Pilipino Express • Feb 16 2024

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Volume 20 • No. 4 • February 16 - 29, 2024

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Bea Alonzo


MB facing highest out-migration rates

Manitoba has welcomed thousands of newcomers and their families to the province through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) since it was launched in 1998. And although many consider the MPNP an easier pathway than the federal stream to live and work in Canada, Manitoba Labour and Immigration Minister Malaya Marcelino says the province is facing the highest outmigration rates that we’ve seen in two decades. Pilipino Express (PE) writer and CKJS 92.7 FM Afternoon Pasada host Lucille NolascoGarrido recently interviewed See MANITOBA p4

Manitoba Labour and Immigration Minister Malaya Marcelino at the launch of Immigrate Parkland initiative in Dauphin, Manitoba. Photo by Tracey Goncalves

Harmony in the Heart of Winnipeg Musica Singers and MY Band unite for memorable “Music in Our Hearts” concert

Filipino classics, pop hits, and French melodies were performed by Musica Singers and MY Band in Music in Our Hearts at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain last February 10. Photo by Rollan Temporosa Photography. See story on p15.



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FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024

FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024




MANITOBA... From page 1

Minister Marcelino about the MPNP and the Labour Market Impact Assessment or LMIA. PE: Many people say that the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program is a somewhat easier pathway to immigrate to Canada compared to the federal pathway. Do you think they have a point there? Minister Marcelino: I think that is true. I think the Manitoba point system is slightly lower and we certainly find that federally, there’s a lot of newcomers that go to the major centres in Canada like Vancouver and Toronto. In Manitoba we do have to work a little harder to attract the best and the brightest from around the world. But certainly, there’s a lot of interest from folks travelling to Manitoba to visit and also to settle permanently. So, I’m really proud there’s a lot of Filipinos here, we have a very vibrant Filipino community here. There are a hundredthousand people strong that’s part of our Filipino community here in Manitoba. So that’s great. PE: What are the different ways or streams through which someone can immigrate and settle here in the province or in Canada? Minister Marcelino: Currently we have the Skilled Workers in Manitoba stream. We also have the Internationally Educated Students stream and then we have other kinds of streams like the ones based on rural communities. They can also choose folks as newcomers to Manitoba and, employers can also choose newcomers. But the Skilled Workers Overseas Stream is something that I would like to focus on in the future. These are people coming from other countries like the Philippines, who have had some kind of post-secondary education, they had some kind of work experience that’s related to their education or skilled trade. And they have a strong Manitoba tie, they have a family connection or a very good family friend, something like that. And those are the types of people, the types of families that we are looking for to settle in Manitoba permanently. That’s the Skilled Workers Overseas stream. PE: It was in the news recently that the next intake of applicants will give preference to people with close family ties in the province. How does that work? Or how will it affect the regular process of taking in applicants?

PILIPINO EXPRESS Minister Marcelino: So, unfortunately in the last little while, Manitoba is facing the highest out-migration rates that we’ve seen in two decades. What happens is, they come here as newcomers, they have permanent residency, and then they leave. They leave to go to British Columbia, or Alberta, or Ontario. This is a big drain to our economy, and we really need people, their skills, we really need to fill our labour shortages. And we really need these vibrant communities in Manitoba. So, when people leave, that’s not good. And so, we must address this out-migration that we’re seeing. One of the things that we are doing as NDP government, as for me as the Labour and Immigration Minister, is to focus on the triedand-true methods that we know work for retention. And that is to make sure that we are bringing in people with the skills sets that we are looking for, but they also have a strong Manitoba tie in terms of families. And we know that evidence shows that that’s a really good way to retain these newcomers here in Manitoba. Another thing that we need to work on though, slightly adjacent to that, is to remove unfair barriers to accreditation. For example, you are a nurse in the Philippines, and you try to be a nurse here, but you can’t. PE: Because they go through a lot of requirements? Minister Marcelino: Yes, we are not a good jurisdiction currently for getting their accreditation. So, they move to another area in Canada where they can do this. So, as a government, we need to address these unfair barriers to get their accreditation to practice their profession so that we can also retain people. So those are the two top priorities for me, as Immigration Minister. PE: You mentioned people from Manitoba moving to other provinces … I have long heard about a concern that if you get nominated by Manitoba to immigrate to Canada, you cannot leave the province within 10 years because you are somehow obligated to stay? Is there any truth to this? Minister Marcelino: No, that’s not true. In the Canadian constitution, you have freedom of mobility across Canada. That is a guaranteed charter right. There are, however, some exceptions, like when you must sign a waiver, pay a bond, if for example, you were recruited to be a rural

