Mothers’ Day 2021 – A Celebration Honoring The Mother of the Family, Motherhood, Maternal Bonds, And The Influence of Mothers in Society

Vancouver, B.C.

“Maria Cecilia Loreto, an immigrant mother, did not deserve her fate”


Mildred German 

Unceded Territories – A charred body of a burned person found in a Burnaby park in March 2021 was that of a missing person Maria Cecila Loreto, also known as Mycel or Maricel. Police  believe the 49-year-old mother was killed at her home in New Westminster on March 17, 2021, the day before her body was found at Burnaby’s Greentree Village Park. The victim’s body was found at around 2 a.m. in the park located near the BCIT campus.


Like many migrant, undocumented, and immigrant Filipina mothers and workers, to be able to bring children and families to Canada is a dream come true. Yet, the impacts of migration, family separation, and reunification are tremendous.

Friends spoke of Maria Cecila Loreto as a vibrant mom who worked hard to bring her family to Canada. A longtime friend of Loreto mentioned she worked multiple jobs since arriving 10 years ago.

Recently, Loreto worked at a Superstore in Vancouver. However, over the years she worked three jobs until she could save enough money to bring her family — her husband, a son and daughter to Canada to join her around 2018 or 2019, according to a CBC report.


As Canada’s foreign labour policies separate workers from their children and families, and continue to do so, this  long years of family separation also impact the children and families who were left behind. Children and families are reunited but as “strangers” due to the many years of family separation. Loreto’s family was separated for eight to nine years.

Loreto did not deserve her fate. She and her family deserved better – they could have spent those years together.


Social media posts say Loreto was active in the cultural dance troupe Banga Beautiful Philippine Street Cultural Dance in Honor of the Santo Nino. She was also a volunteer performer at SPIDS (Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society).

“This is very sad po. I am, as we speak, still talking to other close friends (who are all crying now) and trying to see what assistance the family needs. Her band group is very close to me and SPIDS, they are not only volunteer performers but also volunteers who help us in many aspects. They just donated on the recent fundraising that I organized for the Philippines typhoon survivors last November,” Dela Cruz told Philippine Canadian News.Com in a message in March 2021.


On March 24 police announced that two persons, a 21-year old man and a 15-year-old, are both charged with first-degree murder and indignity to human remains. Police also said the victim and the two accused know each other.

Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the 15-year old cannot be named. The 21-year old arrested was identified as Carlos Tobias. Both were also charged indignity to a human body. Tobias has also been separately charged with sexual interference.

“We have a very good idea of what happened. We have a narrative. We have a very good theory. But all that information, right now, isn’t for public consumption,” Sgt. Frank Jang of Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said.





Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top