Pilipino Express • Jul 1 2024

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Jillian Ward

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The singing, dancing, and acting are incredible. Ma-Buhay!

A New Musical opened Thursday night, June 27, 2024, to an enthusiastic audience eager to watch the Canadian premiere of this all-Filipino musical presented by Rainbow Stage.

The opening number, a street festival scene, features the entire ensemble in full force – colourful, sassy, and ready to take the audience on a high-energy musical ride.

This is the story of three young singers, Celina (Andrea Macasaet),

David (Daren Dyhengco), and Honey (AP Bautista), who aspire to win Star On The Rise, a reality TV singing competition that has come to Canada from the Philippines. Andrea Macasaet, best known for originating

Andrea Macasaet dazzles as Celina in this exciting new musical playing at Rainbow Stage until July 14!
all-Filipino show with its powerful cast! Buy your tickets now!

Available July 1, 2024

• $525 per month, all utilities included

• WIFI: $35 per month

• Very convenient, across Walmart, Sobeys, and Scotiabank

• Address: 999-211 Taylor Ave., Winnipeg

• Very safe and quiet area

• Call 204-292-5494

On Thursday, June 13, 2024, the Filipino Canadian Legal Network (FCLN) hosted its inaugural event in Winnipeg at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR).

FCLN was initially launched on June 1, 2021, and is a national non-for-profit association of legal professionals with Filipino

heritage. One of the association’s main goals is to foster connections among Filipino Canadian lawyers and legal professionals across Canada, and to bridge the barriers between our communities to improve representation of Filipinos in the law and on the bench.

Since the FCLN’s launch, they have celebrated Filipino Heritage

Filipino Canadian lawyers hold inaugural event in Winnipeg

Month with various in-person and virtual events across the country.

This year’s inaugural event in Winnipeg attracted 29 lawyers, four articling students, four law students and five NCA students.

The Filipino Canadian lawyers in our province rose to the challenge of planning and hosting this inaugural event. In fact, this event was free to attend for all the invited guests thanks to the generous support of the law firms

who sponsored the event.

The night began with greetings from many dignitaries including the Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench and the Minister of Justice for Manitoba. There was also a very engaging and enlightening panel with five local Filipino Canadian lawyers discussing “How to build a successful practice” before the formal dinner and networking event.

The FCLN was very pleased

that they were able to invite two dozen university and high school students to attend the festivities as a means to increase awareness about careers in the legal profession within the Filipino Canadian community and to grant these students an opportunity to meet with and ask practicing lawyers about their experiences. The enthusiasm of these students bodes well for the legal profession in the future.

In a June 21, 2024, news release, IRCC announced a change in services provided at ports of entry. In order to speed up the orderly movement of entrants at ports of entry, Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that foreign nationals can no longer apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) at the border. This change is effective immediately and will end the process known as “flag poling” for international foreign student graduates from Canadian schools.

“Flag poling” is an irregular entry process used by some temporary residents of Canada (study permit and work permit holders) to bypass the normal wait times involved in applying for a work or study permit extension by leaving the country and then re-entering to receive same day service. The Minister opposes this activity because it comes at the expense of other entrants. The process takes significant resources away from enforcement activities at the border and slows down the orderly movement of goods between Canada and the United States. The government of Canada prefers applicants to apply in Canada rather than leave and reenter. The department is working to provide a more integrated, modernized and centralized service to help speed up application processing.

The intention of the government move is to increase fairness amongst all applicants rather than allow some to circumvent the system by leaving the country and then re-enter from the American side. “While we continue to support and recognized the contributions of

international graduates to Canada’s labour market “flag poling” is unnecessary,” said Minister Miller. “The time and effort required to process applications from ‘flag polers’ takes officers on both sides of the border away from their crucial role in protecting the safety, security and prosperity of Canadians and Americans. This measure will help prevent this practice, while maintaining the integrity of our immigration system.” His words were echoed by Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Satety, who said, “Flag poling” places an undue burden on our border officers. With this change, we’re taking a measured approach to combatting the issue and putting an even greater focus on maintaining the integrity of our shared border with the United States.”

The ministerial release provided some quick facts to support the restriction on “flag poling.”