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Hon. Malaya Marcelino, Minister for Labour and Immigration and MLA for Notre Dame physician and you sign a contract to stay in the province for a certain amount of time. That’s different. There was a time before when someone “sponsored” you and that person guaranteed you. That person would have a little bit of a black mark on the application if that person has sponsored somebody and that person left the province. So, there was something like a “flag” on that person. But that was then. Now, I will be looking at different options on how to retain people. Obviously, we want to retain people who want to be here in Manitoba and make this a welcoming community so that people would love to live here for a very long time. PE: But currently there’s no stopping them from leaving? Like for example, they arrived here last night, then in the next two days they leave for Vancouver or Toronto or Calgary … so there’s no issue with that? Minister Marcelino: Not that I know of. You have the right to live wherever you want in Canada. That’s part of our freedom and rights. PE: Going back to the process of the MPNP, how many times in a


year does the government accept applications? Minister Marcelino: Well, your application is good for one year. And the province of Manitoba gets a federal allocation once a year. We find out how many nominees we can approve. The federal government determines that number. This is the jurisdiction of the federal government. However, in 1998, we did start this program for Manitoba, and we were allowed by the federal government, through this agreement, to have this Provincial Nominee Program if it focuses on the economic needs of Manitoba. PE: Do other provinces have Nominee Programs too? Minister Marcelino: Yes, the Maritimes do, Saskatchewan. But Manitoba was a pioneer and we helped start this Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. And there was a big boom in the 2000s under Premier Gary Doer. There were so many provincial nominees at that time. And the numbers were again doubled under Premier Greg Selinger. But over the last years, those numbers started to go down as I mentioned.


But under new Premier Kinew, the mandate under this Premier is to again increase those immigration numbers and to have a special focus on family reunification. And for me as Minister, I would like to eventually look overseas to places like the Philippines to get most of our nominees just like we did in the 2000s where you had a very, very successful Provincial Nominee Program, and very high retention rates. And that was due to the family connection component. PE: A labour issue I would like to ask about is the LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment. I know this is a federal program, but how is Manitoba faring in regard to this, as compared with other provinces? Minister Marcelino: The federal government can allow people into the country as tourists, international students, as temporary foreign workers, as refugees, as well as economic migrants. When people come as tourists, they’re not guaranteed that they will be able to get permanent See MANITOBA p5

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IRCC announces number of 2023 arrivals In the face of growing criticism of the numbers of new landings in Canada, IRCC has released the number of actual arrivals for 2023. According to recently reported numbers, 471,550 new permanent residents landed last year. This number represents an increase of 33,950 over 2022’s number of 437,600. The number of actual landings exceeds the Immigration Levels Plan 20232025, which planned to welcome 465,000. The number of landings includes landings from Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Programs, and their accompanying spouses/partners and dependent children. The total included the number of final decisions made on applications. 1,646,300 applications were finalized including extensions, which represented an increase

MANITOBA... From page 4

residence. [But] sometimes, because we have people like recruiters, consultants who will try to sell that concept, and that’s actually fraud. They are not supposed to do that. So that’s not good for the tourist, and that is not how it’s supposed to work. PE: Sadly, a lot of people hoped or assumed that when the government opened the idea of coming to Canada as tourists and being able to work while in the country. They thought it’s that easy, but it is not. Minister Marcelino: No, it’s not that easy. And what we’re seeing is there’s a lot of vulnerable workers. They’re going to come here, some people will be paying tens of thousands of dollars to try to get an LMIA and become a temporary worker, hoping that one day they will become a permanent resident…but that is not the route. It is not a good route. We’re seeing a lot of disappointed people. There’s a lot of fraud. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a front door. There is an open door. Manitoba needs newcomers and we are working very hard. It’s just been a little over 100 days since I became Labour and Immigration minister, to try to formulate a policy that would make it somehow similar

of 503,330 over 2022. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program were included in this number. 1,089,600 study permits were finalized including extensions, which is beyond the recently imposed caps. For 2024 the cap announced is 360,000, which is a decrease of 35 per cent from 2023. The IRCC data shows that 293,000 newcomers became Canadian Citizens in 2023, an increase of 13,900 over the same report period (April – December) or 279,100. It is possible that the numbers projected in the Immigration Levels Plan will be adjusted downward with the recent steps to cut back on study permits and set lower caps. At present, the department is working to meet the target of 485,000 for 2024 with a long-range target of 500,000 per

to back in the 2000s where you can come as an international student, as an economic migrant, so you and your family will have access to immigrate. As long as you have the skills and experience that Manitoba is looking for, you have the education, and a family connection to Manitoba. We’re getting federal allocations of about 9,000 and up per year, so there is a good chance that if you fit that kind of description …that’s where we are heading towards. PE: Does the government have a website where you can find all the needed information about the MPNP? Minister Marcelino: Certainly, it’s immigratemanitoba. com. If you have a relative who you think can apply, then you can pass that along and it doesn’t have to cost any money. There is a regular application process and there is an application fee, but you don’t have to necessarily go to consultants where you end up paying thousands of dollars. Even your local MLA’s office can help you with some of those applications too. PE: Thank you, Minister Marcelino. By Lucille Nolasco-Garrido. For more information about the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, please visit immigratemanitoba.com.

annum. At present IRCC has not placed any cap on the number of permanent residents who can be landed in Canada, but there is a chance of this occurring as the opposition Conservatives question the ruling Liberal government who, themselves, are taking measures, to decrease arrivals primarily because of criticism about the negative impact on arrivals on the limited housing resources in the country. IRCC has already announced its intention to issue just 360,000 study permits per year although the cap does not include study permit renewals for graduate level students. The number of applications in process is something that we are all aware has been an issue over the past few years. As of December 31, 2023, the application inventory included 2,221,000 applications of which

