LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Do we really need a cultural centre?

Community Opinion & Analysis May 1, 2006 at 4:38 pm

After all the ongoing problems that arose from the FCT, Filipinos here in the GTA including myself could not help but wonder is it really worth all the trouble?

First of all, if you ask the ordinary PINOY from the street what he thinks of the FCT, the first concern he will tell you is parking. Over the years, as the GTA grew, community centers have mushroomed everywhere and we Filipinos like any other ethnic group have availed ourselves of the facilities that these community centers have to offer.

On a smaller scale, Filipino businesses like the LILAND INSURANCE brokerage by Roland Chan just to mention a few, have their own mini-center to serve their Filipino clientele and there exists a mini network of centers of this kind today. If a larger and more classy facility is required, hotels, banquet halls and convention centers are always available depending on the occasion and the nature of the event. On a much, much larger scale, I can always cite the SKYDOME and the KALAYAAN “98 celebrations.

My point is simply, to aim for a physical and tangible end result such as the FCT, is totally immaterial.
We can probably channel our resources to more worthwhile projects like the recently held “REBUILDING PEOPLE’S LIVES” concert sponsored by CASJ, PIDC and the KABABAYAN COMMUNITY CENTER. This is a classic example of how a handful of Filipino artists can work together to raise funds for a worthy and much-needed cause. I commend the three sponsoring organizations for coming up with this brilliant idea.

Speaking of culture, there already exist several vehicles which showcase the Filipino culture. We have the METRO TORONTO CARAVAN, CARASAUGA, CARABRAM and many others. Like many other ethnic groups here in the GTA, we have established ourselves and multiculturalism is alive and well in all three levels of government.

So now you tell me. What do we need a cultural center for? I sincerely feel that there already exists a cultural center in the mind of every PINOY and that nobody can take it away from him or her.

Noe Castanos
President, CIRCULO ILONGO