With ‘bayanihan’ spirit, community helps out
Filipinos began moving to the British Virgin Islands in large numbers in the late 2000s. They quickly developed a reputation for participating in community events like the International Night at the New Life Baptist Church on Tortola, shown above in 2013. As in much of the world, such events are now on hold because of the pandemic. Photo: FREEMAN ROGERS
As Florenda Ruffell-Smith remembers it, the Filipino boom in the British Virgin Islands began in the late 2000s with four accountants hired to work in the territory’s bustling financial services industry. “That started a domino effect where other companies would ask for Filipinos,” said Ms. Ruffell-Smith, the long-time president of the Filipino Association of the BVI.