Marites Navarro

Life on the Move: From Small Town to Big City

Image 1.1 Roadmap of the Philippines, 1985 published by National Book Store. It shows the locations of Marites hometown and the university she attended.

Origins: Big Family in a Small Town

Marites Segui was born on February 16, 1963 in the Cagayan Province of the Philippines. Until 2010 her hometown, the Maddalero ward of the municipality of Buguey, had a population no greater than 2,000. Her father, Juan Segui was a farmer and Marites spent her childhood in the rural countryside of the Philippines. The small population of the town and the absence of a high school led many members of Marites’ family to leave Cagayan Province to pursue an education. As the youngest of eight, Marites watched as her seven older siblings moved away from their parents’ home before she too made the decision to leave.

First Steps: The Path from Home to School

Because the Cagayan Province was small and lacked a high school, it was necessary for Marites to travel to a neighbouring town everyday in pursuit of a secondary education. While attending high school, Marites was able to stay close to home, yet the desire to pursue a higher-level of education would require her to make a much greater commute.

Marites traveled over 600 kilometers from Maddalero to the capital region of Caloocan, a city with a population one-thousand times larger than her hometown, to attend Manila Central University.

Image 1.2 Marites’ Birth Certificate ordered to prepare for her journey to Canada.

Next Steps: Finding a Job

In 1984, Marites obtained a Bachelor of Science in Medical and Technology from Manila Central University and worked as a Medical Lab Technologist. It was around this time that she began to consider moving overseas due to the lack of opportunities available to her in the Philippines. Having spent her youth in motion, traveling in pursuit of educational or professional opportunities was not daunting for Marites. Instead, she embraced the idea of moving to a new country even though it meant giving up her life as a skilled worker in the Philippines.


Marites exercised a great deal of mobility throughout her youth while attending school. How would her academic and professional pursuits have been affected if her mobility had been limited?

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 Part 6