• In most cases the study permit expires 90 days after the expected completion of an international students study program. When an eligible graduating student applies online for a PGWP before their study permit expires, they can work full-time while they wait for approval on a work permit and receive an automated letter that can be shown to potential employers. When a work permit is approved, its mailed directly to them.

• Flag poling hours were recently reduced at 12 ports of entry at the Canada – American border to allow border services officers to process the large volume of travellers in peak periods and to focus on key priorities, including high-risk travellers and trade

“Flag poling” ends for PGWP applicants


• Other measures to address the flag poling challenge have included: speeding up processing times for in-Canada work permit applications; simplifying online application forms and processes so foreign nationals can continue working while they wait for a decision on their new application; and authorizing workers to start working for a new employer right away, rather than waiting to have their new work permit application

proceeded with before changing jobs.

The assurances of the government are somewhat comforting, and it is important to warn applicants that they must have multiple entry options because the “flag poling” process does not allow all persons the ease of re-entry. We are all warned by the departmental release to stay inside Canada and apply in the conventional way to avoid complications. This is the caution

for all users, especially the graduating foreign students.

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.


Clear and crisp tones of Jimuel Dave Dagta’s bandurria resonated throughout the Seven Oaks Performing Arts Centre in Musica, An Evening of Songs from the Philippines, the season finale of Musica Singers of Manitoba held on June 8, 2024.

Vancouver-based Dagta, who is in his second year as a full scholar in Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition at the University of British Columbia, came to Winnipeg to collaborate with the Musica Singers.

“I was thrilled but uncertain when I received the invitation just two weeks before the concert. While I was eager to help and contribute, I was unsure about my roles,” revealed Dagta. “However, after discussing the creative plans with the artistic director, my responsibilities became much clearer. I am incredibly thankful to Musica Singers for this opportunity,” he exclaimed.

With the bright and shimmering sound of his bandurria, Dagta played his arrangements of Ako Ay Pilipino with Lorenz Edward Sarrondo, tenor, and Usahay accompanied by Anica Warkentine on the piano. In old-time favourites Lambingan, Dungawin Mo Hirang, and Minamahal Kita sung by Musica Singers, he was joined by violinist Paolo Camus and young pianists Lorenzo Camus and Hannah Cachero

Dagta and Sarrondo were contemporaries at the UP College of Music. “Dave’s contributions to the successful concert of Musica Singers have been invaluable. His knowledge and skills in playing multiple instruments are truly exceptional and admirable,” said Sarrondo. “Despite joining the group close to the performance, he was able to provide significant insights and materials that enhanced the overall performance of the singers and musicality of the show,” Sarrondo shared.

Dagta has been playing the bandurria since his elementary days in Davao City. Today, he has degrees in composition from the University of the Philippines and Michigan State University under his belt. A multi-awarded composer, he arranged songs for the Musica Singers concert. He also performed as keyboardist with MY Band, played the saronay, and sang tenor with the choir in several

numbers of the program.

“I was particularly excited to sing Tagumpay Nating Lahat as I have known the tenor part since high school. This concert allowed me, for the first time, to display various facets of my artistry,” Dagta proudly said.

“Dave is a seasoned musician,” observed Jim Lopez, MY Band music director. “His virtuosity in playing the banduria and the saronay amplified the Filipino spirit of the concert and elevated the rendition of each song,” Lopez said.

Musica, An Evening of Songs from the Philippines concludes the maiden season of Musica Singers of Manitoba. The company is now poised to launch its second season with new repertoire showcasing the beauty and diversity of Philippine music, in keeping with its mission to promote Filipino arts, culture, and traditions.

“It is important to stay connected with our roots and identity. We have a rich cultural and musical heritage that we must not only advocate for during the heritage month but should remain a vibrant part of our daily lives even as a diasporic community in Canada,” declared Dagta. “Manitoba is fortunate to have the Musica Singers, a flourishing performing group that promotes Philippine music and culture with a high level of artistry.”

