My mother immigrated to Vancouver, B.C. in 1983 after escaping the Khmer Rouge genocide in her native Cambodia and living in a refugee camp in Thailand for several years. During Pol Pot’s reign in Cambodia, my mother lost many family members, including her father. In “My Mother’s Light,” I explore how my mother’s history and strength have shaped my identity.
Nancy Frias Pagsisihan, 52, lives in Surrey, British Columbia. Pagsisihan’s family lives in Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines. Roxas City was hit by Typhoon Haiyan in November, 2013, leaving Pagsisihan’s family homeless with limited resources. With 8190.4 miles between Canada and the Philippines, Pagsisihan feels helpless being in Surrey, B.C., while her family struggles with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.