A Bicolana in Germany

On January 27, 2020 the first COVID-19 case was confirmed and contained near Munich, Bavaria. After which, Germany issued a stay at home order for the regions, forcing many local businesses to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. We have begun to witness its grave impact on our global economy.

But last April 20, Germany has begun to lift its lockdown measures, it allowed small shops to open following social distancing measures. Now, almost a month later Filipinos in Germany are trying to cope up with the new normal.

But for Shayne Ann Marquez-Berlth, the pandemic became an opprtunity to start a career from home.


Shayne arrived in Germany when she was 7 years old.

Her first impression as a kid coming from the Philippines was: „Where are the people? Where are the jeepneys and tricycles? No kids hanging out on the streets? Why are they always eating bread? I want rice!“

She learned Deutsch and remembers her first sentence as: “Hier ist das erste deutsche Fernsehen mit der Tagesschau.” Watching Tagesschau at around 8 in the evening has become a daily family routine.

She took up Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology & Modern China Studies and Masters of Arts in China Studies at the Universität zu Köln. A multiligual, besides being a native German speaker, she can also speak tagalog, bikol, english, chinese and portuguese.

In 2011, Shayne married her soulmate and childhood classmate Dr. Felix Berlth in a traditional Filipino wedding in Naga, Philippines, her hometown. They were blessed with two kids Lia and Noah.


The Berlth family moved to South Korea in 2017. Her husband, Dr. Felix Berlth chose to continue his medical training as a surgeon at the Gastric Cancer Center of Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH), being a world renowned institution for its surgery and scientific output.

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Life in Korea? Shayne says, „Very tough. We left Germany with 11 luggages, one stroller and one baby carrier. Coming to a new country with a newborn baby (3 weeks old) and a toddler 2 yrs old knowing that the husband will be busy every day and you have to manage everything alone with the kids. My daily routine, was dealing with the landlord/realtor or ordering furnitures and all other things that you need to fill your empty apartment in your broken Korean. It took me six months, to finally  love the country and everything around me. And now we are all missing Seoul so badly, especially the friends we met there and of course the yummy food.

After 3 years in South Korea, the Berlth family returned to Germany.


Shayne was a kindergarten teacher. Having two energetic kids, she need to think of things to keep them entertained and motivated. Their daily routine? After breakfast, kids will play while she performs housechores. Besides homeschooling, they play board games, do role plays, create experiments, do arts and crafts, bake, plant seeds, indoor sports activities or just watch TV and be lazy. They also talk a lot about Covid-19 to process what they have seen and heard from the news. But what she enjoy the most is when they sing lots of Karaoke and learn new songs. Nap time and finally bedtime. Their precious family moment is when her husband is at home. They`d walk to the forest and let the kids explore nature.

Like their mommy Shayne, both kids are multiligual, they can understand and speak a bit of Tagalog, Bikol and English, Noah more than Lia because he had more vacation time in the Philippines and could practice his Tagalog more. Now with the kindergarten influence where everyone speaks German it’s a bit difficult to maintain the language but she continuously speak Tagalog with them. They often reply in German because both can speak now. Shayne believes it is her duty to teach her children her roots, traditions and the Filipino culture.

„ I love my kids and of course for me they are just perfect. They inherit their energy from me, a proud Bicolana Oragon.“


More and more stay at home moms are turning to entrepreneurship as a way of generating income for their families. The flexibility, practicality and convenience of being a business owner is a smarter choice as compared to traditional employment for women. Add a work from home set up as a bonus is just perfect for Shayne.

The love for baking started early for Shayne. At the age of 14, while other teenagers are busy partying and hanging out, she was conquering the kitchen baking her sweet creations.

It started out as a hobby. She begun posting her work on social media and it gathered interest among her friends. They started asking if she can bake a cake for a birthday and from their a dozen more orders started to pour in.

Baking is not only therapeutic for Shayne, but it`s also a platform that shows her creativity.

If you are in the surrounding Mainz area, try SHAYNILICIOUS cakes and desserts. You can message her through her fb. account https://www.facebook.com/zoe.marmelade or DM her via IG https://instagram.com/shaynilicious?igshid=uncy7vklpjpx .


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