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Page added on June 16, 2016

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The Filipino Community Umbrella

By: Tigs Tidalgo

The umbrella system to manage our then small Calgary Filipino community came to being in 1986. The passage of time did increase our population in folds that the format under the wings of associations becomes impractical. It served its purpose, but it already outlived its usefulness for sometime. It’s kind of using an old umbrella to shelter from  falling snow. It becomes obsolete and needs to be updated or change.

It is therefore necessary to move out from under a worn-out umbrella. It’s precisely naive and even foolish to continually pattern our community’s management on a system that needs realignment to current realities. We have to look for new alternative that is appropriately conducive to present condition.

On this regard, I open my ears to various levels. I learn that what is apparently fitting is a simple and honest leadership entity where every adult Filipinos who want to shall have free and direct access in choosing leaders. I call it as right of suffrage; the central covenant of a free society. I believe that the time has come where efficient general community election is the abiding process in choosing our leaders.

We are the top cultural community in size in the city and the fastest growing. We did possess the right potential and was then believed to lead other ethnic groups to progress. We never did. On the contrary, we instead lagged badly behind. We simply failed to leap up from just being potential.

There had been various reasons and many alibis. We learned our lessons. We therefore must discard away our petty excuses and start to look seriously onward both individually and collectively. I know deep down that the said ‘potential’ is still in us. We proved this with our seniors. It is through simplicity, tenacity and good planning that we’ll gain fair distance.

It is time for us to look farther ahead and endeavour to pull together our resources into a turning point. I believe that we have the talent and the audacity to achieve. It is just a matter of hard work.

There were just 68 of us Filipinos in Calgary when we decided to build a community. Being orphaned from the comfort of love ones, we adhered together as a neighbourly group which catered comradeship as proxy to families and friends we left behind. It was a shelter from lonesomeness of home. We sowed the seeds of our culture with aspiration that it would grow to be a respected community someday. That was about half a century ago and many stories did come to pass.

Today, we desire that before our final curtain, we could see signs to reveal the coming into reality what we worked for. It is indeed a wonderful feeling to realize that what we started is rightly in the hands of those that follows.

We can only say from experience that regardless of how things turn out, never ever allow the vigour of disappointment to dampen the thoughts of fulfilment. Our community is what we make of it. Setbacks may come at times, but as long as honest intention continues to thrive, there is always hope.

The ‘originals’ are now going into noble exit. What they leave behind are still dreams to realize. They did what was ought to be done with exalting belief that the next generation will pick up the stride.

And yes, they can do it. They are capable.




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