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Filipino Drop-in & Information Center Opens to Filipino Immigrants.

After more than one year of planning, stalling and more planning, the Filipino Drop-in and information center opened its doors on November 26, 1998. The open house was attended by about 100 people from the Filipino community, various representatives from community, service organizations and government offices. During the program, greetings were given by Mr. Al Pierog, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Catholic Social Services; Councilor Michael Phair representing the City of Edmonton; Ms. Sharon Flynn from Citizenship & Immigration Canada; Ms. Barbara Leung, Director of Community programs from Alberta Advanced Education and career development; Mr. Vic Cui, Jr. representing the Honorary Consul of Alberta; and Monsignor William Irwin, Founder of the Catholic Social Services. Entertainment was provided by the Kayumanggi Cultural Society.

The center is a partnership initiative between the Catholic Social Services and the Philippine Centennial movement of Canada - Alberta & NWT Chapter. In a welcoming environment, Filipino immigrants are assisted with information, resources and support about living and working in Canada.

The following services are offered by staff of the Catholic Social Services and volunteers from the community:

1. Information about settlement, education, employment and family issues.
2. Language assessment, education counseling and orientation about employability.
3. Supportive and professional counseling for personal and family adjustment difficulties.
4. Referral to community programs and services.

The weekly counseling services are conducted every Thursday from 5pm to 7:30 PM at the Catholic Social Services located at 10709-105 St. The project is coordinated by Ms. Alice Colak, vice-president, Community and Immigration Service of the Catholic Social Services and the following Filipino organizations: The Canadian Filipino Professional, Trade and Business Association, The Filipino Canadian Women’s Baranggay Association of Alberta, The Concerned Canadian Filipinos for International Development Foundation, the Canadian Filipinos for International Development Foundation, The Canadian Filipino Community Development Services and The Kayumanggi Cultural Society.

The Project was initiated by the late Mrs. Rhoda S.J. Abada with a meeting on September 18, 1997 attended by CSS staff and officers of the above Filipino organizations. When Mrs. Ababa was appointed President of the Philippine Centennial Movement - Alberta/NWT Chapter, the project was temporarily set aside.

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Filipino Drop-in & Information Centre Opens

PCIT Opens in Manila

A Decade in Parliament

Alpha & Omega Fellowship

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DR. REY CELEBRATES HIS DECADE IN PARLIAMENT IN TWO CITIES

OTTAWA- Ten years of service in any profession or vocation is an accomplishment. If the profession were politics, consider it an outstanding feat for the elected politician has to continue to earn the trust of the electorate. For Dr. Rey D. Pagtakhan, or Dr. Rey as he is fondly called by his constituents, the feat seemed to come naturally as the M.D. turned M.P. celebrated his tenth year anniversary as a member of Parliament last November 20, 1998.

Dr. Rey marked the occasion with twin celebrations in Winnipeg and Ottawa, joined by constituents, volunteers, friends, family and staff at the Lombard Hotel in downtown Winnipeg and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

The Winnipeg even drew a full ballroom of over 500 guests, some of whom had to defy long traffic delays, parades and other activities associated with the Grey Cup which took place in the city that same weekend. The efforts of these determined guests were well rewarded with the insightful reflection given by Dr. Rey as he spoke of his decade in Parliament. "It has been your gift that I am what I am", he said in sharing with the audience the experiences and people that had shaped his parliamentary career. He thanked the many volunteers and supporters who had contributed their time and energy to ensure his election and re-election in past ten years. And with great pride and affection, he spoke of his family and of their constant support. Perhaps the most touching words of the evening were those said to his wife, "Gloria, I love you most." The audience was visibly moved by his proclamation of love and commitment to his wife and family.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, injected humor into the evening by remarking in his keynote address that Dr. Rey ‘really knows how to throw a party." He went on to say that he knew of no one else but Dr. Rey for whom the city of Winnipeg would barricade the streets and hold parade, alluding to the series of activities that were taking place in anticipation of the Grey Cup weekend. On a very serious note, the minister gave the audience some insight in Dr. Rey’s work on Parliament Hill and related his work with Dr. Rey on various government projects. He spoke often of Dr. Rey as a member and a colleague who is known for his integrity, intensity, and deep commitment to his work, his constituents, and his country.

Mr. Axworthy’s sentiments would be echoed at another gathering held two weeks later on December 4, 1998. The Filipino Canadian community of Ottawa organized a similar celebration on the grounds of Parliament Hill, aptly named: "A Decade of Commitment to Parliament."

