For the third year in a row, the colours of the Philippines are once again flying at Grande Prairie city hall. A celebration took place with music and members of the Filipino community, Grande Prairie city council, and Deputy mayor Kevin O’Toole.
President of the Filipino Association of Grande Prairie and Area Neil Tuazon says means a lot to him and others.
“We’ve had members of the community living in Grande Prairie for more than forty years. I’ve had people come to me that have lived here for 43 years and ever since we started doing this, that marked the first time they had ever seen the Philippines flag fly at city hall.”
On Monday, the Philippines will celebrate its 148th year of independence from Spain.
“We had been a colony of Spain for 333 years. Then the Americans came and even the Japanese invaded the Philippines. Dr. Jose Rizal is our national hero. For the first time in Alberta, we had a monument unveiled of him in Airdrie,” Tuazon says.
Tuazon feels that living in an accepting community, where he and others can practice their culture is crucial.
“We’re really grateful to be here. People appreciate the things that we do and people take an interest in us. We represent the largest manpower in the City of Grande Prairie. If you see an establishment without a Filipino, let me know,” he laughs.
Tuazon extended an invitation to anyone that would like to attend the first-ever Filipino Music and Cultural Heritage Festival, on June 12 from noon until 4:30 p.m. at Muskoseepi Park.