Thanks again to everyone that came out (panelists and guests) for the State of the Filipino Union this past Thursday!  We on the organising committee are very happy with how the event went and look forward to the future.

In this post are some amazing images by Julius Manalo, a story by Immigration Reporter Lesley Taylor of the Toronto Star, and a CBC Radio One Metro Morning Story by Nana Aba Duncan.

Filipinos debate their identity, how they fit in


Raw and raucous, the first State of the Filipino Union meeting ripped open the deep, hidden wound between the older generation of immigrants from the Philippines and their Canadian-raised children.

And they all agreed to do it again next year.

“My generation is the first that has grown up outside the Philippines,” said organizer Myk Miranda, a recent graduate of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, throwing down the challenge to the older people. “Are we the manifest of your dreams when you came here?

“The older generation is an entire generation trying to imitate white people. So what does our generation do? Imitate black people. None of us are being Filipino.”

Miranda and other organizers spent three months assembling more than 30 young and older Filipinos to debate why a community – which started coming to Toronto in the 1960s and now numbers 181,330 – remains so fragmented with no profile and scant political and economic clout.

For four hours Thursday night, a University of Toronto auditorium throbbed with passion, personal pain and, finally, cheers.

About 100 Filipino-Canadians turned out for the event, which Miranda modelled on the annual State of the Black Union meetings in the United States, which is holding its 10th anniversary event today in Los Angeles. Many were students hungry for answers to their dual identities and cultural confusion.

“We’re part of the Canadian mosaic,” said James, a second-year English and philosophy major. (He declined to give his last name.) “We just haven’t found our patch yet.”

On one side, university-educated Filipinos with accents fled Ferdinand Marcos’s martial law in the 1970s for Canada and found themselves in jobs as nannies, cleaners and settlement house volunteers.

On the other, university-educated Filipinos who speak rusty Tagalog and came as toddlers or were born here, and feel neither completely Filipino nor completely Canadian.

“We’re mutts,” said organizer Celeste Palanca. “People on the Spadina car will talk to me in Mandarin. People will talk to my sister in Urdu because she has darker skin.”

“We’re racial chameleons,” said YTV personality Norman Alconcel.

“For a long time, I was really ashamed,” said Mikey Bustos, a Canadian Idol finalist and musician.

“I grew up in North York in a community with a lot of Jewish people,” said Alconcel.

“There seemed to be a lot of Filipinos, too. Then I realized they were their nannies.”

Caroline Mangosing, executive director of the Kapisanan Philippine Centre for arts and culture, spoke of the irony of a new divide in an already fractured community: between the new young immigrants, recent older immigrants, and the “beacons,” the assimilated young generation that has streaks of westernization in them.

Filipino teenagers, many raised by relatives in the Philippines and transplanted in their most volatile years, have one of the highest school dropout rates in Toronto. Second-generation Filipinos are doing badly compared to other groups, Statistics Canada has said, using the 2006 census.

The wounded elder generation defended what the younger considered destructive self-effacement.

“I came here so my children could have a better life,” said Luz del Rosario, a Catholic school board trustee in Dufferin-Peel. “Why don’t you become that politician who creates that bill that changes the law to rescue live-in caregivers?”

*notes on the article: some of the panelists believe they were slightly misrepresented…

Mikey Bustos writes on his facebook page:  [I] can only laugh at the complete misinterpretation of the press. Toronto Star, you left out a huge and concluding part of my statement “I am proud to be Pinoy!”

They only included my childhood testimonial. This isn’t the first time I’ve been misquoted by the press. It’s all good! I’ll have my people send them nicely worded letters. I think they totally missed out the underlying and uniting theme of the night and that was that everyone at that forum was proud of their heritage.

Caroline Mangosing was also misquoted:  ‘bacon’s’ became ‘beacons’ and thus changing the message and tone.  Lesley wrote me an email saying that that was a spell-check error.

If any one else would like to comment on the article let me know and I’ll post it!


SOFU 2009 was organised by:

Filipino Students Association of the University of Toronto

Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture

Migrante-Ontario Youth

~ by alexfelipe on February 28, 2009.

30 Responses to “THE STATE OF THE FILIPINO UNION ::: SOFU 2009!”

  1. Why did this article end on such a negative note when SOFU itself left us so full of hope?

    The author wrote that the night “throbbed with passion, personal pain and, finally, cheers,” but she didn’t explain what it was we were cheering for.

    It certainly wasn’t for the shame we’ve felt and still feel growing up as Filipinos, nor was it for the fact that we’ve got a high drop-out rate, but that seems to be all she cared to focus on. And here I thought we were finally going to be represented in the media in a wholly positive light.

    She quotes Mrs. del Rosario, “Why don’t you become that politician who creates that bill that changes the law to rescue live-in caregivers?” What she should have drawn from SOFU was this: that our elders (“wisers”) are not only hopeful enough to make these proposals to the youth, but that the youth are, quite clearly, ready and willing to take up the challenge.

  2. Hail ye to all the attendees of the S0FU 2009!!! I am so elated that you all still feel highly regarding being “Filipino”! … the fact that you find SOFU 2009 a worthwhile event is immensely “kahanga-hanga”!

    Fyi, a lot of Pinoys here are thinking that immigrants in Canada are very proud and happy that they have left our Pilipinas when they could. Well, I believe many would attest that they made a better life out there than if they had decided to stay here. Who’s to know exactly anyway? Those who found “success” in terms of their own definition would probably say that… but the “less lucky” ? (if there are, I don’t know for sure.) What would their testimony be?, I wonder.

    From what I was told by friends and relatives who migrated to Canada years ago, Filipino values are still the best, and that it is their most heavy challenge… how to preserve it in their family… in their children specifically.. I’ve heard parent friends/relatives cry out…that their children have changed much when they got there. No more “opo”, so little respect for elders now. More sexually liberated (whatever that means). Influenced by “streaks” of westernization ? Is that scary? To me, it seems so. Would that make me very old fashioned?

    I look at my 4 children here and wonder if they would have lost their Filipino values had I pursued my “Canada Dream” in the 90s. 3 of my kids have their steady gf/bf of 2 to 4 years and have stayed virgins so to speak. They dress simply and decently, still hugs me before leaving our home, upon returning and before sleeping. They still honor relatives with kissing of the hand or cheek, attend patriotic events once in a while. And they vehemently refuse to give me their go signal each time I voice out a plan to work overseas, follow up my application to Canada “so my children could have a better life” , to borrow Luz del Rosario’s line.