Dagta’s impressions are shared

Jimuel Dave Dagta shines in Musica Singers’ season finale

by Winnipeg actor, director, and producer Hazel Venzon who exclaimed, “[Your] performance was truly a wonderful experience! So many memorable moments, from the simplicity of the entire house singing the national anthem to the regional music that seemed to take the breath away from us

all. I was so impressed with the journey that we were taken on. The program choices were very good and offered dynamism and a sense of unpredictability, which I love,” she added.

During his short stay in Winnipeg, Dagta felt at home with the choir. He said, “Everyone is

supportive of one another, and I deeply admire their passion and dedication. The Musica singers are a joy to work with; you know you are surrounded by people you can trust.”

As Musica Singers prepares for its sophomore season, talks are underway for Dagta’s return to Winnipeg. Expect more collaborations of the choir with him not only as an instrumentalist, singer, and arranger, but also as a composer.

at University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He also earned music composition degrees from the University of the Philippines and Michigan State University.

Jimuel Dave Dagta is a full scholar in Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition
(Photo by Ronnie Yatco)
A suite of modern kundimans was woven into a story about a love letter reaching the hands of the wrong person. In telling the story, Musica Singers members not only sang but danced and acted as well. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa)
Musica Singers artists undergo rigorous rehearsals thrice a week for at least two months to prepare for a major concert. In addition to singing in harmony, artists are also expected to learn movement and choreography. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa)
Jean Lopez sang a soulful rendition of Asin’s modern classic Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran with MY Band music director Jim Lopez on vocals and guitar, along with Jimuel Dave Dagta on the bandurria.
(Photo by Rollan Temporosa)
Ako ay Pilipino and Usahay are two of the songs with bandurria arranged by Jimuel Dave Dagta especially for the Musica Singers.
A highly skilled bandurria player, Dave started learning to play the instrument as a kid in Davao City. (Photo by Rollan Temporosa)


From page 1

the role of Anne Boleyn in the Broadway production of Six: The Musical, Daren Dyhengco, and AP Bautista all have magnificent stage presence. Their acting, dancing, and singing are astounding and awe-inspiring.

Through a series of pop song and dance numbers, their story takes the audience from backstage to onstage, from the past to the present, and from Winnipeg to the Philippines. There is a variety of wonderful characters that motivate the audience to cheer on their favourite contestant as they chase their dreams to be stars.

The actors are all triplethreat performers, captivating the audience with their powerhouse voices and acting. Ma-Anne Dionisio, who originated the role of Kim in the Canadian premiere production of Miss Saigon, joins the cast with a dual role as stagemother Gloria and as a supportive pastor’s wife, Galinda. Arnold Tongol also plays a dual role as Ramon and the very conservative Pastor Nestor. Joy Lazo portrays the loving and supportive Lola Tess to her granddaughter Honey (AP). Rochelle Kives (Bea) and Robin Jordan Quintana (Zac) play the roles of emcees on Star On The Rise. Shauldon Santos plays Mark. Young actors Pierson Alibudbud (young Mark), Annika Malolos (young Celina), Jordan Sevillo (young David), and Kaitlyn Yago (young Honey) get to hone their skills acting alongside the more mature thespians in the musical.

Alba Manuel, Jerilyn Bulaong, Justin Bulaong, Dutchess Cayetano, Victoria Exconde, Johan Malolos, Nathan Malolos, Hazel Wallace, and Josh Calabio

are all in the ensemble.

Set in Winnipeg against the backdrop of a reality TV singing competition (think The Voice or American Idol), Rainbow Stage has been transformed into a modern TV studio. Huge screens, live camera operators, great music, and amazing dancers make every number in the show feel like its own music video. The various background players make for an impressive ensemble.

The songs are all great, with I’m My Own Star as the final number, a standout catchy song that keeps playing in one’s mind on the way home.

In the end, Ma-Buhay! A New Musical is an excellent show. The audience rose for a standing ovation.

The Creative Team

Ma-Buhay! A New Musical is directed and created by the very talented and creative Joseph Sevillo, who also wrote the book, music, and lyrics of the songs performed in the show.

Seanne Buenafe is the music director/conductor and piano vocal arranger. The beautiful costumes are designed by Brenda Belmonte and Alba Ignis. Co-choreographers are Lee Banaga, Sharlyne Chua, and Jayel Masangkay. The video design is by students in Sisler’s CREATE program.

