Honouring Manitoba 150 Heroes

Junel Malapad

Snow, rain, or shine: Running 50 kilometres,
50 times in 2020

Written by Red River College student: Emily Hart
Donation made to Rossbrook House

For Junel Malapad, running started as a necessity for his health. Now, it’s something he uses every day to give back and inspire other Manitobans.

“Running is something that’s special for a lot of people,” Malapad says.

With only a few days off, Malapad will hit the pavement for 50 kilometres every Saturday to raise money for local charities.

Junel is the founder of Taking Stigma to the Trash and plans to run 100kms for mental health this year. Some of that mileage up and down Garbage Hill. At Run Your Lungs Out, a treadmill relay. Malapad ran 100 miles and 100kms on a treadmill. He helped raise $150,000 for CancerCare foundation of Manitoba over the past two years.

Malapad says his inspiration to give back comes from his daughter. She told her dad instead of getting gifts one year, she wanted to send a kid to camp.

“Whatever you’re passionate about, you should tie it to an organization you want to give back to,” Malapad says. “Because, why not?”

Malapad has spent years telling people to “erase Boxing Day and write running day” on their calendars. Every year, Malapad and friends run instead of shop — two years ago, clocking 150miles in 56hours. That year, he raised $15,000 for Siloam Mission. Malapad recalls one Running Day when he trekked through knee-deep snow. Another in 40 below temperatures.

“I helped push a lot of cars out of the snow that day,” Malapad says.

In 2020, Boxing Day will land on the last Saturday of the year, also marking his last 50 kilometre run in his #50K50122020 movement.

Fred De Villa

An activist in and for the Filipino community

Written by Red River College student: Casey Challes

Fred De Villa migrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in January 1977 and started his career in marketing and accountancy and in a year’s hard work he was promoted as Controller at Caprice Distributor. He joined Sunlife insurance company as Unit Supervisor then again as a Financial Advisor. In 1993, he merited the company’s “National Quality Award” for maintaining a high level of quality of service.

Currently, Fred De Villa heads the Filipino Council, a group which facilitates discussion of local, national and international important issues. Foremost among his contributions was spearheading the initiative, filing petitions and lobbying for changes for improvement on the immigration law which resulted in the deferment of the payment of CDN$975 landing fee for new immigrants. Fred’s other significant contribution was to facilitate the process by which Philippine trained nurses pass their licensure examination to enable them to practice their profession.

An activist in and for the Filipino community, Fred is frequently involved in rallying the community to a just cause. His 1998 Human Rights Achievement Award is a powerful testimony that he shares the Province of Manitoba’s seriousness in safeguarding its migrant communities.

Since the 80’s, Fred has worn different hats; President, Chair, founding member of various services and groups. We have Pepe and Pilar day care, Merry Popins, foreign/domestic workers, Filipino Sports Federation, Heritage Week Coordinating Committee and many other organizations.

In 2004, he was named Outstanding Filipino in Canada. In 2012 Fred was a recipient of the “Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. On October 30, 2018, the House of Commons adopted the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month nationwide. On this occasion, MP Kevin Lamoureaux and his daughter MLA Cindy Lamoreaux spearheaded the first Filipino Heritage event, and here, Fred was presented a certificate and medallion recognizing his valuable contributions to the Filipino Canadian heritage.

This year, on the occasion of the 150th founding anniversary of the Province of Manitoba, Mr. Fred De Villa will be awarded as an honouree, nominated by no less than MLA Cindy Lamoureaux, Leo Aniceto and Susan Scott.

Evangeline Mance

A guiding light for thousands of Filipinos immigrating to Manitoba

Written by Red River College student: Brayden Solberg

Evangeline Mance, known in Manitoba’s Filipino community as Tita (Auntie) Vangie, watches her family grow everyday, as new Filipino immigrants turn to her for advice on starting a new life in Manitoba.

A medical technologist in the Philippines, Mance says she wasn’t prepared for the rigorous process of finding employment as an immigrant in Canada.

“When I came here and realized Canada doesn’t recognize my profession it was really difficult for me,” she says.

Winnipeg’s Filipino community helped her navigate the process of settling in Canada, and for the past 27 years she has been returning the favour.

“I know the feeling of being a newcomer with a lot of questions and nowhere to turn,” she says. “I just want to help them the same way that others helped me.”

In 2014, she created the non-profit organization Life of Peg Association of Manitoba, where new Filipino immigrants can seek guidance from over 18,000 members. It has since become a catalyst for her much larger vision, including the ‘Life of Peg Basketball League’. “Basketball is huge for us, but more importantly it’s a chance to network,” she says.

Mance continues to support her community. This year, the Mario T. Mance P.Eng. Memorial Scholarship she founded, will support four Filipino students aspiring to follow in her late husband’s footsteps as an engineer, donating $9,000 in tuition funds.