Winnipeg North MP Kevin Lamoureux and Tyndall Park MLA Cindy Lamoureux travel back to the Philippines to build stronger ties

Walking in the streets of Manila

by MP Kevin Lamoureux

The Filipino Journal back in 1991 covered my first trip to the Philippines and since then I have traveled there numerous times. I have made a point to travel to the Philippines for two primary reasons. First, to assist in helping family members and friends of constituents in being able to travel to Canada as a permanent resident, worker, visitor or as a student. Second, to build upon Canada’s healthy relationship with the Philippines, in so many ways we need to foster stronger ties as Canada needs the Philippines more than the Philippines needs Canada.

Last month Cindy and I travelled once again to the Philippines and allowed me to share with you some pictures and thoughts.

One of our many highlights was a very special event at Manila City Hall. Did you know that there is a WWII historical marker just outside Manila City Hall that recognizes nine Canadians who lost their lives during World War II, while serving in the Pacific Theater?

On November 11, my daughter Cindy and I, along with Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, paid respect to the lives of Canadians “Melvin G. Bracha, Garfield H. Flatt, Alden D. Graham, Harry R. Hamel, Robert G. Lippert, George E. Maitre, Leighton M. Manning, Robert W. Pierce, Charles L Wray.”

Mayor Lacuna was a fabulous host. I appreciated the time she gave me prior and after our brief ceremony. With a welcoming banner and a band, Cindy and I were welcomed to Manila City Hall. Mayor Lacuna and I talked about Winnipeg’s Filipino community and the growth of Canada’s Filipino Heritage community which is now estimated to be over one million people. We shared a number of ideas like tourism and that was followed by a tour of Manila’s newest museum which happens to be the clock tower, the most popular clock in the Philippines.

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to Bulacan where we visited the “Tova Vickar” ANCOP village. Cindy and I were able to visit with the residents and many of them were proud to show us their new homes. It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that people in Winnipeg are having such a positive impact in the Philippines.

After visiting the ANCOP village it was off to Malolos where we met with Governor Daniel Fernando. We talked about how Bulacan is well positioned for expanding international travel amongst other things, but once the Governor started talking about how he enjoys playing basketball, Cindy was quick to point out that her that Tito Manny Aranez was inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame and how the Governor should come to Winnipeg next year to play some basketball, (fingers crossed maybe it will happen).

During the visit,t we met with Canadian Embassy officials to talk about immigration, aid, and trade and we also met with a representative of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. As I indicated the importance of meeting with people, Cindy and I met with people for hours in different locations to talk about how people can come to Canada. It was not all work as we loved the food as we ate at many different restaurants and during our spare time we were able to do some shopping in Pasay. While riding the MRT we met someone from Amber Trails in Winnipeg, very cool.

We had a wonderful time and we wanted to thank my Ate Clarita for making the arrangements and taking us around Bulacan and the Philippine Embassy in Canada and former Ambassador Robles for their assistance, especially with their help regarding our visit to Manila City Hall. Looking forward to 2024.