Kababayans lobby to declare June as Filipino Heritage Month in Canada
by Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News
CANADA — Kababayans gather support for a motion filed at the House of Commons in Parliament Hill to declare June as Filipino Heritage Month across Canada.
These kababayans have been meeting at food courts in different malls around Vancouver to gather signatures in support of Motion 1-55, or the legislation creating Filipino Heritage Month in Canada every June.
A petition has been circulating in various Filipino communities across Canada to show support for M-155. Even non-filipinos have been signing the petition.
Community leader Narima Dela Cruz says the declaration has been an initiative she’s been dreaming of for a long time, and the opportunity to help it pass was an easy decision to make.
“Mabilis naman sagot ng iba, by all means they will help..Yung iba merong hesitation, may mga tanong what’s in it for us, what’s for the community, is it gonna be declared a holiday? Is there funding?” says Narima Delacruz, of the Surrey Philippine independence day society. “Just bragging rights for now, its a recognition we should be happy about it.”
M-155 was filed by Salma Zahid, a member of parliament for Scarborough Center in Ontario, where an estimated 14,000 Filipinos are residing.
“The motion will be debated at the house of common in the spring and I want the support of the community, across board, on this Filipino Heritage Month because we have a very vibrant and fastest growing community being represented from the Philippines. So it is important that we recognize the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month.”
June coincides with the celebration of Philippine Independence Day.
The city of Toronto also declared June as Filipino Heritage Month last year.
Kababayans here say they look forward to having the declaration happen all over Canada.
Zahid hopes to present the completed petitions at the House of Commons in early February.