Engage in politics, not frivolities
By Joe Rivera
our months from now, the Filipino community in Toronto will be abuzz again with festivals commemorating Philippine Independence Day. Filipinos will come out in droves to join the parades of beauties and beasts, the latter being roasted pigs or lechons. In addition to parades, there will also be singing and dancing contests, picnics in the parks, and trade shows. At least three major community organizations, just in the city of Toronto alone, will hold separate Independence Day celebrations, as if a common observance is inadequate to embody the collective aspiration of the Filipino people to be free from colonial rule.
If only this huge annual coming-out event by Filipinos in the biggest Canadian city could be an accurate gauge of our participation in civic, community and political events, then we could say that Filipinos in Canada, or at least in the city of Toronto, constitute a powerful political force to reckon with. That’s why these Independence Day festivals are attended by Canadian politicians, federal, provincial and local, those in office, those running in the next election, and political wannabes. And one could also probably say that Filipinos, by their sheer number of close to 250,00o in the metropolitan area, are well represented in the city and provincial governments.