Big crowd welcomes book on Filipinos
By Ethel Tungohan
TORONTO — The book launch for “Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility,” was held at the Nexus Lounge in OISE at the University of Toronto from 5 to 7 pm on Friday, October 19. It was attended by over 120 people, students, faculty, and community.
Speaking during the launch were Roland Sintos Coloma, Bonnie McElhinny, Ethel Tungohan, John Paul Catungal, and Lisa Davidson, editors of the book. Also speaking at the open forum were Christine Balmes, Celia Correa, Valerie Damasco, Conely De Leon, Mila Astorga-Garcia, Philip Kelly, Marissa Largo, Minelle Mahtani, Cesar Polvorosa, and Eric Tigley, contributors to the book.
The program started with brief remarks by Coloma on the origins of the book and his perspectives on Filipino-Canadian studies. McElhinny followed, paying tribute to previous research that had been done on Filipino-Canadian issues. and the work of the editors and authors on the volume. Catungal passionately discussed the importance of mentorship and the importance of linking Filipino-Canadian studies to political struggles taking place, such as the students’ rights movement in Quebec and the forced deportation of international students in Saskatchewan. Tungohan reflected on her experiences being both an academic and an activist, concluding that forming partnerships between the two camps was important. Lisa Davidson reflected on what other research questions needed to be pursued in the future.
After these remarks, there was a brief question and answer portion, and contributors talked about their involvement in the book, and their feelings and the future of Filipino-Canadian studies.
Students in the audience welcomed the book as an important reference in Filipino Canadian studies.