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PRESIDENT RAMOS LAUNCHES PHILIPPINE CENTENNIAL CANADA.
Alberta and Northern Territories Welcome Philippine Centennial Celebrations Alberta/Northern Territories Delegation Recognized and Acknowledged at Launching.
By: Eliezar R. Maquiling, Ching Q. Aranas and Nelson S. Barranda .

Vancouver- Philippine President Ramos who attends the APEC SUMMIT of World leaders led by US President Bill Clinton in Vancouver has set aside an afternoon in November to meet the Canadian Filipino community in Vancouver, British Columbia and Philippine Centennial representatives from the provinces of Alberta and Northern Territories. The President with Philippine Centennial Chairman, Dr. Salvador H. Laurel launches the Philippine Centennial Canada, a year long celebration of a "Hundred Years of Freedom", commemorating the 100 years of Philippine Independence.
Straight from the official launching and oath taking of the Philippine Centennial Chapter in Texas, Washington, USA, President Ramos, with Chairman Dr. Laurel kicks off the first Launch of the Centennial in Canada at the Queen Elizabeth Auditorium in Vancouver followed in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg. Consul General Lourdes G. Morales of the Consulate General Office in Vancouver gave the opening remarks.
The Alberta/ Northern Territories Philippine Centennial Movement (PCM) Chapter Officers were on hand to greet President Ramos, Chairman Laurel and Party which included Presidential Aspirant Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Senator Coseteng, Philippine Ambassador Raul I. Goco, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. and Congressmen from different districts of the Philippines. Following the introduction of his offcial party, President Ramos acknowledged Rhoda S.J. Abada, President of the Alberta/ Northern Territories Chapter. Abada said about 33 representatives from Edmonton, Red Deer, Fort McMurray and the Northwest Territories travelled by plane and cars to Vancouver. The Edmonton representatives were the Chapter's President and Officers. The Northwest Territories were headed by Rey and Violeta Lau-a, Alfonso & Nene Santos, Stan and Roxanne Coronel. Edith Sison, immediate Past President of Philippine Canadian Association of Red Deer and District represented Red Deer City. Suharto Tejada represented Vicky Tejada Vokeman, the newly elected president of the Filipino Canadian Association of Fort McMurray. The Calgary contingent headed by the Pangasinan Society President, Francisco Siapno, Lydia Siapno, Elvie Valeroso, Frosy Fernandez, Fe Dube, Dennis & Betty Studer, Gerry Bautista were on hand to greet President Ramos and Party at the ceremonies. "This is indeed a once in a life time opportunity to be a part of this momentous occasion", Abada said.
The Philippine Centennial Movement was created by the Philippine Centennial Commission which is mandated under Executive Order 128, to prepare for this historic event of the 100th anniversary of Philippine Independence. Eduardo I. Lee of Toronto is the Overall coordinator for Canada. Honorary Chairperson Corazon C. Aquino, Chairman Dr. Salvdor H. Laurel, Chairperson Gloria M. Angara and Executive Director Luis J. Morales invite all individuals and organizations, sectoral groups and the industry to participate in the Centennary of this nationhood. They said, "in the spirit that moved our heroes to fight for freedom, we urge you to join us in this once in a lifetime opportunity".


ALBERTA PROCLAIMS PROTECTION FOR PERSONS IN CARE ACT.
Edmonton- The Protection for Persons in Care Act will come into effect on January 5, 1998. Community Development Minister Shirley McCLellan said the act will help ensure that people in care have the opportunity to live their lives in increased safety and dignity.
The act and amendments were proclaimed into law on December 3, to come into force on January 5, 1998. The act aims to protect adults who receive services from publicly funded care facilities, such as lodges, nursing homes, group homes and hospitals. The act defines abuse; requires a criminal record check for new employees and volunteer of care facilities; makes it mandatory for people who suspect abuse to report it; protects people who report abuse in good faith from retaliatory action; specifies penalties from failing to report suspected abuse and for knowingly making false reports; establishes a toll-free phone line where people can report abuse; and sets out a process for investigating and resolving reports of abuse.
McClellan said the legislation has been strengthened by amendments based on feedback from consultations with stakeholders held during the summer of 1996 by Bonnie Laing, MLA Calgary-Bow. " I thank Mrs. Laing for her leadership and dedication in conducting province-wide consultations with service providers, seniors' groups and people in care facilities and their families. The thoughtful and informed advice we've received from Albertans has helped to make this among the best legislation of its kind in Canada," McClellan said.
ABADA To Lead the Centennial Celebrations in Alberta & Northern Territories
By: Henrietta Herrera-Maquiling

