17 Filipino Canadians recognized

Community News & Features Dec 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm


Representing the Government of Canada, Sen. Tobias Enverga, Jr. (C, Ontario) is guest speaker at the formal ceremonies recognizing seventeen Filipino Canadians for their vast contributions to improve their community. The recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal seated with Sen. Enverga, Jr., (4th from left) are (L-R) Ben Ferrer, Emiliano Silverio, Flordeliz Dandal, Victoria Santiago, Gene Dorotheo, Sr., Alex Parucha. The recipients who are on the 2nd row are (L-R) Artemio Pangilinan; Very Rev. Francis Galvan, OSA; Andy Garcia, Romy Mananquil, Eduardo Lee, Resty del Rosario, Dr.Francisco Portugal, Bonner Villabroza, and George Poblete. Other awardees who were not able to attend the ceremonies were Eleanor Calbes and Linda Javier, who was represented by FCT Director Ed Birondo.

Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. (C, Ontario) has stressed the importance of volunteer work to help one’s fellowmen and improve the community and the country.
The Conservative Senator for Ontario spoke before the seventeen recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in the presence of their families and guests during a formal and inspiring ceremony held in Toronto, Ontario, Saturday December 15, 2012.

The recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal – one of the prestigious recognitions given by the Government of Canada are as follows: Flordeliz Dandal, Executive Director of the Kababayan Community Centre Multicultural Services, who has dedicated 23 years of her life on the settlement agency to help and support newcomer immigrants; Artemio Pangilinan, President of ANCOP International Canada Inc. — a registered Canadian charity, who, among other things, led the 2012 ANCOP Walks in major cities across Canada, raising more than $300, 000 for marginalized people in the Philippines and other third world countries; Resty del Rosario, a long-time community leader who led and handled various  projects in the Filipino-Canadian Community; Victoria Santiago, a dentist by profession; and recognized supporter of many community and charitable organizations and events; Romy Mananquil, a recognized leader in the field of visual arts; Emiliano Silverio, one of the founders of the Order of the Knights of Rizal in Canada and serves as its Knight Grand Commander and Canada Region Adviser of the KoR for 17 years. Throughout the years, he has also been an active community leader; Andy Garcia, a philanthropist who has donated to many causes around the world, including the Sto. Nino Chapel in the Philippines; Alex Parucha, a World War II Veteran. Now 94 years old, he continues to be active in Filipino-Canadian affairs; Ben Ferrer, a dedicated community leader and the vice-president of the Silayan Community Center which provides services for newcomers and drop-in center.  

Also receiving the Queen Elizabeth the II Jubilee Medal were Eleanor Calbes, a world-renowned soprano singer, who played lead roles at various productions of the Canadian Opera Company. She is the founder of Opera Mississauga, City Centre Musical Productions and the Fiesta Filipina Dance Company; Linda Javier, President of the Filipino Center in Toronto (FCT) and a dedicated community leader, whose tireless efforts continue to give the Filipino Canadian Community a home in Toronto; Dr. Francisco Portugal, a Family Physician, whose charitable work for his fellow Filipinos in the Philippines is widely known through the “Canadian Aid Relief Project; Gene Dorotheo, Sr., a WWII veteran. At age 93 now, he continues to tirelessly advocate and leads various causes in the Filipino-Canadian community: George Poblete, a dedicated community leader, whose work, among many others, on the implementation of the Leyte Disaster Relief Funds Campaign gave huge financial assistance to land slide victims.

Also recognized with the prestigious award were Bonner Villabroza, an active and dedicated community leader in Hamilton, Ontario. He is also the President and CEO of the Hamilton Community Filipino Centre; Very Rev. Francis Galvan, OSA (Order of the St. Augustinians), a very recognized religious leader, whose pastoral duties started at St. Brigid’s parish in Toronto, then as the Administrator of St. Catherine of Sienna Parish on Danforth . He was later sent to Rome for his Doctorate in Canon Law.
Currently, he is the Provincial Superior of the Agustinians in Canada; and, Eduardo Lee, the publisher of the longest-running Filipino paper in Toronto, “Atin Ito”, and where his work contributed to a well-informed Filipino Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area and nearby cities.

The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal is awarded by the Goverment of Canada through the Office of the Governor General, to outstanding 60,000 Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada who made a significant contribution to their fellow countrymen, their community, or to Canada over the past 60 years.