    “Who says that a better life is always out of the Philippines?” is my kids’ chorus reply to my attempts to convince them to permit me to work abroad. Well, I am 46 and I stayed here.

    After reading that article of Lesley Ciarula Taylor,
    IMMIGRATION REPORTER, regarding the SOFU 2009, I couldn’t help but wonder if my kids are making more sense that I am.

    Are they more sensitive to the fact that life will be very different when you live among people whose culture and values are very different from yours?

    Sometimes, some questions don’t arise unless you’re in a state of confusion. One sample there, “Are we the manifest of your dreams when you came here?” A good one. I would have loved to hear the answers.

    But I wonder… What’s the real question to ponder on?

    I think the question for you immigrants out there is more on “Can we maintain our being Filipinos (in heart and spirit)in a non-Filipino setting?”

    After all your struggles and “achieved better life” there… to whom do you NOW really owe your allegiance anyway? To the country who “adopted” you and gave your family “a better life”, or to the country of your blood and birth who presented “less options” for a better life?

    Just asking…. Any answers?

  3. P.S.

    My dear fellow Filipinos, I do not mean to slight you in any way huh! I just got carried away by random thoughts which somehow made me look back, contemplative and now, inquisitive.

    I just finished writing another Filipino contemplative song with lyrics that goes like this….

    “Salamin, salamin, ating tanungin.
    Tayo ba’y Filipinong may dangal na angkin?
    Tayo ba’y may sipag, tiyaga at pag-ibig
    para sa ‘ting kapwa at sa Diyos Ama natin?

    Salamin, salamin.
    Ang aming tanong sana ay sagutin.
    Salamin, salamin.
    Ang aming Pilipinas sa iyo’y may tanong din!

    Salamin, salamin…
    Kami ba’y Filipinong ikararangal n’ya rin?
    Sagutin, sagutin…
    pagkat ang iyong tugon
    ang siyang aming salamin!

  4. Confessions of a young immigrantShare
    February 28, 2009

    I attended the State of the Filipino Union (SOFU) last thursday and until now I am still thinking about it. I was overwhelmed with what I’ve heard from the panelists’ personal experiences, stories of identity crisis, convictions and so forth. There were several stories I can relate to. So many issues were raised during the forum and i’ll try to tackle a few of them down on this note. How I wish my friend, Odessa, is here so I could just talk to her about it and get over it at the end of the day. But when you’re in a foreign land with nobody to really talk to who can genuinely relate to you, the only channel you can send your message across is through this note.

    When the forum started I was blown away by Myk Miranda’s opening message. He showed a lot of passion and emotion in his speech which is again, really overwhelming. There were a few question thrown to the panelists both the young and the “elders”, as Alex Felipe said, or should I say “wiser”. There’s a few comments I would like to address:

    1. One panelist said that Philippine history is not genuinely integrated in school curriculum in the Philippines – This is totally untrue. I was born, raised and educated in the Philippines from primary school until college. I came to Canada in 2006. It’s been almost 3 years now but I still feel new to the country. Anyway, since I started going to school at the age of 6 until I was in college, Philippine history is well integrated in our classes. In fact, it was one of my favorite subjects. In college, students study the life and works of “Jose Rizal” as a course for one whole semester regardless of the chosen program. It is compulsory. I was actually asking myself at that time why do we have to study Rizal when it wasn’t even related to the program I was taking. But I am glad I did. I appreciate it more now. What I think is the bigger problem, even if it is indeed integrated, is that people tend to neglect it. It’s true when they say “you only find something’s value if you lost it.” Another bigger problem is the western influence in the Philippines. We were under the Americans at a certain period of time but their influence still remains. We follow how they dress, behave even their language and the way they speak.

    – In the Philippines, if you admire a local artista, sing novelty songs, dress up like MAria Clara and buy local albums, you’re “BADUY” (uncool). So what do young people do? Theyimmitate westerners to be cool.

    – In school the medium of instruction is English. I remember in elementary school when we were fined for speaking the vernacular language in class. One “piso” for every word that’s not English. Looking back, I find it funny. Also, in class, if you mispronounce an English word, your classmates ridicule you and you’ll be the center of bullying. I remember a classmate of mine in college, who studied from another country, who always laughs at people who mispronounces an English word. She was being rude. Just because she studied from a foreign country doesn’t give her any right to insult and ridicule people. Needless to say, learning the English language has it’s advantages especially now that I’m in Canada. However, as my friend Odessa said “unconsciously or subconsciously, it obliterates everything Filipino”.

    2. The Filipino community is so divided – I agree, totally. Well, even during the 1500’s, the Philippines was already divided. Remember Rajah Humabon and Lapulapu? When Ferdinand Magellan came to the Philippines, Rajah Humabon, the chieftain of Cebu, welcomed him with open arms and embraced Catholism. However, in the island of Mactan, Lapulapu vowed never to accept foreign invaders and eventually killed Ferdinand Magellan using only bows, spears and arrows against Spanish rifles. Even during the Spanish revolution, there wasn’t unity. Remember Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo?Plus, don’t forget that the Philippines is an archipelago with 7107 islands with 100 something dialects. Plus, we have what we call “crab mentality” and it is rooted since the Spanish era. If you read Jose Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere”, this negative attitude is well represented by the characters of Donya Consolacion and Donya Victorina.

    However, we shouldn’t be focusing on those negative attitudes because we also have a lot of good moral values. All culture has flaws. No culture is perfect and most of all THERE IS NO STANDARD of CULTURE. No culture is greater than the other and vice versa because each culture is unique and distinct.

    We should instead be inspired by the EDSA revolution in the 1980s and on how Rizal’s novels awaken the minds of sleepy Filipinos.

    3. RACISM – I didn’t know the words “FOB” until somebody called me such. What was even more painful is the person calling me such name is a fellow Filipino. Yes, it’s pretty common to experience racism in a foreign land but it wasn’t as painful as being discriminated by your own people. I can still remember Apple Pineda’s “Maalaala mo kaya” story. He went to the US at the age of 14. On his first day of school, he was so excited to see co-Filipinos and yet they ignored him. (I don’t know if the portrayal of the story in MMK is accurate but that was what i saw.) Discrimination as I’ve said is pretty common whether it’s in school or in the workplace. I have my own share of racial experiences and I learn a lot from them. In fact, they make you a stronger person. As Aljo said, we are “mapagkumbaba”. And it’s ok to be one because we know that somebody up there is watching.

