Family from Philippines happy to make Gladstone home
THEIR smiles and friendliness say it all as Rodelio and Aileen Babijis add their own family to the multicultural mix that is 21st Century life in Gladstone.
With their two children - Ralf, 11, and Raia, 7 - ensconced in classes at Gladstone South State School happily seizing the opportunity of an Australian education and the friendships they have made, their parents agree that moving here was the right decision for the family.
Mr Babijis, a mechanic, arrived from the Philippines in 2011 to work and his wife and children followed in 2013.
He already had friends living and working here who gave him favourable reports and encouraged him to take the decision and come too.
"They were saying to me that it was better to work here," Mr Babijis said.
"It was his dream to come because he could see a future for the family here," Mrs Babijis said. "I just supported him."
A mathematics teacher in Manila, Mrs Babijis as yet is not able to work here in the education field but does some tutoring.
"Yes it was a good decision to come," she said. "It is quieter here, not so crowded, not so stressful."
Although the street life in Queensland is a world away and lacks the vitality and energies of their country of birth, they have become involved and embraced in Gladstone's growing Filipino community.