Last month marked the first ever celebration of Philippine Heritage Month, which will now be celebrated every June. Many individuals who made the decision to migrate to Canada from the Philippines often come to this great nation for a better life. The sacrifices that many Filipinos underwent to get to where they are today personify the kind of individuals they truly are: The kind of people who work extremely hard and diligently, even if that means moving halfway across the globe to a country they are not accustomed to. Though I did not grow up in the Philippines, I am extremely proud to be a Filipino-Canadian living in the province of Alberta. I truly am thankful for the opportunities and experiences given to me by this great country of Canada.
The power of the Filipino community here in Alberta is based on the foundation of patriotism. The presence of this patriotism is heartfelt all-around Alberta. We see individuals of Philippine descent working in all sorts of professions as well as volunteering in numerous amounts of charities, non-profit organizations, and much more to help serve those in the Alberta community. I was filled with pride and joy and was truly delighted to hear that Deputy Premier and Health Minister Sarah Hoffman proclaimed June as Philippine Heritage Month in Alberta. As Premier Rachel Notley (2018) said, “Alberta is home to the second largest Filipino population in the country. For decades, Filipinos have enriched our province with their culture, their languages, and their skills”. Filipinos contribute greatly to the diversity here in Alberta and that diversity is a core value this great nation continues to thrive from. I am excited to see the continuing growth of Filipinos here in Alberta as I know and believe we have something special to offer in anything we choose to pursue.
To end off, I would like to provide a few interesting facts about the Filipino communities residing here in Alberta. Number one: According to Statistics Canada, Alberta is home to 175,130 Filipinos, making up 4.3 percent of its population. Number two: Calgary is home to the fourth largest Filipino community in Canada, and Edmonton has a growing population of 64,275 Filipinos. Number three: Tagalog is the second-most spoken non-official language in Alberta. (Facts taken from alberta.ca)