Submitted by Steven Lorenzo Baileys, Community Development Coordinator
Promoting History and Heritage of Our Filipino-Canadian Community
The CPN includes more than 270 local businesses, agencies and institutions. Each edition of “Diversity Connections” highlights a CPN member and the work they do to support diversity in their organization and our community.
The rich culture, dress, food, and music of the Phillipines can be found right here in our own backyard with the Filipino Bayanihan Society. A long time active member of the Community Partnership Network (CPN), the Bayanihan Society has cultivated connections and promoted diversity in our region. Bayanihan, in the Filipino language of Tagalog, means “cooperative effort” and is symbolized by the image on its logo of many people joining together to carry a bamboo house on their shoulders to a safer and better place.
First established in 1991 by the Victoria Filipino-Canadian Association, the Bayanihan Society has grown and thrived over the decades. Today, the society provides a vibrant community space where members meet, learn, and promote cultural traditions while building community connections. Over the year, the society has expanded to create the Victoria Filipino Canadian Seniors Association and the Victoria Filipino Canadian Caregivers Association.
In 2001, with the help of a matching grant from the Government of British Columbia, the
|Hosting community events and providing traditional Filipino food is the Bayanihan’s way of connecting community.|
Bayanihan Society purchased its present location – a small red brick building located off the corner of Blanshard and Fisgard Streets. The building may be small but it is a thriving bee-hive of activity that includes a social centre and kitchen. A range of activities are offered for both Filipino Canadians and member of the general community. For example, the centre is a regular gathering place for seniors and live in caregivers. It also hosts workshops on Filipino history, language, immigration, or traditional folk dancing. The centre is volunteer-run with all operating costs covered by donations, rental fees and fundraising events. All programs and space are open to everyone.
On any given Sunday afternoon, the centre provides a delicious traditional Filipino lunch at its weekly Open House. Homemade Filipino dishes such as pancit noodles and chicken adobo are nearly legendary for their flavours of home captured in generous servings.
|President Dominga Passmore in the always busy community kitchen of the Bayanihan centre.|