Legislative Assembly votes to designate June as Filipino Heritage Month
The Legislative Assembly has designated June as Filipino Heritage Month, approving a private member’s resolution proposed today by St. Norbert MLA Jon Reyes. With this designation, Manitoba recognizes and celebrates the 60th anniversary in 2019 of the first arrival of Filipino immigrants to the province.
“Since the arrival of people from the Philippines to Manitoba in 1959, the Filipino community has made tremendous contributions to our province’s growth, prosperity and development,” said Reyes. “The Filipino community has embraced Manitoba, and our province has welcomed and will continue to welcome its heritage, culture and contributions.”
Manitoba was the first entry point for Filipinos into Canada. Reyes noted that after four nurses became the first immigrants to arrive from the Philippines, skilled Filipinos moved to Winnipeg and elsewhere in Manitoba in increasingly greater numbers and played a critical role in filling the market needs of manufacturing companies in the 1960s and 1970s.
The ages and occupations of Filipinos in Manitoba expanded throughout the 1980s and 1990s through family reunification initiatives, and grew further following the creation of the Provincial Nominee Program by the Progressive Conservative government in 1998.
The population of Manitoba’s Filipino community has grown to approximately 83,000, while Manitoba has more Filipino community organizations than any other province.
Filipino heritage is traditionally celebrated in Manitoba throughout the month of June, with June 12 being Philippine Independence Day.