By Nicole Sanchez
EDMONTON — PhilSA (University of Alberta Philippine Students’ Association) hosted its annual Meet & Greet last September 27 and the event was a huge success with approximately ninety attendees.
Every year, the Filipino student group hosts this event to kick-off the academic year and bring forth a welcoming environment to new and old members of the Filipino community on campus. The student organization aims to foster a community that allows the young generation of Filipinos to meet, interact, and build lasting relationships in and outside of the University.
The Meet & Greet was open to all students, but almost 95% of attendees were Filipinos. The event started with a Filipino Food Bake Sale, which included Filipino pastries and delicacies like crinckles, turon, puto, leche flan, and sapin-sapin.
Alma’s Bakery also sponsored cupcakes for the student group to sell. The donations collected from the food sale will be put towards the Gala. Following the Bake Sale was a small introduction of the club and the members, and icebreakers to introduce everyone to each other and get to know one another.
Manila Express sponsored the food for the event – providing pancit and caldereta for the attendees. The event ended with games like calamansi relay, copy-cut, and musical chairs. Everyone left the event with new friends, a full stomach, and a night full of laughter.
The organization hosts an event almost every month – including Bake Sales (a fundraising event for the upcoming Gala), Paint Nite, Karaoke Night, Christmas Party, and the biggest event, PhilSA Gala (which includes a silent auction to fundraise for a chosen charity).
These events are targeted to better the experience of Filipinos at the University of Alberta community. Through these events, it allows PhilSA to not only have a stronger sense of Filipino community on campus, but also to have fun and give back to the community.
Bea Rubio, this year’s PhilSA President, said that “studying in a huge university can be very stressful and lonely. PhilSA gave me a family I can come to destress and have fun with, making my university experience much easier and memorable!”.
Having an organization like PhilSA forms an environment for Filipinos on campus that understands the struggles of being an immigrant, and one that nourishes and values the Filipino culture while essentially creating a family.
By Nicole Sanchez