    What’s good about being Pinoy also, is our sense of humour. We just laugh it off and we sing our problems away through karaoke. lol

    4. Learning the Language – I know learning Tagalog is hard for those young people who grew up here. But I appreciate the effort of those who tried. Jose Rizal said “Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa ang amoy sa mabahong isda.”

    So, what does it mean to be Filipino? Am I proud of being one? The answer is YES! I have been always proud of who I am. I actually feel sorry for young people born and raised here in Canada who are struggling to find their identity and confused on who should they identify with. Should they pledge allegiance to the country who gave them a better life or to the country rooted in their blood? It’s hard and I feel their confusion. But this is what I can only say that no matter how foreign your accent is, no matter how trendy and fashionable your clothes are, no matter how heavy your make-up is, no matter how blonde you color your hair, no matter how you hangout with non-Filipino friends, no matter how many gluthathione and papaya soap you consume, your genes, your blood and your heritage is FILIPINO. And you should acknowledge that. Always remember the “Panatang Makabayan”, be a Filipino “SA ISIP, SA SALITA at SA GAWA.” If you say that you are FILIPINO, BELIEVE in it and SHOW it. Don’t just say it.

  5. When Canada accepted me here, even just as an International student, it wasn’t really just a walk in the park in terms of going to Canada. Everyone who are here, regardless the purpose or reason all deserve to be here. I had papers and documents that I had to fill up, I had to pay fees for just submitting application forms, and I paid for my plane tickets and customs taxes.

    Those who are fortunate enough to be born here, or arrived very young, doesn’t realize how hard their parents worked even just to get to Canada. Immigration, especially to first world countries, is really tough especially for people coming-off from third-world countries like the Philippines.

    Yes they welcomed me with open arms, but those same arms I had to pry open in order to be fully accepted here in Canada.

    In my opinion, all the learning and understanding everything that is Filipino is all about initiative. The younger generation should just take the initiative to learn more about their motherland and how things were done back home. Even though some of those values or acts doesn’t necessarily apply to the Canadian setting, it is our responsibility to at least have an idea how life is lived including the values and morals they have in the Philippines. We try our best to keep the tradition alive and not die out with the future Filipinos because despite having a steady paycheck in Canadian Soil, we still owe our lives from our Motherland.

    Look at Jose Rizal. He traveled across the world and even though he learned a lot from his travels, he never lost sight of who he was, being a Filipino. We learn from our experiences here or anywhere else, we appreciate that opportunity, but at the same time recognize that we will always be Filipinos.

    As young people, we have something that our parents or elders don’t have; and that is TIME. If we start now by learning, asking questions and listening to people who knows about the Philippines, we will have a better understanding on how beautiful the Philippines really is.

    We always have a choice and as the younger generation, it is up to us what we want our future would be like.

    The question wasn’t really about “If we can?” but more on “DO WE WANT TO?”

    I will always remember this piece of advice my teacher in High School told me:

    Kung Gusto, madaming paraan. Kung Ayaw, madaming dahilan.
    (If we want, we can find a lot of ways to do it. If we don’t, then we just make a lot of excuses.)

  6. I think what makes us Filipino is our unique style of humility.

    I was eight years old, my parents took me to Edsa during the Peoples Power Revolution. Wearing a yellow shirt and a yellow bandana, I witnessed the soldiers with machine guns and the tanks as thousands of protesters faced off with nothing but flowers and a country wanting change. What now is embedded in history with historical photos is also the moment in time that strongly defines us as who we are as Filipinos.

    Yes, my parents moved to Canada to give me a better life and for that I am grateful. For all the Filipino children that grew up here or were born here; some may not know their history, and many have adapted to western culture, but I still think the essence of our parents humility is past on.

    I maintain to love the country was born in. I am no more or no less Filipino because I eat bagoong and rice with my hands. And I also have the responsibility to uphold and respect the community I now live in.

  7. To Marc Aloonzo and Haniely, my salute to you both. You are deep persons, I can gather that much from your comments. “Kahanga-hanga talaga!” I am a comnunity leader sa aming NGO here and we are continuously trying to inspire the youth here to look forward to a bright future… as Filipinos!

    But it is really getting to be tough and tougher coz the norm here now seems to be… “study well and hard then find a better life abroad!” Reality check lang… but it’s what I hear from career orientation seminars. Brain Drain ? Mauubusan na ba ang Pilipinas ng magagaling na kabataan? Hay naku…. paano na kaya ang Pilipinas?

    I can’t blame the parents and kids for that. Nakalulunos naman talaga minsan ang kalagayan dito. Leaders throwing shit at one another, scams here, scams there… but some of us just have to keep on fighting for good principles to prevail. I just pray that the day comes when all ye Filipinos out there from everywhere finally decide to “come back home” for good because the Philippines has become a worthwhile place to come back home to! AMEN.

  8. Very True Marc!!
    That also sums up how I feel.
    I have friends who are Filipino (that were born and raised here) who represent themselves as being Filipino but know nothing about what it is to be a Filipino, except the food and Manny Pacquiao.
    I feel that the Young Filipino generation that grew up here in Canada don’t take the initiative to learn about it, because it is not in their state of mind to have an incentive to learn in the first place. Like I mean its not their fault, because they haven’t been exposed to Filipino History or any of that growing up in Canada. Sure they may have played in basketball leagues, may have had lots of Filipino Friends, but they never had an outlet of truly understanding what it means to be Filipino. It was only in University that I truly began to explore my Pilipino Heritage on a deeper level.
    I grew up in the Phillipines for the first 6 years in my life and still remember it very vividly. It was so relaxed and simple, I could freely run around the streets, randomly pop up at friends and cousins houses daily or weekly. It is such a different vibe. Here in Canada and the Western world, its not the same, everyone is more time constrained due to focus on work and or school. I mean people still worked, and studied like Crazy in the Philippines, but it felt more communal and relaxed. Everyday could be a party at a tito or tita’s house if we wanted to have one…(Karaoke, mahjong, etc)
    Now is it possible to maintain our Filipino heritage in Canada?
    YES! I think so!
    CANADA itself is a land made of Immigrants! From the FIRST NATION Settlers crossing the Bering Strait, to the colonists from France, England, then Irish and Scotish, to Chinese, Black, Indian, Asian etc…the list goes on..
    Basically what I mean to say is Canada itself is a land made up of immigrants. Even though it is a “foreign land” we don’t have to disown our cultural heritage. We cannot deny our bloodline.
    As much as I LOVE CANADA for allowing me to have the opportunity to help foster and create events like this, and to be able to even have the mindset of thinking this way, I WILL STILL LOVE and HOLD MUCH PRIDE in being PILIPINO!
    I personally feel like I am a Pilipino who just happened to move to another “house”

  9. Please see related posting at

  10. Big shutout to Alex (So this is my response, hope it’s as constructive as the rest)

    –I think my response to the event is long overdue but I would like to give my two cents to SOFU given that the initiative was hatched in 2007 with the help of kapisanan and myself in bringing a dialogue to the fsat and active community members of what it means to be Filipino-Canadian. I for one was overjoyed with the turn out of the event considering how difficult it is to gather Filipino youths from different disciplines and genre to talk about our yearning of establishing and cementing our identity in Canadian soil.

