Nfld. & Labrador

Filipino family of 7 reunited just in time for Christmas

Boy Aseo moved to Newfoundland in 2014 to begin a new life for his wife and five daughters, and now they are together again.

After living apart for almost 4 years, the Aseos have begun a new life together in St. John's

Boy Felix Aseo welcomed his wife, Reyhenia, and five daughters to Newfoundland at the airport on Friday. (Mark Cumby/CBC )

After living apart for almost four years, seven members of a Filipino family have finally reunited in St. John's.

"Now I'm so happy because I [will] have a good Christmas," said Boy Felix Aseo, beaming as he hugged his wife and daughters at the airport Friday.

"It was so hard because every night we would talk on Skype," said Aseo, who moved to Newfoundland and Labrador from the Philippines in 2014 in search of work. 

Ysay Aseo was just three weeks old when her father left the Philippines to work in Newfoundland. (Fred Hutton/CBC)

Starting a new life

He went to work as a hairstylist, one of four people from the Philippines employed at Chatters salons in St. John's and Mount Pearl. Salon owner Rosemary Buckingham says it was an exciting time leading up to the reunion.

"He's so anxious. We all are nervous. He hasn't slept, but he is walking around with a smile on his face because life is going to be good for Boy and his family," she said as they waited for the plane to arrive, 14 hours later than expected. 

Boy Felix Aseo has been working in St. John's since 2014, and now, finally, his wife and five daughters are able to join him 1:43

The long flight and the excitement of seeing her father was so overwhelming for Ysay Aseo, who is only three and a half, that she threw up.

But she wouldn't leave his arms.

Aseo left the Philippines when his youngest daughter was just three weeks old. Apart from the nightly Skype sessions, Friday was only the third time he had seen her.

"I had to come because I had no money to support my big family," said Aseo, who has four other daughters, the oldest of whom is 14.

Out in the cold

One of the biggest adjustments for the Aseo girls and their mom will be getting used to the weather in St. John's.

When asked what she knew about the province, Aseo's wife, Reyhenia, said, "Friendly people, and very cold."

Boy Aseo is used to the cold weather, but this was the first taste of winter for his wife and daughters. (Fred Hutton/CBC )

Buckingham handed out winter coats and hats for their first few steps outdoors into a biting wind.

But the Aseos didn't seem to notice as they were all smiles while walking toward vehicles waiting to take them to their new home. 

The eldest of the girls, Angel, said she knew to expect cold weather, but was more excited about the "beautiful place with a lot of opportunities." 

About the Author

Fred Hutton

CBC News

Fred Hutton co-hosts the St. John's Morning Show, and contributes to Here & Now and CBC N.L.'s digital platforms.