Edmonton-Rhoda S.J. Abada is no stranger to undertakings of magnitudes and leading the Centennial Celebrations in Alberta and Northern Territories for a year long events and activities would be just another work for this indefatigable person. A long time volunteer and community worker in the local and national scenes, Rhoda Abada chaired the first ever Philippine Festival some ten years ago for the duration of six weeks in association with the City of Edmonton, bringing Philippine Heritage and Culture into the City of Edmonton and sorrounding areas. Through this festival by events and demonstrations of the Philippine Performing Arts, the Philippine Martial Arts, Arts Exhibitions, Woodworking, Food Fair and Religious Festivals like Flores de Mayo and even an authentic Nipa Hut in one of the pavilions of Muttart conservatory, the Philippine community has reached out to the community of Edmonton who have, through these efforts, developed an understanding of and respect of who we are as a community and as a vibrant part of this country's diverse society.
Co-Founder of four associations and one Council in Edmonton, President of two and Chairperson of two other organizations, Abada also served on Boards and directorships not only on Filipino Canadian organizations but with the mainstream and multicultural Canadian as well. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Social Services. Her involvement in the development of the Filipino Canadian Community is not confined to the local and regional scenes. Abada has been Vice-President for eight years (4 terms) and now National Secretary of The National Council of Canadian Filipino Associations across Canada. Abada has earned the respect of her peers by working quietly and diligently, never to flaunt and " fan fare" every project done and achievement reached . "when you are a community volunteer or a part of any undertaking, you only feel good when you acknowledge that results of undertakings have been achieved as a team effort.", Abada would always say.
Always concerned with the respect and understanding of the diverse population of our society, Abada with a host of community members had facilitated Philippine Touring Cultural shows, promoting Philippine culture, customs and traditions. "We are citizens of Canada that allows us to celebrate our differences and we must build on this so other citizens will understand this country's diversity", Abada would emphasize. Through her efforts, the late Professor Felipe Padilla de Leon's Himig Ng Lahi came to Alberta three times. One of the Sopranos with Himig Ng Lahi, Leila Florentino continued on to play the lead role of Miss Saigon in Broadway after Lea Salonga. Also, Leila's sister, Lisa Florentino Kernan is an Opera Singer who had performed at Carnegie Hall and at Recitals in New York and operas in Portland Oregon. Albertans learned the history of Filipino music from the pre-historic Philippines to modern and Contemporary times. The famed University of the Philippines Madrigal singers headed by Ms. Iluminda Panlilio and two other groups of the Madrigal Singers brought music education and pleasure to Filipinos and Albertans alike. Opera singers Fides Santos Cuyugan Asencio and Jimmy Melendres with pianist Sonia Valencia brought surprises and awe and wonder to Filipinos and Canadians in Edmonton and Red Deer. The famous Baranggay Dance company would be in Alberta three times after their triumphant tour of Europe and the United States. Most recently, through Abada's guidance, the world wide famous Children's Choir and the Kontra Gapi (Gamelan), resident musicians of the University of the Philippines came with resounding success in Edmonton and Calgary.
Her other involvement with Philippine assistance included Consulting for a Twinning Project of the Home Economics Department of the University of Alberta and colleges and Universities in Negros Occidental, facilitating donations of disposable needles to hospitals in the Philippines. Most recently, the organization of Canadian Filipino Professional, Trade and Business Association with whom she is associated has initiated an annual project of donation of used eye glasses to the Philippines.
Abada publishes and edits The Philippine Canadian Times, a quarterly newsmagazine. Before this, she was a contributing writer of the Ethnic Review and was Bureau Chief for Alberta of The Philippine Chronicle., Vancouver.
Her awards included that from The Philippine General Consulate of Vancouver, The Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, the Red Cross, The Rotary Club of Bacolod City, the Secretary of State, Canada.
As Vice-President of Alberta of The National Council of Canadian Filipino Associations, Abada was on the national scene more often. She is now the National Secretary of the National Council. The President of the National Council, Salvador B. Cabugao, sums it all for her when he wrote to the National Centennial Commission in Manila and said, "no other person in Alberta (referring to Rhoda) has equalled her devotion and the length and depth of her community service. That Mr. Eddie Lee, Overall Coordinator of the Philippine Centennial Movement in Canada, has appointed Ms. Abada is testimony to the integrity and credibility of the process of selecting Chairpersons who are beyond reproach, honest, industrious and well loved by most members of the community."

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