by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS-CBN News
EDMONTON, CANADA — From the annual festival to a vehicle train, it’s a new twist to the Filipino community’s celebration of Filipino Heritage Month and Philippine Independence Day this June, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philippine Consul General of Calgary, Zaldy Patron, attended the event, together with representatives from Alberta’s provincial government.
Con-gen Patron gave his greetings, and read President Rodrigo Duterte’s message to Filipino Canadians.
He said Filipinos in Alberta and Saskatchewan celebrated the Philippine Independence Day in various creative ways.
“This shows that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we still celebrate philippine independence day and philippine heritage month. We value our being Filipino and we love our motherland. I hope we continue these kinds of celebrations for the second generation of Filipinos here in Alberta and Saskatchewan.”
It was two years ago when the Alberta government declared the month of June as Philippine Heritage month to acknowledge the heritage of the 175,000 Filipinos who have made Alberta home and to recognize the community’s contributions to the province.
“So many of the health care aides and others who work in our nursing homes, our long-term care facilities are people of Filipino origin, who have been helping to take care of our seniors of the most vulnerable to keep them safe and help us flatten the curve and to help Alberta really win in the fight against COVID-19,” said Hon. Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta.
Participants decorated their vehicles with streamers, balloons, and Philippine flags. The vehicle train passed through areas in the city identified to have a larger Filipino presence.