As Rainbow Stage turns 70, it is making history with the Canadian premiere of Ma-Buhay! A New Musical with its original heart-warming song and dance spectacle for the whole family!

Ma-Buhay! runs until July 14, opening Rainbow’s season before the company mounts its version of Mary Poppins on August 15, 2024.

By Emmie Joaquin. Photos courtesy of Rainbow Stage

Andrea Macasaet as Celina and AP Bautista as Honey
Ma-Anne Dionisio as Gloria and Galinda
Daren Dyhengco as David
Robin Jordan Quintana as Zac and Rochelle Kives as Bea
AP Bautista as Honey
Annika Malolos as young Celina
Arnold Tongol as Ramon and Pastor Nestor
Joy Lazo as Lola Tess
Seanne Buenafe Musical Director
Joseph Sevillo Director
Shauldon Santos Pierson Alibudbud Annika Malolos Kaitlyn Yago Jordan Sevillo
Lee Banaga, Sharlyne Chua and Jayrel Masangkay


Jillian Ward, excited na sa Abot-KamaynaPangarap Bea and Carla lead

Magpapahirap o magpapagaan kaya sa buhay ni Analyn ang bagong karakter na papasok sa serye?

Excited na ang Star of the New Gen na si Jillian Ward para sa paparating na bagong karakter sa afternoon medical drama series na Abot-Kamay na Pangarap Pero paglilinaw ng aktres, sikreto pa kahit sa kanila na cast kung sino at ano ang role nito.

“Hindi ko lang po sure kung anong character niya or kung sino po siya, kung babae ba ito o lalaki, so nakaka-excite po kasi ang last na pumasok po sa amin si Miss Pilar (Pilapil) po, bilang si Madam Chantal na nagpapahirap ng buhay ni Analyn,” sabi ni Jillian kay Lhar Santiago sa panayam niya para sa 24 Oras Hiling ni Jillian sa bagong

Ruffa Gutierrez says her mom Anabelle Rama appreciates Herbert Bautista

After her “relationship” reveal with former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista during her interview with Karen Davila, Ruffa Gutierrez is still reluctant to share details about her and her new boyfriend.

The issue about their romance swirled around months ago, but Gutierrez decided to keep mum about it to protect her privacy.

“For me at my age, I’m turning 50 this year, I’d rather keep things quiet, and I want to focus on my personal life. And I believe that relationship lasts, it’s because it’s private,” she said, adding, “I don’t really want to talk about it so it’s better that we keep quiet, I don’t want to also hide it ‘coz it’s been a long time.”

Their relationship bloomed during the filming of the pandemic comedy series “The House Arrest of Us” starring

From the successes of Widows Web’ and Royal Blood, comes GMA Network’s newest murder mystery drama, Widows’ War Starring Box-Office Queen Bea Alonzo and Primetime Goddess Carla Abellana, under the helm of award-winning director Zig Dulay, Widows’ War will lead viewers through twists and turns, keeping them on the edge of their seats starting this July.

For the first time ever, two of Philippine entertainment’s queens come together in a thrilling and mind-blowing series. Bea takes on the role of Samantha/Sam while Carla plays Georgina/George. Their lives will turn upside down when they get involved with the wealthy Palacios clan.

GMA Entertainment Group’s latest masterpiece boasts of a powerhouse ensemble, including Tonton Gutierrez, Jeric Gonzales, Juancho Triviño, Jackie Lou Blanco, Lito Pimentel, Rita Daniela, Royce Cabrera, Lovely Rivero, James Graham, Charlie Flemming, Matthew Uy, Benjamin Alves, Rafael Rosell, and Jean Garcia.

Based on the original concept of RJ Nuevas and Ken De Leon, Widows’ War revolves around Sam and George, former best friends who will go head-to-head to find out who between them is the real sinner or saint.

Unveil the secrets and find out how love kills in Widows’ War. Global Pinoys can also catch the program via GMA Pinoy TV.