    The event in itself was carefully planned and structured but the words echoed and the definition of identity expressed can never be rehearsed or censored as many of panelists established a trend of shame and disappointment growing up as Filipino in Canada. Many still perpetuate the mentality of not belonging, divisive tendencies as well as outright manifestation of identity through various institutions which fostered growth in defining what it means to be Filipino. This in itself is the evidence of the communities practice in the past when it comes to proliferating organizations which serves “AN Aspect” of Filipino ness in a foreign land. Needless to say, we are seeing it bare its fruits yet its development is fragmented (serving only those WHO CAN) in essence (TIME, MONEY, RESOURCES, NETWORK). It is highly class based and immigration stremed oriented.

    What I’m trying to say is that in all of the panelists’ remarks, there is a growing need of an analysis to WHY and HOW we can end this moaning and groaning of Filipino ness in Canada. Our identity is gender biased, highly class oriented which is developed by the sojourner minded leaders in our community to which places allegiance to our ancestral land (Philippines) first and community settlement and integration in our host country second. This in itself poses a dilemma to the second generation as well as 1.5 generation youth as they cannot relate to issues back home more so grounding themselves to their identity cultivation in multicultural Canada. We cannot unite or achieve unity if we do not concentrate our issues HERE! (The drop outs, teenage pregnancies, systemic discrimination, undervalued credentials, mail order brides, no drive for higher education and so forth) in order to set template on a conversation regarding the state of Filipino identity for youth now and for the youth of tomorrow. (Lets face it, not everyone GOT IT GOOD in our community.) Our identity is a constant evolution of concepts, rhetoric and perspectives which WE as Filipino youth should be partaking in.

    I for one am grateful of this country (Canada) for providing a luminal space to cultivate my Filipino ness and identity. It is where I have my source of pride of being Filipino and Canadian– to actively participate in the multicultural fabric of society yet be socially active in awareness to the issues we face as a community (since the lcps, service sector workers, hospitality workers are the majority in our community voiceless yet determined to make ends meet for their families).

    I do feel belong but at the same time miss the homeland, but I know as Filipino Canadian our handwork here in establishing and cementing our identity as a community reflected on our current economic and social state will enable us to come together as one and face the growing issues back home. “And if you read this and wonder what is our economic and social state in Canada” (refer to the article above)

    So where do I pledge allegiance/ as a naturalized citizen–to Canada but to the Filipino community here in Canada because I do participate as an individual in the growing needs of our youth which I am humbled to speak to on a daily basis . I pledge allegiance to Philippines as a country– but as member of an established Filipino Canadian community who can empower everyone and anyone to raise their voices and concerns to the Canadian society without the notion fear and complacency that is embedded in our marginalized Filipino community .Established in a sense that our community’s voice is heard, visible, and our women not commodified as labor exports(lets face it, an ever increasing numbers of our immigrant pool are LCP’ers and their family who by the way is not shined a spotlight in our community for some reason.) The program which is slowly destroying our community bit by bit. (More info just Google it)

    Lets face it folks, not all of us can be all we can be which is why we need to address our issues here in Canada. Only then a dialogue can be fruitful if each one of us identifies and provides a thorough analysis into why our Filipino ness here is tainted and fragmented. (Research & Development) is what we need not more food and pageants!!

    Oh and for the parents, who said we are right behind you!! (WRONG) you are supposed to be in front of us nurturing us to be the next leaders of the community. We need to eliminate the colonial wasteful tradition that instills subdued tendencies to our pinays and pinoys. We need to empower our Filipina youth (poor, middle class, RICH) to go back to the community not as heroines and heroes doing “CHARITY WORK” because I for one don’t think we are charity work but as active participants.

    So what does it mean to Filipino Canadian–an evolution of transcontinental identity, hybrid in its creation but unique in its orientation dictated by our history of immigration, colonial destruction and sojourner minded emancipation (you can thank our leaders for that)

    “Its time take it back”

  11. PS: I love Canada and Philippines soo much that I wrote this long response “in post colonial Rhetoric to spark something in the minds of everyone”

    Being Filipino is everything to me as it means to be Canadian which is why i wrote the response in a manner reflected to my opinion as a an Filipino Canadian.

  12. In all honesty, on my way to the event, I found myself complaining to my husband (who happens to be Filipino) about how Filipino’s are so fragmented, that Filipino’s don’t seem to handle conflict resolution well, and that Filipino’s can seem fickle at times and are so sensitive and have difficulty forgiving and forgetting….etc. However, my attitude made a complete 180 on my way home after the event.

    As a panelist in this event, I was inspired by the stories told of others’ experiences growing up as a Filipino or Filipino/Canadian. I was moved by Myk Miranda’s opening speech and felt his passion and saw his vision of a united Filipino community being well represented in Canada. I learned we all went through a journey in self discovery growing up being Filipino which lead us to that moment of shared awareness.

    I may not be as eloquent in writing as the others’ comments but one powerful messages I got was HOPE. We can talk all we want about the issues, problems, but WE (meaning everyone from the immigrant caregivers to the students to the professionals to the 2nd generation Canadian born Filipinos) are empowered to make a change…however little.

    So, the next obvious step for me was ACTION. We can complain all we want about whatever “Filipino” issue there is today but unless we take action to make changes at least in our own lives, then this forum was a waste of time. So I would like to share with you the kind of ACTION I’m willing to take to help tackle this seemingly “Filipino” identity crisis. This so called ACTION is geared towards raising my 3 young children:

    * Instill confidence and strong sense of “self”
    * Community involvement helping “serve” others
    * learn Humility and Respect towards elders
    * exposure to Filipino culture events and gatherings

    Notice how my first 3 points are not Filipino related what so ever. For me, I’m Filipino, my husband is Filipino and our parents are Filipino. So my children by default, although born here ARE Filipino. If I instill in them proper values and principles, I feel there IS hope for the future generation of Filipinos. Our community is a reflection of what we teach our children. Therefore, I want to teach my children to be proud of who they are and not to forget where they came from.

