Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!  HAPPY THREE KINGS! As we are now in 2019, new year, new beginnings, new challenges and  new opportunities.  Everyone is entitled to make their new year’s resolution for as long as they keep it in mind and make sure that they do it to the best of their ability.  When I was young [...]

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Page added on December 20, 2016

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What are we as a community?

Community building is a tedious process. Ours in Calgary is not an exception. It has been 48 years ago when a group of ten did put up a Filipino community association in the city of under a hundred thousand people,  wherein 68 were Filipinos. It was officially inaugurated on January 15, 1970 at Palliser Hotel. The named was the Filipino Canadian Society of Southern Alberta. It served as a community structure for years. It began to wane after the controversial general election of 1975.

Multi Filipino associations started to surface. The original association took the role as a mother association until it split on February of 1986 when the Filipino Federation of Filipino Associations (CAFFA), an umbrella of associations came to existence. Six associations went to the umbrella and other six stayed with the mother association. Years came to pass and the mother association with direct election participation from the Filipino population got tangled with election matters and ultimately was dissolved. This was about twenty years ago.

Our community today is having rapid influx of people from the homeland. We are now believed to be the biggest cultural group in the city with a population of about 56,000 Filipinos. Yet, we are way down when it comes to community progress.  It is indeed a painful reality to think about. Something is not working right. Yes, we know. But we are just too passive to find a way.

I don’t believe that it is the usual ‘alimango syndrome’ that culprits it. Neither do I blame it on indolence and ineptitude. We are one of the most educated and resourceful people. I have no doubt about our talent and propensity. We have all there is to prosper, but we seems to hesitate in employing our intrinsic potential towards community progress. This has to be thought about for us to see the light for better years ahead. It will take solid effort to make it possible.

We are people with allegiance to adhere with the doctrine of democracy. It may have some flaws and tiresomeness in application, but it is the only process where fairness prevails. The handling of our community affairs; more so in the selection of leaders must abide by it. There is no cooperation without participation. The right to vote directly by the populace is a sacred covenant of our system. This dogma is not to be feared about. On the contrary, it has to be encouraged and protected.

There is an apparent weakness in the composition of our community. About half a century did come about and we’ve not gone far enough from  recreational and leisure pursuits. The missing link is the absence of a viable process to promote initiatives over and beyond cultural and societal challenges. We fail to prove our worth that we are also good for other things.

The senior’s program is a good example. It is now the envy of other cultural communities. They are the most organized and active for the well being of elderly citizens. It is also one of its kinds in all Filipino communities anywhere. It took them ten good years of hard work to make it possible. It started with a dream and it becomes a reality. Pundits are proven wrong to predict that it won’t succeed because of the usual negativity about Filipino mentality.

Our seniors succeeded not because it was easy, but because it was hard. Besides, there was a need for it. They were aware that this was hard work. To sacrifice time and efforts for the well being of our elderly was a measure of courage. They were willing to carry the yoke for the rights and comfort of the old. They honestly believed that they were capable to formulate and install a system to ease out and lighten their burden. They did it and they did it well.

On the same token that as a people with common interest, we also have the courage to develop a united strong community. Other cultural groups has done it already and though we are behind, we can catch-up or even do more. It is on trust and commonality in purpose that we can make it. Past failures are lessons for learning. No one can make our community good, strong and better but ourselves.

2017 is the year to pave the way for our community to flourish. Yes, we will fix the old rugged road. We shall put our effort into it and from every spark of wisdom, we will make an effective pathway to a bountiful and beautiful tomorrow. Our community deserves nothing but the best. It will be done because in heart…….we desire to make it so.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.


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