Pilipino Express • Mar 16 2023

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The Philippines’ new ambassador to Canada

The government of Canada accepted the nomination of career diplomat Maria Andrelita Austria as Philippine Ambassador to Canada on February 21, 2023. The Philippine government nominated her to the post in Ottawa in December last year.

The ambassadorship is a momentous milestone in Austria’s long career in public service and international affairs, which started after she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Maryknoll College in the Philippines in 1986. Then she obtained a post-graduate diploma in International Relations and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the Netherlands.


Snow sculptor cheers up Winnipeg winter

Volume 19 • No. 6 • March 16 - 31, 2023 Publication Mailing Account #41721512
Ashley Ortega
Maria Andrelita Austria, Philippine Ambassador to Canada. Photo courtesy of Philippine Consulate General, Vancouver BC
Photo Credit: Ashley’s IG Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service’s Station 6 crew visit Ed Sanchez (front, far left) to see the snow sculpture he made in their honour. See story p4


From page 1

“I was in college when the Filipino people came together in what became known as People Power,” Ambassador Austria recalled. “As an active participant in that effort, I was very much aware that overthrowing a dictatorship was

the easy part, but the task of rebuilding the country would be arduous. I joined government in August 1986, a few months after earning my bachelor’s degree, inspired by the desire to help rebuild the nation.” The People Power Revolution, also known as the EDSA Revolution or the February Revolution, was a series of popular demonstrations in the

Philippines, mostly in Metro Manila, from February 22 to 25, 1986.

Before coming to Vancouver as Philippine Consul General in 2018, Ambassador Austria spent four years as Assistant Secretary for American Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila from June 2014 to midJune 2018. From 2009 to 2014, she worked at the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C, initially serving as political officer, and eventually as deputy chief of mission. She also worked at the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco from 1996 to 2002.

For her significant contributions to the Philippine Foreign Service, she was

conferred the Presidential Order of Lakandula with the rank of Officer by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She has also been bestowed the Gawad Mabini Award by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs with the rank

of Dakilang Kasugo. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Merit from President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Canadian Filipino Net. Courtesy:


Snow sculptor cheers up Winnipeg winter

On March 12, our kababayan Ed Sanchez was proclaimed the winner of the Best Individual Snowman in the Last Snowman Winnipeg Contest 2023.

Sanchez is an artist who is passionate in creating art with snow. Every winter, Sanchez creates snow sculptures that bring joy to his Winnipeg neighbourhood. He prefers to create in February because that’s when, he said, he finds “perfect snow” for his sculptures.

This winter, he created snow art that pays tribute to Winnipeg firefighters. Sanchez wants to honour them for the good work they do especially in the North End area. “I want to dedicate this to firefighters because they do their best to keep us safe,” he said.

His snow sculpture is a three-metre-tall head wearing a firefighter’s helmet. The structure is so big that it occupies his yard and part of his neighbour’s yard. This gesture to recognize the hard work that firefighters do prompted a visit from the crew of Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service’s Station 6 to see the snow art honouring them and meet Sanchez in person. They also sent out a grateful tweet on February 26:

Wpg resident Ed Sanchez

has honoured our fire fighters through his remarkable snow sculpture on Airlies.

It was fitting to have the crew from Station 6 (same as on the

sculpture’s helmet) stop by to pose for a picture and meet Ed himself.

Thank you, Ed!

The United Firefighters of

Winnipeg @iaff13th

For Sanchez, crafting snow sculptures is a joy and passion. He vows to keep his art going every winter. He has plans to widen his audience. Next winter, it is possible that not only his neighbours on Airlies will experience his snow art, but also the community at large when

Philippines working to stop human trafficking

MANILA – Cases of human trafficking surged to nearly 2,000 during the first two months of the year, almost the same number for the entire year of 2022.

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, in an interview on Monday, March 13, said trafficked Filipinos are usually taken via Thailand, then to Myanmar where rescue becomes difficult once victims are taken to rebel-infested areas.

“It is alarming, very alarming,” Remulla told reporters after an inter-agency meeting at Malacañang Palace in Manila.

He said involved agencies will focus on Southeast Asian countries.