Ruffa Gutierrez, Annabelle Rama and Herbert Bautista
See RUFFA p12
Jillian Ward
Bea Alonzo
Carla Abellana
Rita Daniela
Benjamin Alves
Jackie Lou Blanco
Jeric Gonzales
Royce Cabrera

National Indigenous Peoples Day at Meadows West School

Every Wednesday afternoon, students who are self-declared Indigenous at Meadows West School meet to develop a stronger sense of identity, understanding, and pride in their cultures.

This year, the students in Maawanji’idiwag (they come together in Anishinaabemowin) – Meadows West School Indigenous Learning Group, requested to learn how to make hand drums and how to pick the sacred medicine sage.

Under the guidance of Matt Mousseau, one of the WSD Indigenous Ways of Life Teachers, 55 Indigenous students from Grades 1-7 made their own hand drums and learned how to identify sage and pick it in the

This learning came full circle when students in Maawanji’idiwag shared that they would like to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day by holding knowledge sessions and an assembly for the whole school.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21, 2024) the students in Maawanji’idiwag became the leaders and teachers as they led different knowledge sessions with confidence and pride.

The students in Maawanji’diwag shared the process of making hand drums.

From setting their intentions and offering tobacco in recognition and appreciation for the elk and cedar tree that gave their lives so they could make their drum, to

the steps taken to make the drum itself, to participating in a berry feast and ceremony to honour their new drum, and finally, learning an honour song and the protocols for taking care of their drum.

They also shared their knowledge on how to pick sage. First, by offering tobacco to Mother Earth for her gift, identifying male and female sage, and participating in a healing smudge using the sage

they picked. Each of the student leaders led a smudge for the entire school.

Of course, no celebration is complete without food to share as a community. Between the knowledge sessions and gathering together, students were treated to bannock and jam, made by Meadows West students.

The celebration culminated with a school assembly where students from Maawanji’idiwag

stood together in a circle in the middle to lead everyone with the honour song. The sound of the drums vibrated throughout the whole gymnasium, one beat at a time as they played it in harmony. The assembly ended by inviting the whole school to join students from Maawanji’idiwag for a round dance. The words of one of the Indigenous students stood out “Everyone wanted to join us and be with us.”

I remember a quotation back in my university days, “The masses are the real heroes while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant.” Guided by this idea, I integrated with the Filipino seniors at the Garden City Food Court in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to research their first-ever pay cheques in the 70s and 80s. I can research the information online or in the library and peruse the statistics through the years to produce a scholarly piece, but doing so would not give a sense of the lived experience of the community. Hence, I hang out with my folks to listen, learn, and ask them about life in the 70s and 80s. In the course of our conversation, they shared the following information about the hourly wage with the companies they worked for:

Wages per hour from 1968

1970 - Dantex Int. -$1.25

1973 - Mark Trend Upholstery

- $1.75

1974 - Rayovac - $1.75

- Silpit Industries Ltd. -$1.25

- New Flyer - $3.32

1976 - VARTA Automotive

Batteries - $4.00

- CP Rail - $5.21

- Nutty Club - $2.75

1977 - Solfit - $2.90

- Dealership - $3.00

- Post Office - $4.00

1979 - Manitoba Hog Marketing Board - $3.13

1980 - Burron Lumber - $3.75

- Autoline - $2.20

1982 - Security agency - $4.00

- Stage West Dinner Theatre - $4.00

1982 - Westin Hotel - $4.00

1993 – Motor Coach

Industries - $9.60

Peso devaluation and migration

I searched online for the exchange rates between the US dollar and the Philippine peso. Interestingly, in the period of dictatorship, the peso was continually devaluated, which in turn devaluated the labour power. From 1968, the Philippine peso was 3.9 to a US dollar. In 1970, it became 5.9; in 1971, it was 6.4; and in 1975, 7.2.

After seven years in 1982, one US dollar was equalto Php 8.5. When Ninoy Aquino was assassinated in 1983, the exchange rate was upped to 11.1, 16.69 in 1984, and 18.6 in 1985.

By 1986, the peso was further devaluated to 20.3. In 1988, a year after the Mendiola Massacre, it was Php 21.0 to a dollar, and in 1990, it increased to 24.3 (Source: IMF/ IFS). The trend of devaluing the peso continued unabated after the EDSA Revolution amid the reign of neoliberal policies that started in the late 60s, pushing people to migrate as cheap labourers.

