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Film Reviews

A must-see, beautifully-made documentary about the rich, revealing and inspiring stories of our fellow Filipinos in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Their beginnings, motivations, challenges, triumphs, and hopes - shared in an artistic way - resonate with many of us. It makes one appreciate our people, culture and heritage even better. Congratulations to the Philippine Arts Council and all the people who made this project possible.

- Consul General Zaldy Patron

Philippine Consulate General Calgary



The Philippines-to-Canada odyssey is daunting and complex - it spans many decades, crisscrosses many routes, and involves many lives. It is a testimony to the strong research and hard work by Philippine Arts Council that Paglalayag offers a comprehensive look at these journeys, dating back to the 1960s to current, illustrating the various immigration waves due to changing economic and political impetus, and including an In Memoriam segment, as well as segments on the youth and the ever-increasing trend of multi-racial relationships and families. Throughout it all, the narrative highlights the diverse talents and contributions of Filipino/as to Canada, while providing multiple perspectives to the challenges as well as opportunities that immigrants must grapple with.  We need to understand our history and embrace our backgrounds to genuinely participate fully in forging the future. Paglalayag adds much needed personal narratives and insights that truly enrich Canadian stories of diversity, and will help pave the way for a more inclusive and stronger future for all Canadians.

-  Mila Bongco Philipzig, Edmonton



Paglalayag is an awesome representation of our community's history in Alberta. It is a documentary that should not be missed. Thank you Philippine Arts Council for this precious gift to the Filipino community in Alberta.

-  Marco Luciano, Migrante Alberta

Congratulations on the launch of this beautiful project. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the stories of so many amazing and inspiring Filipino families. I particularly loved hearing about young people who are continuing to celebrate their culture with pride. I hope that, as a teacher, I will always encourage this joyous celebration of identity on all levels. Thank you so much for sharing this with me!

-  Sally McIntosh



Ang galing! It is a mix of different emotions. Nakakaiyak, nakakatawa, nakaka-inspire at nakaka-proud. Gaya na lang nga mga achievements mo (Ida) din. :) You tackled everything po sa project na ito. I am so glad I am part of it.  :)  Congrats po sa iyo and your team.

-  Vicky Venancio, Edmonton

I really enjoyed Paglalayag.  I am very impressed with the work, time and effort put into this project. It's an excellent project. A keepsake for Philippine archives in Edmonton.

-  Josephine Pallard;

Founder, Changing Together, and Filipino-Canadian Saranay Association

The Paglalayag video is wonderfully made, showcasing the resilience of Filipinos in their migration journey to Canada.  Congratulations to the Philippine Arts Council for meaningfully capturing struggles and success of Filipino migrants.

-  Lucenia Ortiz, Edmonton

I absolutely loved your film, Ida. It was beautifully put together and showcased so many amazing stories. I learned a lot about the immigration experience and was very moved by the Filipino culture, tenacity, hope, and kindness given how poorly many were treated. You should be so, so proud of this accomplishment. The film really needs to be shared out broadly. Wow! So impressed!

-  Nancy Davis 



I just finished watching Paglalayag and it is incredible! I was crying for the first 30 minutes, kasi po, I am not familiar with the elders, the pioneer kababayans who first came to Edmonton. It is very well done. It is very rich and comprehensive and uplifting. I think that all Edmontonians should watch it.

-  Giselle General, Edmonton

Wow. That brought me to tears. Thank you for telling our community's stories.

-  Riana Torrejon, Edmonton

OH MY WORD! This is so worth watching! So well done. So heart warming & got tearful but so proud! I can't imagine the amount of research, hard work, time, sweat and tears that went into this awesome project! Thanks so very much for the tremendous and wonderful project! Maraming Salamat & Mabuhay!

-  Ting Pimentel-Elger, Sherwood Park

Just wanted to let you know that I LOVED the video and so many people have reached out to say what a great job you did. 👏👏👏 Bravo. I got teary eyes in a lot of it and my heart burst seeing my Dad. And so proud seeing how well Keoni looked. ❤️ Thank you again for allowing my family to be involved in such a beautiful tribute. ❤️ I was blown at how well you composed it and really, really proud after watching it.

-  Grace Malbog Tan, Edmonton

❤️❤️ Loved it, loved it! Touches your heart, brings tears and understanding, and puts one through a gamut of emotions and feelings: hope, sadness, despair, reverence, blessedness, gratefulness, heightened resilience, renewed faith, deepened by loyalty, strength of courage and depth of sacrifices. But mostly, great Filipino Pride. Thank you Ida Beltran Lucila. Well done.

-  Mary Ann Roque, Edmonton

Congratulations Ida and thank you for your vision! What great story telling by everyone involved. It brings back so many great memories of time past, the resiliency of the pioneers during their early years in the country, the sacrifices of our kababayans to make a better life for their families back home, and the hope we pin on the younger generation to continue with our traditions and culture. Proud to be a Filipino.

-  Rose Atienza, Edmonton

Just finished Paglalayag and wow, it was beautiful. I got emotional with some of the stories. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your (hard work) project. Saludo ako sa iyo and very proud of what you are contributing to the Filipino community. CONGRATULATIONS for a job well done. With grateful heart, thank you very much. GOD BLESS.

