20 Filipinos to Watch

Lourdes Federis

by Kathleen Cerrer

I am Lourdes Federis, a mother of three amazing kids and a wife to Aldo Federis. I graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts maj. in Advertising and expanded my career from graphic design to Marketing after learning the Canada Census result in 2011. I started a Marketing service company in 2017 using Foodtrip street food market, Mabuhay Welcome Package and Mabuhay TV as a platform to reach the Filipino-Canadian market. I’ve co-produced concerts featuring Philippines’ hottest celebrity and some non-profit events like Paskong Pinoy (Filipino Christmas) and Live, Love, Run. After six successful Food Trip markets in three years, we are expanding the business by having eight markets at seven different locations starting May 2020, with a future plan of a street food market open all throughout summer and an indoor market with a food incubator.

What excites you most about what you do?
I love helping people and am committed to helping small and medium sized enterprises thrive. Once a food market, Food Trip has redefined itself as a small food business incubator where tenants invest in more than just a stall – they invest in the chance to grow under our support. The way of the future is building ecosystems for your business. Outsourcing is an avenue to support fellow entrepreneurs – it’s how local businesses can be patrons of local businesses.

What impact have you witnessed from your work?
When I started the street food market, there was none or very limited opportunity for people who wanted to start in the food business to try the business without spending thousands of dollars. I decided to create an environment so the small food business can safely test the market and confidently create a business. After three years, I observed that many of those who joined our annual markets are in this quandary: You have a great idea but not quite certain as to how to proceed to make your dreams come true. So from being just a food market, I decided to expand our purpose and become what I called an incubator – an incubator of dreams. One positive effect of the rise of food market in the city is the stepping stone it gives to enterprising Winnipeggers. I think the millennial generation wants to be more enterprising than the previous generation, and wants freedom with their time and trying out businesses. These are the people who want to open a restaurant, but don’t have the capital or the confidence to start their own. Food Trip promotes community and economic development through entrepreneurship while helping aspiring restaurateurs overcome barriers to becoming successful restaurant owners.

Tell us a story about an obstacle you faced and conquered.
The first obstacle in pursuing your passion is yourself. I had to realize what my real strengths are and how I can use it to add value to others. When I was assigned to organize a community event in 2016, not only did I have to overcome my fears of failing, but also the scrutiny of the community.

by Karla Atanacio

Malaya Cueto is one of the youngest changemakers in the community today. At age 10, she has held numerous events and fundraising efforts for Bear Clan Patrol Inc. Malaya started her involvement with the group when she was only 8 years old, when she founded the Courage of the Bear Cub group at her elementary school. She was able to raise $500 for Bear Clan Patrol and distribute hundreds of care packages around the community.
“I used to think that people that are homeless and those asking for money are scary, but I have learned that they just need help,” she recalls.. As the child of a Filipino father and a white mother, Malaya is deeply aware of Winnipeg’s multicultural community and the implications that come with it. She knows that racial inequality exists, and that it manifests itself in many ways, such as poverty, hunger, and lack of access to education. These are the reasons why Malaya has vowed to continue her work in the community.
Malaya sees herself as a young activist, feminist, and someone who loves to help others. “I feel like now is the time where young people’s voices are ready to be heard,” she said.
What excites you the most with what you do:
I know that groups like the Bear Clan Patrol and even our school’s Courage of the Bear Cub can make a difference and make our community better. About two years ago, my sister Dakoda came into our lives. She was a baby from Cross Lake First Nation and she had cancer. At the age of two, she went through very serious surgery and made me realize how much Cancer Manitoba does for kids like Dakoda. I would like to do something for Cancer Care Manitoba. These kinds of work excites me a lot.

What impact have you witness from your work:
My experience has shown me hope for others if we work together as one. It does not matter whether you are Filipino, Indigenous, gay, or straight. We need to work together to help the people in our city. My dad always talks about Bear Clan being non-judgemental and I think we should all be like that. If anyone needs help, we help them.

Tell us a story about an obstacle you faced and conquered:
Outside I may look very extroverted but deep down I am very shy. However I have led a whole school assembly by myself when I organized and helped launch our Courage of the Bear Cub project. I sang with Eagle and Hawk where I had to sing one of their songs “Sundancer.” I learned it the day before the concert for the “No Stones Left Unturned” for the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. I have also presented in other schools on what young people can do with the Bear Clan. Last month, I was one of the youth leaders at my dad’s junior high school for the first ever school based Bear Clan Youth Mock Patrol which brought the Bear Clan, Winnipeg Police Service, and the Winnipeg School Division.