Kent Donguines’ Kalinga Digs into a Strange Social Problem

Kalinga (Care) is a very emotional documentary about a group of Filipino women who left their families to become nannies abroad.

KalingaPlaying at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival at the 2220 Arts + Archive venue on May 10, 2022, 7:00 pm (BUY TICKETS)

Kalinga (Care) is a very emotional documentary with a local connection. It examines a group of Filipino women who left their families to become nannies abroad. Some arrived in the ironically named Terminal City (Vancouver, BC) to help non-Asian parents who don’t fully have the time to always spend with their children when managing a successful business. They’re going to need help. These people pay well, and those hires tend to mail those funds home to help their families.

What these migrants do is precarious, because the scars and rifts made are hard to mend. Those women without a husband and child have it easier., because what they do next is to move on from one family to another. One woman decided to create an agency to help others find similiar jobs, whereas others simply choose to stay in Canada instead of going home. The reasons they give is what makes this work very insightful. 

This short doc made by Kent Donguines is very deep, and serves various purposes. One is to help him understand why his mother left him to be a nanny. The other is to explore the pros and cons of hiring  non-domestic labour. Is it really needed? The most important part is in hearing about what these women sacrificed to give their own families a better life back home.

Kalinga shows that even for those who are moms, they believe they are doing it for all the right reasons. It’s tough not to judge them. What isn’t made clear is where this filmmaker stands with his mom, and I hope they’ve reconciled.

4 Stars out of 5

To find additional screenings, please visit
Made with the support of Telus Storyhive, NSI Canada and Creative BC

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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