Wednesday, August 27, 2014

So, the mayoral candidates want to talk "Filipino" issues..

Manitoba Filipino Business Council poster

It looks like I missed out on an important debate yesterday. The Manitoba Filipino Business Council (MFBC) held a forum for all 9 mayoral candidates at Sisler High School. In today’s Winnipeg Free Press, reporter Bartley Kives sums up the event with a sad (but expected) title, “Mayoral wannabes spew clichés at forum.”

 In a MFBC news release, the forum was supposed to allow candidates to “discuss their perspectives and platforms in relation to hot topics in the city’s Filipino community.” What those “hot topics” were exactly was not disclosed.

 The CBC reports that candidates responded to questions about experience with ethnic communities. To what appears to be a diverse but sparse audience, the candidates responded with other clichés on culture. Steeves is said to appreciate the “go get it” nature of newcomers. Havixbeck is said to have worked in a grocery store as a teen where she learned about Filipino culture. Sanders commented on his work with Chinese and Aboriginal communities. Wasylycia-Leis referred to her arrival to Winnipeg shortly after the first wave of Filipino immigrants. Notably, Ouellette posed the question “What is culture?”


Friday, August 8, 2014

Folklorama Throwback!

Folklorama Philippine Pavilion 1970
Photo courtesy of Rolando Guzman (far right) via Winnipegger  on facebook

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I want this book! The Life and Art of Botong Francisco

My first recollection of Botong Francisco's paintings is seeing a faded and worn print of the well-known Katipunan painting fixed to my late grandmother's wall in 1996. It hung there unceremoniously, dusty, and crumpling from the humidity with the rest of her old magazines and albums. My Dad asked to take it home with us to Winnipeg along with a faded calendar of Botong's work. In the days that followed, I remember my Dad holding that image and flipping through the pages of that calendar reminiscing about his childhood and the celebrity Angono received as home to this master, this national artist.

If you don't know Angono, it is renowned as the country's official "Artists' Paradise." In my numerous sojourns "home," I would argue that each child is raised there with the same reverence for art as football might be for the average American. I recall music and art surrounding me and I dare say there isn't one Angono child who is not raised without either. Public spaces are filled with the sounds of Lucio San Pedro especially during All Saints Day and giant murals of Botong's work exists in each barangay. This was my dad's Philippines. This is why I want this book.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Unveiling of Dr. Jose Rizal Park this Saturday June 21

Dear Kabayan,
Good day everyone, with the completion of the Knights of Rizal Winnipeg Chapter (KoR-W) and Rizal Memorial Committee's project the day is better than good, it is to be celebrated. It had been in the back of the mind if not desired by Filipino community to have a park that will symbolize our community. There is no better figure in our history that can symbolize our dreams and ideals other than the Philippines National Hero, “Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Stone” will be sitting on a patio that politically symbolizes our motherland in Dr. Jose P. Rizal Park at Sewa Crescent.

We invite you, your family and friends to join us in the “Public Unveiling of Rizal Memorial and opening of the Park” on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 10:30AMan hour of program and another hour of social activities with light lunch will be enjoyed with our community, Knights and Ladies of Rizal, KoR-W Executive Council and Rizal Memorial Committee are counting on your attendance, thank you very much.

Respectfully yours,
Sir Felino de Jesus, KCR                                Sir Dr. Tom Colina, KGOR
Chapter Commander                                       Western Canada Area Commander
Knights of Rizal Winnipeg Chapter                   KoR Canada Region
Sir Councilor Mike Pagtakhan, KCR                Sir Mohamed Alli, KCR
Incoming Chapter Commander                        Pursuivant
Knights of Rizal Winnipeg Chapter                  Knights of Rizal Winnipeg Chapter