Filipinos have always have a custom of “bayanihan” while Canadians have always been known to be helpful people. Thus, Filipinos moving to Canada is simply a perfect fit as it would make a great community of people helping each other. Nevertheless, there are just those select few who would really go out of their ways and essentially become men and women for others. Pasasalamat is a thanksgiving gala honouring these community members and leaders who humbly volunteer their time, effort and energy towards the Filipino community in Winnipeg.
#PinoyCanada | Forum was nominated under the category “Immigration & Settlement.” The panel of judges was consisted five individuals who have constantly volunteered in the community themselves, including being members of the said panel. As a nominee, we were asked tough questions which we gave honest and definitve answers to. See below.
Q: Describe what you/your group does for the Filipino community in Winnipeg.
Our answer: #PinoyCanada is an online resource that is managed by a group of Filipino-Canadian bloggers in across Canada. As a group, we share the same passion of helping our kababayans reach their Canadian Dream by sharing our own real-life experiences. Due to a number of unanswered questions in different blog sites, we have decided to create this group, “#PinoyCanada | Forum” to provide a more accessible venue for all queries and answers regarding immigrant life in Winnipeg/Canada instead of various individual blog sites. This way, there can be conversations among bloggers and followers that can generate information and support for everyone.
We are actually reaching Pinoys all over the world including the ones who are already in Canada and are looking into getting their Work Permit, Permanent Residence status and/or Canadian Citizenship for free.
Q: How long have you/your group been volunteering in this way?
Our answer: It all started on Sept 11, 2014. At first, Direk Jonats started recruited passionate members to become administrators and what happened next just went on naturally for the group. When you share the same passion, it is easy to get along and eventually gravitate towards the same goal. As of today, we believe we are one of the most active online groups in Canada that deals with the immigrant life in Canada.
Question: Have you/your group been recognized in other ways, such as winning other awards, or being featured in any media?
Our answer: No, not yet. Nonetheless, we are glad each time a kababayan recognizes the work we have done and how much we have helped him/her. The closest to a recognition or award that we have gotten would be an almost perfect 5 stars (95 reviews) we have on our Facebook page accompanied with awesome comments.
Question: Share the top 3 accomplishments you/your group have achieved that you are most proud of. *
1. Numerous members have been saved from or have been helped avoid immigration frauds/scams. We are happy to hear from them because, in our little ways, we are helping change lives. This has been our goal from the beginning and we are very grateful that we are able to do what we love to do.
2. According to testimonies from our members, we have helped many in processing their applications for FREE. We all have been there when money is scarce and migrating is due to financial reasons. Being able to provide assistance and people willing to receive our free assistance is what keeps us going.
3. Within the last three years, we have reached 90,000+ followers in an organic way. This way, we know that we are being recognized by the people we aim to reach online.
4. Lastly, we consider the compliments from our members as accomplishments because these are, ultimately, the proof of our success.
Question: Why is volunteering important to you/your group? *
Our answer: We know how hard the application process for migrating to Canada is. The time, money and effort you would have to put into it is immeasurable. There are those times that you can easily fall for a scam because they promise you faster processing time and guaranteed approval. What most Pinoys end up with is losing all their hard-earned money and still haven’t received the approval they are expecting. We do not wish anyone to go through this horrible experience so we have put the responsibility upon ourselves to educate and assist our kababayans about migrating to Canada.
Being volunteers in giving information to our kababayans is a privilege because it gives us a sense of purpose in the community. We take the volunteering seriously because we believe that we have become subject-matter experts that people trust so we essentially change other people’s lives through sharing experiences and advices. That is something no amount of money can buy. Just because we are not being paid to do this doesn’t mean that people aren’t relying on us. This is a commitment we have made for ourselves so we can help our kababayans.
Question: What makes volunteering a rewarding experience for you/your group?
Our answer: Helping others and touching other people’s lives is very fulfilling that give us a sense of accomplishment every single time. Hearing positive comments and thankful testimonials is something we look forward to everyday. Volunteering gives us that chance to become better persons for others and for our own selves.
We would like to thank Annie of nominating our group. Annie is an avid member of our group and a volunteer herself. She has shared her experiences from working as a Nanny to becoming a full-pledge Canadian Citizen. Most importantly, we express our appreciation to Dalagita, the organizer of this event, Pasasalamat, for this recognition which will further fuel our passion to help the Filipino community in Winnipeg and other parts of the world.
Watch us live at Filipino Portal . See you!
January 27, 2018 @6-12pm
Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites
1800 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg Canada
Photocredit: Official Poster from the Organizer, Dalagita!
Our admins of the group, our great volunteers, Salute!
Maria de Luna – Guest Host (Free Online Sessions)
Jour our group, click here