    Just like me, at some point in their lives they too will have a journey in discovering that being Filipino means to them…

  13. I spoke as part of the youth panel, but I have to confess to being ill-prepared for the discussion. I minced words and compromised on so many things I wanted to say for the sake of keeping it within time constraints. Mr. Alex Felipe kindly asked me to further share my thoughts and I eagerly oblige.

    I said during my segment that we as Filipinos are a product of our circumstances. I make this observation based on information gleaned through new history books and lectures on the history of the Philippines. It seems to me that many of our cultural conventions are a byproduct of outside influences who have encroached on our native sensibilities. The result is a people who , like many of my peers stated, imitate rather than invent or innovate.

    What we need to consider is the value of getting back to our roots. For a whole generation of Filipinos born and raised outside Canada, the ties to the motherland are thin to nonexistent. It is up to each individual to decide what weight to place on their heritage. To some, identifying with a purely Canadian identity is more attractive than a Filipino-Canadian, or even a strictly Filipino label. However, it is up to the parents and community leaders to present that option to the youth and let them decide.

    Until I was 6 years old, I grew up in Baguio, Benguet Province. My father was an Igorot whose father was half-Japanese and whose mother hailed from Maiinit, just a stone’s throw from Bontoc. My mother was born and raised in Lubao, Pampanga. I spent a lot of time traveling between the two areas, and I knew how to speak Tagalog, Ilocano, and Kapampangan. Surprisingly enough, the language in our household was English. I picked up the other languages by being immersed outside of the house.

    My father’s side of the family always stressed the importance of learning English. My grandfather, Attorney Sinai C. Hamada, would read Dr. Seuss books and recite poems to me as I sat on his lap. Afterwards, we would walk through my uncle’s strawberry patch (Baguio Strawberries are best!!) and then take me up Session Road to his paper press downtown. The entire ride up, which we took in a jeepney, I would be exposed to the still barren beauty of the cordilleras. Green hills sprawled out before me and I’ve always felt a particular kinship with the mountains.

    My family moved to Canada to improve me and my siblings’ chances for a better education. Ironically enough, I lost my ability to converse in Taglog, Kapampangan and Ilocano in the process. We moved to a predominantly white area of Oakville and there was virtually no Filipino community to speak of. My mother’s family hadn’t made the jump to North America yet, and my father’s family consisted of his two older sisters and their husbands, both of whom bore no children. English was spoken in the household and I grew to accept that as the norm. With nobody around to reprimand us for forgetting our mother tongue, we were content.

    Despite all that, I’ve always identified strongly with being Filipino. My set of values are the same as my Igorot forefathers: humility, honour, justice, hard work, and family. Before we knew Ilocano, before we donned the loincloths, and before we created Baguio City, we held those values in our hearts. My parents, complicit as they are in my inability to speak Tagalog now, never missed the chance to educate me in those concrete and fundamental ideals.

    I greatly appreciate the experience of growing up in both the Philippines and Canada. It’s broadened my perspectives. It’s made me more open to social change. I can gladly call a Vietnamese guy my best friend. I will laugh and drink and share my deepest secrets with my friend who just happens to be gay. I take walks with my coworker to let off work stress, and don’t think twice about the fact that she doesn’t walk but rolls in her wheelchair. These outlooks have been the product of a wealth of experiences between two worlds where many of the same values are treasured: freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.

    So, echoing Mr. Len Cervantes’ statement, am I proud to be Filipino? Resoundingly, YES! Do I know what it is to be Filipino? Not quite, but I’m learning. I’m getting there, and if it takes me my entire life to find my way, it will be a road well-traveled.

  14. […] a Toronto Star article, a CBC Radio story and ample Discussion going on at .  Please  visit that website for more […]

  15. First off, I want to applaud Myk, Alex and the rest of the organizers for putting forth such a bold idea. Second of all, after 14 comments on this blog post — I couldn’t help but put in my two cents.

    Perhaps the 2.5 minute time limit imposed on us panelists at SOFU was indeed a good thing — I feel like what I have to say here is so very brief.

    That everyone’s comments here are so long just means that the issues sparked at SOFU need to be discussed more, and in a forum that continues past SOFU and this blog entry. I challenge the SOFU organizers to offer the community an opportunity to continue the discussion on ‘What It Means to be Filipino in Canada’. After all, people are still asking themselves that question every day. May as well find the answer together.

    I’ll break the mold and keep my comment very short — the picture above says a thousand words. I personally feel like there are so many people there that I have little in common with (aside from being Filipino that is).

    My Tagalog is horrible, I’m not a student, I can’t identify with older Filipinos, the Filipino music scene needs to step their game up and the urban music scene in Toronto makes me want to puke sometimes and truthfully so does the activist scene. I hate the fact that there are so many damn Filipino newspapers and curse the fact that I have to choose between 5 events just to celebrate June 12. So yeah, I’ve got gripes.

    Despite that, I can honestly say that I respect and admire everyone in the picture. I want to know more about what they do and if they called on me to attend something or help out, I’ll probably go support. Maybe I’ll learn something new.

    SOFU did an amazing thing. It brought together different people who don’t necessary tread the same path, but now understand and therefore respect the reasons why each other continue to walk the journey.

    It’s so simple. Speak. Listen. Respect. Understand.

    Kudos to SOFU for showing us that the answer to community building is to simply BE a community.

  16. Nagkakaisa lamang ang Filipino sa panahon ng krisis. Kahit pa may malakas na pinuno, sadyang gumuguho ang kahit anong samahang Filipino. Nangyayari ito sa pulitika, sa simbahan, sa mga civic organizations, at sa mga pamilya. Sa palagay ko, ito’y dahil ipinanganak na freedom-fighter ang mga Filipino. Kaya wag kang magtaka na may 5 na hiwalay-hiwalay na celebration sa Hunyo 12.

    Eto, masaklap man, ay ang aking puna sa State of the Filipino Union.

