Module 1, Lesson 1: Why Family Members Migrate:

Connecting Canada and the Philippines

Download lesson here.

This is the first of three lessons that explore the linkages between migration to Canada and quality of life and development in the Philippines. It allows students to think about the connection between a family’s migration and the much larger global processes that such experiences are a part of. In this first lesson, students will watch a documentary by Filipino Canadian filmmaker Alex Humilde entitled Balikbayans (2015, 18:12). They will think about why people migrate and the effects of this process (i.e., emotionally, economically) on the migrants themselves and the family members left back home. While this material specifically explores the Filipino experience, students may make connections to other migration histories.

Key terms: Balikbayans, Filipinos in Canada, migrant workers, pasalubong, migration, quality of life, development, Philippines, Alex Humilde, documentary

Balikbayans from Alex Humilde on Vimeo.

Courtesy of Alex Humilde (Offhand Pictures).

Alex Humilde was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, and attended Divine Mercy Catholic Elementary School followed by St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. He graduated from Sheridan College in Advanced TV and Film, and has circuited festival screenings for his first documentary, Balikbayans, in Canada and the Philippines. He was also a participant of the Corus Diverse Voices fellowship program at Hot Docs International Film Festival in 2016. Alex continues to do freelance work for various documentary productions, including CBC Arts projects, and continues to address and advocate contemporary, Philippine-related issues in his films.