New documentary follows stories and struggles of Filipino caregivers in Canada

TORONTO —The Philippine consulate general in Toronto hosted a special screening of “A Piece of Paradise” in time for International Women’s Day.

The film, written, produced and directed by multi-awardee, Dr. Patrick Alcedo, earned “best first feature film” and “centennial best Canadian film” from local award-giving bodies.

The documentary followed 3 Filipino women for several years, as they built their lives as immigrants and foreign domestic workers in Toronto.

“As an anthropologist, it was important for me to really share what is Filipino culture in Canada but from people’s lives.  I wanted to have the message of resilience, I wanted to create a film na empowering…may ability ang tao to overcome,” said Dr. Patrick Alcedo.

“Pakatatag lang tayo, manalig sa Diyos.  Pangungulila natin sa mga pamilya natin Isipin na lang natin na eto lahat ginagawa natin para sa kanila.  May happy ending.”

“As a caregiver nakaka-relate talaga ko dun sa movie…yung pagtatrabaho nila ng 6 days a week…yung magbebenta ka ng kung anu-ano, para lang makapagpadala ka sa pamilya mo. Ang mga caregivers talaga kahit maganda o pangit ang sitwasyon nila, nandun yung pagtitiis.  Pero hindi lang naman pera eh…kailangan matuto rin tayong mag voice out,” said Vilma Pagaduan, The Neighbourhood Organization.

One of the key people featured in the documentary was the adolescent son who embodied the second generation of Filipino-Canadians who are no longer connected to their roots.

“Perhaps I wanted to show that message that as Filipinos with 1st generation parents, in a way, it’s important for you to know where they also came from because that’s part of who you are.”

“Our advocacy now is to involve the 2nd generation Filipinos.  I hope to see a generation of young Filipinos who are proud of their roots…proud of their heritage.  And we want to see Filipinas who are really empowered.  We hope to see more gender equality and we want to close the gender gap,” said Consul General Rosalita S. Prospero.

The story of challenges and victories in Dr. Alcedo’s film hopes to inspire Filipino women to continue to be resilient in the face of adversity and relentless in their pursuit of paradise.

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