“This is what we call modernday slavery. Kaya nga sana ang Pilipino, mag-iingat. Dapat mayroon tayong checklist bago gustuhin natin mag-abroad (Filipinos should be cautious. We should have a checklist before we

Phone: 204-956-7845

E-Mail: info@pilipino-express.com

Website: www.pilipino-express.com

go abroad),” he advised.

Remulla said the problem could have been compounded by the pandemic, which forced Filipinos to seek income from all means.

“Maraming naghahanap ng opportunity. Ang problema lang, ang Pilipino kasi, ang tingin nila ‘pag sa abroad, sobra mas mabuti lagi. Eh kaso wala kang depensa ‘pag nasa abroad ka na (Many are looking for better opportunities. The problem is Filipinos think that going abroad is always the better option and it happens that when abroad, they are no longer being protected),” he said.

The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) is mandated by law to coordinate and monitor the implementation of Republic Act 9208, or the AntiTrafficking in Persons Act, with the DOJ as the lead agency.

The IACAT conducts different projects geared towards


Editor-in-Chief: EMMIE Z. JOAQUIN

Associate Editor: PAUL MORROW

Art Director: REY-AR REYES

JP SUMBILLO: Graphic Designer/Photographer ALEX CANLAPAN:


the elimination of trafficking in persons, prevention of the occurrence of trafficking, the protection and rehabilitation of victims, and the conviction of trafficking offenders.

The Philippines has become one of the source countries for human trafficking abroad of men, women, and children where victims are forced to work in domestic, construction, and other industries.

Traffickers use the promise of fake job positions overseas to exploit migrant workers and Filipinos already working or living overseas, of which the UN estimates there are over 10 million. They usually target individuals who are either from indigenous communities or are living in rural areas. They usually offer jobs as maids, waitresses or entertainers to trick individuals into trusting them. This tactic preys on the desperation of many poor and








economically disadvantaged individuals who can be particularly vulnerable to trafficking.

Traffickers send some human trafficking victims in the Philippines to Manila, while they traffic others abroad to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The




Youth Contributors

Aksyon Ng Ating

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have worked recently to prevent this cross-border trafficking, but human trafficking rings are still a huge problem.

Sources: Benjamin Pulta of PNA and The Bergen Project

Columnists/Contributors: DALE BURGOS
Pilipino Express is a Winnipeg based news-magazine published twice a month. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s opinion. The Pilipino Express and Pilipino Sports Express are registered names. Reproduction of any content and/or ad design published in the Pilipino Express is not permitted without the publisher’s written consent. Materials submitted are subject to editorial discretion and the publication accepts no responsibility for the return or safety of unsolicited artwork, photos, or manuscripts. All rights reserved. Annual subscription rate within Canada: $65.00. For advertising inquiries, call 204-956-7845, or e-mail: E-mail: info@pilipino-express.com.
he sets up his snow sculpting artistry somewhere on the PCCM ground. Ed Sanchez receives the certificate for the Best Individual Snowman in the Last Snowman Winnipeg Contest 2023 from Jenny Hasenack Bru. Photos courtesy of Ed Sanchez

One of the more exciting provisions for visitors has been the opportunity for them to apply for a work permit from inside Canada. This provision was set to end on February 28, 2023, and many tried to beat the deadline by obtaining an approved job offer. If you were too late or did not obtain the needed job offer, do not despair. At the last moment, IRCC extended the temporary policy for two years. The new end date for the policy exemption is now February 25, 2025. The conditions of the policy are set forth below.

Foreign visitors who are in Canada as visitors and who receive a valid job offer will be able to apply for a change from visitor to work permit from inside the country. Visitors applying under this policy initiative, who held a work permit within the last 12 months, will also be able to request interim work authorization to begin working for a new employer.

Prior to this temporary policy change, those applying to work in

Temporary policy for visitor work permits extended to 2025

Canada were required to apply for their work permit from outside Canada, from the home country or a country in which they have had legal status for one year. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would have to leave Canada to be issued a work permit. The public policy benefits both groups in terms of application options.