949,500 were in the backlog. IRCC has been working to decease the backlog with a target of 80 per cent in all processing streams. The numbers are significant, but IRCC demonstrated its ability to manage the backlog by finalizing the backlog by 5.2 million. The client inventory includes 702,000 active permanent residents with a backlog of 308,900 or 44 per cent of the total inventory. Temporary resident applications show that, at present, there are 1,257,000. Of this number 590,800 work permits, study permits, and temporary resident visas are in the backlog. IRCC reports that 61 per cent of visitor visas (TRV) are currently in the backlog as compared with 18 per cent of study permits. In terms of the backlog, we can take the new Minister, Marc Miller, at his word. His department is working to reduce

the backlog and at the same time meeting the demands for increased immigration. Yes, it seems that the political winds in Canada are blowing against increased arrivals, but the problem is that the critics have forgotten that Canada needs immigration for a vibrant economy and that, as a people, we do not replace ourselves with low birth rates. I am not worried about the new arrivals, and I hope the anti-immigration fervour dies down and reason prevails. Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.

OUR HEALTH Heart attack symptoms in women are often different than men Sweating, nausea, dizziness and unusual fatigue may not sound like typical heart attack symptoms. However, they are common for women and may occur more often when resting or asleep. Unlike with men, pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest are not always severe or even the most prominent heart attack symptom in women. That’s why women need to understand their unique symptoms while also working to reduce their risk of heart disease. “It’s important to first recognize the risk factors of developing heart disease and then work to curb behaviors that might exacerbate that risk,” says Chatura Alur, M.D., family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. “Some factors play a more significant role in the development of heart disease in women than what are considered the tradition risks, such as high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure.”

A woman suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure is shown getting her blood pressure checked by a doctor. Above normal range for blood pressure has also been shown. Women should also control these risk factors to help prevent heart disease: • Diabetes • Mental stress and depression • Smoking • Sedentary lifestyle Certain conditions, including menopause, broken heart syndrome and pregnancy complications also may increase

a woman’s risk for heart disease. “Women of all ages should take heart disease seriously,” says Dr. Alur. “Many women tend to downplay their symptoms and not seek care until heart damage has already occurred and an emergency room visit becomes necessary. We want women to understand the importance See HEART p6



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Winnipeg Jets celebrate Lunar New Year Winnipeg Jets fans enjoyed watching their team end a fivegame losing streak with a 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canada Life Centre on Saturday, February 10, 2024. It was also the first time the Jets celebrated the Lunar New Year with members of Winnipeg’s Chinese community and a sell-out crowd of 15,225. Well known Winnipeg singer and Meadows West School Vice Principal Paul Ong sang the Canadian and American national anthems with the Manitoba

Chinese Choir. “The thrill was real when I stepped out to perform the anthem in front of a packed arena with 15,000 spectators,” said Ong. “There is something about singing your national anthem that makes you feel so much pride in being Canadian! I am deeply honoured to perform O Canada each time I am given the chance,” he added. A lion dance was also a part of the celebration in the concourse of the arena.

Paul Ong sings the national anthems

A lion dance in the arena concourse

Paul Ong and Jaxon Lee sing O Canada

The Manitoba Chinese Choir from the Manitoba Great Wall of Performing Arts

HEART... From page 5 of listening to their bodies, understanding what feels normal to them, and seeking care before symptoms become severe.” Heart Month is a great time to brush up on knowledge about heart disease in women. Here are a few facts you may not have known. Heart disease affects women

of all ages. The combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20% in young women, according to the American Heart Association. Risk also increases as women age. Overeating and leading a sedentary lifestyle are factors that lead to blocked arteries over time. Don’t let your age lull you into a false sense of security. Heart disease isn’t all about

self-care. Unfortunately, all the salads and yoga in the world can’t eliminate your heart disease risk. Family history often plays a factor. Knowing your heart health numbers can help. The American Heart Association recommends you start getting your cholesterol checked at age 20, or earlier if your family has a history of heart

disease. It’s also important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Women can have heart attacks without previous symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. When women experience symptoms of a heart attack, those

signs often are misinterpreted. Women’s symptoms often are vague — shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Other women experience dizziness, light-headedness, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, and extreme fatigue. If something feels off or not right, don’t wait to seek medical attention. By Amanda Dyslin. Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network

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Ipinagtanggol ni Ogie si Dominic sa isyu ng pera Hindi raw naglalalabas ng condo unit niya ngayon si Dominic Roque base sa tsika ni Ogie Diaz sa Showbiz Update vlog nila nina Mama Loi at Dyosa Pockoh. Kuwento ni Ogie base sa kaniyang source, “Madalas magkulong sa kaniyang condo si Dominic at dinadalaw siya ng parents (o) family niya roon. “May mga kaibigan si Dominic na tumatawag sa kaniya para siya ay i-console (comfort), para siya ay lumabas para somehow ay makalimot. Pero ‘yung iba hindi niya pinagbibigyan, ‘yung iba pinagbibigyan niya,” ani Ogie. Samantala, tinalakay nina Ogie at Mama Loi ang tungkol sa condo na pag-aari ng politiko. Inuupahan lang pala yun ni Dominic kaya marami ang nagdududa kung ano ang kapasidad niya para mabayaran ang renta nito. At saka binanggit ni Ogie ang ibang pinagkakakitaan ni Dominic tulad ng sariling production house. “Kung matatandaan ninyo nu’ng panahon ng pandemic nagvideo call kami ni Dominic at ipinakita niya sa akin ‘yung bahay niya, ‘yung interior ng condo at minsan nag-oopisina na rin siya ro’n. “Kasi doon sa mga nakataas ang kilay at naghahanap kung ano ang pinagkakaabalahan ni

