Asian Heritage Month

Edmonton: Supporting families in Philipines

The Flores children -- Cryljohn, Princess and Chris -- at their home in Manila. Merle sends $500 home each month, which pays for all their living expenses, including their university and school fees. (Ann Sullivan/CBC)

Each year Filipinos working in Canada send $600 million back home to support their families.

Merle Flores is one of them. She's a nanny in Edmonton. Her remittances support her three children in Manila.
Most of the money goes to their education. She spoke with the CBC Radio's Ann Sullivan.

Listen to Ann Sullivan's full story (Runs 5:42)

Listen to Ann Sullivan's extended interview with Merle Flores (Runs 4:47)

Continue reading post to see more photos

merle-flores.jpg Filipino nanny Merle Flores with the Edmonton girls she cares for: Hannah and Nyssa Dokken. (Ann Sullivan/CBC)
flores-alley.jpg Narrow alleyways, exposed electrical wires, and little sunlight are the hallmarks of Manila's poor neighbourhoods. Merle Flores' children live down this zig-zag alley in San Andres, Manila. (Ann Sullivan/CBC)

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Comments: (7)

Joseph Brian (Philippines) wrote:

Indeed a touching story. She did everything, for the sake of her children. This woman was truly remarkable. I believed that her experiences, sufferings, and pain made her the kind of person she is right now. Strong, persistent, determined, and WISE. I pray that someday all your plans will come true. God Bless you always!

Posted August 17, 2008 01:01 AM

margarette (Hong_Kong) wrote:

Ate Merl,, I'm very proud of you!!! Ate Merly, is a Lovely mother of her three children, a lot of sacrifices because of Love for her family!!!a very helpful and have a very strong determination in life,.

thats life! we have to be strong!!! to face all the trial and difficulties in life!!! God Blessed you always and your family!,see you soon!!!

Posted May 30, 2008 10:25 AM

Gerard (Edmonton) wrote:

I am very proud of you Merle. You have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for your children - I hope you will be reunited with them as soon as it is possible to do so.

Posted May 23, 2008 11:54 PM

Richard E. Lyons (Pleasant_Hill_CaliforniaUSA) wrote:

This is an incredibly touching and eye opening story of sacrifice and perseverance. Unfortunately, this is quite normal for third world countries where earning a decent living is unheard of for the majority of the people. There are always the fortunate few that prosper and typically, at the sacrifices of the poor.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on what people from other countries go through when trying to have a higher quality life. Leaving the family with family is just the start. Coming to a new country and trying to adjust to the lifestyle and then having the burden of non-acceptance from other folks is just a few things that welcome these hardy people.

Much respect goes out to Merle, and all of the people like her, that have to make self-sacrificing decisions to try to have a better life for their children and themselves. Just for once would I love to see where the blessings from God came first, and not second or third down the line. That would, indeed, be a nice change.

Posted May 22, 2008 10:52 PM

Lindsay ,Ontario () wrote:

The interview was very informing of the life other people in the poor part of the world. The people of this country should take a lesson from this lady and people like her. That family should come first.

Posted May 22, 2008 09:54 AM

Lyla Gray (Edmonton_Alberta_Canada) wrote:

I applaud Merle Flores for sacrificing for the sake of her family.

You're doing it right, Merle. After sacrifices and patience,
blessings from God comes next. There are other Filipinos out there who are like Merle and I commend them, too.

Posted May 21, 2008 11:55 PM

Dwayne Reece (Evansburg_Alberta) wrote:

The Filipino are a wonderful self-sacrificing people. It takes strong will to leave family and work abroad. We all should appreciate and welcome the contribution and efforts of the foreign worker. Best wishes for the future to you and your family, Merle!

Posted May 19, 2008 12:48 PM