FCM One-on-One presents: Annie Chua (Part 1)


FCM One-on-One presents:
Annie Chua
Entrepreneur and Author of bestselling book, Domestically Yours


Part I

FCM: You have an interesting background as a Freight Forwarder. Tell us a little bit about that.
AC: Back in the Philippines, I worked as an event coordinator but decided I needed a change. So I looked for a new job. It was hard back then because most big companies were looking for people with computer experience. Computers were new in the 90’s. I had a chance to work for an insurance company, but it was hard for me at that time because I didn’t know how to use a computer. I had to go back to school and learn. I worked there for six months. Then a friend of mine working in the export industry said they have an opening in freight forwarding. They needed a substitute for an employee on maternity. I applied and worked as a data entry staff. Then I eventually learned the whole process.



FCM: How long did you work as a freight forwarder in the Philippines?
AC: Twelve years. I stayed with the company because I loved my job. I learned the ocean freight forwarding. After that, I was promoted to a supervisor position. Then the company sent me to Hong Kong to learn a new system. I was there for a week. When I came back, I trained people in the company. Then two years later, they sent me to Bangkok to learn a new system. It’s on those trips that I met domestic helpers from Canada.

FCM: So that’s how your journey to Canada started.
AC: Yes. One of the ladies I had a flight with was so excited to go to Canada. She was going to Toronto. She told me about the caregiver program. I said back then I didn’t want to do that because there were negative perceptions about the program. But she said that after two years in the program, I will be able to take my family to Canada.

FCM: Taking your family to Canada caught your interest.
AC: It did. I did my research on the caregiver program. I went to the Canadian embassy, and they give me information. This was back in 1996. Caregiver program was not offered in the Philipines, but only in Hong Kong at that time. The lady I talked to gave me a contact information of an employment agent from Edmonton. But back then, Philippines was not open for domestic helper program in Canada, so I had to put the thought aside.

FCM: So there were roadblocks back then.
AC: Yes. But after two years, on my way to my training in Bangkok, I met a lady in the airport. She told me she’s going to Montreal as a domestic helper. That got my interest on it again. It was like an opportunity knocking at my door again.

FCM: What interest you to come to Canada?
AC: I was motivated to get my kids to Canada.   I wanted them to have a better life. I wanted to be in Canada then eventually move to the U.S., so I researched more information. I worked during the day, and I trained in the evening on how to be a domestic helper.

Thinking about this, I’m proud of this now that I was able to bring my children here in Canada. I faced many roadblocks bringing them here, but we came through.


Click here for Part II


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