In order to take advantage of the two-year extension, applicants must meet the following requirements. They must:

• Have valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply for the work permit;

• Have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) job offer or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment;

• Submit their application for an employer-specific work permit no later than the new expiration date;

• Have remained in Canada with status since application submission and intend to remain in Canada throughout the period

during which their work permit is being processed; and

• Meet all other criteria required.

The submission of an employer-specific work permit application can be done on-line using the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay, or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM5710). It is important to answer the individual questions correctly. Your present status would be “a visitor,” and you are to apply for a term over or under six months. When asked, “Are you applying under the Canada-USA-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or under a public policy related to work permits

as announced by IRCC for an employer specific work permit?”

Answer “Yes.”

Good luck with your submissions and let visitors know about the extension of the public policy option. The extension is a positive indication of the effectiveness of this measure. Canada should and is doing what it can to retain persons who chose this country and want to remain inside as workers. We need a steady supply of foreign workers, and the inventory of foreign visitors is one potential pool for applicants. They already chose the country and often have local supports. They only need permission to transition to work

permits, which in turn can lead to future permanent resident applications under provincial nominee programs or Express Entry. Good luck to all visitors currently in Canada looking for LMIA approved job offers.

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 204-2270292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail. com.


Tips to keep stress from hurting your heart

Everyone reacts to stress differently, and how you react can impact the chance of developing serious health issues, including heart disease.

Your body’s response to stress may include muscle aches and headaches, back strain, stomach pains, and other physical symptoms. Stress also can make you tired, disturb normal sleep patterns, and leave you irritable, forgetful and out of control. When stress is constant, your body remains in high gear for days or weeks, which can lead to more significant health problems.

Periods of excessive and pervasive stress can result in direct effects on health, such as high blood pressure and higher cholesterol levels. Indirect impacts, such as increasing behaviors and habits that worsen physical health and functioning, include smoking, overeating or engaging in less physical activity.

Can managing stress reduce or prevent heart disease?

Managing stress levels always

is a good idea when it comes to your overall health. Studies are underway looking more closely into how managing stress reduces risk for heart disease given the direct effects of stress on health.

Patients who have experienced a heart attack or stroke and

feel depressed, anxious or overwhelmed by stress should contact their health care team for additional help.

Beginning the stress management process

Reducing stress can take many forms. Understanding your

triggers and identifying your stress symptoms can start the stress management process. Then you’ll be able to recognize and modify triggers of heightened stress levels. The first step in altering your stress response is to identify stressors and ask yourself, “What can I stop doing, and what can I let go of?”

After you have removed or modified external stressors, it’s time to build specific management skills and techniques. Many things can be done to manage stress and build resources. As a psychologist, I typically ask people to adopt things from each of these categories: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

A few ideas to adopt include:

• Harness your strengths.

Reflect: “I feel most energetic, fulfilled and full of life when I am doing …”

• Take part in social activities.

Chat with a colleague or loved one or catch up with an old friend virtually.

• Give to others.

Try volunteering or performing a random act of kindness.

• Start something.

Be creative and try it for five minutes to begin with.

• Begin to journal.

Be mindful of your daily life.

Additional tips to help combat stress

There are several things you can do to relieve stress in your life, including:

• Exercise regularly.

• Challenge negative and catastrophic thoughts.

• Avoid smoking and caffeine.

• Eat foods with high nutritional value.

• Maintain a healthy weight.

In some situations, medicine can help. However, when it comes to stress, medication often is used as a last resort. Instead, look to manage the stress you are experiencing using relaxation or other learned stress reduction techniques. Also, make sure you’re not confusing stress for an anxiety disorder, which is a separate condition you should discuss with your health care team.

Can stress be good for you?

Yes, stress can be good for you. “Good” stress can come from weddings, a job you love, or your children. Many of the things you love also can be some of the most significant challenges at times.

Everyone needs a little stress for motivation to meet the daily challenges and ultimately promote optimal functioning in daily life. Stress that’s managed can enhance focus and concentration, move you to connect more with others and provide you with a sense of mastery, which promotes better health.