The honourable Herb Gray, the Deputy Prime Minister readily accepted the invitation to be the evening’s keynote speaker upon hearing who the celebrant would be. "What’s the big deal?" asked the 37-year veteran of federal politics in obvious feigned ignorance as he began his opening remarks. "Why so much fuss being placed on celebrating ten years in Parliament?" Amidst the humor was the sense of solemnity as Mr. Gray reflected on the very serious and noble calling of Politics. "Out of the whole of Canada, only 301 people are chosen to sit in the House of Commons," said Mr. Gray. He continued, "The people of Winnipeg North - St. Paul are very fortunate to have Rey Pagtakhan representing them… Your community should be extremely proud of the work that he has accomplished in his ten years of service in Parliament."

Various testimonials of Dr. Rey were also given by members of the Ottawa community who had worked with him or knew him in his capacity as a politician, pediatrician, community volunteer and supporter of youths. Later in the program, Dr. Rey surprised his guests with a recital of poetry in Filipino, in a show of his appreciation to the Ottawa community. Even those who have no knowledge of the Filipino language were mesmerized by his declamation style as he delivered, "Ang Puso ng Ina" (The Heart of a Mother).

It was evident from the twin celebrations the Dr. Rey’s popularity has stretched beyond the borders of his constituency on Winnipeg North - St. Paul and the halls of the House of Commons. Constituents or not, the three-time elected Member of Parliament continues to draw the respect and awe of those who still believe in the honesty, integrity and dedication of modern-day politicians.

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IN THIS ISSUE ....

Upcoming Events

Filipino Drop-in & Information Centre Opens

PCIT Opens in Manila

A Decade in Parliament

Alpha & Omega Fellowship

Filipinos at the King and I

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ALPHA AND OMEGA Spirit Filled Mission International Society Celebrates A Christmas Fellowship

In the Bible, Alpha and Omega is Jesus in Revelation 1:8. This Charismatic Prayer Group started 10 years ago in the Philippines. It started as a radio program (DWBL - Monday to Friday, from 3-4 PM) where the word of God is preached by Bro. Leo Panelo, the founder. One of Alpha & Omega’s programs is the "Give a Bible and Save a Soul" Mission. Proceeds from donations are used to purchase Bibles. One of their other worthwhile program is the volunteer work by some of the members teaching other members new skills in areas like dress making, tailoring and meat processing. In doing so, members are able to find jobs and set-up small businesses. Prayer groups have now been organized in Sta. Ana, Manila; Taytay, Rizal; General Trias, Bacoor, Cavite; Calamba, Laguna; and Pasay City just to name a few places. In Canada, chapters have been established in Winnipeg, Edmonton & Red Deer.

Here in Edmonton, the Holiness Meetings are held every Sunday at 3 PM which started back in August22, 1998. The group officially became a Registered Non-Profit Society last December. Nearly 100 people were in attendance at their first outreach ministry program - their Christmas Fellowship, December 20, 1998. Visitors came from other parts of Alberta - Calgary, Red Deer and Innisfail and from Winnipeg and Vancouver. The purpose of the event was to spread the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. The afternoon was filled with music - joyful, worship and praise songs, prayers and personal testimonies. Future projects of the Society include a Holy Week activity, summer camp and retreat, sponsorship of religious films & programs, Christmas caroling and the much anticipated 1st anniversary in August 1999. If anyone is interested in attending the Holiness Meetings, please call Sister Amy at (780)461-3177 or Sister Malou at (780)469-3490, or if you would like to join the children’s or adult’s choir, please contact Sister Eunice at (780)434-6228.

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IN THIS ISSUE ....

Upcoming Events

Filipino Drop-in & Information Centre Opens

PCIT Opens in Manila

A Decade in Parliament

Alpha & Omega Fellowship

Filipinos at the King and I

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Getting To Know ...
    The Filipinos of the King and I.
    by: Joycelyn S. Espiritu, Editor(joycelyn@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca)

Across the globe, Filipinos are making their talent and high caliber musicality known in such international Broadway hits as Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and the King and I. The Filipinos in Edmonton art scene are no exception! From November 28, 1998 to January 11, 1999, Edmonton’s Citadel Theater showcased the King and I, a Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical based on Margaret London’s novel Anna and the King of Siam. Casting required "Asian" performers with exceptional singing, acting and dancing talents, and several young local Filipinos were chosen: Susan Aceron, Jennifer Villaverde, Anne-Marie Felicitas, Lindsay and Arian Piojo.

