allowance for the months where there is no work (cold winter season).  One I heard about slashes the rent down, almost free.. They have to make up for it somewhere, sometime, hmm? :(



It's good for the residents to have a car as there is no public transportation here.  But none of the Pilipinos have one.  Instead, they use bicycles.  Getting around can be difficult.  I really do wonder how they do that, specially in the winter...

By the way, where is Deer Island?



We traveled about 3.5 hours from Moncton south to Deer Island.
A little bit further, a longer ferry ride, we could be at the larger Grand Manan Island
where there's whale watching and more spectacular ocean views.
Maybe next time :)
A Pinay's Diary

And here's the ferry schedule, in case you wonder ;)
The ferry 'sails' every half an hour.  Crossing takes about 20 minutes and it's free. It is considered part of the highway, that's why.

Many residents in the Island considers the ferry an inconvenience and would much rather have a bridge built.  That way, the Island isn't that much isolated.  I suppose, if you would have to travel this way daily, the wait to get through the ferry can be very frustrating.  The allure of the view diminishes and it's no longer an adventure :(  Many though are opposed to the idea and prefer to keep the island secluded. 



Here's a nice photo from St. George.  This was our first stop-over in the mainland before going to Deer Island.  We met with a nice couple here who were very kind to take us around and guide us through our adventure and precious visit to Deer Island...


A Pinay's Diary

I'm just realizing, are Canadians really religious in this part of the country?  The towns and cities are mostly named after Saints - St John, St Stephen, St George.... huh?

Hopefully, we can have a preaching tour in Deer Island again next summer.  I would also really love to visit Grand Manan and maybe even experience camping there.  Yes, Canadians love camping. I haven't been.... someday, maybe....   

Here's a teaser.  Photo courtesy of a friend who vacationed in Grand Manan this summer. I think they made a mistake - could it be St. Grand Manan? Ha Ha Ha...



A Pinay's Diary






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