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, MLA Burrows
June 13, 2013

Philippine Heritage Week

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba is the strong, diverse province it is today because of the outstanding contributions of the Filipino-Canadian community. Since the first four Filipino nurses arrived in Winnipeg back in 1959, Filipino-Canadians have been our teachers, artists, health care professionals and Members of the Legislative Assembly. This year, on behalf of the Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, I had the distinct honour of presenting the Manitoba Proclamation designating June 8th to 15th as Philippine Heritage Week.

The Manitoba Filipino community has helped build our province’s social, economic and civic spheres in many different ways. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Our Families,” which is fitting since more than 60,000 Manitobans trace their family roots back to the Philippines. Heritage Week is hosted by the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba, a Filipino-Canadian non-profit made up of 35 different organizations and members of the community who strive to celebrate the unique traditions that contribute to our dynamic province. Their goal is to preserve and promote Philippine culture across the generations and to share their culture with all Canadians.

I was honoured to read the full Philippine Heritage Week proclamation at the flag raising and opening ceremony on Saturday, June 8th, hosted by the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba. Other events this week include a Philippine Film night, a picnic in Assiniboine Park and the Philippine Independence Ball, which I’m very much looking forward to attending this Friday. This gala evening celebrates 115 years of Philippine independence from Spain, a meaningful celebration for Filipino people around the world. These events are open and welcome to everyone and help promote intercultural understanding, social harmony and universal acceptance of Manitoba’s cultural mosaic.

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba is stronger because we stand together. The unique perspective brought to Manitoba by Filipino families is invaluable to shaping our diverse province. Huge congratulations to all the Philippine Heritage Week volunteers for organizing the events. I look forward to celebrating with everyone at the Independence Ball tomorrow. Mabuhay!