Human Interest

Encounters with migrant Filipinos in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/10/15
By: Thomas Cytrynowicz

Gemma – “I never gave up”

“I have been here for a very long time. A lifetime actually. I came in 1986,

Photo courtesy of Thomas Cytrynowicz

Photo courtesy of Thomas Cytrynowicz

after having met my then future husband in the Philippines. He was on a business trip in Cebu at the time; we met there, fell in love. He took me with him really quickly afterwards, we married in Taiwan and that is it. My two sons were born here in Taipei.

These past 30 years have been everything but a smooth sailing. The cultural shock when I first arrived hit me really hard. Because my husband was making enough money to sustain our couple, he refused to let me work. He was also against me making Filipino friends, or going to Church on Sundays. As a fervent Catholic, that was difficult to accept. My first few years were very lonely, I used to stay at home most of the time. I could have felt depressed by then, but I chose to make use of my time the best way I could. I forced myself in learning Chinese through the TV programs that were available. Later on, I volunteered in the primary school where my kids were going, and I was able to make many Taiwanese friends, mothers and children alike. It is actually very impressive the extent to which children wanted to help me improve. Thanks to this, I managed to acquire a very strong proficiency in Mandarin and sooner or later, I was asked to join the Saint Christopher’s parish; they needed help with their Filipino community. My husband accepted, and I became the secretary of the parish about 10 years ago.     [FULL  STORY]

Local model Teddy Tang makes waves in Taiwan

Local model Teddy Tang has walked in shows for Issey Miyake, Adidas
after initial insecurity

The New Paper
Date: Oct 12, 2015
By:JOCELYN LEE

He may be relatively unknown in Singapore but home-grown model Teddy NP_20151012_JLTEDDY_8_1031628Tang is making headway in the competitive Taiwanese showbiz industry.

The 29-year-old has even been signed to one of Taiwan’s top talent agencies Catwalk, the same company that has local celebrity power couple Fann Wong and Christopher Lee and Taiwanese model-actress Lin Chi-ling in its stable of artists.

Tang’s modelling portfolio includes gigs such as the Issey Miyake Fashion Show, Timberland Fashion Show, Adidas shows in Taiwan and China, and editorial shoots for Esquire and GQ Taiwan.     [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese woman gives birth at 30,000 feet

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/10/09
By: Wang Shu-fen and Lilian Wu

Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) A Taiwanese woman aboard a China Airlines (CAL)

File photo

File photo

plane bound for Los Angeles gave birth to a baby girl in the air Thursday, the nation’s largest air carrier confirmed Thursday.

CAL said her flight took off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday and was scheduled to arrive in the U.S. at 8:35 p.m., Los Angeles time.

Around six hours into the flight, the woman, who was not yet 32 weeks pregnant, reported that her water had broken. Crew members immediately asked a doctor passenger to provide assistance.

The captain informed the company and asked for permission to land at the nearest airport — Anchorage — out of consideration for the safety of the woman and her baby.     [FULL  STORY]

Around 3.3 million Taiwanese people unhappy: survey

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/10/02
By: Lung Pei-ning and Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) A study of Taiwanese people’s sense of happiness and depression,

CNA file photo

CNA file photo

released Friday, showed that 17.1 percent of surveyed adults around Taiwan were either unhappy or very unhappy.

Based on official data that the population of people aged 18 or older was 19 million this year, that meant some 3.3 million people were unhappy.

Among the unhappy locals, nearly 50 percent showed obvious signs of depression, with some requiring professional assistance, said Yeh Ya-hsing (葉雅馨), head of the mental health section of John Tung Foundation, on Friday as she publicized the survey’s findings.

John Tung Foundation is a Taipei-based civil group devoted to the promotion of public health.   [FULL  STORY]

‘Grandma Joyce’ story brought to life in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/08/12
By: Ken Chao and Christie Chen

Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) Dozens of people from around Taiwan gathered in Taipei on a sunny

Photo courtesy of Joyce McMillan Social Welfare Foundation

Photo courtesy of Joyce McMillan Social Welfare Foundation

morning Tuesday to celebrate the work of a woman who had helped them to their feet and brought light to their world.

They were attending the premiere of “The Story of Joyce McMillan,” a short animated film that brings to life the dedicated efforts of “Grandma Joyce”(喜樂阿嬤), an American nurse and missionary who worked with polio patients in Taiwan for almost half a century.

“If it were not for her, I would still be crawling on the floor like a child,” said Tseng Chun-yen (曾春燕), one of the women who attended the premiere of the Hokkien (Taiwanese)-language film.

Tseng, 53, who is now married and has two children, recalled tearfully how McMillan would carry the young polio patients on her back to her car and drive them to the hospital to see the doctor, even on a typhoon day.     [FULL  STORY]

Yilan resident earns Google post

NEW GOOGLER:Wang Shao-yu said children from low-income families face greater challenges, but can work diligently toward their academic and job goals

Taipei Times
Date:  Jun 21, 2015
By: Chiang Chih-hsiung  /  Staff reporter

Wang Shao-yu (王紹宇), a resident of Yilan County’s Jhuangwei Township (壯圍), received a job

Wang Shao-yu, right, holds his job offer from the Googleplex in California as he stands with his father, Wang Kuei-hsien, in Yilan County’s Jhuangwei Township on June 11.  Photo: Chiang Chih-hsiung, Taipei Times

Wang Shao-yu, right, holds his job offer from the Googleplex in California as he stands with his father, Wang Kuei-hsien, in Yilan County’s Jhuangwei Township on June 11. Photo: Chiang Chih-hsiung, Taipei Times

offer from Google and is set to start his new life in California’s Silicon Valley at the end of this month.

Having recently earned his master’s of engineering degree at the Vermont Avenue Campus of the University of California, he landed a job as a software designer at Google through a recruitment program for university graduates after passing a three-stage interview.

Wang credited his job to his parents, thanking them for their work and generosity in providing him with an education.

He said that his father, Wang Kuei-hsien (王貴賢), a plasterer, completed just an elementary-school education and his mother, Lin Mei-li (林美麗), who works at a school cafeteria, did not finish junior-high school.     [FULL  STORY]