Lisa Hardesty, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Psychiatry & Psychology in Mankato, Minnesota. Courtesy: May Clinic News Network


Hearts on Ice – Philippines’ first figure skating drama

Hearts on Ice, the country’s first-ever figure skating drama on primetime television, is headlined by the fresh pairing of Ashley Ortega and Xian Lim. Completing the star-studded cast are Amy Austria, Tonton Gutierrez, Rita Avila, Lito Pimentel, Ina Feleo, and Cheska Iñigo. Adding excitement and inspiration to the series are Miss Philippines Earth 2020 Roxie Smith, Kim Perez, and Skye Chua.

Hearts on Ice follows the story of Ponggay who aspires to fulfill her mother’s broken dreams of becoming a figure skating champion. Despite Ponggay’s leg impairment, she works hard to be a figure skater to receive validation and love from her mother.

The creative team behind this inspirational drama includes Creative Director Aloy Adlawan; Content Development

Consultant Ricky Lee; Creative

Consultant Jojo Nones; Head Writer John Roque; Writers Liberty TrinidadVillaroman, Marlon Miguel, and Brylle Tabora; and Brainstormer Louize Andrei AlSheri

Catch the world premiere of Hearts on Ice under the helm of director Dominic C. Zapata this month on GMA.

Zero Kilometers Away

In a world of modern dating, can two friends find their way to meet their respective matches? What if the one they’re looking for is right beside them all along?

Mavy Legaspi and Kyline Alcantara are set to make hearts flutter again as they headline Zero Kilometers Away on various GMA Network online platforms. It is a six-part narrative series about a young man and a young woman trying to navigate the harsh, creepy, and more-often-

than-not hilarious realities of the online dating world.

“Makakarelate dito yung mga naghahanap ng true love. In this day and age, everything’s super quick and at the tip of our fingers – like food deliveries, riding apps, and even sa love, instant na via mobile dating apps. It’s a thrilling roller coaster ride getting to know different people and knowing the possibility of finding that one true love. But sometimes in reality

See ZERO p11

Xian Lim & Ashley Ortega Roxie Smith Skye Chua Kyline Alcantara & Mavy Legaspi

Maria Clara and Ibarra streams on Netflix starting April 14

GMA Network’s groundbreaking historical fantasy series Maria Clara and Ibarra will be available on Netflix Philippines beginning April 14. The series stars Barbie Forteza as Klay, Julie Anne San Jose as Maria Clara, David

Licauco as Fidel, and Dennis Trillo as Ibarra.

Maria Clara and Ibarra follows the story of Klay, a modern-day young woman who finds herself in the world of Jose Rizal’s novel, Noli Me Tangere

See MARIA p11

Barbie Forteza, Dennis Trillo & Julie Anne San Jose

Naglabas na ng kaniyang saloobin si Liza Soberano tungkol sa dati niyang manager na si Ogie Diaz. Sinabi niyang hindi totoo ang mga akusasyon laban sa kaniya.

Ayon kay Liza, naging maayos naman ang pagtatapos ng kontrata niya kay Ogie at wala silang naging away.

Sa episode ng Fast Talk ni Boy Abunda nitong March 13, sinabi niyang natapos naman iyong kontrata nila ng dating manager nang tama, nang maayos, nang hindi sila magkaaway, “Super nagkakaintindihan po kami,” ani Liza.

“Ang pagkakaintindi ko po suportado siya sa lahat ng gusto ko, ako rin naman po ganoon towards him,” patuloy niya.

Ayon pa kay Liza, sinuportahan pa raw ni Ogie ang plano niyang lumipat sa bagong management.

“Noong una natakot po ako sabihin sa kaniya na hindi na ako magre-renew, but his response was very supportive and understanding,” sabi pa ni Liza.

“So ngayon, nagtatampo po ako sa kaniya because he is saying so many things that are untrue,” sambit ng dalaga. “Why is he trying to say things to make people turn against me?”

Ilan sa mga kasinungalingan daw ni Ogie ay ang di umano’y hindi na pagkuha nito ng komisyon sa kaniya sa nakalipas na dalawang taon.

Ayon pa kay Liza, may natatanggap pang komisyon si

Ogie mula umano sa ilan niyang endorsement. Pero nararapat naman daw itong makuha ng dati niyang manager.