Bea Alonzo at Dominic Roque - Nag-break na Dominic kasi hindi naman siya aktibo sa pag-arte… “Ang pinagkakaabalahan po niya ay ang kaniyang production house na kinokomisyon ng mga brands para gumawa ng AVP (audio visual presentation), something like Gabay Kalikasan at pinakita pa sa akin ni Dominic

‘yun na sila (with this staff) ang gumagawa mismo. “At nagpupunta sa naturenature para ipagbunyi kung paano alagaan ang ating kalikasan. Isa lang ‘yun hindi lang naman AVP ang ginagawa nila may mga digital ads din silang ginagawa,” ani Ogie.

Sundot naman ni Mama Loi, “Ay malaki ang kita do’n ha.” “Korek!” sabi kaagad ni Ogie. Blackpeak Media Production daw ang pangalan ng production business ni Dominic. “Yung iba kasi parang nilalait si Dominic, sinasabi nila kabit ng bakla, kabit ng mayaman,” giit ni

Ogie. Nabanggit na ‘yung tipo ni Dom na guwapo ay hindi raw talaga maiiwasang hindi pagdudahang kabit ng bakla o may gay benefactor. “Yun nga sinasabi na dyowa si Dominic na hindi pa naman See OGIE p12

Kris Aquino reveals worsening health condition Television host and actress Kris Aquino marked her 53rd birthday (February 14) with the revelation that she is living on borrowed time as her health condition worsens due to several autoimmune diseases. Kris was the guest star of the February 14 episode of Fast Talk With Boy Abunda, where she opened up about her currently deteriorating health condition. Boy Abunda previously said Kris requested him to read a very important statement regarding her health, but after some discussion, they decided to talk via video call. Their talk was aired live on Boy’s popular show. At the beginning of the episode, Boy admitted it would be one of his show’s most difficult ones to date as it would be Kris’ first onscreen appearance and their first time sharing the screen in years.

Kris and Boy were talk show partners for many years, best known for co-hosting the popular 1990s and early 2000s showbizoriented shows Startalk and The Buzz. The two saw each other for the first time in quite a while last October when Boy visited Kris in the United States, where she has been seeking treatment for several autoimmune diseases since June 2022. Kris, clad in pink, was calling from Los Angeles at one in the morning and she revealed the results of her recent blood tests. She revealed her hemogoblin count dropped to an alarming 8.7 (the average for women is between 12 and 16) and needed to take medicines that are not available in the Philippines. A photo of Kris’ face with a butterfly rash was proof that the Queen of all Media was suffering from a fifth autoimmune disease,

On her 53rd birthday, Kris Aquino shares her health update on Fast Talk with Boy Abunda. Photo: Screenshot from GMA Network’s Youtube channel and now she has fluctuating blood pressure as well as swollen knees and bones. “Pagkatapos ng episode na ito, maraming viewers puwede na maging doktor,” Kris managed to

joke. The host-actress continued by sharing her right lung is now affected with several light scratches as an effect of ChurgStrauss syndrome, her third

autoimmune disease. Boy then asked about Kris’ heart, which she said the muscles around it were swollen. Kris explained that going to the See KRIS p12

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Daniel Padilla renews contract with ABS-CBN Actor Daniel Padilla is still a Kapamilya as he signed on Monday, February 12, another contract with ABS-CBN, his home for 15 years. Present during the contract signing were ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak and executives, Padilla’s manager Luz Bagalacsa and co-manager and mother Karla Estrada. “Unang-una gusto ko po magpasalamat sa aking mga bosses sa tiwala po na ibinibigay niyo. At hindi lang po tiwala para sa trabaho, kung hindi sa totoong pagmamahal na ibinibigay niyo. Maraming, maraming salamat,” Padilla said. After the contract signing, the ABS-CBN executives thanked Padilla for fulfilling his words to remain a Kapamilya. “When we lost our franchise, may tinext ka sa akin, ‘Salamat po sa inyong pakikipaglaban. Nagawa niyo na po ang lahat. Ngayon ang Diyos na po ang bahala.’ So Deej, ibabalik ko sa iyo ang message mo sa akin. Masipag kang tao, isang artistang magaling at isang anak na nagmamahal sa kaniyang pamilya. Gawin mo ang lahat to be best version of you and then Diyos na ang bahala. I’m sure you will achieve bigger and better successes and you will become what God has destined you to be. Maraming salamat sa pagmamahal mo sa amin sa pamilya mo rito sa ABS-CBN,” Katigbak assured Padilla. Padilla has proven his supremacy in acting, music, concert, sports, endorsements and love from fans. Asked of his secret when it comes to success in his career, Padilla said: “Well isa lang naman, being true to yourself. ‘Yun lang naman ang ino-offer ko simula nang magsimula ako sa industriya na ito – just me being

