Manitoba Filipino Business Council Community Check-in

by Danica Domingo

Life in Canada can be difficult is an understatement for most international students like me. Establishing a wide network and multitude of connections can be considered essential at the very least. More than anything, you want to be part of a community that genuinely cares for each other regardless of race, status, personalities, etc.

With the recent community check-in spearheaded by Manitoba Filipino Business Council, the inclusivity was contagious. I have been given the privilege to join this as an incentive with my co-op opportunity alongside Filipino Journal, and the experience was beyond fulfilling. Even without a business, just being surrounded by like-minded individuals that are all for development, growth, and passion was nothing but amusing. At first, it was intimidating to join an event filled with established Filipino businessmen and professionals thriving in their own space and craft, however, the roundtable was surprisingly geared towards a ‘catchup’ and uplifting each others’ well-being.

The program laid out by the organization, led by President Jackie Wild, was set up similar to an ‘icebreaker’. I felt that it was actually perfect to keep the light vibe of the event enough to magnify the spirit of togetherness despite the ongoing isolation.

When the group asked each attendee to share their answer to the question, “What keeps you up at night?”, I had to take a quick pause. This question can come off as too personal, and although the team asked for our permission prior to sharing, I felt reluctant to answer. Upon hearing everyone’s answers, I immediately felt how the council wanted to hear more of what is going on in our lives to provide comfort. To me, this question was the highlight of the entire event simply because there is no hiding anywhere with your answer. The goal is to be as genuine as possible, sharing whatever feels comfortable without feeling judged. Despite the other more difficult issues other people may be going through with regard to what is keeping them up at night, such as where they will be sleeping tomorrow or will they have enough to feed their family, I felt ‘privileged’ to share mine.

But at the end of the event, I realized how everything we are going through should never be invalidated. As a matter of fact, it should never be taken against us and we should never be judged for it, because life is already hard as it is.

The key takeaway is that there is a community out there that will accept us regardless of the differences and we should continue to celebrate all our losses, as much as our wins, because all these define who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

Danica Domingo is an International Business student at the RRC Polytech Lani and currently taking co-op internship with the Filipino Journal.