Canada celebrates its Filipino-Canadian community with the first Filipino Heritage Month this June, in the year that marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Philippines.

It was on October 30, 2018, when the House of Commons of the Parliament of Canada adopted the Motion—in a unanimous vote of 290 in favour and none against—declaring the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month from coast to coast to coast.

Salma Zahid, Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre district in the Greater Toronto area, brought forward M155 on behalf of Canada’s Filipino community.

The month-long celebration kicked off on June 1, 2019 at Albert Campbell Square in MP Salma Zahid’s constituency in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough Centre. It was a courtesy rendered for shepherding the passage of Motion 155 in the House of Commons.

Federal government officials attending the event were Marco Mendicino, MP for Eglinton-Lawrence, Michael Levitt, MP for York Centre, Rob Oliphant, MP for Don Valley West, and Ali Ehsassi, MP for Willowdale, Jean Yip, MP for Scarborough-Agincourt, Gary Anandasangaree, MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park, and Salma Zahid.

MP Anandasangaree presented greetings on behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stating “… significant contributions that Filipino-Canadians have made and continue to make to the countries in all fields of endeavour…”

The members of Parliament commended Felix Y. Manalo Foundation for support of the Filipino community of Canada. Marco Mendicino and Michael Levitt, both Members of Parliament, offered to read the signed congratulatory Certificate for Brother Eduardo V. Manalo’s ten years of dynamic leadership of the Iglesia Ni Cristo.

Further, the Certificate noted:

Thank you for the extensive volunteer services and going beyond the Christian humanitarian duties to provide help to those who need the most help even in remote sites in Canada.

Your outreach programs helped ensure that thousands of people who are in the grips of hardship and poverty are given not just care packages but most importantly, HOPE.

You granted financial assistance and support to Shelters and Centers to further their advocacies of alleviating hunger and poverty in our midst.

Today on the celebration of the first National Filipino Heritage Month, on behalf of the Filipino Canadians, we take pride of your significant and huge contribution to the welfare of people you reached out.

We wish you success and strength in encouraging health and productive lives.

Glendo Baitan, one of the Directors of the FYM Foundation and a District Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) in the Greater Toronto, receives the scroll with appreciation on behalf of the foundation.

The Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, the charitable arm of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ, has just completed six noteworthy charitable events in Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, and Burnaby last week.

In Salma Hazid’s remarks, “Declaring Filipino Heritage Month across Canada, from the Pacific to the Atlantic to the Arctic regions, is one unprecedented acknowledgment of the roles of the Filipino citizenry in enriching the larger communities from coast to coast to coast.”

Further, she said, “Building a diverse and inclusive society by promoting and encouraging awareness, understanding and respect for many different cultures is one of our Government’s top priorities.  Now that June is designated as Filipino Heritage Month, we can continue to put our values into action. I’m very proud of our Government’s work to support Filipino communities across the country.” ###