Daniel Padilla myself na ipinapakita ko sa tao, hinding-hindi nagbago ‘yon. At siyempre sa trabaho, dedication, ‘yung dedication mo rin sa mga mga tao na manonood noon. Pagdating sa musika ‘yun mga

makikinig sa music na ‘yon.” Padilla thanked former girlfriend and long-time onscreen partner Kathryn Bernardo. “Siyempre hindi ko See DANIEL p12



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Heart Evangelista has a ‘wonderful relationship’ with Chiz Escudero’s kids Heart Evangelista talked briefly about her family life. Heart Evangelista shared how her relationship is with Chiz Escudero’s children, Quino and Chesi, as she highlighted the importance of her family in her life. The global fashion icon recently sat down with Boy Abunda for the debut episode of GCash’s Spot Light and one part of the interview focused on Heart’s family life. Heart said she has such a good relationship with Chesi and Quino. “I have such a wonderful relationship with them,” she said. Last December, Heart, Chiz, Quino, and Chesi jetted off to Japan to spend the holiday season together. Heart continued, “I didn’t give them the gift of life, but they gave me the feeling of really what love is and they really accepted me and for them to trust me and for Chiz to trust me.. it’s good practice, as well. Eventually, I’ll have my kids, so it’s good practice.” In the same interview, Heart emotionally shared how she is ready to be a mother. “It makes sense now. I feel like if there is any moment that I should be blessed with a baby it should be now,” she said. “I feel like I’m ready as a person and I will be able to give more because I’ll be able

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Dingdong and Marian’s Sixto is future heartthrob!

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Jose Sixto Dantes IV

Heart Evangelista with Chiz Escudero and his children to tell her more and share more wisdom,” Heart added. Meanwhile, Heart also emphasizes the important role her family plays in her life. “Family for me is everything. I know before syempre mayroong trials and tribulations but.. you always go back to your family,” she said.

She also mused on how her family knows her heart. “At the end of the day, they’re the only ones who will know your heart. Even if sometimes you forget your heart, they will remind you. Mawala na lahat, not my family,” Heart continued. By Faye Almazan/GMA Network

The only son of Kapuso Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera is growing up so fast! Their son Jose Sixto Dantes IV or Ziggy is growing up to be a handsome young boy. In an Instagram story post, the My Guardian Alien star shared a photo of her little boy looking dashing in his white button-down shirt and black cropped pants. “Ay sus Ampogi naman!” she wrote. In a separate post, Dingdong also uploaded snaps of his son and shared that the latter “rarely likes posing for photos, especially during family gatherings.” The actor-television host continued, “But today, he called the shot, ‘Hey Mama, take a

picture of me.’ “It must be the cropped pants, hehehe,” he wrote. In the comments section, celebrities such as Kuya Kim Atienza, Janeena Chan, Coney Reyes, Joross Gamboa, and Pokwang couldn’t help but gush over Sixto’s charming look. Ziggy Dantes is a future heartthrob! Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, who tied the knot in 2014, welcomed their son, Jose Sixto Dantes IV, in April 2019. The celebrity couple also has a daughter, Maria Letizia Dantes, who was born in November 2015. By Dianne Mariano/GMA Network

Flora of the Philippines is now at The Leaf Flora of the Philippines is now on display in the Babs Asper Display House at The Leaf in the Assiniboine Park. This new display is inspired by the lush tropical forests that define the breathtaking landscapes of the Philippines. Flora of the Philippines will showcase two orchid trees, bamboo pillars,

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a bromeliad tree, living arches covered in earthy moss, and more. An interactive discovery table will introduce visitors to fruit and plant material that is grown in the Philippines including the banana leaf, coconuts (buko), jackfruit (langka) and mangosteen (mangostino). Plant materials significant to the Philippines are

also be highlighted in the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome and marked with labels bearing the national flag of the Philippines. Featured plants include breadfruit, crepe jasmine, and the banyan tree. On now until March 17. Source: Assiniboine Park & Zoo FB page/assiniboinepark.ca

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Folk vibes: a Filipino-Canadian music fusion by Maryrose Villena, ACC News Correspondent

It was a lively night with performers from different backgrounds when the Filipino Music & Arts Association of Canada Inc. held their annual event Filipino-Canadian Folk Music Fest last February 3 at the Filipino Seniors Group event hall in Winnipeg. Alongside Filipino artists, Levy Abad, Daniel Tabo-oy, Dario Javier, Larry Velasco, and Jojo Yso, Folk Music Fest featured the special participation of Cara Luft, Keri Latimer, and Nanditha Selvanathan. Despite having a short window of time for the event, the organizers were successful with their program, which accommodated each artist’s numbers and held the audience’s full attention – a common challenge according to Ernesto Ofiaza, president of FMAACI. Over the previous years, the Music Fest exclusively featured Filipino musicians. However, this time after ten years, FMAACI collaborated with the local talents hailing from different cultures using various instruments. Some of the performers that night played traditional folk music with a ukulele, banjo, and an Indian slide guitar. Some even sang in their native language. The program also included a cowboythemed dance number by the allwomen group Retro Divas. FMAACI co-founder and Filipino artist Levy Abad serenaded the audience with songs portraying the community life of people here in Canada – particularly of his fellow immigrants – a representation of the lives in the Filipino community of over 75,000 here in Winnipeg. The Filipino-Canadian Folk Music Fest successfully concluded their event with a raffle of various prizes including of barongs, ukuleles, and appliances. Now that the event has embraced diversity and a multiracial performance, one can only anticipate what they will bring next year. – Photos by John Lopez

