Friendly Manitoba – Part 1

September 8, 2006 at 11:18 pm 27 comments


Every license plate here in Manitoba bears the phrase “Friendly Manitoba,” the province’s motto or slogan.

Let me first give you a brief overview of Manitoba’s geography and climate.


Manitoba is one of the 13 provinces/territories of Canada.  The USA has 51 states.  Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories.  Manitoba is located at the south central part of Canada and is one of the three prairie provinces, which also include Alberta and Saskatchewan. This means that Manitoba has mostly flat lands, much like the Central Luzon in the Philippines.  


Manitoba experiences the four seasons:  spring, summer, autumn, and winter.  It usually rains in spring and that’s when flowers and trees bloom.  We have warm weather in the summer.  Temperatures begin to drop in autumn.  And of course the dreaded winter. We have long and cold winters here in Manitoba. Snow usually comes around the last days of October and melts only around April.  Although sometimes it still snows in May. Normally, the coldest temperatures we get is minus 33 C to 35 C, but the mercury sometimes drops up to minus 40 C and if you consider the windchill factor, it could feel like minus 52 C.


Inspite of the unfriendly temperatures in the winter, people here in Manitoba are very warm and friendly.  Manitoba stays true to its motto. 

I was searching the internet trying to find out how this province started getting called Friendly Manitoba.  But the closest I got is a Forum thread from people who moved from Vancouver to Winnipeg and vice versa and another one was a blogger’s post where he bashed Winnipeg.

I live inn Winnipeg, the capital city of Manitoba. Winnipeg has been good to me so far.  I’ve lived here for 17 years and I can attest that this is indeed a friendly province.

Let me just cite a few instances. 

One of the first things I had to learn when I first came here is how to get around the city by taking the bus. The first thing I noticed is how people line up to get on the bus because in the Philippines, people shove each other to try to get in an already full bus. But people here are very polite. The driver would say good morning to you and have a nice day or goodnight when you get off. When waiting at the bus stop or when they are on the bus, people would talk to each other. The usual topic would be the weather because we have a very interesting weather here in Winnipeg. 


Also, buses here run by schedule and if you are a regular commuter, you see the same people on the bus everyday and you tend to connect with them. I remember one Christmas break, my husband was on a two-week vacation after Christmas, but I had to go to work for three days between Christmas and New Year’s. So the moment I got on the bus, a few people said in unison, “Where’s the baby?” I used to bring my youngest son, who was still two years old at that time, to daycare, and he came with me on the bus. I would drop him off to daycare, which was just a block from where I worked. These people got used to the sight of us boarding that bus every morning. And somebody would always offer us their seats if the bus was full. So when I showed up without him, that was their main reaction. I told them that he was at home with his father.   But that was kind of touching that they were concerned about me and my son and they just knew us from the bus rides that we took everyday.


There was another incident when I was just new here. I was applying for jobs here and there and I needed a typewriter to make resumes. There was this typewriter store on Portage Avenue and I went there to buy an Olympia typewriter. It was winter, January if I remember right. Temperature was probably around minus 15 to 19 C degrees. I was crossing the street to get to the other side of Portage Avenue to catch my bus home. The box that contained the typewriter was kind of big for my small figure and of course I was wearing my heavy winter jacket and I was trying to hug the box but it felt awkward and I took my gloves off because the box was kind of slipping from my hands. I wanted to have a good grip of the box because I didn’t want to drop it. I reached my bus stop and there was this elderly lady. She must have thought that this foreign lady must be new here in this cold country. She talked to me very slowly. She probably thought that I didn’t understand English that much. She wanted me to put back my gloves on for I might get frostbite. I explained to her why I took them off. And she was quite surprised that I talked fluent English.

So you see, Winnipeggers are very polite and caring people.

Continued here.


Entry filed under: Winnipeg.

Back to School – Part 2 Friendly Manitoba – Part 2

27 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ladybug  |  September 8, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Wow! How luck you are to live in such a friendly city. I also love the pictures you posted. Looks very peaceful and picturesque. Tama ka…dito sa Pinas tulakan sa bus. I hope that we somehow imbibe that kind of culture someday.

  • 2. ipanema  |  September 9, 2006 at 1:48 am

    When I read the prairie, i remembered the TV programme I got addicted when I was in HS, “The Little House on the Prairie”. It looks endless flat land.

    You’re lucky indeed to live in a friendly city.

  • 3. Kyels  |  September 9, 2006 at 1:56 am

    It’s good that you’re living in such a friendly city. It is definitely hard to find friendly people nowaday. Do you not think so?


  • 4. bw  |  September 9, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    I’d like to drive up to Winnipeg one day and it better be in summer! It will be around 22 hrs and I’m barely out of Ontario – that’s like driving down from Toronto to Florida, passing through 5 states. The place is huge! Heard there’s a lot of Pinoys out there in Winnipeg.

  • 5. Abaniko  |  September 9, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    My friend is migrating to Canada and will be living in Winnipeg soon. I’m tempted to tag along. Hay!

  • 6. niceheart  |  September 9, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    Ladybug, I’m glad you like the pictures. One thing I dread about going back there is yung tulakan sa bus at pagtawid sa kalye. I’ve heard stories from my mother nung nagbalikbayan siya.

