The Congress of Philippine Associations (COPAA) in Alberta successfully hosted the 120th Philippine Independence Day celebration, June 2, 2018 at the Four Points Sheraton. The event was highlighted by the Alberta Government’s proclamation that the month of June will now be known as “Philippine Heritage Month” .
Deputy premier and minister of health Sarah Hoffman announced to the guests that premier Rachel Notley and Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell had signed the proclamation marking June of every year as “Philippine Heritage Month” for the 175,000 Albertans of Filipino descent.
The announcement was received warmly with a standing ovation by Filipino association leaders and members and their guests who attended the event.
“Filipinos make this province a brighter, caring and more vibrant place. We’re lucky that so many call Alberta home. Alberta’s economy, public services like health care, and communities are all made stronger thanks to their hard work, talent and enduring spirit of volunteerism and generosity,” said Hoffman in a statement.
In a press statement, Migrante Alberta said a group of individuals approached MLA Rodrigo Loyola to make June Heritage Month to coincide with the annual celebrations of Philippine Independence Day across Canada.
“A small hurdle delayed the process. A group in Calgary had petitioned for similar intentions but for the month of September”, Migrante Alberta said. September coincides with the Filipino Fiesta event in Calgary and the Edmonton group has informed MLA Loyola that the month of September was marked by the infamous Martial Law declaration by Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“This was resolved when Deputy Premier Hoffman’s office received a letter from the proponents of the September petition, informing her of the group’s support for June to be declared as Heritage Month,” Migrante added.
COPAA president Jun Angeles, a long-time Alberta resident himself, personally thanked deputy premier Hoffman for the provincial government’s recognition of the contributions made by the Filipino community.
Among the personalities who attended the event were Minister Christina Gray, Councilor Mike Nickel, MLA Rod Loyola, MLA Lorne Dach, MLA Jon Carson and Payman Parseyan of the UCP. MLA Jason Kenny and Minister Amarjeet Sohi were also invited but they could not come.
The Saranay Rondalla, Karilagan Dance Society, Filipino-Canadian Saranay Dance Troupe and casts of Emma “The Musical” provided entertainment to the guests.
World FM 101.7 FM’s Himig Pinoy hosts Jo-Ann Aguilar and Rolan Latorre served as emcees.
Photos by Moses Billacura | Alberta Filipino Journal