Filipino-Canadians hopeful for 2013
By Dyan Ruiz
A Social Weather Stations survey in the Philippines reported that 92 percent of Filipinos are entering 2013 with hope rather than with fear. This prompted The Philippine Reporter to ask a small sample of Filipino-Canadians in the GTA the same thing. Are they hopeful for 2013? Why do you think such a large percentage of Filipinos said they were hopeful?
Here’s a sampling of the responses of Filipino-Canadians from all walks of life.
“There is a palpable sense of optimism in the Philippines at the start of 2013. The economy grew by 7.1%, the stock market is doing very well and is breaking records…
I am very hopeful for Filipino-Canadians in 2013 for the following reasons:
1. Both Canada and the Philippines are doing quite well economically and both agree to nurture bilateral relations to new heights…
4. Given the access to opportunities here in Canada, Filipinos and Filipino-Canadians are beginning to enhance their standing, in terms of financial stability and political clout.
5. The contributions of Filipino-Canadians to the vibrancy of Canadian society is likewise getting recognition — recently, almost 30 Filipino-Canadians were awarded the queen’s diamond jubilee medal.
6. The older generation of Filipino-Canadians are very conscious of the need to impart to the younger generation the richness of their Filipino heritage and are therefore very active in organizing community events that highlight Philippine history and culture. This is another catalyst to promote the community’s well-being and to foster better Philippine Canadian bilateral relations…” – Junever M. Mahilum-West, Philippine Consul General for Toronto
“For the immigration, especially for the caregivers, I hope that there will be changes. But I do hope that the changes will be for a better situation for caregivers in the Live-in Caregiver Program. The live-in situation, it is not a favorable situation for any caregiver.
…For new immigrants I hope they will be able to land in their own profession, in the profession they aspire to be.” - Flor Dandal, Executive Director, Kababayan Community Centre
“I am very hopeful for 2013. I am looking forward to the upcoming midterm elections in the Philippines, which should demonstrate a promising boost to democracy and the overall political and economic direction in the country. Given the deaths and destructions from the calamities this past year, it is my hope that 2013 can bring more joy, peace, and prosperity to Filipinos.
For Filipinos in Canada, I would like to see improvements in their economic, family, and overall wellbeing. In particular, temporary foreign workers ought to be given permanent residency immediately; the family reunification program ought to be fully re-established; and more governmental and financial support ought to be given to programs that assist Filipino Canadian seniors and youth.” – Roland Sintos Coloma, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
“It’s in the culture. We usually think positively. We really think there’s hope.
I’m definitely hopeful for 2013. You just try to think positive and take away all the negative things with all the crises and everything that is happening. I guess you really have to be optimistic.
I hope for a better future, especially for my children. That’s why I’m here, working away from them, so it’s all for them. – Princess Sopoco, Nurse and Caregiver
“I think Filipinos are hopeful because they are with their families and they’re content with their lives there instead of looking for something else greater. And I think that having a big family with them all the time, for good or for bad and their condition, they’re with them.
I’m hopeful because I think I’m going pass all my courses this year and I think I’m going to have a good year with me family.” – Rhoda Marie Olazo, George Brown College student
“I guess I’m hopeful for 2013 because I came here for education to have a great future… I hope I get in to a good university… I want to become a vet.” – Melissa Grace Olazo, high school student
“I think Filipinos are hopeful because they work really hard and they try really hard for themselves and their family…
Yes, I am hopeful and I hope that graduate high school and go to a really nice university and be successful in life.”- Mikee Olazo, high school student
“We’re just a happy race. Perhaps we were born with more Dopamine maybe lol. I think the biggest reason is the family support, we’re a culture known for that and it’s easier to tackle issues or challenges when you have a good support system and encouragement.
I am hopeful … Hopes include continued professional success, better health less rice lol… constant learning and reading… always be there for fam and friends.” – Richard Silang, Business Development
“There is also a section of our kababayans in the Philippines who are hopeful because they still believe that the upcoming May 2013 elections will have politicians that will serve them and their interests being the citizens of the Philippines…
For 2013, I still remain hopeful that the Philippines will see justice… it hurts me that my kababayans are still struggling to make ends meet, and their basic social services are still not being met, and this is a violation of their rights to live … hopefully one day, justice will be served to the marginalized and under-represented.” – Rhea A. Gamana, Chairperson, Anakbayan Toronto
“I am hopeful in a specific sense. I am hopeful that people are slowly waking up to the realization to the need for change, real change, societal change. And that for this to truly happen, that we need to organize, that we need to stand together.
For the BAYAN network, and Anakbayan-Toronto in particular … I feel great optimism that 2013 will see even greater expansion, strengthening, and with that the greater ability to fight the good fight.” Alex Felipe, BAYAN-Canada, Toronto spokesperson, Anakbayan-Toronto organizer
*The responses have been condensed and edited.