Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Motion No. 155, moved by my good friend, the member for Scarborough Centre. This motion seeks to recognize, celebrate and raise awareness of the Filipino community in Canada and designate June as Filipino heritage month. My riding of Nepean and the national capital region are home to the sixth-largest Filipino community in Canada, with nearly 10,000 Filipinos residing here.
There are a large number of organizations in Canada working hard to keep the Filipino culture alive. One is the Canadian Filipino Net, a group of Canadian Filipinos who are passionate about raising the profile of Filipinos in Canada by providing news and views of Canadian Filipino communities across the country. According to it, Tinig Pinoy Radio is an on-line radio station that reaches out to millions of Filipinos across the world with its unique blend of programming. Tinig Pinoy, which in English means Filipino voice, delivers news from the Philippines, updates from various Filipino communities in different countries, and interviews and opinions on various issues. Tinig Pinoy is hosted by founder and executive, Dan De Castro, with Regina Sosing as its fantastic program director, and Gerry Orcia as technical producer.
We have a dynamic Filipino community in Ottawa today. We have the Philippines Independence Committee of the Ottawa Valley, led by its very active president, Nora Arriola. We have very active Filipino community leaders like Regina Genducao of Hiligaynon Association; Ms. Lilly Lay of the Filipiniana Association of Ottawa Valley; Ms. Mely Gomz of the Ottawa Valley Fil-Can Seniors Association; Ms. Maura David of the Assumption Parish Organization; Dr. Ruby Formoso of Philippine Heritage Foundation Canada; Mr. Rafael Mamaril of Philippine Centre Canada; and Mr. Lawrence Laureta of the Ilocano Ngarud Society.
We also have very active community leaders like Sonia Del Rosario, who was awarded Nepean’s Canada 150th Anniversary Medal for her contribution to the community.
According to the writer Jujanester, Filipinos have great characteristics and qualities that every one of us should be proud of: first, hospitality, which is a very different kind of values system that has existed in their community for thousands of years; second, respect, which is often observed not just by younger people, but by Filipino people of all ages; third, strong family ties and religion; fourth, generosity and helpfulness; fifth, a strong work ethic; and sixth, being loving and caring.
I am proud to support designating June as Filipino heritage month.