-  Amanda Toledo, Edmonton excellent documentary. We found it to be informative, inspiring and very well done. We congratulate you on an excellent production. We don't speak any of the Filipino languages... we read the parts we couldn't understand as well as the song lyrics. We were deeply impacted.

-  Tracy and Dietmar Sedens, Sherwood Park

I just finished Paglalayag: the Philippines to Canada Journey and enjoyed it so much. The stories about caregivers were especially touching and heartbreaking. And I really loved the use of dance and choir singing. So beautiful and talented!

-  Christina Hardie,

Edmonton Heritage Council for Edmonton City as Museum Project

Just watched Paglalayag and it was great!!! Congrats!!

-  Paul Briones, Edmonton

Paglalayag was wonderful, nakakaiyak. I'm so proud of you. Completing this project is a lot of hard work and commitment to follow through. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

-  Marife Aizon, Edmonton

Wow just finished watching this documentary. So proud of Tita Ida Beltran-Lucila and how she beautifully told the story of Filipinos in Canada! ... It makes me soooo sooo proud to be Filipino!

- Bethany Briones, Edmonton

Congratulations PAC!!! Inspiring and very informative. A must watch.

-  Sheila Castillo-Patron, Calgary

Finally got to see the film Paglalayag: the Philippines to Canada Journey.

     I needed to see this. A very timely film to watch as I question my own journey and decisions living in Canada! It has been almost 8 years and I still have not made up my mind if I made the right choices for myself and for my family moving here. The struggle is non-stop. It feels like I'm living an endless obstacle course and I'm losing.

     The people who shared their stories are all inspiring. From the older generation down to the younger ones... each has a story worth sharing.

     My story is still being written as it is unfolding. Hopefully in the coming years or decades, I may be able to tell my own story and people can draw some kind of lesson from it.

     Kudos to the Philippine Arts Council and Ida Beltran Lucila!

-  Harlijk Mirasol, Edmonton

Paglalayag is a well put together documentary highlighting past legacies, present issues, and the future of our community in the youth. I particularly enjoyed the variation of storytelling from poems to dances to personal stories. Overall, it's a great reminder to all Filipinos that great support systems and role models exist in the community, espeically in Alberta.

-  Adriel Edrada, Edmonton

Journey of Filipinos to Edmonton from the 1960s to the present. Well done. Congratulations sa inyong lahat. Ang ganda.

-  Gerry Sulit, Edmonton

CONGRATULATIONS!!! This was a great story of the Filipino journey to Canada. Love the stories that were narrated. One really gets to appreciate the resiliency of our kababayans. Bravo.

-  Chito Atienza, Edmonton

I just finished watching this documentary. I learned so much about Filipino culture and how it all began in this city. Thank you Tita Ida Beltran Lucila for putting this wonderful story together, and I am so thankful to have had a small part in it!

-  Julienne Santos, Edmonton

Super docu! Congratulations... tidbits of Filipino history in Alberta. Atty. Arturo Atienza is one of the founding members of the Alpha Phi Beta  which was founded in 1939. I never had a chance to meet him. Not well known to us was his migration to Canada. Again congratulations!

-  Atty. Roberto Rafael Lucila, Manila

Excellent production! The list of pioneers is such an original. Tears for "How to Leave your Child" and "Gusto mo bang mangibang bayan?" Amazing stories! Pagpupugay!

-  Anna Kris Mina, Edmonton

Congratulations! Beautifully done! Work of art. Thank you to all who participated and shared a piece of themselves. This has touched a cord in you that makes you feel how grateful you are to be a Filipino.

-  Nora de Jesus, Edmonton

Wow! Thank you so very much Ida and Jojo for your amazing teamwork! I arrived in Canada in October 1966, a young naive, professional teacher and no project of such magnitude has ever been produced as a tribute and to showcase the splendor of our beautiful country, the Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Seas. Kudos and laurels to you for your talent, expertise, dedication and determination in putting countless hours that resulted in this documentary that is second to none. It proves how courageous Filipinos are to leave their loved ones and friends for a greener pasture for the benefit of their family. At the same time, it proves how resilient we are to beat all the odds and end up victorious and triumphant through our hard work. Thank you, Canada, for your warm welcome to us, as we give back to you.

-  Cres Caindac Estioko, Edmonton

"Paglalyag: the Philippines to Canada Journey", is a compelling documentary film on the passage and lives of Filipinos in Alberta, Canada.

     Paglalayag, in English "voyage or journey", narrates the stories of Filipino immigrants: teachers, nurses, caregivers, temporary foreign workers - their hurdles and triumphs through the mystique and reality of Canada.

     Paglalayag is a gripping visual anthology of stupefactions, aspirations, sacrifices, game changers, and transgenerational passing the genes of Filipinoism. The poignant artistic recounts of family separation, career barriers, and later acculturation, the blending of Filipino and Canadian heritage - are unavoidably heart-rending, and heartwarming.


-  Joseph Lopez

Host/Producer - The Filipino Edition, CKYE RED FM 93.1 and FM 89.1

Vancouver, British Columbia

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