Filipino Immigration to Canada, Notable Filipinos in Canada, Philippine Culture, Filipino Contributions to Canada's Diversity, Multiculturalism, Contemporary History, Filipino Immigration
Indomitable Canadian Filipinos
Eleanor R. Laquian
In the 70- year history of Filipino migration to Canada, their number has increased from 770 in 1964 to about a million in 2021. Yet no book has been written and published in Canada about the Filipino community in its entirety. This book fills that vacuum.
The first major wave of primarily professional Filipino immigrants, mostly nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals arrived in the 1960s from the U.S. They came to renew their U.S. visas but decided to stay. They were admitted on Canada’s merit-based point system.
The succeeding waves of Filipino immigrants came mainly through the government’s Live-in Caregiver Program, the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and the Family Reunification program where requirements for education and technical skills were less demanding. These immigrant programs, with racist undertone, brought them to Canada mainly to do work that most Canadians did not like to do. They felt they were needed as temporary workers but not as citizens. These immigrants were driven to accept these undesirable jobs to escape from poverty and turmoil back home in the hope of achieving a better future in Canada for their children. They came in the prime of life, trained and competent to take on whatever job they could get to survive. And they toiled away quietly minding their own business, raising their children as best as they could while instilling in them the value of good education.
But Filipinos are an indomitable lot and can’t be kept down for long. In the last two decades, a new breed of notable young Filipinos has emerged from the shadows and into the light. This book tells how a million Filipino immigrants turned hardships into opportunities and a better life in Canada for their children. This is their contemporary history.
This is not a mere collection of published articles. It is an ongoing narrative, linking chapters from Introduction to Conclusion, by academicians, researchers, journalists and essayists who provide the necessary in-depth theorizing and analyzing of the 70-year history of Filipino immigration to Canada.
The contents of this book are from the online biweekly CanadianFilipino.Net, a nationwide newsmagazine for Filipinos in Canada, published by the nonprofit Maple Bamboo Network Society. Eleanor R. Laquian, the current editor of CanadianFilipino.Net, also edited Indomitable Canadian Filipinos. She started her study of Filipinos in Canada with a nationwide survey of Filipinos in 1972, by questionnaires and personal interviews. It was the first in Canada. She did a follow up survey in 2005 for Seeking a Better Life Abroad: A Study of Filipinos in Canada 1957-2007 which she co-authored with her husband. She continues to study and write about Filipino Immigration to this day. She lives with her husband Aprodicio “Prod” Laquian in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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