Two leading organizations in the Filipino Canadian community in B.C. are extending their special wishes to our kababayans for the month of June.
June 2020 marks the 122nd anniversary of Philippine Independence.
June 2020 is also the second year that Filipino Heritage Month is being marked across the entire Canada.
The United Filipino Canadian Associations in B.C. (UFCABC) and Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society (FCCHS) are joining fellow Filipinos in celebrating these two significant occasions.
UFCABC president Joel Castillo said that there are a lot of things that Filipinos should be proud of.
“Filipinos are contributing to the success and prosperity of Canada,” Castillo said.
The officials of FCCHS, for their part, stated that Filipinos have a lot to offer to Canada with their enormous talents.
As noted by the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, the Philippines has been the top source of new immigrants to Canada from 2011 to 2016.
There are 837,130 people in Canada with Filipino ethnic origins, based on the Census conducted in May, 2016.
Of the said number of Filipinos in the country, 780,130 reported they are a visible minority in the country, making Filipinos and Filipino-Canadians the fourth largest visible minority after South Asians (1,924,635), Chinese (1,577,060) and black (1,198,545) minorities in Canada.
In a message, Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia expressed pride that Filipino Canadians are in the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
UFCABC traces its roots to 2007 as an initiative of the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver.
In 2015, the UFCABC was given full autonomy to serve as an umbrella organization of Filipino associations in the province.
According to the UFCABC, its formation highlights the “maturing of the Filipino Community in Vancouver to stand on its own and to be able to deliver events as truly community driven”.
UFCABC’s executive board is composed of Castillo, Rey Fortaleza, Arcie Lim, Janice Lozano, Bert Parungao, Merlina Fayusal, Agnes Uguil, Mel Abonita, Leo Ocampo, Rene Bahena, Rudy Tuliao, Salve Dayao, Mylene Lim, and Arnedo Lucas. UFCABC’s Directors are Clifford Belgica, Maryanne Velayo, Ching Colobong, Rene Alcantara, Amado Mercado Sr., Annie Miles, Cris Sotana, Mirasol Kahila, Shailene Caparas, George Gutierrez, Jose Ampeso, Robert Azana and Anthony Remedios.
For its part, FCCHS is largely based in Surrey and was established for the purpose of engaging Filipino Canadians to immerse themselves in their rich heritage.
FCCHS seeks to participate, celebrate and promote Filipino cultural and social heritage and values to the various Surrey communities and all communities in B.C.
Its leadership is composed of Prima Roine, President, Rey Fortaleza, VP, Roldan Robles, 2nd VP, Marilyne E. Fletcher, Secretary, Janice Lozano, 2nd Secretary, Joy Sapiera, 2nd Treasurer, Lyn Hernandez, Secretary, Nellie Soque, 2nd Sgt. at Arms, Rosette Correa, PRO, Marie Holgado, Sgt. at Arms and Giovanni Mata, Legal Consultant
FCCHS founding directors are Mario Hernandez, Cris Sotana, Natie Sotana, Socorro Babes Newland, Cynthia Tamondong, Jojo Alpuerto, Michael Cayetano, Carlito Pablo, Araceli Fortaleza, Josie Delatorre, Marcy Torres, and Romy Torres.
In a message, Philippine Consul General in Vancouver Maria Andrelita S. Austria expressed appreciation for the noble traits of Filipinos, saying that the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown the best qualities of Filipinos.
The Consulate General in Vancouver, together with Philippine Days 2020 and MVPACES, have collaborated on a project called Tatlumpung Araw ng Himig Pilipino: Isang Pagbubunyi! (Thirty Days of Filipino Music: A Celebration!).
These month-long virtual event features a collection of performances, whether it is musical, visual or aural of Filipino songs.