PICTOU — Star of the Sea Social Centre, along with the Stella Maris Catholic Church, hosted a warm welcome to three young children from the Philippines on Sunday.
After waiting five long years, Mark and Geraldine Tolentino embraced their children, Audrey, 8, Gerald, 12, and Zyrille, 14. Both Mark and Geraldine worked diligently at Subway in Pictou to earn and save money to send for their children who lived in the Philippines.
When asked how they felt about having their children home with them, they were both overwhelmed with love and joy. Geraldine smiled and spoke softly with eyes shiny with tears. “We have our children home safe with us, we are so thankful and blessed to be surrounded by love and family. It was hard work, but we are here, together now.”
The eldest daughter, Zyrille added, “We are home, it is a blessing, like my mother said, it is good here.”
Although it was hard at times emotionally, the children were well taken care of and understood the reason their parents had to travel to Canada and to settle in Nova Scotia to seek out work to help make a better life. The children feel grateful to be home with their parents, and know life was better already.
Friend, Bev Underwood says, “Geraldine and Mark would attend church services and enjoy lunch and socials as a way to get to know people. Geraldine always had a smile on and was happy.” She added, “As news travelled that Geraldine and Mark were being united with their children, a celebration was definitely in order.”
Geraldine had been working at Subway in Pictou for three years before her husband joined her for the last two of the total five.
“Geraldine, hadn’t seen her children in five years. The reunion was suppose to have happened in late spring, early summer, however the children just arrived last week,” said Underwood.