The impact of labour-export policy

The majority of the compatriots

Wages from 1968 to the 90s

whom I interviewed shared that they left the old country for better opportunities to secure their personal situation and to help family members through immigration programs like the Special Manitoba Garment Worker Scheme in the 70s and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program in the 90s. Migration to countries like Canada was the prevailing condition, especially between 1968 and 1986 when the Philippines was under authoritarian rule. This was to secure and consolidate neoliberalism as an expression of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial status of the country. The 1986 EDSA uprising, which people thought gave hope of freedom and a new beginning was also betrayed by the blatant neoliberal policies such as the MediumTerm Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) or the Philippines

2000 of President Fidel Ramos. All these years and important events hastened labour export and brain-drain of the country. This demonstrates the pre-industrial and agricultural conditions of the Philippines and affirms the impact of its labour-export policy.

Union and surviving through the years

It is worth mentioning that most of the members of the community whom I interviewed regarding their first pay cheques were also members of unions in the early 70s. Most of them began in the garment industry and moved on to become members of unions like the Canadian Auto Workers, CP Rail, CN Rail, and others.

Most of the senior friends eventually found better jobs to support their families through the years. Nowadays, they usually hang out with friends at malls

or every other year, travel to the Philippines to visit relatives and help the community.

I want to thank the following for providing information on their hourly wage throughout the years (1968 to the 90s): Mateo Ramos, Jun Camaclang, Danny Henson, Jun Felipe, Reynaldo “Rey” Reyes, Raul Ibabaw, Esmeraldo “Esmi” Ledesma, Jess Lazo, Manny Joven, Romy Tabanera, Erik Sunga, Nestor dela Peña, Nestor Abraham, Nemesio Ronquillo, Nestor Nuelan, and Mario Macaraeg.

Levy Abad authored a book titled Rhythms and Resistance: Narrative of Filipino Musicians and Activists (1972-1994). Levy is also a singer-songwriter, poet, and migrant rights activist who has released four albums centred on the life and struggles of migrants.


From page 10

Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla back in 2020. Since then, Gutierrez and Bautista had steady communication and relationship.

“Everything’s good. I am enjoying my privacy. Even my mom was like - bakit ka nagaannounce, magpapakasal ka na ba?” she said.

Gutierrez’s mother, Anabelle Rama, in the past has always been vocal about her daughter’s affairs. From suitors to exhusband Ylmaz Bektas, Rama would always have something to say.

“That’s the story of my life, di ba? But I think with my mom now, she thinks I’m old enough siguro naman noh, hindi na siya masyadong nagme-meddle. But she’s always gonna be my mom and she’s always gonna be outspoken,” Gutierrez said.

But the big reveal, according to Gutierrez, is: “And also I think she likes, and she appreciates the person that I am dating now.”

Last Sunday (June 23), Ruffa celebrated her 50th birthday with family and friends. The actress uploaded a reel on her Instagram account and some of the guests spotted at the party were Arlene Muhlach, Karla Estrada, Sunshine Cruz and her boyfriend Bautista

karakter, “Ngayon naman po, sana may dumating na magpapagaan sa buhay ni Analyn.”

Nagbigay rin ng kaunting teaser ang young aktres tungkol sa takbo ng kuwento ng serye, at sinabing maigiging mas intense ito. Nagbigay naman ng pahapyaw si Jillian, na gumaganap sa karakter ni Analyn, sa relasyon nito kay Zoey, na ginagampanan naman ni Kazel Kinouchi

“Magbabati pa po ba talaga si Zoey at si Analyn, or kung ano pa po ang mangyayari sa kanila and siyempre po, kung ano ang gagawin ni Zoey ngayon dahil wala na si Ma’m Moira (Pinky Amador), wala na si Dax (Marx Topacio),” sabi niya.

Samantala, todo na rin ang paghahanda ni Jillian para sa nalalapit na GMA Gala na gaganapin ngayong July. Aniya, pinag-iisipan na niya hindi lang ang kulay ng kaniyang damit, kundi ang over-all look niya.