Participants, guests, and members of FMAACI at the Filipino-Canadian Folk Music Fest, at the Filipino Seniors Group Event Hall, February 3, 2024

Emcee Elmer Aquino with Ernesto Ofiaza, FMAACI president

Cara Luft

Keri Latimer

Daniel Tabo-oy & Dario Javier

Nanditha Selvanathan

Levy Abad

Retro Divas

Larry Velasco & Jojo Yso


OGIE... From page 8 napapatunayan. Tulad nu’ng condo na pag-aari ng isang politician na lalaki, ang sabi sa akin ni Dominic kinuha niya ‘yun nu’ng panahon ng pandemic kasi mababa ang upa. Uupahan lang talaga niya ‘yung condo,” diin ni Ogie. Dagdag pa, “May nakarating din sa akin na ‘yung isang bading ay business partner din niya na hindi ko kilala kaya kailangan makuha natin ‘yung list ng partners ni Dominic. “Kaya inilalabas ito ay sinasabi kasi na si Bea ang bubuhay kay Dominic, mas mayaman si Bea kay Dominic, may sariling pera rin naman si Dominic,” aniya pa. Nasambit ding may mga ineendorso rin ang binata tulad ng brand ng kape, inuming nakalalasing, brand ng soda at gasoline station. “Malaki rin ang TF (talent fees) ni Dominic, pero siyempre sa yaman at yaman ay mayaman talaga si Bea Alonzo kesa kay Dominic, pero hindi natin inuuri ang tao kung anong properties mayroon siya para masabing mabuting tao ang isang tao,” sabi pa.

DANIEL... From page 8 pwedeng kalimutan si Kathryn. Maraming maraming salamat Kathryn sa ating maraming taon na pinagsamahan. You know, hinding-hindi mawawala sa puso ko ang magaganda nating memories at ang ating mga adventures at journeys na pinagsamahan. Thank you very much,” Padilla said. Padilla also did not forget to thank his loyal fans. “I am just very truly grateful sa tiwala at pagmamahal. Sa mga fans wala na akong hihilingin pa just thankful to you,” Padilla said. “I get random messages kasama ang positive, negative messages magkakasama ‘yan and I truly appreciate that it


Binanggit din daw ng source ni Ogie na galante si Dominic kay Bea at hindi na inisa-isa ni Ogie kung paano naging galante ang ex-fiancé ng dalaga. Pinabulaanan din ni Ogie ang tsikang si Bea ang nagbabayad sa mga travels nila ni Dom. “Hindi naman totoo ‘yun, may pride o ego pa rin ang lalaki. Alam ni Dominic na may kaya si Bea pero para kay Dominic ay patutunayan niyang hindi ako after sa yaman mo, kaya nga willing si Dominic pumirma ng pre-nup, eh. “Tsaka ‘yung Japan trip nila nitong huli (bago maghiwalay), sponsored trip ‘yun kaya binabanggit nila ‘yung nagsponsor sa kanila kasi pinopromote nu’ng compant yung kanilang travel agency,” paliwanag ni Ogie. At higit sa lahat ang halaga ng singsing na ibinigay ni Dom kay Bea ay nagkakahalaga ng tatlong milyon base sa source niya. “More than 2 carats ‘yun,” sambit ni Mama Loi na inayunan ni Ogie. “Oo, galante si Dominic even to his family at habang nag-uusap tayo (ngayon) mahal pa rin ni Dominic si Bea,” say ni Ogie. Reggee Bonoan/Bandera

makes me human. So thank you very much. ‘Yung mga mensahe niyo ay masakit man – totoo. At ‘yung iba nagbibigay ng positive messages, ang sarap sa puso kung alam niyo lang. Ang dami ko ring natutunan sa inyo. I thought ‘yung experiences ko sa buhay ay marami na pero talagang hindi natatapos ang learning. Experiences in life it brings you down, it brings you back up, ganun talaga ang buhay,” Padilla said. Right now, Padilla said that aside from his work, he wants to spend more time with his family and friends. “I want to enjoy life. ‘Yun muna ang focus ko work and family,” he said Reyma Deveza, ABS-CBN News

Louis Riel Day – February 19, 2024

FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024


From page 8

restroom or attempting to put on weight would give her a heart rate of 120 beats per minute; one time while enjoying a soak in a bathtub, it went up to 146. “I could have a stroke at any time,” Kris admitted, acknowledging that the father’s side of her family suffered from cardiovascular diseases. “I would have been fine if hindi ako nagka-autoimmune [diseases].” Kris’ grandfather, Benigno Aquino Sr., died of a heart attack at 53. Her father, Sen. Ninoy Aquino, suffered a heart attack at 47 a few years before his assassination, and her brother, former President Noynoy Aquino, needed an angioplasty five weeks before he died at 61. She even recounted a health scare when she was 44 years old back when she was hosting with Boy. It was treated in late 2016, but only became a problem again after she contracted COVID-19. The next six months will be crucial for Kris because on February 19, she will try a new biological medicine that could save her heart, but she stands a big chance of suffering a cardiac arrest. Another risk is the new medicine requires the patient needing steroids – which Kris may have side effects from – beforehand to avoid anaphylactic shock and on the medication date, she won’t have any immunity and will be prone to more illnesses. The now-53-year-old also explained that the reason it is so difficult for her to fight off

