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Look: Toronto Declares June as Filipino Heritage Month

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Starting 2018, the city of Toronto will celebrate the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month thanks to Councillor Neethan Shan’s motion. This is the first time in Canada that Filipino Heritage Month has been approved by any level of government. It just seems fitting as the city is home to over 160,000 Filipinos and Tagalog being one of the top most spoken languages in the city’s neighborhoods. With more and more Pinoys moving to Canada, Tagalog is also the fastest growing language across Canada.

Last Novemeber 30, a reception was held at the Scarborough Civic Centre to formally announce the implementation of the Filipino Heritage Month starting on June 2018. The event featured speeches from community leaders such as Paulina Corpuz of the Philippine Independence Day Council, TCDSB Trustee Garry Tanuan, and the Philippine Consul General of Toronto. They shared what Filipino Heritage Month would mean for generations of Filipino Canadians to come.

Elected officials were also present in the celebration, including Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, MPP Raymond Cho and City Councilor Chin Lee. The evening featured a series of performances by Folklorico Filipino Canada, a dance group committed to enhancing Filipino Canadian identity by preserving traditional forms of dance.

The reception ended with Councillor Shan presenting certificates of appreciation to Filipino Canadian community organizations that supported the Toronto declaration of Filipino Heritage Month through letters of support that they sent to Toronto City Council before and during the presentation of the motion at City Hall.

“I congratulate all those individuals and organizations within the Filipino community in Toronto and around Canada that have been working for a long time for this day to happen,” said Shan, Councillor for Scarborough-Rouge River, Ward 42. He continued on to encourage the other provinces and the Federal Government to follow his example in declaring June as Filipino Heritage Month.

Through a celebration of Filipino Heritage, Filipino Canadians are being recognized for their important contributions to the city, and their many years of hard work that has helped improve the quality of life in Toronto, across the province and the country. Filipino Canadians, Torontonians, Ontarians and Canadians of all backgrounds will now have an opportunity to learn, experience and enjoy the rich heritage and history of the Filipino Community.

Announcement from  Councillor Neethan Shan

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