Pagkatapos ng Gala, tutungo naman si Jillian sa Japan para sa Sparkle Tour kasama ang co-star na si Ken Chan, at Sparkle stars na sina Ruru Madrid, Bianca Umali, Julie Anne San Jose, at Rayver Cruz. Makakasama rin nila sa tour ang komedyanteng si Betong Sumaya – GMA7 Entertainment


PHCM hosts annual Philippine Independence Ball

The Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba (PHCM) held its annual Philippine Independence Ball on June 22, 2024, at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg. The well-attended event provided a festive conclusion to this year’s Filipino Heritage Month.

“This year is special. We not only commemorate the 126th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, but we are also celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Filipino Canadian Bilateral Relations. We especially thank our Lt. Governor, Honourable Anita Neville, and our Filipino

Consul General from Toronto, Honourable Angelica Escalona, who are here to celebrate with us,” said PHCM president Perla Javate.

Members of the 2024 PHCM Coordinating Committee set the mood by entering the ballroom in colourful traditional Filipino outfits, dancing the Rigodon de Honor. The Musica Singers of Manitoba, led by conductor Oscar Pantaleon Jr., performed the Philippine and Canadian national anthems.

Official greetings were delivered by Lt. Gov. Anita Neville and Philippine Consul

General Angelica Escalona. Customary messages from Federal, Provincial, and City governments were delivered by Senator Flordeliz “Gigi” Osler, Manitoba Minister of Labour Malaya Marcelino, and Winnipeg City Mayor Scott Gillingham, respectively.

Rev. Fr. Geoffrey Angeles of St. Mary’s Cathedral led a thanksgiving prayer before the meal. Entertainment included performances by dancers from Magdaragat Philippines, who showcased traditional Filipino rural dances. Guests were invited

to join in the traditional dance steps, much to the delight of everyone present.

A special performance by MaAnne Dionisio, Arnold Tongol, and cast members of Rainbow Stage’s MA-BUHAY musical, led by producer Joseph Sevillo, added to the evening’s highlights.

The program concluded with a Friendship Circle, where guests stood arm-in-arm around the ballroom, passing the Philippine and Canadian flags to symbolize unity and celebrate the dual anniversaries. Paul Ong sang What a Wonderful World as the flags were passed. The event was emceed by Tyler Magnaye and Emily Salcedo. The 2024 PHCM Officers include Perla Javate (President), Gani Casalla (Vice President for Administration and Programming), Shell Baladad (Vice President for Sponsorship), Genelyn Navarro (Vice President for Media and Engagement), Jeanette Perez (Secretary), Trifona Bermisa (Treasurer), Garry Alejo (Auditor), and Genalyn Tan and Wilma Gaburno (Membership Officers).

By Emmie Joaquin. Photos courtesy of Ralph Figurasin

Winnipeg School Divison’s Senior Administration, Divisional Kookum, School Administrators, along with staff members
Standing (left to right): Perla Javate; Director of Operations Manitoba Opera, Michael Blais; Paul Ong; Wilma Gaburno. Seated (left to right): Janice Diduck; WSO Director of Marketing, Ryan Diduck; Myrna Ong. Photo by Ralph Figurasin



Ni Bro. Gerry Gamurot

10. Lisan 12. Nakakalamang 16. Pansulat 19. Winasak 21. Nahirang

23. Katas ng niyog

24. Sapantaha

25. Bisa

26. Piraso

27. Hindi sanay

28. Puwitan

30. Taya sa sabong

31. Bendahe

32. Irehistro



The University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association of MB inc. Is now accepting applications for its 2024 USTAAMI Scholarship Awards

Applicants must be:

• Of Filipino descent

• Have attended grades 11 & 12 in Manitoba

• Have a minimum gr. 12 average of 85%

• Accepted and entering first year in any post-secondary schools in Manitoba in September 2024

• Have community and volunteer work

2024 USTAAMI Bursary Awards

• Available to members of the USTAAMI who are currently upgrading their profession and to children of USTAAMI members

Deadline: September 30, 2024

For other requirements and copies of application forms

Please visit the UST Alumni Association of Manitoba Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/USTAAMI/ For inquiries email: ustaami@gmail.com

Noli Me Tangere – A new script

On June 19, 2024, for Philippine Heritage Month, history was once again made in the Filipino Canadian community with the premiere of a new script in Filipino adapted from the preeminent national epic novel, Noli Me Tangere to commemorate the birthdate of author and national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

The reading was made possible by a grant from the Government of Manitoba’s Culture and Sport in Community Fund obtained by the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba (PHCM) and the production was a collaboration led by the PHCM with Teatro Filipino Manitoba

(TFM) and the Knights of Rizal Winnipeg Chapter.