    Ikalawa, sa palagay ko alam ko kung bakit hindi maka-identify ang mga taong ipinanganak sa Canada o lumaki sa Canada sa pagiging Filipino: IKINAHIHIYA NILA NA ATSAY AT KATULONG ANG KANILANG MAGULANG AT KAMAG-ANAK.

  17. To Pabautista: Kahit kailan man ay hindi ko ikinahihiya na atsay ang nanay ko dahil napag-aral nya akong mabuti at lumaki akong may magagandang asal. Utang na loob ko sa nanay ko kung ano mang meron ako ngayon. Opo, anak ako ng caregiver na nandito na ngayon sa Canada. Opinyun ko lang po ito at hindi po ako nagsasalita para sa lahat ng tao. Pero ang diperensiya ay hindi ako lumaki dito. 🙂

    Pero sa lahat ng makabasa nito isipin nyo po, lahat naman tayo ay “atsay” in one way or another. Ang mga stewardess ay “atsay” sa eroplano, ang mga nurses ay “atsay” sa hospital, ang mga “lawyer” ay “atsay” ng kanilang kleyente, ang mga doktor ay “atsay” ng pasyente, ang mga “politician” ay “atsay” ng kanilang pinagsisilbihang kumonidad, ang mga nagtatrabaho sa retail o kahit anong customer service ay matatawag mo ring “atsay”, hindi po ba? Sa totoo lang, hindi ko rin maintindihan kung bakit ikinahihiya nila ang mga “atsay”. Ayaw man nilang aminin pero totoo po ang sinasabi ninyo. Bakit kaya? Bakit ganoon kababa ang tingin sa mga “atsay” eh “atsay” naman tayong lahat kung tutu-usin? Yun nga lang sa iba’t ibang lebel. “Noble” naman po ang trabahong iyon. Hindi rin naman sya ilegal gaya ng pagbebenta ng druga o pagbebenta ng aliw. DISENTE naman po ang trabaho yun. Nagtataka din ako kung bakit. Ang sagot dito ay depende sa tao. Kung ang tao ay insecure sa sarili ay talagang mahihiya siya. Kaya hindi dapat kinukumapara ang bawat isa dahil magka-iba tayong lahat. Sabi nga sa Desiderata, “if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater or lesser person than yourself”.

    Sa tingin ko, ikinahihiya nila ang pagiging Pilipino dahil sila ay IGNORANTE sa kanilang kultura. Tama si Dr. Jose Rizal. Edukasyon ang lunas sa sakit ng lipunan. Pero wag nyo naman pong lahatin. May mga kilala akong lumaki dito na nagsumikap na subukan mag-Tagalog at ipahiwatig ang kanilang pagkaPilipino. Siguro ang kulang lang po ay suporta ng lipunan at “encouragement” mula sa kapwa Pinoy.

  18. wow, amazing discussion!

  19. Leonard, ikaw, can you tell your European-descent or your Canadian-born friends or coworkers, “Have you heard of Dave Devall, the CTV weather guy? My mom is his maid.”

    Myk, napanood ko ang SOFR video mo, “and that starts by being proud of who we are.” Hindi ako sang-ayon sa iyo. It really starts by achieving something respectable.

    * Magaling ka ba sa sining? Manalo ka ng gantimpala sa isang worldwide na paligsahan.
    * Magaling ka ba sa invention? Umimbento ng bagay na bibilhin ng milyon at milyon na katao sa North America.
    * Magaling ka ba sa tao? Maging isang executive sa isang Fortune 500 company.
    * Magaling ka ba sa pamamahala? Maging MP ng iyong dako.
    * Magaling ka ba sa math? Maging wizard ka sa stock market at magretiro sa age 30.
    * Magaling ka ba sa negosyo? Magtayo ka ng kumpanyang may libo-libong empleyado.

    Bakit “being portrayed in the media as a lower socio-economic stereotypes” ang Filipino dito? Kasi, tutoo! ANO NA BA ANG NAATIM NG MGA FILIPINO DITO SA CANADA, HA? Magbukas ng Filipino store? Maging mahusay sa pag-alaga ng matanda? Ano?

    Pride cannot be taught; it’s earned. I think you’re doing this ‘We gotta be proud of being Filipino’ all wrong.

  20. Dear pobautista,

    I agree with you, pride is earned. The tragic part is that you are evidently uninformed to the facts of our history. We Have earned it. From Bayanihan to being masters of engineering to leading the first uprising against a colonial power ever in the eastern hemisphere to showing the world what true democracy really looks like. It seems obvious that your sense of pride, belonging and validation is based on how others (esp. the west/white people) perceive you, which is only natural based on a traditional colonized mentality. At the State of the Filipino Union we dealt specifically with identity and racism/assimilation in attempts to get passed chasing our tails and bringing each other down; finally moving on with our progression leaving the self-hating crabs in the bucket.

    Its an honest shame that you seem to have resorted to attempted personal attacks, Kababayan, that’s simply not necessary. We don’t know each other so there’s no reason to take anything personally. And to be honest, those attacks do make someone look bad, but its not me, or Len.

    Maybe what you should be asking yourself, is how come Filipinos are forced to work abroad as caregivers and maids, what controls our socio-economic standards of life both here and back in the Philippines, and what are the roots of this enforced subservience?

    A clear and holistic understanding of what colonialism is, entails, and produces would shed a some serious light on the anxieties you express. To learn more about our “respectable achievements”, Kapisanan is holding CRITICAL FILIPINO HISTORY classes starting this thursday, more info at

    My pride is simply realized, and I’m proud to be Filipino,
    Ta’as no’o Pilipino.

  21. Hi pobautista,

    First off, thanks for the discussion. I’m personally not in a position to engage in a debate with you because simply put, I have no basis — I think you and I come from opposite ends of the spectrum — all I can do is listen, right?

    (oh, and did you mean that MY mom is Dave Devall’s maid? (she’s not) Or yours? Or just generally, Dave’s maid is filipina) Regardless, I’m not one that believes that maids, caregivers, nurses or any other profession that involves helping someone else is something to be ashamed of.

    I don’t agree entirely with m1ko’s response necessarily (and he’s got as much right to an opinion as anyone on this blog). As someone who’s been around over the years, I’ve heard similar frustrations and honestly, I haven’t been able to crack the nut on “how do we integrate newly-arrived and immigrant Filipinos with Fil-Cans?”. I’m proud to say that I myself can count friends in both categories, but as community work — it’s always fallen short. Or it’s worked up to a point, and then dissolved.