Nang tanungin ni Boy si Liza kung nakipag-usap na ba siya kay Ogie, sinabi ng aktres na idinaan ng dati niyang manager sa YouTube vlogs nito ang mga sinasabi laban sa kaniya kaya wala na siyang makitang dahilan para sila mag-usap.

“Anak pa man din ‘yung tawag niya sa akin, gagawin niya ba iyon sa mga anak niya?” ani Liza. “Would he have done that to his five daughters?”

Ayon kay Liza, mas mabuti raw sana kung kinausap siya ng dati niyang manager ng pribado sa halip na idinaan sa vlogs.

“Parang hindi niya ako anak kahit anak ‘yung tawag niya sa akin because he’s treating me like everyone else in the industry,” pahayag ni Liza. ***

Maraming kuwentong naglulutangan ngayon tungkol sa isang pamosong aktor na mukhang minamadali ang buhay

See LIZA p11

High court clears Vhong Navarro in rape case

The Supreme Court has dismissed the charges of rape and acts of lasciviousness against TV host Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro for lack of probable cause.

In a 42-page decision, the court’s Third Division reversed the ruling issued last year by the Court of Appeals (CA), saying the appellate court “gravely erred” when it granted the appeal of model Deniece Cornejo

“Here the prosecutor had reasons to doubt the veracity of Cornejo’s accusations, as the glaring and manifest inconsistencies pointed out in her complaints are readily discernible by common sense without need of rigorous examination or an expertise of a trial court judge for such purpose,” the ruling, penned by Associate Justice Henri Jean

Paul Inting, read.

“To suggest that a prosecutor turn a blind eye to such glaring and manifest inconsistencies — under the premise that the evaluation thereof would already touch on the complainant’s credibility to be solely assessed in a full-blown trial — would be to compel the prosecutor to satisfy himself or herself to mere allegations in a complaint, and abdicate his or her bounden duty to screen cases for trial, thus passing the buck to the trial courts,” it added.

The high court noted inconsistencies in Cornejo’s allegations which “are not trivial, minor, or inconsequential.”

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It said that under the circumstances, it “simply had no basis for reversing the prosecutor’s finding of lack of probable cause.”

The court ruled that the appellate court “substituted its own judgment for that of the prosecutor’s finding.”

Concurring in the decision are Associate Justices Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Samuel Gaerlan, Japar Dimaampao, and Maria Filomena Singh.

Court records showed that Cornejo filed three complaints.

In the first, she claimed that Navarro pinned her down and touched her private parts, but the rape was not consummated because her friends arrived at her condominium in Taguig City.

The alleged sexual abuse

MARCH 16 - 31, 2023 SHOWBIZ
Vhong Navarro
• Liza Soberano, inaming may tampo kay Ogie Diaz • Aktor, sawang sawa na sa ikot ng kaniyang mundo
Liza Soberano (Photo credit: Liza’s Instagram) See VHONG p11


From page 11 that one person you want to share your heart with might just be zero kilometres away from you,” says Mavy.

Kyline adds that viewers will also be on a rollercoaster ride. “[There will be] Paasa moments, ‘Magiging sila na ba?’ Or paasa in a way na, ‘Sana naman maging sila na.’ O ‘Lalayo ba ‘to?’, ‘Mami-meet ba siya?’, ‘Magiging sila ba ng mga meet niya?’” she shares.

Special roles are played by Kara David, Kuya Kim Atienza, Drew Arellano, Iya Arellano, Caitlyn Stave, Raheel Bhyria, Kaloy Tingcungco, Rosmar Tan, Jerome Pamulaklakin, and Gigi Locsin

The Kapuso digital series is written by Mario Banzon and directed by Maikel Cardoz


From page 9

She desperately tries to return to the present, but she can only do so after she finishes the story and learns her lesson.

As she wanders into the world of Noli Me Tangere, Klay meets Maria Clara, Crisostomo Ibarra, the Curates, the Ilustrados, and the Indios. The characters teach Klay the value of history, empathy, patriotism, and love. It will also open her eyes to the realities and misery of ancient Filipinos during the Spanish colonization.

Binge-watch Maria Clara and Ibarra beginning April 14 on Netflix Philippines.