The new script was written by Ronald Mervin Sison, Teatro Filipino Manitoba founder and Artistic Director, who also directed the performance and read as Elias.

The production team included Denby Perez (stage manager), Jett Russel Panganiban (music), Brian Langlotz, Gemmarose Claveria, and Sharon Sison. The reading cast featured Alden Novallasca (Ibarra), Catherine ManuelFerrer (Maria Clara), Fermel Distajo (Padre Damaso), Elsie Grennier (Sisa/Mayordoma), Jen Lachica (Donya Victorina), Cez Lozada (Donya Consolacion), Rey Robillos (Tiyago/Alferez),

Niel Jusi (Padre Salvi), Deus Ducepec (Padre Sibyla), Apollo Miao (Basilio), Ann Evangelista (Tia Isabel), Ador Cabrera (Pilosopong Tasyo), Jon Malek (Dr. De Espadana), Marilyn Malek (Victorina), Gloria Agravante (Sinang), Jeanette Perez (Kapitana Tika), Hannah Cachero (Crispin/Boy), and Knights of Rizal Western Regional Commander, Sir Felino de Jesus (Tenyente Guevarra).

Special participants were attorneys Rachel Punzalan (national anthems and intermission), CJ Rona, and JB Casares who delivered the prologue.

Special guest performers were the MAFTI Rondalla who played pre-show and during intermission. The evening was graced by the presence of Philippine Consul General Hon. Angelica Escalona, Consul Ronald Opina, and PHCM President Perla Javate. The performance venue was the PCCM at 737 Keewatin St. Noli Me Tangere was completed by Dr. Jose Rizal in February 1871 and published in Germany, and over the past 153 years the novel has been translated and adapted into many forms. This is an original full Filipino script adaptation with English subtitles written and premiered in Manitoba.

In the Philippines, the reading and study of Noli Me Tangere is required in Grade 9 and its sequel El Filibusterismo is required in Grade 10. “Noli” together with its sequel “Fili” hold status as the national novels of the Philippines. A reading of El Filibusterismo was announced for Philippine Heritage Month 2025.

Photos courtesy of Gab Isabelo



Dance O Rama - Sweet Memories Dancingtofightcancer

Mel and Rochelle Buenaventura hosted Dance O Rama - Sweet Memories to raise funds for CancerCare Manitoba Foundation on June 8, 2024, at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM).

Together with their friends and sponsors, the well-attended event raised $4,200.00.

“I’m grateful to our Almighty Lord for giving us the opportunity to host this dance event that brought back the dance groups from almost three decades ago. I thank them for taking the effort to reunite their dance groups for this worthy cause. On behalf of my husband Mel Buenaventura, we salute these dance groups, our generous sponsors, donors and volunteers for making this event

memorable – dancing with one goal in mind, to help Cancer Care Manitoba Foundation.”

The dance groups that participated were Eva de Jesus’ Eva and the Sidekicks; Bonn and Letty Franco’s D’Barcad’s dancing friends; Nita Orbeta’s Golden Friends dance group; Diwata Cruz’s Happy go lucky dance group; Dory Valera’s Filipino seniors ballroom dance group; Beth Galindez and the Gendringen group 2 (The Hollanders); Eugene Ularte’s Eugene dance group; Lyn Tran and the Chinese Cultural dance group; Marlene Soliven and the Wehl Batch 12 (The Hollanders).

Sherelle Kwan, Manager of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation received the $4,200 cheque on June 22 at the PCCM.

Sherelle Kwan, Manager of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation received the $4,200 cheque on June 22 at the PCCM.

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