All outstanding performers and dedicated to their craft, these filipinas are prime example of how Filipinos musical talents are embedded in our neo-ethnic culture, and demonstrate the initiative to establish worthwhile careers and move away from the "typical" Filipino performer. Each of these fine performers have extensive music and/or theatre background, education and training; what is unique is their determination and perseverance to immerse themselves in professional circles and widen horizons.

Susan Aceron, plays a wife in the King and I; more importantly, she was the understudy to the lead role of Anna. Interestingly, the role of Anna calls for a non-Asian woman (Anna is supposed to be from Britain), and still Susan was given the tremendous role. Susan comments on some obstacles she has encountered in casting: "traditional roles in theatre call for non-Asian performers, "My Fair Lady" for example, takes place in 19th century England, and most casting directors look for those who "fit the part". The lack of roles for Asian performers is astounding, - and "The King and I" is the first Citadel production in nearly 5 years that required Asians." Susan was crowned as Edmonton’s first Miss Manila in 1994 and has been active in television, film and theatre around Edmonton. Susan graduated from Grant MacEwan’s Musical Theatre program, and followed up with course work in Drama at the University of Alberta. Previously a modeling agent with John Casablanca’s, Susan has kept busy with modeling contracts and performing. Susan plans to pursue her ambitions in film and television down East.

Jennifer Villaverde, also plays a wife in the King and I, and is also was the understudy for the role of TupTim. A native of Winnipeg, this 23 year old has performed in productions across Canada as far East as Nova Scotia! Having graduated with BA in Drama from the University of Manitoba, Jennifer emphatically states she is living her dream: to perform on stage. The complexities of the business require performers to be versatile and be on their best; "each time you perform or audition you never know where your next contract or big break will come from… you are always being watched, for your talent, commitment and dedication… the reality on stage life is that once the show is over, I’m unemployed and looking."

When I asked Susan and Jennifer how plausible a career in theatre, Music or Drama was, Jennifer and Susan smiled, "This is a hard profession." Jennifer explains, "but if you are willing to work at it and remain focused, you can do it. For me, a big influence was my cousin who performed in Miss Saigon in Australia. My parents were a little hesitant. I guess they were just worried if I could really make it." Susan confirms this, "My family was also a bit leery. I had a perfectly stable office job working in marketing, but music and performing are my first loves. My husband is especially supportive, and it was he who helped urge me to pursue my performing career wholeheartedly."

Amongst the children chorus is Anne-Marie Felicitas, a 16 year old with amazing credentials and performing experience. Also the understudy to the role of Louis Leowens, Anne-Marie is currently studying at the Stage Polaris Theatre and Citadel Theatre School. Anne-Marie’s exposure to the performing arts began at an early age. "My parents encouraged me. I took piano lessons. Now I’m interested in the saxophone and violin." Anne-Marie has made several guest appearances on television series, and following the King and I, immediately begins rehearsal for the Stage Polaris production The Velveteen Rabbit. Anne-Marie aspires to attend the Montreal Theatre School.

Also in the children’s chorus are twins Arianne and Lindsay Piojo. At only 9 years of age, these girls express a deep interest in pursuing performing. "We like singing, playing piano… we also get to miss school! (Don’t worry they are keeping up!) Anne-Marie, Lindsay and Arianne all agreed that their parents support and encourage them in their endeavors; however, when asked what they wanted to be when they grow up, responses included a doctor and a teacher.

These talented and dedicated Filipinos exemplified the astounding quality and brilliance of the Citadel'’ The King and I. Having moved away from the typical venues of Filipinos: singing in church, at parties or celebrations, each performer expressed the need to nurture and encourage young Filipino talent. The scope and depth of Filipino talent needs to go beyond the mundane, and push Filipinos to literally "reach for the stars!". There are various programs and schools such as Stage Polaris, the Citadel Theatre School and smaller community based theatres that offer extra-curricular programs for people of all ages; the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan have excellent programs in Drama, Music and Acting.

"The world can have all the engineers, doctors, lawyers and scientists in the world, but most truly, it is the dreamers and artists who make the world go round." - Anonymous

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IN THIS ISSUE ....