    You’ve got gripes, that’s obvious. They’re understandable, for sure. Your points of view are yours — and they’re valid. Your opinions – valid too — even if they’re different from mine, or Myk’s. I was born here into a family with 2 parents with pro jobs, a nice house, 2 cars and a dog in Mississauga. We didn’t speak Tagalog at home and I never saw the Philippines until I was almost 30. My shame, my needs, my issues are way different from yours and so are my ways of filling my need. All I can do is try and understand where you’re coming from and we all owe each other that much. It’s what SHOULD make KPC a place for all of us.

    (I’m fighting jet-lag right now having just gotten back from my 4th trip to the Philippines in 4 years — and this time I did everything from riding a chicken truck after climbing the rice terraces with Ifugaos to breathing noxious fumes on EDSA in taxicabs while using my horrible Tagalog and from jeepney tailpipes in San Pablo with my own relatives to toasting glasses of champagne with elite Manilenos at Embassy in The Fort.)

    Despite our different points of vantage, there’s one thing at least that the two of us can agree on: As far as the bigger Filipino community, or Canadian Filipinos go… even as far as within the organizations I’ve personally been a part of — regarding the subject of understanding the immigrant experience as well as the issues facing migrant workers and their children…


    …or at least not right enough.

    so the question is, how do we get it right?

    I’ve BEEN at KPC volunteering my time, but so far, no one has come forth to suggest anything. I’ve heard a lot of the gripes, but no ideas or possible solutions, not even a suggestion for anyone who’s complained about “why FOBs and Bacons don’t mix” or “why don’t we join in the struggle against” blah blah blah. It’s been all talk.

    I’ll be the first to lend an open hand if you can tell me how we at KPC can “get it right”. I’m ready to move beyond the talk, but it’s going to take people like you (and YOU Myk) to get past the “talk” and figure out how we’re going to actually DO something.

    SOFU is over. So is all the talking… SO WHAT.

    Talking about it and trading rhetoric on A BLOG – OR A PANEL DISCUSSION for that matter – is mutual masturbation unless someone does something… builds something… puts something up (like Kapisanan)… and gets people with issues to grit their teeth and get PAST the things that make it HARD for then to get together – and they get together ANYWAY. And I don’t mean getting together and talking about “OH WHY WE “FOBS/BACONS/FIL-CANS/IMMIGRANTS/YOUTH/ELDERS” ARE SO PISSED” once a year. I mean making a mutual time commitment to establishing something that will enable people to work together and co-exist every day.

    Otherwise, we’re pissing in the ocean, folks… and discussions like these are a waste of time to me.

    So… For real, SO WHAT? SOFU is over, so what now?!?!

    The door is open pobaustista! Let me know when you’re coming through. I’d be happy to jam on some ideas.


    oh yeah and just because I’m a useless-fact geek:

    * Magaling ka ba sa sining? Manalo ka ng gantimpala sa isang worldwide na paligsahan.

    – doesn’t Manny Pacquiao count?

    * Magaling ka ba sa invention? Umimbento ng bagay na bibilhin ng milyon at milyon na katao sa North America.

    – ah man, this one is easy. Agapito Flores created the flourescent bulb. Or… Pedro Flores! The creator of the modern Yo-Yo. Filipino rin.

    * Magaling ka ba sa tao? Maging isang executive sa isang Fortune 500 company.

    – Loida Nicolas Lewis? Monique Lhuillier? I think Henry Sy is still in the Fortune Top 50 actually.

    * Magaling ka ba sa pamamahala? Maging MP ng iyong dako.

    – Rey Pagtakhan, MP, from Winnipeg, I believe. In the US… easy. Bob Scott, Steve Austria — US Congressmen.

    * Magaling ka ba sa math? Maging wizard ka sa stock market at magretiro sa age 30.

    – retired at 30? Geez. I gotta get back to you on this one. I think Dennis Garces COULD HAVE retired at 30.

    * Magaling ka ba sa negosyo? Magtayo ka ng kumpanyang may libo-libong empleyado.

    – I myself work with at least 5 directors or upper managers at major corporations right here in Toronto, who are… Filipino!

    Lots to be proud of if we look.

  22. BTW, hey DYLAN… I was just in Bontoc AND Baguio… not to mention Banaue and Maiinit!

    Awesome area. Gotta spend more time there on my next trip.

  23. wow, amazing discussion.

    I checked out Bontoc and Baguio when I was there too, by far the Cordillera was my destination paborito sa Pilipinas.


    For immediate release

    First Assembly of Filipinos meeting set for April 18th

    TORONTO – Following through with its proposal at the State of the Filipino Union (SOFU) forum held in February, the SOFU 2009 Organizing Committee is calling the first ever meeting of the Assembly of Filipinos on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Ryerson University.

    The Assembly of Filipinos meeting will be the first annual gathering of representatives from different community organizations during which they can share information about their projects and activities, with the concrete objective of creating a community calendar.

    Adhering to the principle of youth leadership, the meeting will be facilitated by the SOFU 2009 Organizing Committee – composed of members of Kapisanan Philippine Centre, the Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto and Migrante Ontario Youth – and is being hosted by the Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson.

    This is an inclusive event for all willing Filipino organizations and leaders. For more information about the Assembly of Filipinos, including location details, please contact

  24. btw, I agree, SOFU IS over, so let’s not just talk about it anymore, let’s BE about it.

    The Assembly of Filipinos is a start, and will bring together the Leaders. It won’t be just simply trading rhetoric or self-loathing, but action, REAL ACTION, RIGHT NOW, and Youth-lead. The SOFU Organizing committee is made up of both Canadian-born and Filipino-born/raised individuals, and so is the Assembly of Filipinos. Let it be a living example of both/all types of Filipinos working together for the betterment of us all.

    APRIL 18TH, 2PM.

    I hope everyone in the picture shows up, like they said they would.


  25. nong nakaraang taon, naaalala koh pa..
    nakikipag talo sakin ang hambog na kapitbahay koh na 48 anyos na at dating pulis na natanggal sa trabaho dahil sa kasong ilegal..
    nakakainis ang pag uusap namin, na halos maiiyak na ako…
    ang tanong nya:

    “hoy! proud ka ba na pilipino ka..?ako kinahihiya koh”

    isang nakaka gulat na tanong na pinag simulan ng aming pag tatalo..

