Maria Josena Barrocan (left) with her husband and daughter.


How stunted Canada dream worked for Dubai expat


DUBAI – For many, Canada is a dream destination that carries with it the promise of a better life.

Maria Josena Barrocan knows this too well. She had experienced a slice of that promise before moving to the UAE three years ago to start a family.

“I was able to travel to Canada a year after I graduated. A lot of people are dreaming of going there and I was one of the few who got lucky to work there, with the help of my relatives,” said the 28-year-old Filipina, a graduate of hotel and restaurant management.

But the opportunity in Canada didn’t last long.

“Unfortunately, when I was in the process of renewing my visa, it was not approved because that was the start of recession,” Barrocan told

“It felt like It was the end of my dreams because I thought that Canada was the only place where I can reach my dreams. But indeed, God has a better plan,” she said.

As the saying goes, “when one door closes, another one opens”.

Barrocan returned home to the Philippines where she met another surprise.

Her Dubai-based boyfriend asked her to marry him. She said yes and moved with him to the UAE. They now have a one-year-old baby girl.

“I am now here, having a beautiful family. Not in Canada but in a place where my heart finds the true happiness,” she said.

Barrocan now works as an administrative coordinator for a company in Dubai. When she’s not in the office she is busy pursuing her passion: singing. She has won several local competitions and is currently competing with four singing pairs in Expat Duets. Only time can tell whether this will be another feather to her cap.


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