Boy Abunda visited Kris Aquino and Bimby in the US, October, 2023. Photo: Kris Aquino’s IG her illnesses is that there are three pages’ worth of medicines that she cannot take – including common fever reducers like paracetamol and almost all antibiotics. She even said that the medicines she is allowed to take can be counted with ten fingers. “Bawat araw, especially now na birthday ko pa, pahiram na lang ‘to ng Diyos — binigyan ako ng bonus. So whatever days are left, kung anuman natitira, it’s a blessing,” Kris said. “But I really want to stay alive. I mean, sino ba naman gusto sabihin, ‘Handa na akong mamatay.’ I don’t think any of us can say that.” Kris revealed a promise she made to her youngest son Bimby, now 16, that she’d do everything until he became an adult. She also revealed her

contingency plan for what will happen if anything happens to her – two close friends and Boy himself would immediately fly out to be at her side. As a closing message, Kris thanked God because people she didn’t know or never met were praying for her, and promised she would not falter despite the incredibly small chance she’ll return to showbiz. She expressed her love for her three older sisters, her friends in the Philippines, especially those who flew to see her, and to Boy himself for the opportunity to talk. Kris ended with Valentine’s Day greetings and sharing her hope of reaching her 63rd birthday. Source: Philstar.com



FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024


FMAACI’s Filipino Canadian Folk Fest, ten years of music and service

Presentation of the Bayanihan paintings

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Ukulele Filipino Club by Levy Abad After ten years of existence, the Filipino Music and Arts Association of Canada Inc. (FMAACI) held the Filipino Canadian Folk Music Festival at the FSG Winnipeg Event Hall, 49 Euclid Avenue, on February 3, 2024. The festival, supported by the Province of Manitoba’s Arts, Culture and Sport in Community (ACSC) Fund showcased Filipino culture and heritage, multiculturalism, and the call for peace in a troubled world. FMAACI invited an array of artists who performed socially reflective songs. Among them were the group Double D, comprised of Daniel Tabo-oy Jr. and Dario Javier, who performed Bob Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind, and Nandita Selvanathan, who rendered a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, projecting Indian poetry at its best. FMAACI friends, Cara Luft, a Juno awardee singer-songwriter, and instrumentalist performed her original songs. Keri Latimer, another singersongwriter, guitarist, and regular performer at the Winnipeg Folk Festival also performed. Keri was a member of the Juno awarded band Nathan in 2008. Jeanette Kiamco Perez rendered a song on Philippine history – the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, its subsequent colonization, and the Filipino resistance. Jojo Yso and Larry Velasco did covers and one socially critical song of Asin – Balita. Retro Divas presented a fun dance number. Levy Abad performed a couple of migrant songs, depicting the journey and struggles of our

Jeanette Perez people. A raffle draw and ukulele jamming by the Ukulele Filipino Club closed the night activity. The event was graced by leaders in the community like: Jelynn Dela Cruz, MLA for Radisson; Mintu Sandhu, MLA for Maples; David Pankratz, MLA for Waverly; Perla Javate, Chair of the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba; Clarita Nazario, Past President of the Bulacan Association of Winnipeg and faithful promoter of Filipiniana costumes; Jun Isla, the tireless President of the Filipino Seniors Group of Winnipeg; and other guests. One of the highlights was the presentation of a Bayanihan painting that depicts the Filipino spirit of unity and collaboration, to Mrs. Nazario, PHCM President Javate, and to MLA’s Dela Cruz and Pankratz, on behalf of the Province of Manitoba in recognition of their leadership in culture, music, and arts. The artwork was drawn by FMAACI board member Jogin Tamayo, who is a painter himself. Approximately 200 attended the free event to enjoy and reflect on folk songs, as well as savour the great food served by Aida Champagne, a long-time leader See FMAACI p15





FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024

KROSWORD NO. 435 Ni Bro. Gerry Gamurot

PAHALANG 1. Ibinaon sa limot 5. Binigyang-laya 12. Pataba 13. Madali 14. Tagaalaga ng kabayo 16. Bulong 17. Ilawan 18. Unang nota 19. Hulapi 21. Segunda 25. Singko 27. Tupad 29. Binago 31. Hinuha 32. Makakaganti

11. Galapong 15. Aburido 18. Labo 20. Uri ng halaman 21. Kibo 22. Nerbiyos 23. Salita 24. Bulalas ng nasaktan 26. Ulirang babae 28. Anaki 30. Huni ng ibon 31. Tipo ng dugo


