June 12 marked the 122nd anniversary of Philippine Independence, and June 2020 is the the second annual Philippine Heritage Month here in Canada. From the first day I was elected in 1988, I have been touched and blessed by members of the Filipino community. I’ve been privileged to learn so much about how the Filipino heritage community has impacted Canada’s diversity. Today the community is approaching 1 million people in fact by June 12 2021 the Philippine Heritage community should be over 1 million people.
In my role as the current chair and one of the founding-members of the Canada-Philippine Friendship Group, I lead our Members of Parliament and Senators in work to strengthen the important relationship between our two countries. I was honoured to support and help pass the motion to create this Heritage Month and recognize our community. As a group we have travelled to the Philippines, started a Filipino youth internship program in Ottawa and held/sponsored a number of events over the years.
On June 12 every year the Friendship Group would hold a celebration on Parliament Hill, bringing people together in Ottawa to hoist the flag of the Philippines over our nation’s capital.
Many of you already know that last year Cindy and I with a fantastic group of volunteers and our wonderful staff hosted an incredible community event. We brought thousands of Winnipeggers together to celebrate Filipino culture through music, dance, food and so much more.
This year we couldn’t hold either of these wonderful events—but we also couldn’t let such an important occasion pass us by. We had to get a little creative. I assisted in creating a wonderful parliamentary video, inviting dozens of MPs, senators, and even the Philippines’ Ambassador to give their thanks and best wishes to the community (you can check it out on my facebook page).
Here at home we’ve also organized a video contest. People have been submitting clips of music, dance, poetry, and anything they can think of to recognize the incredible impact our Filipino community has had on Winnipeg. If you have a story, picture or anything else you would like to share with me and Cindy about Filipino Heritage please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear what you think!
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North