Do You Know Your History?

Community News & Features Jun 16, 2005 at 8:08 pm

Vancouver, B.C. – This summer, Filipino youth and students across the Lower Mainland will attend Summer School and may actually be inspired by it.

Ipagpatuloy: Living the Storm, Philippine History and Community Organizing 101, A Community-Based Studies Program, coordinated and facilitated by the Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance/Ugnayan ng Kabata-ang Pilipino sa Canada (FCYA/UKPC) will enable participating students to learn about Philippine history, from the mysterious Pre-Colonial Period, to the present era of imperialism in which over eight million migrant Filipinos are found working in over 186 countries. The three-week course begins on Sunday, June 26 until Sunday, July 17 at the Kalayaan Centre, 451 Powell Street in Vancouver’s historic Downtown Lower Eastside.

“This course is unique because it offers a comprehensive under-standing of Philippine society, its revolutionary history and the current situation” shares course organizer, Carlo Sayo. “The course also goes into the history of Filipino migration and the present condition and realities of the Filipino-Canadian community,” said Sayo.

Aside from learning and discussing history and understanding the economic displacement of Filipino migrant workers, students are expected to complete a community practicum throughout the summer.
The practicum involves interview-ing and integrating with Filipino migrant workers, such as domestic workers and their families, where participants must produce creative art pieces reflective of their community integration. The pieces will be unveiled at a community forum which FCYA/UKPC envisions as a tribute to the Filipino community.

Currently, the Filipino community is the third largest immigrant group in British Columbia, the fourth largest immigrant group overall in Canada. The majority of Filipinos entering Canada are domestic workers and their families. Newly-arrived Filipino youth hold the second highest drop-out rate in Vancouver high schools.

Since 1995, FCYA/UKPC has been addressing and organizing around these issues, as well as racism, economic displacement, gender oppression and decolonization. FCYA/UKPC hopes to document the collective history, stories and experiences of the Filipino community through the program.

“This is an action-oriented curriculum,” explains Sayo. “One of objectives is for the participants to internalize the need to change society, to learn from the actions and sacrifices of our ancestors and to be able to continue the foundation that has already been laid out for us,” continues Sayo. “And the best way to understand social change is to be with those who are the most marginalized in our society,” concludes Sayo.

Classes begin Sunday, June 26 and will run until Sunday, July 17 at the Kalayaan Centre, 451 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC.

For more information about the course including fees, course des-cription and registration, please contact 604-215-1103 or e-mail ukpc_fcya@kalayaancentre.net.