Canada, 1hour 23min

Director / Screenwriter / Producer: Jon Jon Rivero

Director: Rob Hillstead


The story depicts the point of view of Jon Jon Rivero, a Filipino Canadian who made a promise to his dying father to discover his cultural roots by visiting the Philippines. What started out as a singular trip evolved into an ongoing epic journey of sharing meaningful service, rediscovering cultural resilience, and creating family connectedness. BALIKBAYAN: FROM VICTIMS TO SURVIVORS is the story of a Filipino Canadian’s journey to return to the Philippines every one to two years since 2006 in order to serve orphanages, street children, and special needs schools using hip hop, music, and play therapy to heal trauma. Since 2007, a group of Canadian volunteers would join him, determined to empower street children in Tacloban, Leyte in the wake of the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.  What started out as a promise to his dying father became a journey of self-discovery and a redefinition of the word family.