FLAG RAISING AT THE PCCM
The traditional flag-raising at the grounds of the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) took place on Saturday, June 6. The yearly event that kicks off the celebration for Filipino Heritage Month was initially announced to be cancelled by the lead organizer, the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba, Inc. (PHCM) back in early May. However, with the recent easing of restrictions to allow outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people, the event pushed through at the last minute.
The risk of possible coronavirus transmission was of utmost concern during the event. Attendees adhered to health and safety protocols such as headcount compliance (up to 50 attendees only), the use of masks, physical distancing, and verbal precautionary checks, e.g. questions about experiencing fever, travel outside the province, possible exposure, and etcetera. In attendance were PHCM officers and representatives of member-organizations such as ANAK, BIBAK, MAFTI, QPAM, and several others.
This writer was present as PHCM’s social media partner and to cover the event for this publication.
The program started promptly at 9:30 AM, with opening remarks coming from PHCM President Perla Javate and Honorary Consul Ronaldo Opina. Pastor Andy Capesinio of the Filipino InterChurch Fellowship Winnipeg (FICFW) led the opening prayer and also assisted with the video coverage of the proceedings. In an interview after the ceremony, PHCM Secretary Gani Casalla remarked, “This is probably the quickest flag-raising event we’ve had in many, many years. But the same spirit applied.” PHCM’s Javate added that if not for physical distancing concerns, a modest banquet and fellowship inside the PCCM building would have typically followed the event.
Photos by Kris Ontong