From page 10

ng kaniyang career. Hindi na pala bago ang mga ipinakikita niya ngayon dahil noon pa man ay ramdam na ng kaniyang mga katrabaho ang pagkaburyong.

Sabi ng mga ito ay parang sawang-sawa na siya sa ikot ng kaniyang mundo, pinanghihinawahan na niya ang rutina ng kaniyang buhay sa araw-araw, sinok na sinok na ang magaling na aktor sa palaging ganoon lang na sistema ng kaniyang buhay at career.

Sabi ng isang source, “Palagi siyang bumubuntong-hininga. E, di ba, sign iyon ng pagkabagot?

Sign iyon ng pagkainip at pagsasawa na sa mga ginagawa niya?

“Kunwari, nasa taping or shooting na siya, matagal muna siyang mauupo, mag-iisip, parang ninanamnam muna niya ang time. Tapos, parang tamad na tamad na

siyang gagalaw, buntong-hininga siya agad.

“Parang kinatatamaran na niya ang cycle ng buhay niya. Gusto niyang magtrabaho, pero parang kumokontra na ang utak niya sa mga ginagawa niya. Kaya palaging mainit ang ulo niya.

“May nagpayo na sa kaniya noon na magbakasyon muna. Iba pa rin kasi iyong aalis muna siya, magpapahinga at mamamasytal sa ibang bansa, para pagbalik niya, e, para siyang baong tao na punumpuno na uli ng energy sa pagtatrabaho niya.

“Pero hindi niya naman iyon ginagawa, parang deadma lang siya, kaya affected noon ang work niya. Nabuburyong siya, buntong-hininga siya nang buntong-hininga,” kuwento ng aming mapagkakatiwalaang source.

Napakaaga naman kasing humarap sa mga camera ng sikat at magaling na aktor. Parang hindi niya na-enjoy ang pagiging normal na bagets niya. Trabahong-kalabaw agad ang inasikaso niya lalo na’t nalinya pa siya sa drama.

“Ang feeling kasi niya, e, kawawang-kawawa na siya. Parang robot na ang tingin niya sa sarili niya. Ganoon ang madalas na nangyayari sa mga artistang sikat at maraming work.

“Kinaaawaan nila ang sarili nila, ikino-compare nila ang sarili nila sa mga taong malayang nagagawa ang gusto nila. Feeling nila, e, para na silang makinang gamit na gamit na,” kuwento pa rin ng aming impormante.

Kaya hindi na bago para sa mga katrabaho niya ang mga ginagawa ngayon ng sikat at magaling na aktor. Ito na ang manipestasyon ng matagal na niyang gustong mangyari–ang maging malaya siya.

Da Hu ang aktor na ito?

Hula na!


From page 10

happened on Jan. 22, 2014.

Cornejo filed a second case against Navarro on Feb. 22, 2014, or more than a month after the alleged rape attempt.

Her third complaint was based on her two previous complaints.

State prosecutors dismissed Cornejo’s complaints for lacking serious credibility.

She appealed before the CA, which reversed the prosecutors’ ruling, saying “the preliminary investigation is not the proper venue to rule on the respondent’s guilt or innocence.”


$10k scholarship fund for Filipino music & arts group

The Seven Oaks Education Foundation (SOEF) Inc. approved a scholarship fund for the benefit of students in the Seven Oaks area in their February 15, 2023, board meeting.

The SOEF received a total of $7,014.29 in donations and proceeds from a fundraising event on October 29, 2022.

The foundation resolved that “the SOEF top up the donations with $2,985.71 and, together with the $7,014.29 received, transfer $10,000 to the Winnipeg Foundation to establish the FMAACI-SOEF Music & Arts Leadership Scholarship Fund that will live in perpetuity.”

The scholarship fundraiser last year, dubbed ISKOLAR: Music and Arts Night, was initiated by the Filipino Music and Arts Association of Canada Inc. (FMAACI) in support of the efforts of the SOEF for more scholarships and bursaries for graduating high school students each year. It was held at the Seven Oaks Performing Arts Centre (SOPAC), at Garden City Collegiate.

