Filipino Community

*I was asked to do some video work for and so I don’t have many photos.  Here’s a few of those I did take…


The rally meetup area was at Toronto’s City Hall, seen above as reflected on a bus window–from a bus company called “Bourgeois Tours.”  No more commentary needed here.



Filipino Pride. 

You hear alot about it these days and that is good.  But let me play devils advocate for a second.

Why are you proud?

Are you proud that a literate and developing civilization was conquered by a small band of misfits from Europe? 

Are you proud that our lands were given the name of a long dead–and if you know your history–fairly inept Spanish king?

Are you proud that the name we call ourselves: “Filipino” was the name for Spanish people born on our islands?

Are you proud that our victory over these same colonizers were sold out to the Americans?  That they “bought” as one newspaper columnist at the time wrote “10 million niggers for $2 a head?” (more…)

Juana Tejada arrived in Canada in 2003 to work under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), a program that would allow them to apply later for permanent residence from within Canada. After completing the required two years to be eligible for permanent residence, Juana submitted her application where she was found to be eligible. She was then required to undergo an immigration medical examination to complete the immigration process, where it was discovered that she had terminal cancer.

Together with grassroots orgs Migrante-Canada she fought bravely and won. In the process she changed the laws around the LCP and helped ensure that others wouldn’t have to go through the same.

Unfortunately, her cancer still claimed her on International Women’s Day 2009. She is remembered as a hero. (more…)

Juanas body is welcomed home by family and Migrante International
Juana’s body is welcomed home by family and Migrante International

A ‘Strong Spirit’ Returns Home

by alex felipe, Special to the Star (21 Mar 2009)

MANILA – After six years, Juana Tejada finally made her long-dreamed-of-return to the Philippines yesterday afternoon.

But instead of walking into the arms of her parents, Tejada’s family watched as a forklift delivered her body, in a cardboard box, from a warehouse at the Manila airport. The nanny who became a foreign workers’ advocate died of cancer in Toronto on March 8.


Miarayon, Mindanao.

Miarayon, Mindanao.

Filipinos don’t celebrate Halloween, they instead have a day dedicated to the dead on 1 November, the Araw ng mga Patay [Day of the Dead]. It’s a holiday that is the perfect metaphor for Philippine spirituality: an imported Catholic holiday that hints at an animist past. (more…)


A few weeks back I asked Filipino youth to tell me what they liked and hated about their people.  During Kultura last Saturday, I did this again.  (more…)

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