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Filipinos in Canada

The conference on the "Filipino Community and Beyond," sponsored by the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada ended last Sunday. Aside from being enlightening, the conference was also very refreshing because it was focused on community—not academic—research. Perhaps the most concrete sign that it was not like the other conferences I've been to were the proliferation of baby strollers at the venue.

It was an eye-opening experience for me because while I personally know some Filipinos in Canada who are having difficulty integrating into their new community, I did not realize just how deeply-rooted the problems are or that the multicultural Toronto that I like so much also conceals systemic racism. The only thing I found puzzling, which I think some misunderstood when I expressed it at the end, was that I heard so much about the cases of Jomar Lanot, Charle Dalde and Jeffrey Reodica—all men—but the victims in the cases involving the gender around which much of the conference revolved remained nameless. I know it was not intentional, but I couldn't help but think that this sends a signal that Filipinas like Jocelyn Dulnuan and Juana Tejada are not as important as the men.

The groups at the conference—Kalayaan Centre (Vancouver), Magkaisa Centre (Toronto), and Kabataang Montreal—are identified with the Left, however their members did not seem to be as militant as activists in the Philippines. But I suppose their links with the Left have had an effect on their relationships with other groups in the Filipino community. I have, in fact, avoided going to certain events in the past because I perceived them to be supporting armed revolution in the Philippines. But I think I'll be getting more involved with the Magkaisa Centre.

If you are thinking of migrating to Canada or would just like to know more about the state of Filipinos in Canada today, take a look at the following websites, reports and blog posts:

2006 Census - Visible minority groups
Statistics Canada

A Profile of Filipinos in Canada (2001)
Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples

The Canadian Encyclopedia

Seeking a Better Life Abroad: A Study of Filipinos in Canada 1957-2007 (2008; order online)
Eleanor del Rio-Laquian and Aprodicio A. Laquian

"Deskilling across the Generations: Reunification among Transnational Filipino Families in Vancouver" (2008; pdf)
Geraldine Pratt, UBC and the Phillippine Women Centre of BC

"Between Homes: Displacement and Belonging for Second Generation Filipino-Canadian Youths" (2002; pdf)
Geraldine Pratt, University of British Columbia

"Canada: The New Frontier for Filipino Mail-Order Brides" (2000)
Philippine Women Centre of British Columbia

"What's Happening, Canadian Dollar?" (2008)
An Adobo Lover In Canada

"Personal view of Filipinos in Canada" (2008)
The nth Time

"Filipinos in Canada" (2008)
alex felipe photography

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