    Ipanema, that’s what also came to mind the first time I learned that we are one of the prairie provinces. 🙂

    Kyels, I’m really grateful that I ended up in this friendly province. I know that sometimes it’s hard to find friendly people, especially in a foreign place.

  • 7. niceheart  |  September 9, 2006 at 9:46 pm

    BW, that would be a great idea to drive up in the summer. Time your visit around the first two weeks of August so you can watch the Folklorama. And yeah, it’s true. Lots of Pinoys here. Everywhere you look, there’s at least one Pinoy in sight. 🙂

    Abaniko, tara, sama na!

  • 8. Eric  |  September 9, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    You are indeed fortunate to be living in such a friendly place, Irene. Great for the kids as well 🙂

    Hmmm … NYC isn’t all that bad. I, too, like most commuters, would wonder about a fellow regular commuter gone for too long. It sort of like missing a family member.

  • 9. wats0n  |  September 10, 2006 at 1:23 am

    Hi Niceheart. You are indeed lucky to be living in such a friendly city. These times, mas marami yung maririnig mo kasi na violence due to racial discrimination kasi.

  • 10. ann  |  September 10, 2006 at 1:48 am

    I wish we can visit your place someday..who knows baka magkita tayo di ba? Nakakasawa na ang init dito.

  • 11. haze  |  September 10, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    According to my uncles who are working as seafarers Canada is the cleanest country compared to USA and European country. You know I would really love to visit Canad, have some friends in Aberta & Toronto sana nga madalaw ko sila 😉 !

    I love the 1st picture it’s like the ricefield in my Province of Quezon jusr behind our house! Your right, it’s flat & green parang sarap magpa gulung gulong no, hay na miss ko na naman sa tin !

  • 12. Karen  |  September 10, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    hi there!
    mababait talaga ang mga taga winnipeg…biased ako no? hehe.
    i agree with everything you said esp. with the bus. kahit gaano kalamig or gaano kalakas ang ulan wala pa ring tulakan, no?
    another thing is pag nakapila ang mga tao, they give ample space to the person infront of them. hindi yung mararamdaman mo na yung hininga nung tao sa likod mo pag nakapila.

  • 13. Lazarus  |  September 10, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    very nice place! I wish I can live in a place like that someday.

  • 14. niceheart  |  September 10, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    Eric, I do feel fortunate. That’s why I don’t complain too much. And I agree that regular commuters sort of become like family members. You see them everyday and sometimes here they talk about their personal lives too. 🙂

    You’re right, Watson. When my oldest son started going to school, I was concerned about racial discrimination but I noticed that he has been quite a popular friend to his classmates. So I needed not worry about that. Besides, Winnipeg is such a multi-cultural environment and there are different kinds of people here that kids have been aware that everyone is different.

  • 15. niceheart  |  September 10, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    Hi Ann, I also hope you can come and visit me here someday. 🙂

    Haze, it’s really quite clean here. People here are so disciplined with regards to littering. Kids are taught that if you don’t see any trash can around, put your garbage in your pocket and just get rid of it when you do find one or when you get home. The city is even very keen on recycling. There are recycling bins everywhere and every household has their own recycling boxes we call the Blue Box. Hey, my father was also from Quezon Province, Siain. 🙂

  • 16. niceheart  |  September 10, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    Hello guys, Karen is also here from Winnipeg. That’s why she said she’s biased.

    I forgot to mention that. How people give you your personal space and don’t stand breathing down on your neck.

    Lazarus, it is really a nice place. You can come visit someday 🙂

  • 17. bugsybee  |  September 11, 2006 at 12:28 am

    Wow! That indeed is friendly Manitoba! I like very cold places but I don’t know if I’ll survive in – whoa! – minus 40?!? I might become a brown snow(wo)man. 🙂

  • 18. mmy-lei  |  September 11, 2006 at 2:42 am

    what a friendly neighborhood!

  • 19. Sidney  |  September 11, 2006 at 2:49 am

    Minus 40? No thanks. I would not be able to survive. Minus 5 is my limit.

  • 20. Friendly Manitoba - Part 2 « Journey to Honeyville  |  September 12, 2006 at 12:11 am

    […] In my previous post, I cited a few examples why I think this province lives up to its motto, “Friendly Manitoba.”  […]

  • 21. niceheart  |  September 12, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Bugsby, I don’t know either if you’ll like to experience minus 40. 🙂

    Mmy-lei, it is indeed.

    Sidney, minus 5 is nothing. Isn’t it cold in Belgium?

  • 22. phil  |  September 16, 2006 at 3:48 am

    The people sound very much like they do in the Mid-West of the United States.

    Your contrast in boarding styles between the Phils and Manitoba reminds me of the first time I tried to get on a jeepney on a Manila afternoon about 20 years ago. I tried to allow a little old woman to get on ahead of me and I got smashed and trampled. I was furious, but the old lady wasn’t flustered in the least. In fact, she she was one of the shovers! Oh Well, when in Rome……………

  • 23. niceheart  |  September 16, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    Foreigners must find it really odd the way we board buses in the Philippines. I’ve been away so long and I’m scared to get on the buses if I do go back. I have to re-learn the tricks on getting on an already full-packed bus.

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