PABABA 1. Laos 2. Baling 3. Likha 4. Taling 6. Ihalal 7. Marka 8. Sakit sa balat 9. Baha 10. Nalipasan ng panahon

o t F w c w t w a



FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024



Harmony in the Heart of Winnipeg Musica Singers and MY Band unite for memorable “Music in Our Hearts” concert Singing together in the spirit of City of Song Winnipeg 150, a packed house of concertgoers belted out pop hits with Musica Singers and MY Band in their pre-Valentine concert, Music in Our Hearts (La musique dans nos coeurs), at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain last February 10. Music in Our Hearts is the second offering of Musica Singers for its maiden season. It is the first joint performance of Musica Singers and MY Band. Both performing ensembles comprise volunteer artists and staff. They are managed by Musica Singers of Manitoba Inc., a membership not-for-profit organization, which aims to showcase Philippine art, culture, and traditions in performances throughout Canada. Dante Aviso is the current executive director. The first half of the evening was devoted to the classics such as Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal, We’ve Only Just Begun, and French melodies of international renown like La mer, La vie en rose, and Comme d’habitude, popularized by Frank Sinatra as My Way. Nostalgic Americana, OPM (Original Pilipino Music), chartbusters from the 70s to the 90s, and selections from the Gen Z soundtrack completed the repertoire. Spotted in attendance were MLAs Jelynn Dela Cruz and Robert Loiselle, city councillor Vivian Santos, school board trustees Lois Brothers, Ann Evangelista and Perla Javate, and Honorary Consul Ronaldo Opina. “My family and I enjoyed the excellent performance. The variety of songs presented is a testament to the versatility of Musica Singers. It’s also a delight to watch them and MY Band together in one show! We have been attending Musica Singers concerts for over a year now and we have marked our calendar for the next ones,” said trustee Evangelista. Also present were radio anchor Donna Natividad-Arenas and former University of the Philippines Alumni & Associates in Manitoba chairperson Norman

FMAACI... From page 13 of Filipino seniors and one of the founders of the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival. The night was hosted by Elmer Aquino and coordinated by Ernesto Ofiaza Jr. who also did a song rendition of the Treaty 1 land acknowledgment with his ukulele, and Denby Perez as stage manager. FMAACI is composed of: Ernesto Nicolas Ofiaza Jr,

Garcia, several choir directors, musicians in the Filipino concert scene, young musical theatre artists, sponsors, advertisers, and community partners. Directing the Musica Singers are Oscar Pantaleon, former member of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and Lorenz Edward Sarrondo, former conductor of the UP Manila Chorale. The sopranos are Jesse Alcasabas, Milyn Armenio, Ymma Nuelle Concepcion, Katrina Dimatulac, Vina Dimayuga, Kate Tomo, and Storme Zapata, and the altos are Ira Alejo, Elizabeth De Leon, Jean Lopez, Ashley Medina, and Rowena Sta. Ana. The tenors are Elmer Aquino, Ren Bonifacio, Ariel Fernando, and Lorenz Sarrondo, and the basses are Dante Aviso, Emmanuel Dimatulac, Jim Lopez, Ricardo L. Manalang, and John Zedrick Reyes. Music in Our Hearts also enlisted the collaboration of Hannah Cachero (piano), Lorenzo Camus (violin), and Jett Russel Panganiban (piano). MY Band is under the leadership of Jim Lopez (keyboard). MY Band plays a wide range of music genres during its summer and fall shows around Winnipeg. The band members are Jesse Alcasabas (vocals), Crisanto Aquino (drums & percussion), Ren Bonifacio (bass guitar), Ariel Fernando (vocals), Paolo Camus (violin), Shawn Porteus (lead guitar), and Lorenz Sarrondo (vocals). Musica Singers is now preparing for several upcoming performances notably Together in Song, an intercultural choral festival on March 16, and its maiden season’s finale, Musica: An Evening of Kundiman and Philippine Art Songs, on June 8 at the Seven Oaks Performing Arts Centre. Ticket reservation inquiries for both events should be sent to musicamb.finance@ gmail.com. MY Band and Musica Singers are on social media as @MusicaSingersMB and may be reached via e-mail at musicasingers2019@gmail.com for more information.

President; Levy Abad, Vice President; Paige Dimayuga, Secretary; Jun Isla, Treasurer; Elmer Aquino, Auditor; and board members - Susan DimayugaArcega, Daniel Tabo-oy Jr., Kris Ontong, Jogin Tamayo, Jet Tabuena, and Jeanette Kiamco Perez. FMAACI would like to thank all the sponsors and partners. Without them, the event would not have been possible. – Photos by John Lopez

Musica Singers at the CCFM Art Gallery. First row L-R: Elmer Aquino, Ren Bonifacio, Ariel Fernando, Lorenz Sarrondo. Second row L-R: Elizabeth De Leon, Milyn Armenio, Ashley Medina, Ira Alejo, Jean Lopez, Katrina Dimatulac, Jesse Alcasabas, Ymma Concepcion, Vina Dimayuga, Kate Tomo, Storme Zapata. Third row L-R: Jim Lopez, John Reyes, Ricardo L. Manalang, Dante Aviso, Emmanuel Dimatulac, Oscar Pantaleon. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa Photography.)

The Pauline Boutal Amphitheatre of the Centre culturel franco-manitobain was packed for Musica Singers’ second concert for the season, “Music in Our Hearts,” which also featured MY Band. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa Photography.)

Musica Singers and MY Band are under the wing of Musica Singers of Manitoba Inc., a membership notfor-profit organization, which aims to showcase Philippine art, culture, and traditions in performances throughout Canada. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa Photography.)

Musica Singers and MY Band are auditioned community-based performing groups. Both ensembles hold regular rehearsals and special artist development workshops. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa Photography.)



FEBRUARY 16 - 29, 2024

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