Mayor Michael Rama paid a courtesy call on Consul General Andrelita Austria as part of his delegation’s visit to Vancouver primarily for the enthronement of the Sto. Nino icon at the Shrine in Agassiz, BC. The shrine was inaugurated and the icon was installed at St Anthony de Padua Parish in Agassiz where Fr. Dennis Flores, who hails from Cebu, is a pastor.
Rama came with his wife Marilou and son Michael Jude; protocol officer Cinbeth Orellano; director of Sister Cities Karla Paula Ammann; executive secretary to the mayor Collin Rosell and councillor James Anthony Cuenco.
Members of the Filipino community were present at the courtesy call and the Cebu delegation showed a video on the vision of the incumbent administration to make Cebu Singapore-like. Rama will be meeting with various mayors of the city which includes Sylvia Pranger of Agassiz, Kennedy Stewart of Vancouver and Premier John Horgan.
MLA Mable Elmore accompanied the delegation on its official calls together with Tony Ortega who led the team of volunteers of the Sto Nino Shrine project, with Marie and Boy Holgado and other members.
Also present at the courtesy call was BC NDP David Eby and four Fil-Canadians running for office – Lina Vargas as councillor in Vancouver; Ramon Bandong as councillor in Surrey; Maita Santiago as councillor in Burnaby and Lailani Tumaneng as School Board Trustee in North Vancouver.
The Sto Nino de Cebu Shrine is the first shrine in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, and both the archdiocese and the city of Agassiz hope to have more visitors to the city as it becomes a pilgrimage site for Catholics in Canada and the US.