Leaping Over Barriers


I wrote about the sacred journey of the salmon that they are keystone species here. Salmon have to cross and leap tremendous barriers in order to reach their destination.

It’s a leap of faith.

This is a profile of Thelma Siglos inspiring others to leap over barriers. On a personal note to her family, she is grateful to her family especially her Mother, sister Ate Baby and her sister’s husband Mel for sponsoring her to Canada.

Thelma-Siglos-Recruitment-Blog-Photo“The CPA designation has given me a mindset to achieve big, hairy, audacious goals,” says Thelma Siglos. “It opened many doors and I chose to broaden my passion for service in various sectors. And as my career progressed, I love the fact that I contribute to good governance and financial integrity – work that is deeply satisfying.”

Notably, throughout a career full of opportunities, Thelma has volunteered considerable time and energy to providing opportunities for others.

The sixth child of 13, Thelma grew up in Manila, Philippines. She completed a bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting at the University of the East in Manila, followed by a master of business management at the Asian Institute of Management in the city of Makati. She moved to Canada in 1981, and today works as a financial integrity consultant specializing in forensic accounting investigations. She has held this role since 2014, when she retired from her career as a manager of financial integrity with the BC Public Service Agency. She is also a recipient of the CPABC Distinguished Service Award.

Transition to working in Canada
When she moved to Canada and began seeking employment, “being ‘new,’ ‘different,’ ‘overqualified,’ or ‘lacking Canadian experience,’ were some of the comments I heard,” says Thelma. “I also encountered bias. It seemed Filipinos were seen as educated and approachable but were often stereotyped as nurses and caregivers.” This motivated her to “show that Filipinos are also excellent accounting professionals because of their adaptability, service orientation, and focus on higher education. Math and accounting have a universal logic.”

She notes, “I felt that my master’s degree in business and work in senior roles were not handicaps but tools for success, though they were not obtained in Canada. I was confident that I could showcase my transferable skills and qualifications as a good fit, given the opportunity.”

“The firm [that I first worked with] agreed to support my application for CA membership by affiliation,” she continues. “They gave me a chance to prove that I could hone my skills and training to Canadian standards, and I worked to exceed their expectations. I could not have pursued this path without their support and guidance.”

Giving back
Throughout her career, Thelma has volunteered extensively, including with MOSAIC, the Law Society of British Columbia, and the Association of Filipino Canadian Accountants of BC(AFCA-BC), a non-profit organization based in Vancouver. Her roles with AFCA-BC include serving as founding president and director in 2008, and she continues to support the association as a mentor.

As a mentor, she says, “My support is mostly called for in two things: goals clarification and soft skills enhancement. Regardless of whether you are a new Canadian or not, soft skills are essential to understanding yourself, others, the environment around you, and your responses. These skills allow people to have greater self-confidence and to be better communicators, team members, and problem solvers.”

She continues, “At AFCA-BC, our conduct during council meetings and workshops promotes awareness of business governance and regulates professional behaviour over time. As our members who are new Canadians engage in these activities, I hope they can become more resilient and enhance their soft skills for communication, creativity, and relationships. At a social level, our warm welcome and support ease the many doubts and uncertainties of newcomers. Feeling a sense of belonging and rapport with peers is a confidence booster. Seeing others successful serves as an inspiration – no matter how hard it seems now, it can be done.”

This entry was posted in Be Inspired.

Peripheral Vision


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When push comes to shove, historically speaking, people will quote the bible to harness the power to govern and dominate even though their action is vile. Why not start from the beginning. Blame it on the apple. Then the women. … Continue reading

Sacred Ordinary


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… simple prayers are sacred acts. They’re tender and profound. They aren’t the formal prayers of the institutional church. They aren’t the ecstatic utterances of a miraculous vision. They are dignified, homely and eloquent, the ordinary and yet sacred stuff … Continue reading

One Final Post

I always looked forward for her bus to arrive on my screen and waited and waited and waited…. It finally arrived. Thank you, Catherine. May perpetual light shine upon you. Rest in peace.

To honour Catherine, teach your children well, respect nature, stand up for something you believe in, and hold your loved ones dear.

Canada 150 Bus

Catherine Mitchell

September 8, 1931 – June 8, 2018

Catherine Mary Power Mitchell started her life September 8, 1931. On that day, she was born to Michael John and Mary Ann (Dillon) Power in their family home in Calgary, Alberta.
Catherine attended St. Ann’s School and St. Mary’s Girls’ High School and entered the Sisters of the Faithful Companions of Jesus at Sacred Heart Convent in 1947. Catherine graduated from the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts. She then went overseas to Broadstairs Kent, UK for further religious training.
Catherine returned to Calgary in 1957 to begin her teaching career, which continued both in and out of the classroom, including managing the St. Francis Archives, until 2016. She taught at both St. Mary’s Girls’ High School and St. Francis High School.
Catherine left the convent in 1967, and later met and married her…

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i am not alone – by a hermit’s journey

In the journey through life people come and go. Maybe in passing, for however long that maybe, we will sit on these benches together and connect. But whether I sit with you, or someone else, I will never be alone because I will always be with myself.

Photo Sociology

A Hermits Journey

A Hermits Journey

I do not live alone, I live with myself. This is a position of strength, although it may appear to be an isolated existence.

A Hermits Journey

My mental health difficulties can lead to very morbid thoughts, but somehow I manage to walk that path in between life and death. I find there is as much joy to be found in darkness as there is in light. That’s not the way it used to be, so I think a positive attitude comes with experience and age.

A Hermits Journey

People are important to me. Through my studies I have developed an online community, and I have some very close and wonderful friends that I have known for years. However I chose not to meet with people very often, I prefer to have a physical distance, and enjoy the freedom of not having to be with people.

A Hermits Journey

If I spend too much time around…

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