Submitted by Steven Baileys, Community Outreach Coordinator
On November 12, more than 50 members of the CPN gathered to share and learn about the history and culture of the Filipino community and the programs and services provided by the Bayanihan Centre.
Some members were surprised to learn about the diversity of the Philippines including that the country has more than 7,100 islands with many regions, dialects and faiths. Filipino-Canadians are the third-largest Asian Canadian group in the nation, after the Indian and Chinese communities. It was in 1930 when the first Filipinos arrived in Victoria, a small group of nurses journeyed here to seek a new life. Today, Greater Victoria is home to more than three thousand Filipinos and their families. The Bayanihan Centre offers a range of cultural, educational and social activities for families, seniors, youth.
Lively round table discussions followed the presentation as Filipino and CPN members talked about the experiences of immigrants and how to improve services to newcomers. The insights shared will be incorporated into a report by the UVic Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community-University Engagement (ISICUE) for the Local Immigration Partnership. The energetic discussions were fueled by chicken adobo, rice, fried bananas, pansit noodles and other tasty traditional dishes, compliments of the Bayanihan Centre.
Following the event, one of the CPN members reflected on the value of the evening: “The information shared about the community was very informative and I learned new things about the Filipino culture, the centre and how I can be involved. The talk around my table was informative and flowed well, with everyone participating in a meaningful way.”
Salamat Po! Thanks to Laila Pires, Dominga Passmore, Isidoro Emmanuel and the members of the Bayanihan Centre for their generosity in hosting this event.