Celebrating Filipino Heritage Month in Canada

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Filipino Heritage Month

Happy Filipino Heritage Month! Canada is famous for its diversity, priding itself in being one of the most multicultural countries in the world. In Canada, the month of June is celebrated as Filipino Heritage Month.




HOW DID FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH IN CANADA COME ABOUT?

While many municipalities and provincial governments across Canada declared June as Filipino Heritage Month, it was a Member of Parliament (MP)’s private member’s motion that led to the declaration on a federal level.

October 30, 2018, the House of Commons unanimously declared June as Filipino Heritage Month to recognize the meaningful contributions the Filipino have made to Canadian society.

Filipinos are one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. With a history as multicultural and diverse as any community in
Canada, the Filipino community has made many meaningful contributions in every field of human endeavour imaginable.

Filipino Heritage Month is an opportunity for every Canadian to learn more about the Philippines’ rich history of arts and culture, and how Filipino-Canadians contribute to the rich tapestry of Canadian society.




HISTORY OF FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH IN CANADA

On October 1, 2018, Salma Zahid, the Liberal MP for Scarborough Centre, where more than 14,000 Filipinos live, rose in the House of Commons to move her private member’s motion, Motion No. 155 to designate June as Filipino Heritage Month.

Many of Zahid’s parliamentary colleagues from different political parties took the opportunity to speak highly of their interactions with members of the Filipino community in their ridings.

Zahid spoke about the contributions of the first Filipinos in Canada, many of whom went on to become leaders in their respective fields.

Zahid said that June was chosen so that the celebration would coincide with Philippine Independence Day.

For more information about the debate on Motion No. 155, visit Open Parliament here.

A decision was made and agreed to in the House of Commons during the 1st session of the 42nd Parliament to declare June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada on October 30, 2018.




HOW DO FILIPINOS CELEBRATE FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH IN CANADA?

Officials from the Philippine Government are joined by Canadian politicians who represent large Filipino communities in flag-raising ceremonies in many cities across Canada, including at Parliament Hill in the country’s capital, Ottawa.

Many Filipino community organizations also host festivals held in public venues.

These festivals feature many Filipino entertainers who perform for large crowds. There are also many vendors who sell delicacies from every corner of the Philippines.

Cities where there are larger Filipino communities, such as the City of Toronto, often hold large festivals that are held over a number of days.

One of the largest festivals is Taste of Manila, which is held at the corners of Wilson Avenue at Bathurst Street in Toronto, Ontario.

Taste of Manila is one of Canada’s largest street festivals, with more than 300,000 people coming to the two day event.




FILIPINO HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATES THE MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTIONS OF FILIPINOS IN CANADA

It comes as no surprise that Canada has become the top destination for Filipinos to visit, study, work and immigrate.

Anecdotal records indicate that the first Filipinos arrived from the United States, crossing into Manitoba in the 1950s.

We really haven’t looked back since. Today there are over 851,410 Filipinos in Canada.

Where do all the Filipinos live in Canada, you may ask? Here are the top 6 Canadian provinces where Filipinos live.




SASKATCHEWAN: 33,630

We like to joke around when it comes to the Prairies. We tell Filipinos moving to Saskatchewan that if you leave your door open and your dog goes out, not to worry. The land is so flat that even if it’s been a couple of days, you’ll still see your dog in the distance, wagging his tail.

MANITOBA: 37,910

Manitoba holds the distinction of being the first entry point for Filipinos in Canada. Having said that, it’s also fitting that Jollibee open its first two Canadian branches in Winnipeg. It’s also cold, so very cold. There are almost 40,000 Filipinos who consider themselves proud Manitobans.

QUEBEC: 83,530

Ah, la belle province! Quebec holds a very special place in our hearts. Canada is a spectacularly beautiful country, but Quebec in particular has a unique old-world charm all its own. It’s also testament to how incredibly adaptable Filipinos are. We don’t usually speak French, but when you’re in Quebec, you’ve got no choice but. And to think, there are more than 80 thousand Filipinos already there. How would you say “eight sticks of pork barbecue to go, please?” en français?

BRITISH COLUMBIA: 158,215

The westernmost Canadian province is home to over 150 thousand Filipinos. That’s a lot. It’s also very expensive there. If you have relatives, make sure to take advantage of their hospitality and visit them. You won’t regret it, it’s very picturesque all year round. That, and it’s warm. Hollywood films most of its TV shows and movies in BC, so keep an eye out for some celebrities when you’re there.

ALBERTA: 175,130

When you think of Alberta, you think oil fields. Filipinos came to Alberta by the truckload when the global price of oil was sky-high. Everyone who was working in the oil industry ran to Alberta to strike it rich, and stayed when it hit rock bottom. Reports have it that Alberta has greater numbers of undocumented Filipino workers without status.

ONTARIO: 337,760

The province of Ontario is a great balance of everything you could probably want in Canada. It’s got the natural beauty, the cosmopolitan cities and super accessible international cuisine. By far, it’s the most populous province in the country. It comes as no surprise that most Filipinos live in Ontario. Jollibee is scheduled to open even more locations in Toronto, so if you thought that the lines when they opened in Winnipeg were ridiculous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.





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