Upcoming Events

Filipino Drop-in & Information Centre Opens

PCIT Opens in Manila

A Decade in Parliament

Alpha & Omega Fellowship

Filipinos at the King and I

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PHIL CANADA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (PCIT) OPENS IN MANILA

by: Rene S.J. Abada
Editor-In-Chief

For the first time ever NAIT is offering an identical diploma program outside Canada. In early January, the Katipunan campus opened in Manila offering a two year computer course to Filipino students. NAIT president, Dr. Sam Shaw estimates there are 600,000 vacancies in this field around the world. Only 10 students started in January 18, another 390 are expected to enroll. Although other NAIT courses are taught around the world, the school in Manila is unique, in that it is only the second international location to offer courses that is the same as that of the NAIT school here in Edmonton. Students enrolled in the Computer Systems Technology (CST) program will receive a NAIT diploma. The Phil Canada Institute of Technology has contracted NAIT to offer its course in Manila. The course will cost Filipino students US$3,500.00 as compared to Can$2,000.00 for Edmonton students. The program in Manila will expect to generate revenue for NAIT as well as provide valuable life experiences for NAIT instructors teaching abroad.

HOW PCIT CAME ABOUT. by: Dr. Cesar Mejia

Having been connected with the Department of Advanced Education for a period of 22 years, more specifically with Alberta Vocational College’s (AVC) in Lac La Biche, Gourd and Edmonton, as a Supervisor of Instruction, an Assistant Center Supervisor, and an Administrative Assistant to the College President, it has come to my attention that most university trained graduates and professionals of the Philippines were unable to practice their professions in Canada. As a matter of fact, a good number of Filipino degree holders are forced to accept jobs that were not at all related to what they have been trained for. Because of these rather unfortunate situations and sad observations, I decided to consult with some Advanced Education and Administrators about the possibility of exporting Canadian education and technologies to the Philippines. With patience and perseverance, plans were well underway with support of the presidents of AVC in Edmonton, Olds College and NAIT.

To date, seven campuses of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in the province of La Union are reaping the fruits of the different courses offered by the above mentioned educational institutions. So far, DMMMSU has benefited from these Canadian programs; Engineering,, Animal Husbandry, ESL, Forestry, Agriculture, Bookkeeping, Curriculum Development, Training the Trainers. It must also be noted that Fairview College is also with DMMMSU.

Because of the successes of these Canadian institutions in the Philippines, NAIT helped established in 1994 the first Canadian Culinary Art School in Quezon City in cooperation with the owners of the Cravings Restaurant. In June of 1998, Phil Canada Institute of Technology; an educational organization whose vision is to provide North American educational opportunities to Filipino students in the Philippines, has formed a training partnership with NAIT to offers Computer Systems Technology training in the Philippines. This program will be of interest to individuals who wish to become employed as Computer Programmer/Analyst as well as organizations who require upgrading of technical computer systems skills for their employees.

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IN THIS ISSUE ....

Upcoming Events

Filipino Drop-in & Information Centre Opens

PCIT Opens in Manila

A Decade in Parliament

Alpha & Omega Fellowship

Filipinos at the King and I

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UPCOMING EVENTS !!

MARCH 20, 1999 - Induction of Officers,
  Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations.

APRIL 4, 1999 - 7th Annual Musical Talent Search Finals.
  Sponsored by CKER Ethnic Radio Filipino,
  Philippine Focus Televison and
  The LINGGAP Student Association.
  Dinwoody Lounge,
  University of Alberta Campus, 6 pm.

APRIL 10 - Rondalla Concert "HIMIG NATIN"
  Sponsored by:
  The Philippine Canadian Saranay Association,
  LINGAP Students Association & ASPECT.
  Multimedia Theater, Education Building,
  University of Alberta, 89 Ave. & 114 St.
  Tickets $5-$10, includes refreshments. 3-5 pm.

APRIL 17, 1999- REFORMA Spring Party
  LaPerle Community Center
  18611 - 97 Ave. 6pm
  Tickets & Info: 453-1266

MAY 01, 1999 - Karilagan Dance Society
  Jubilee Auditorium, 7pm
  Tickets $15/person. Seniors $10

MAY 08, 1999 - VISMIN Spring Festival
  Edmonton Garrison Lamplighter Club,
  Namao, 6pm. Room for 400 people,
  Tickets $15/person.

MAY 23, 1999 - Folklorama Tour -’99
  Kayumanggi Philippine Performaing Arts Winnepeg
  Dinner/Show/Dance.
  SEESA, 9350-82 St. 6pm
  Tickets $15/person

MAIN_NEWS | BUSINESS | EDITORIAL | OPINION | SPORTS | YOUTH_&_EDUC. | ENTERTAINMENT | THE_LAW_&_YOU | PHILIPPINE_NEWS | COMMUNITY | TOURISM | HOME
IN THIS ISSUE ....

Upcoming Events

Filipino Drop-in & Information Centre Opens

PCIT Opens in Manila

A Decade in Parliament

Alpha & Omega Fellowship

Filipinos at the King and I

HOME