Bahala Nah! Reflections on Health and Wellness among 1st and 2nd generation Filipino Immigrants in Greater Vancouver

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Jocelle Refol


Does bahala na affect how Filipinos manage their health and wellness? There is no direct translation of the term bahala na to the English language, but the phrase is often used to dismiss personal responsibility or control with the assumption that everything is in the hands of God. This ideological belief contributes to the stigma among Filipinos towards addressing their health concerns. However, what are the health concerns of Filipinos in Canada? Although Filipinos are one of the largest immigrant groups in Canada, little is known about the health experiences of this group, contributing to a sense of invisibility. To help address this gap, this research project will conduct focus groups and interviews to explore the experiences of health and wellness of first and second generation Filipinos in Greater Vancouver. Study participants were recruited through the support of community partners Sliced Mango Collective, Tulayan, and Kathara Society, as well as through snowball sampling. This study incorporates a social determinant of health lens to identify the social, structural, and cultural factors that influence participants’ experiences and perspectives. Through the power of storytelling, the findings of this research project aim to expand from the narrative of bahala na and bring awareness to what truly impacts Filipino health. 

Faculty Supervisor:
Dr. Maya Gislason, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

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Culture, Identity, and Independence