The Honourable Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Ontario Senator, paid tribute to the Philippine Heritage Band and its 35th anniversary in the Senate of Canada. His speech in the Senate Chamber followed the 3rd annual Philippine Flag Raising on the Hill event in celebration of the 117th Philippine Independence Day, which has been taking place every year since the appointment of Canada’s first senator of Filipino descent. Hundreds of guests from Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal attended this year’s flag raising ceremony and unfurling of a gigantic Philippine Flag on Parliament Hill.
“Honourable senators, when I last saw the PHB perform in early May this year, they were playing His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines, and the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, onto the stage of Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto for the two leaders to confirm the strengthening of bilateral ties between Canada and the Republic of the Philippines,” said Senator Enverga in his statement.
“I want to thank the PHB’s founder, Oscar Farinas, for having the vision to create the band in 1980, and I want to thank Caroline Bañez, the current president, for keeping the PHB a strong and vibrant organization and for all the good work that is done by them in our community,” the Senator continued.
Senator Enverga paid tribute to the Philippine Heritage Band as being a stellar example of how the nearly 800,000 Filipino-Canadians contribute to Canada’s growing multicultural reality. He also highlighted that the Philippines became the largest source country of permanent residents last year with over 40,000 new permanent residents from the country coming to Canada.