Filipino Family Settles Into the North – Recruiting Trained Health-Care Workers


“I’ve always believed that working in health care is a calling. Although it’s hard work, this is where my heart is.” – Chi Angad-Fuentebella, health care aide, Northern Spirit Manor

After just three months living in and working in her new home of Thompson, MB, Chi Angad-Fuentebella is proud to say she has adjusted to the new climate and often walks to and from work comfortably in her new winter gear. The cold and snowy landscape of December in Thompson, located in the Northern part of Manitoba is a stark contrast to the hot weather she grew up with in the Philippines.

“The Filipino community in Thompson has taught us about the winter gear we need to wear, so we now know that the jackets here are labeled with such temperatures as -30 degrees, -40 degrees, and so on. The only problem is the time it takes to wrap yourself up,” Chi said with a gentle laugh.

Chi’s journey to Manitoba began in January 2023 when she joined other Filipino health-care workers to interview for a possible job in the Canadian province. Eight months later, Chi, her husband Raymond, and their seven-year-old son Francis Pio were the first new Manitobans welcomed through the recruitment initiative.

Just six days after their arrival, Chi began working as a health care aide at Northern Spirit Manor, a Thompson personal care home. In her role, she provides personal support to the residents of the Manor as directed by their care plan, which often includes helping them bathe, helping them get dressed, and feeding them.

 “The most rewarding part of my work is being an advocate for our residents. Being a good listener and paying attention to changes in their movements or the way that they speak can alert us to changes in their health,” she said. “I’ve always believed that working in health care is a calling. Although it’s hard work, this is where my heart is.”

The multi-day journey to Canada, followed by a week spent settling into their new home, enrolling Francis Pio in school, and starting a new job, were exhausting and Chi acknowledged there were moments that were also lonesome for the family in those first days. Since beginning work and meeting people in the community, Chi credits her manager and colleagues for making efforts to help her successfully transition into her new role and working environment.

From her manager scheduling shifts that have allowed Chi to work and have scheduled time off with other Filipinas, to colleagues who lent Chi and her family costumes for Halloween, the family has felt love and support from the community since day one.

Bibingka. Photo credit – Adobe Stock.

“There’s a Filipino couple that have promised to take us ice fishing this winter. We are excited to ride a snowmobile for the first time,” said Chi. “The Filipino community has been very welcoming here in Thompson. When I heard there will be a new Filipina coming to work at the Manor at the end of December, I wanted to pass on that same support we’ve received, so I’ve reached out to her to welcome her to Manitoba, and my husband and I have purchased a rice cooker to make her new place feel a bit more like home.”

Now that Chi and her family have settled into their new home, new school and new jobs, they are looking forward to the holiday season and preparing food that has the flavours of the Philippines.

“Along with making pancit, we have a rice cake that is called bibingka. It’s a traditional rice cake that is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked using charcoal. I want to try to recreate it using the oven this year, because just the aroma of it reminds Filipinos of what a good Christmas is,” said Chi.

Other activities their family is looking forward to are participating in Simbang Gabi, a nine-day series of Masses attended by Filipino Catholics leading up to Christmas Eve, and ice-skating at an outdoor rink.

Manitoba is recruiting trained health-care workers.

Located at the centre of Canada, Manitoba is one of Canada’s most affordable provinces. Our communities are safe, welcoming and multicultural, with a large and thriving Filipino population. With many career opportunities to work in supportive environments and communities that will welcome you with open arms, Manitoba will quickly feel like home. Learn more at