Caregivers, Fil-Can group mark Remembrance Day

Community Round Up Nov 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

Last November 14th, the Filipino community in Niagara commemorated Remembrance Day in two separate occasions yet expressing the same message: honoring patriotic deeds while reminiscing wonderful memories of love ones who passed away.

Chito Gonzales with Caregiver leaders

Chito Gonzales with Caregiver leaders

In St. Catharines, Remembrance Day was a simple celebration yet meaningful as Western Union hosted an appreciation luncheon for caregivers. The event was the first official meeting of the newly formed Caregivers Association of Niagara or CAN. It was attended by more than 100 caregivers who signed up for the membership. Several notable business leaders and members of different caregiver associations in Toronto also extended support and honored the sacrifices of the caregivers.

Meanwhile, the Filipino Canadians Association of Niagara or FCAN, held a solemn and intimate celebration in Niagara Falls to commemorate Remembrance Day. Guests filled a bowl of water with floating candles as a symbol of faith.

Filipino Canadian Association of Niagara (FCAN) held a solemn and intimate celebration in Niagara Falls to  commemorate  Remembrance Day.

Filipino Canadian Association of Niagara (FCAN) held a solemn and intimate celebration in Niagara Falls to commemorate Remembrance Day.

Elvie Damiano, whose husband met a controversial death in St Catharines, was among those who lighted a candle. Damiano considered her husband as a hero not only for being a devoted father and loving partner but also by virtue of his invaluable loyalty to the company he worked for several years.

The commemoration may be disheartening for some who had lost their loved ones but others fondly recalled memories of deceased FCAN members.

Lito Palabay, former president of FCAN, never missed the annual celebration, saying “we usually do things as a family. We have full respect for our loved ones when they were around and I wish they are always with us but we will never forget them. We do this every year and we appreciate what FCAN is doing for us in remembrance of our loved ones”.

Cerge DeMesa, FCAN’s current vice president, echoed Palabay adding, “we would like to remember the ones who departed and we are urging other people in the community to continue supporting this cause because this is a good one and we would like to pass this on to the next generation.”

Robert Desmond (3RD from right) of RDB Band was a special guest

Robert Desmond (3RD from right) of RDB Band was a special guest

For most of these Filipinos, Remembrance Day in Canada is not only to mourn for the dead soldiers but to praise them for the peace that they fought steadfastly to achieve. On the other hand, it is also a significant time to celebrate the caregiver’s contribution to the Philippines. Chito Gonzales of Western Union said “the caregivers are like the fallen soldiers who ought to be honored for their sacrifices in helping their homeland. They are, after all, the living heroes.”