Three years ago, Jhaireen lived with her husband, her parents and her three sons in the Philippines. Her sister was living in Canada at the time and had been encouraging her to start the process of leaving the Philippines to work abroad. But the act of leaving her kids wasn't going to be the only heart-breaking experience; she was about to enter a whole new world of sacrifices.
The mere fact that the media has zeroed in on Tagalog as the fastest growing immigrant language, and the public's surprise of this so-called linguistic phenomenon, is telling of the social insignificance of Canada's third largest ethnic group. Sure, Filipinos are common props in fast-food restaurants, hotels and homes, but their lack of political and economic weight renders them invisible despite their large presence and 24/7 work cycles.