FMAACI president, Ernesto Ofiaza Jr., opened the concert with welcoming remarks by

SOEF’s president Irv Simmonds

The event was emceed by Love MJ

The SOEF is an organization dedicated to providing the students of Seven Oaks School Division access to post-secondary education.

FMAACI is a federally registered non-profit organization that was founded in August of 2014. The association has served more than 250 local musicians and budding artists and conducted various music and arts programs including: the Filipino Folk Music Festival, Basic Song writing workshops, painting workshops, Rhythms for Peace, multi-cultural events, basic theatre workshops, ukulele workshops, and dance exercise workshops for older adults and youth under the Healthy Together Now program of the WRHA.

On June 30, 2023, FMAACI will spearhead a Multi-Cultural Gathering for Peace, Healing and Reconciliation with the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba, Indigenous groups, and different cultural ethnicities in line with the yearly Filipino Heritage Month celebration.

Photos by Danny Roman Acoustic Live in Winnipeg – main group performers, Jojo Yso, Patrick Mayuga, Rodel Olesco, Arnold Tongol, and Larry Velasco Jovelle Balani singer-songwriter Levy Abad – author, songwriter, and recording artist Ernesto Ofiaza Jr FMAACI president ALIW Soloistas – Filipinos Karaoke singers Reggie Caburnay, Thess Bubay and Elmer Aquino Daniel Tabo-oy and Crisanto Aquino DJ Feliciano – an alumnus of Garden City Collegiate Yaryna Chepiha and Mariia Balieieva perform Hallelujah with FMAACI president Ernesto Ofiaza Humous – an independent lo-fi alternative rock band that has released over 30 original songs. Jun Isla, FMAACI Treasurer sings Puff the Magic Dragon Keri Latimer – a JUNO award winning singer songwriter and performs an original song with Paramjit Singh Andy and Gabbie Empuwesto –a father-daughter duo known as Knight and Angel. The 12/21 – alumni of Maples Collegiate, they are newly signed artists of Black Sheep Records Manila and Viva Records Philippines. Roman, Rico, and Roque Maceda. ALIW with Larry Velasco Yaryna & Mariia Love MJ

Heel pain? It might be plantar fasciitis

“My heel is killing me!” is without a doubt one of the most common sentences uttered in podiatry offices worldwide. Heel pain can range from slightly uncomfortable to utterly debilitating. Most often, it’s caused by plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue extending from the heel to the ball of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by excessive stress, which brings on inflammation and, typically, heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis can affect

anyone. However, it’s most common in middle-aged, active adults. Other risk factors include obesity, occupations that require you to be on your feet all day and flat feet or high arches.

The primary signs of plantar fasciitis include excruciating heel pain when you take your first steps in the morning, recurring pain when standing up from a seated position and pain associated with standing for a long time.

The great news about plantar fasciitis is that it’s

highly treatable. Early detection makes the condition more manageable and prevents further complications. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to various problems caused by compensating for the discomfort, including knee, hip and back pain.

Nonsurgical treatment often has satisfactory results and includes:


Pain is the body’s way of warning you something is wrong. Listen to your body and

avoid activities that make the pain worse, such as running, hiking or dancing.


Your podiatrist will give you a list of stretches that reduce tension on the plantar fascia and help with healing. Tight calf muscles often play a role in heel pain.


Place ice on the heel for 20 minutes, three to four times a day. Ice therapy is a wonderful way to decrease inflammation and manage pain.


Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help decrease inflammation and speed healing.

Night splint

These sock-like wraps with built-in supports help stretch the plantar fascia while you’re sleeping or resting. A splint can

help alleviate pain experienced with those first few steps in the morning.

Orthotics and shoes

Adequate arch support is essential when treating plantar fasciitis. Discuss with your podiatrist whether over-thecounter or custom orthotic inserts are right for you. In addition, avoid going barefoot and choose supportive, hard-soled shoes, such as sneakers.

Surgical treatment isn’t recommended often and is reserved for those not responding to conservative treatment. To prevent recurrence of plantar fasciitis, stretch properly before exercising and wear supportive shoes if you’ll be on your feet for a long time.

Stephanie Kvas, D.P.M., is a podiatrist in New Prague and Waseca, Minnesota. Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network



Ni Bro. Gerry Gamurot


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