By Alex P. Vidal
MONTREAL, Quebec – Since moving to Canada nine years ago, Cleo “Cleigh” Dimayuga has made a giant leap from a mere wet-behind-the-ears immigrant to immigrant specialist now helping Filipino nursing bachelors across the globe realizing their dreams to become landed immigrants in Quebec, an east-central Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population.
The young motivated product of St. Paul University (Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications Class of 1997) has traveled to North America, Middle East, and Asia to reach out with Filipino nurses wanting to secure a Canadian permanent residency.
“I am delighted to do this and I love to inspire other Filipinos all over the globe,” sighed Dimayuga, born in Dingle, Iloilo in the Philippines, and now a resident of Montreal, Quebec.
In all her travels abroad, Dimayuga met prospected clients in “flexible time” and inculcated in them the values and pride of making a lifetime investment from generation to generation once they become landed immigrants in Quebec.
“I shared my personal experiences in the seminars I conducted. I have to look good all the time, to dress up all the time. I feel like I’m a public property ready to assist those who need my advice,” explained Dimayuga, a former elected member of the board of the AAFQ AAFQ-Association des aides familiales du Québec and partner of Canadim Global Immigration Law Firm of Dery and Associates.
Dimayuga provides home sick-stricken and edgy applicants some glimmer of hope by sharing her own personal experience as newcomer in Quebec where she honed her skills as independent and struggling immigrant away from her loved ones in the Philippines.
“I gave them back their confidence by telling them their experiences in other countries will be their main strength once they land in Quebec. I told them that jobs in Quebec are not hard as long as they are flexible and open-minded. I reminded them that their permanent residency in Quebec will be their lifetime investment from generation to generation because they can bring their families here,” Dimayuga said.
Dimayuga’s advocacy started on September 2011 but began linking with immigration lawyers Renaud Dery and Richard Dery since July of the same year. The three of them have conducted seminars in various nursing schools and hospitals in key Philippine cities, among other Southeast Asian countries. She started linking with the Dery brothers since March 2011 as a freelance then finally partnered with them in July and launched the campaign in September 2011.
Her campaign focuses primarily in helping fast-track permanent residency for applicants based on the Quebec Skilled Worker Category where basic French conversational language is one of the requirements and with minimal requirement compared with other Canadian immigration programs.
“Our special immigration program for Filipino nurses became famous around the globe and reached over 12 countries,” Dimayuga stressed in her pamphlet. “We are successful because of two simple reasons: we are committed and dedicated to our clients. Every case is important to us and we make sure we handle it with utmost care.”
Dimayuga has been fired up to pursue her advocacy to help Filipino nurses from all over the globe come to Quebec after seeing the fruits of her labor. “Everyday when I see the overwhelming acceptance from clients and the papers filling up, I am motivated to do more and give my best because I feel I am important to the nurses,” she enthused.
According to her, a permanent residence status in Canada is the same as the US green card. “It gives you and your family the right to live and work freely in Canada for any employer and for any occupation. And after three years of living in Canada as a permanent resident you and your family can become a Canadian citizen and receive a Canadian passport,” she said.
“This business is transparent and honest,” vowed Dimayuga. “My honesty, credibility, sincerity and devotion are what keep me going. I want to prove something to myself; I want to test my capacity.”
Dimayuga learned her work ethic from her father who exhorted her to “have more actions and with less words.” She emphasized that “I needed to undergo struggles in order to say ‘I made it.’ It doesn’t mean that when I say yes I automatically agree. I know how to stand on my own and what I believe for. I prayed to preserve the life of my father because from early age I was worried to take over the responsibilities for my siblings.”
She is also being guided by the wisdom instilled by her former boss, Jackie Alloul, who goaded her to experience hardships and struggles in business in order to achieve success.
Dimayuga’s positive mental attitude, training and education enabled her to overcome her shortcomings even if she did not have sufficient background in her current specialty. “In my current job, I was able to utilize what I learned from my education such as marketing, writing, advertising, public relations, teaching, and production of TV and radio. My degree is broad and St. Paul University (in Iloilo City, Philippines) taught me how to prepare to interact with people; my Catholic education nurtured me to always remember that charity begins at home,” quipped Dimayuga.
Dimayuga credits her personal struggle in the success she is reaping in Canada. “I designed my own life. I created my own world. I was raised and brought up with a nice education and excellent parenting. I think positively and I don’t believe in saying no to challenges. I see myself satisfied as I grow old,” she remarked.
Her meteoric rise as immigrant specialist in less than two years would not be possible she said if Renaud Dery did not give her full support and trust and confidence. “He gave me all the opportunities to discover my talent and capacity. Renaud appreciates the things I do for the firm; he gave me big breaks in my career. He is always there to assist me. He did not have second thoughts to give me trust and confidence. He challenges me in many ways to keep going and do good. We have the same mission and goal not only about money but by helping people while at the same time doing business,” Dimayuga revealed. “We both want to make our names big. We have to be together in the project. We are looking forward to make it better and big.”
Dimayuga said Renaud Dery “gave me freedom to organize my plans. He valued my ideas and opinions; I can never do it without him.”
Dimayuga’s slogan in life is “love and respect.” She said she always tells herself to “never give up on your dreams.” Her other passion is nursing the sick and elderly. “I give myself to touch other people’s lives. I feel so happy to hear stories of the sick and those struggling for their last breath. I have passion and compassion and I want to pursue my mission and goals in life,” she added.
Since she separated nine years ago, Dimayuga said she has decided to focus her life on her career as immigration specialist.
“I am a normal person. I dated but my last serious relationship was my former husband,” Dimayuga revealed. She said she maintains a “special friendship” with someone and “that’s as far as I can go for the meantime.”
“But I am looking forward to finally find someone. I know I could give a lot of love for him. That is one thing I am praying for – to finally meet that special someone. I have been questioned a million times (about my status) and I have a lot of suitors, mostly stable,” concluded Dimayuga, who finds “contentment and happiness” with her teenage daughter Korine Cleighne or KC.