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From Separation, Heartache & Job Loss to Living the Canadian Dream!

By July 22, 2021August 19th, 2022No Comments
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As we all have, Anderson College students have faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an attempt to focus on the triumphs and celebrate the courage and tenacity of our community, we launched a My2020 Story Campaign. Students were asked a few poignant questions to spark the sharing of their experiences and insights. The response was overwhelming and, in the process, we have been blown away by their authentic sharing and inspired by the powerful lessons they have learned. We are grateful to all those who contributed and are richer for having you in our Anderson family.

Here is one such story, for you …

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For me, 2020 was a memorable year because one more chapter will be added to the history textbook (COVID-19). We’ll have a story to tell the next generation about how we self-quarantined during the COVID-19 pandemic. But this situation gave us a new opportunity to fight and to always remember that there are solutions for whatever problems come our way.

We are Andrew and Nicole Rose Estomata. Please allow us to share our journey towards our dreams with you.

Healthy rice fields, the splashing of the tides of the Cerulean Sea, the sound of birds chirping and singing sweet melodies as the sun wakes up early in the morning, those are the simple things in life that make a soul happy. Nicole Rose and I both grew up in a rural place in the Philippines where life is simple.

What do people do for love? Way back in 2015 when Nicole and her siblings’ documents were finally processed and they were ready to depart for Canada, it was one of the hardest facts I had to face and adjustments I had to make. Every day I prayed that we would be able to cope with our long-distance relationship.

“I was laid-off from my job and I could do nothing and the situation was so hard to bear.[…] I was about to lose hope, but I remembered WHY WE HAD STARTED.”

Two years passed and finally we both had our family’s blessings. I asked her parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage and we were married! Nicole and her parents came back to the Philippines for us to get married on the day of our Lord, April 28, 2017. I thought the hardest year so far was 2015 but no, it ended up being 2018. In the year 2018, I made the greatest decision of my life, I applied to move to Canada and was ready to leave the teaching profession. I loved my previous job, but I also love my wife and we wanted to build our future together rather than grinding in separate ways on separate continents.

Nicole processed my sponsorship and in May 2019 I left the Philippines. When I arrived in Canada I just said, “Lord, finally thanks to you!” Our everyday life was okay, and we were happy because at long last we had finally unlocked one of our dreams together and we were thrilled that we would not be separated again, ever. I also got work and was glad to go along with Canada’s culture and I loved it here.

But then 2020 came, the worst nightmare for the entire world – the pandemic. I was laid-off from my job and I could do nothing and the situation was so hard to bear. People got depressed, struggling and battling to survive every single day because they had no work and nowhere to earn alternative sources of income. The virus’s casualties kept on growing like a inflating balloon, some people had nothing to eat and no money to meet their basic needs. I was about to lose hope, but I remembered WHY WE HAD STARTED.

“We always wake up full of ambition, knowing that all our hard work will pay off. This is our story, about both of us fighting against all odds to make it.”

My father-in-law, out of the blue, introduced me to the idea of going to this school, Anderson College. It is much more than a school; it is a family, with caring professionals who are deeply committed to helping you succeed and reach your goals. So basically, we enrolled at Anderson College with high hopes that this will help us grow and thrive and reach our success. I missed teaching, but I would not allow myself to lose the chance of learning again with my loving wife. And we’re proud to say that we are classmates. We always wake up full of ambition, knowing that all our hard work will pay off. This is our story, about both of us fighting against all odds to make it. In comparison to the normal face-to-face learning at school, the new way of virtual learning can be draining, but at the end of the day, you realize that learning doesn’t depend on how or where you take classes, it depends on your willingness and passion to learn and succeed.

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2020 was truly a disaster, it ruined many things BUT NOT OUR DREAMS. Our dream as a couple was to get stable jobs and build a more comfortable life once we graduated from Anderson College, to have a house that we will call a “home”, and to give back and help those who are in great need. What kept us going? Well, the answer is, “the things we do for love.”

Our story will inspire others by reminding them that whatever disaster happens, it may ruin everything but not our dreams – those dreams that made us rise again and again after we fall. We smile and say, “We are fortunate that the Lord God never lets us stumble”. Truly, faith can move mountains, and it does wonders when faith is paired with hard work and perseverance.

Andrew and Nicole E.

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