Canada Celebrates its first Filipino Heritage Month of June from Coast to Coast

Canada Celebrates its first Filipino Heritage Month of June from Coast to Coast

Vibrant, Pulsating. Resolute.

Filipino Canadian associations, across Canada, continue to hold cultural festivities serving as platforms in showcasing Filipino heritage thru art, music, dance, fashion, culinary arts.

This month of June started off with a robust celebration of the following milestones:

  • The National Filipino Heritage Month, pursuant to Private Members’ Business M-155 introduced in the House of Commons in October 2018- declaring the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month across Canada.
  •  June 12, 2019 is the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence Day
  • The 70th anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-Canada diplomatic relations.

These festivities alongside flag raising ceremonies aim to inform and elevate awareness of the Philippine heritage and culture to the mainstream society and gearing towards the benefit of the younger generation.

June 1, 2019–INC choir of the District of Greater Toronto in their rendition of the Philippines’ Lupang Hinirang and Canada’s O Canada!, in English and in French, during the kick off celebration of the National Heritage Month at Albert Campbell Square, Toronto (photo/ Noemie Cruz)

The kick-off celebration on June 1st, 2019 sparked succeeding occasions as pivotal.  Salma Zahid, a Liberal Member of Parliament for Scarborough Center, Toronto, paved the recognition in her privilege speech. MP Zahid reasoned out that in the opinion of the House of Commons:

“The government  should recognize the contributions that Filipino Canadians have made to Canadian society, the richness of the Filipino language and culture, and the importance of reflecting upon Filipino heritage for future generations by declaring June , every year, Filipino Heritage Month.”

It was a landmark unanimous vote of 290 in favour to none against in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa—declaring June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada from coast to coast.

MPs Salma Zahid (3rd from R), author of M-155, is joined on stage by fellow MPs and officers of National Filipino Heritage Canada who organized the June 1 official kick-off event for Filipino Heritage Month.
(L-R) Tess de Jesus, Lino Eroma, MP Rob Oliphant Michael Levitt, MP Gary Anandasangaree, Rolly Mangante (NFHC Chairman), MP Marco Mendicino, Teresa Torralba (NFHC Exec. Director), MP Salma Zahid, MP Jean Yip and MP Ali Ehsassi. Filipino Heritage is celebrated across Canada, from coast to coast to coast. In Toronto alone, the calendar month is full of community events highlighted by the 121stcelebration of Philippine Independence and tributes to our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.