life rattle show no. 1381

Presented on thursday, march 9, 2017


hosted by Laurie Kallis


"This is Canada"
"Nova Crescent"
"Pink Poncho"
by Jessica Gelar

Life Rattle Show No. 1381 features three stories from new Life Rattle writer, Jessica Gelar.

Jessica Gelar , the youngest of three daughters, was born in 1993 in Iloilo City, Philippines. Her parents, both certified accountants, moved the family to Mississauga, Canada in 1998. During her first year of living in Canada, Jessica struggled to understand English in her kindergarten class and wished to forget her mother tongue, Ilonggo. But as she grew up, she learned to embrace her heritage and Jessica can now carry conversations in Ilonggo, French, Spanish and Italian.

Not only is she a talented writer, but Jessica is a musician who says that she could spend her whole day playing the piano or guitar, if only it wouldn’t annoy her neighbours. She also plays the trumpet in an orchestra and sings soprano in her church choir. Jessica Gelar embraces change and has learned that struggles shape us into better people. She is a big believer in second chances and that it’s never too late for someone to learn something new.

Although all of Jessica’s featured stories connect with her cultural background, we chose to present them in two separate podcasts as a nod to the distinctly different voices of their narrator. Tonight’s stories are narrated by a young girl who shows us her experiences as she journeys to and settles into a new life in Canada with her mom, her dad and her sisters.

When it comes to deciding which details to show us, Jessica Gelar makes exceptional choices. These details create images that feel as if they could only belong in these stories, to these characters. They draw us in close to this family. We laugh with them...feel pain with them...and feel proud of them when they rise to each new challenge.

“This is Canada” follows the family on their journey from the Philippines to Canada. A young girl's viewpoint shows us just how exciting and terrifying this journey was.

In "Nova Crescent" our narrator and her family, who have already settled once, find themselves having to relocate and move into a small basement apartment. The narrative, which opens on moving day, flashes back in time as the narrator remembers why their lives are changing. Again.

"Pink Poncho" will remind you of the discomfort of trying to establish yourself in a respectable position in the social pecking order of grade school—a time when we’ll do just about anything to avoid being seen as “different.”