In the Philippines I’m called Becky; in Canada, I am Rebecca. I am married to Kees Vermeer and in our retirement, we established Pagla-um Missions at Felipa Beach, Mangnao, Dumaguete City. The registration of the organization is pending. The eco-KALAN project is one of several missions we undertake to bring hope to the poor in the Philippines. We are both Canadian citizens and live in North Saanich, Vancouver Island, British Columbia but we often spend the winters in the Philippines.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Silliman University, I immigrated to Canada to pursue graduate studies in chemistry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. I earned a M.Sc. in Chemistry and later, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. While pursuing a career as an economist and policy advisor with the Government of British Columbia, I was also involved in community affairs as a 2-term councillor with the District of North Saanich and as the founding president of the St. Andrew’s Abbeyfield Housing Society in Sidney, British Columbia – the group that built the first Abbeyfield House for the elderly in Canada.
Kees was born in the Netherlands and in 1954, he immigrated to Canada. There he went to university and graduated with a M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Alberta. As a research scientist for the Government of Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service), he studied the ecology of Canadian freshwater and marine bird populations and investigated the effects of changes in sea water temperatures, chemical pollution (DDT, mercury, pentachlorophenols, dioxins and oil spills), habitat destruction (deforestation) and predation on the bird populations. He also worked in Chile and Surinam on the effects of pollutants on birds. Kees produced numerous scientific publications and was active in various professional organizations. Kees is a member of the Rotary Club of Sidney, British Columbia,Canada while Rebecca ia a member of the
Rotary Club of Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, Philippines.