    ***bakit moh naman kinahiiya..? ano ba yung mga bagay na kina sasama ng loob moh o ayaw moh sa pilipino, e pilipino ka din naman,.?
    ===bakit!!! puro kurakot ang bansa na toh..
    walang silbi, mga inutil ang mga tao plastik, puro droga.. napaka raming krimen, at illegal na gawain ( as if hindi sya gumawa ng ilegal nuon,)
    sa ibang bansa..maunlad, walang hirap,..masarap ang buhay..

    ***bakit lahat ng negatibo na kaugalian ng tao sinabi moh na…
    pilipino lang ba ang ganyan..
    bakit nasubukan moh na ba ang tumira kasama ang mga puti,?.naranasan moh na bang tumapak sa ibang bansa.?
    sabihin nalang natin na,. oo..maunlad sila,. sa tingin moh bakit madami din naman sa mga pilipino ang may pera ha..kasi masipag marangal ang hanap buhay (patama lang sa kanya) at nasaatin ang mga kaugaliang talga naman maipagmamalaki, dahil sa galang at husay sa pakikisama saan man mapunta..

    ===bakit ano pa ba ang hahanapin moh sa ibang bansa..KAYONG (filing taga ibang PLANETA na) mga pinoy..ikaw…kung proud ka na pilipino ka.. e bakit ka nag iinglish..? bakit ganyan ang suot moh..? bakit nag ko computer ka..?bakit iniidolo moh ang mga hollywood stars..? (yan yung sunod2 na tanong na kina sumpa koh)

    *** kuya roger, ganito lang buhay maraming pag babago..siguro nga nag adopt akoh ng madaming bagay at ugali na galing sa ibang bansa..pero, di koh nakakalimutan kung saan ako nanggaling..kung anong lahi ko.. at kung ano ako..
    napakaraming bagay ang nakuha koh/natin galing sa kanila…dahil na din sa modernong at sibilisadong panahon, kailangan maka sabay din upang di mapag iwanan..pero hindi yun magandang rason pra ikamuhi natin ang sariling bayan..

    oo nga at nag i english ako..pero yun ang kailangan dahil universal language yun..para makasunod sa takbo ng buhay sa panahon ngayon..
    ‘ ganito lang yan kuya roger..

    kung kinahihiya moh ang pagiging pilipino.
    bakit natitiis moh pang manirahan sa pilipinas na kasalamuha ang mga pinoy..
    kung kinahihiya moh ang lahi moh,
    mas kinahihiya ka ng kapwa mo pilipino..

    ( nanginginig na sagot ko., ayaw koh mag backout..dahil ang iisipin nya talo ako,. at dahil nga ayaw koh mag patalo dahil tama ako, hinintay ko pa ang napakaraming opinyon at suhestion na talaga namang nakakapa nginig ng laman..!)


    Leonard says, Lots to be proud of if we look., … but his examples were almost all non-canadian.

    Canadian Immigrant Magazine published this month its Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2009. Of the 25, 8 are from India, and 2 are each from Colombia, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Uganda. Walang Pinoy.

    None of them are singers, beauty queens or Youtube memes. Only 3 are in politics.

    Leonard says, Let’s figure out how we’re going to actually DO something.

    Here’s something: let’s nominate one for 2010. Two for good measure. Tatlo, para sigurado.

    Pagkatapos, gumawa tayo ng viral campaign para malaman ng marami ang kakayahan ng Filipino at kung paano tumutulong ang Filipino sa kanyang komunidad. Maganda ideya?

  27. That’s true — no Filipinos in the Top 25 list, which I agree is disheartening.

    I can only think of two possible reasons why that might be. Perhaps the circumstances that the majority of Filipinos come to Canada under are that which the priority is to ‘make ends meet’. Who has time to chase dreams, let alone excel? Secondly, Filipino mass migration to Canada only started 1960ish… its still so early and way too early to write a group off as ‘not having done anything’.

    Which, by the way is an unfair way of putting it if I have the translation right — “What have Filipinos done here in Canada?” The answer is still “A LOT”, even though its still a work in progress, it still deserves respect.

    I’m not so sure I care so much if ‘Canadian Immigrant Magazine’ or any other publication for that matter acknowledges Filipinos. This is beauty pageant mentality: Because someone crowns us in a Top 25, its supposed to validate the work that people put in every day? (Furthermore, I’m not surprised that 8 of the 25 are Indian! So is the Founder and Publisher of this magazine.)

    Who cares? And why is this the measuring stick for success? Other people saying ‘oh those Filipino People, they are so great’.

    Being so conscious of what other people think is such a ‘Filipino’ trait.

    Stop asking what Filipinos in Canada are doing or have done, go out and do something — other Filipinos are — recognition or not.

  28. Who cares about recognition? Leonard, since the dawn of civilization, people of every creed and nation spend countless effort recognizing achievements and excellence. Why? Is it because being conscious of what other people think is a such a ‘human’ trait? No. It is because recognition works – it encourages, it challenges, it uplifts, and the spirit of society moves forward.

    Kung gayon, hindi ka sang-ayon sa viral campaign para itanyag ang naatim ng Filipino dito sa Canada? Hindi ba siya magandang ideya? Magandang ideya ba, halimbawa, ang magkaroon ng patimpalak para sa “Top 3 Filipino Canadians of the Year”?

    …go out and do something — other Filipinos are — recognition or not.. Ibinalik mo sa una kong sinabi kay Myk, “It really starts by achieving something respectable.” 🙂

  29. I don’t think recognition is a bad thing, you’re right it does work. And it is human to want to be recognized — but its also always a human choice that decides who gets the recognition, therefore flawed and subject to bias (hello 8 Indians in the Top 25 — come on!).

    My point was to say that putting all the weight on laurels that we can’t control is wrong and so is assuming that no one is doing anything of note when we don’t receive the awards. We’ve got to stay active even if we never get recognized and hopefully it will come. I’ve been around for 13 years…

    I do think the idea is good — to recognize standout Filipino Canadians (‘top’ suggests that its a competition). I’d think it was even better if you could find a way that Filipino Canadians could vote for fellow Filipino Canadians (and of course I mean born-heres and came-heres).

  30. sidenote:


    Your point on recognition is acknowledged, but I reject outright the rhetoric used to express that point; namely, “since the dawn of civilization, people of every creed and nation…”. 21st century mindfulness doesn’t permit me to speak the language of patriarchy. Though your words are well-intentioned, they are an anachronism.

    Let’s give-up the false generalizations on ‘human nature’ and attend to the particularities of the issue (which you’ve already somewhat done).

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