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Whistler welcomes home its first baby of 2022

Roneal Andre Sibal born at Squamish General Hospital on Sunday, Jan. 2
New Year's baby 2022
Parents Roneal and Faith Sibal welcomed son Roneal Andre Sibal into the world at Squamish General Hospital on Sunday, Jan. 2. He is Whistler’s first baby born this year, according to Vancouver Coastal Health.

Roneal and Faith Sibal were just relieved their third child wouldn’t have to share their birthday with any other members of their immediate family. 

The couple’s six-year-old daughter and five-year-old son were both born on March 8—the same date as Faith. “So three of them are already celebrating their birthday on the same day,” Roneal explained with a laugh. 

With Faith’s due date set for Jan. 21, 2022, the possibility that their youngest son would become Whistler’s first resident born this year didn’t even cross their minds. 

But that’s exactly what happened when Roneal Andre Sibal, named after his father, was born at Squamish General Hospital via C-section at 10:16 a.m. on Jan. 2, weighing 2.49 kilograms. 

It started when Faith went in for a scheduled check-up on Jan. 1, only to discover her blood pressure had skyrocketed. “She was experiencing preeclampsia,” her husband explained. Faith had been on maternity leave since early December, after a false labour scare at 30 weeks forced her into bed rest. 

Roneal Sr. was on his way to work at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler when his phone rang. “She called me and said, ‘The doctor said we need to go to the hospital right now,’” he explained. 

Roneal hastily informed his head chef, met his wife by the gondola, and the couple hopped aboard a bus to Squamish. Once at the hospital, they were presented with two options: stay and have Faith induced, or head back home to Whistler, keep resting, and wait for things to get rolling naturally.

The family chose Option 1. Once Faith’s labour kicked into gear between 7 and 8 p.m., “we were still hoping that he might be a New Year’s Day baby,” Roneal recalled. “That was a very long day.” 

Roneal has been working in the Fairmont’s kitchen since he arrived in Canada from the Philippines three years ago, before Faith followed him to Whistler in January 2021. Their two children stayed in the Philippines while the parents worked on sorting out their visas. After lengthy immigration delays, Roneal and Faith’s elder children are expected to finally arrive in the resort for good in June, once their school year comes to an end. 

The siblings video chat with their new baby brother “every day,” said Roneal.

“They always want to see their new buddy.” 

In case an early, almost-New-Year’s-Day birth wasn’t enough excitement, another factor made Roneal Jr.’s birth all the more special: it was the first time his dad could witness one of his children entering the world. 

“In the Philippines, I cannot go in the labour room or the operating room—I can’t be beside her,” he explained. “But here in Canada, generally, you can be by her side … I just wanted my wife to feel that I [was] there for her.

“Before, I was just waiting outside the labour room.”

Faith has since been recovering at home while Roneal takes some time off from work to be with his family. “She’s feeling great, she’s doing great on healing herself,” he said. “Everything is new for us. Everything feels like the first time again.” 

For now, the parents are enjoying bonding with their newest addition while looking ahead to reuniting with their children this summer and raising them here in the resort.

“My other two kids are going be here soon. Being all with each other, and starting our family here in Whistler, that’s what I’m really excited for,” said Roneal. “That’s what my goal was, since the day that I came here. I wanted them to be here, right away.”