Month: February 2016

Filipina poet wins Resurgence inaugural prize

Luisa Igloria wins highest English language single poem competition. by Ted Alcuitas Filipina poet Luisa Igloria has been chosen as the first prize winner of the Resurgence Prize Poetry Prize—the world’s first major award for ecopoetry. With a first prize of £5,000 for the best single poem embracing ecological themes, the award ranks amongst the highest of any English language single poem competition. The award ceremonies were held the Leighton House Museum in London last December. The judges were the former UK poet laureate Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. Resurgence is a long-running British magazine focusing on ecology. It has always made room for poetry in its pages, but this was the first year their parent nonprofit has awarded the prize. Founded in the spring of 2014 by the former UK Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, actress and green campaigner Joanna Lumley, and entrepreneur and environmentalist Peter Phelps, the Resurgence Poetry Prize reflects the founders’ shared passion for and commitment to poems that investigate and challenge the interrelationship between nature and human culture (read more on Ecopoetry). Igloria told the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle that “it was an honor to meet the judges as well as key personae who are members of the Resurgence Trust.” On the Poem, Upbringing and Future “I always find it difficult to “explain” my own work—but about “Auguries,” the winning poem, I guess...

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Two Filipinos team up in theatre production

Richmond, B.C. Ma-Anne Dionisio & Jovanni Sy team up in Closer Than Ever By Ted Alcuitas A versatile director who performs and writes and an accomplished singer/actress are brought together Gateway Theatre’s production Closer Than Ever, now playing in Richmond until Feb. 20. Artistic director and Manila-born Jovanni Sy moved to Canada as a baby and worked professionally in Toronto for 20 years an actor, playwright, director, and dramaturg. Ma-Anne Dionisio arrived in Canada as a teenager and parlayed her singing voice in a few short years, playing the iconic Kim in Miss Saigon catapulting her to artistic heights never achieved by a Filipina in Canada. Sy had a stint in Toronto’s Filipino community’s Carlos Bulosan Theatre as Assistant Director of Miss Orient(ed), nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Jovanni assumed the position of Artistic Director of Gateway Theatre in May 2012 and set to tackle the biggest problem facing Canada’s theatre establishment -the shrinking (white) audiences in a growing (multicoloured) Canada. The Gateway, an enterprise with a $2.4-million budget had been transformed from suburban roadhouse to regional theatre producing a six-show season. Sy found that Gateway’s audience did not look like the population that surrounded it, where the population is 60 per cent immigrants, and about half of the community’s total population is of Chinese descent. The people coming to the Gateway, however, are mostly white; Sy estimates...

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Regina’s Pinoy Heat restaurant is hub for community

Owners Pamela and Sonny Florentin inside their Pinoy Heat restaurant in Regina. (Nichole Huck/CBC ) Regina, Saskatchewan Restaurant is home away from home It’s not always that a whole Lechon will be a centrepiece of a Filipino restaurant but in Regina’s bustling Filipino community, the iconic roasted pig is a draw every Sunday. Pinoy Heat, located at 1769 Hamilton St., was featured in a recent CBC report that looks at the unique way the restaurant is trying to preserve the Filipino culture through food. The report says the restaurant is a hot spot for the Filipino community since it opened in 2012. While it is mainly a restaurant, it is also a ‘sari-sari’ store catering to practical needs of its customers while they eat. They can send money home or choose a Filipino craft for a gift. And while they’re at it, some would dish a tune in the open mic sometimes led by the chef Warlie Roxas who is also a good warbler as he is a good cook. Roxas worked for more than two decades as a chef in the Philippines before moving to Canada in 2013. He gained experience working at hotels and on cruise ships, picking up different tricks and tips along the way. Owner Pamela Florentin said visiting the restaurant on Sunday will give Canadians a good taste of Filipino food and culture. “We...

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Filipinos in Alberta get consular services

In a photo taken September 22, 2013 during a passport outreach mission conducted by the Vancouver Philippine Consul General in Red Deer, a mixture of those who are awaiting to be called and those who are “chance” applicants, clog up the hallway of a hotel. Passport missions, which require an online registration to grab a slot fill up quickly, forcing other Filipinos to come in case of vacated slots. PHOTO BY JHONG DE LA CRUZ Alberta Philippine Consulate opens in Alberta A new Philippine Consulate will open at the end of this month in Calgary, Alberta, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. Quoting Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sources, the report says the new consul is Julius Torres, currently Assistant Secretary of the department. He is due to arrive on February 23. According to Torres, the office will be fully operational by March and will offer services including passport application and renewals, notarials, document authentication, among others. The opening has been long in coming after years of demand from Alberta’s 120,000 Filipinos to have the service available. It will also serve Sakatchewan. Both provinces have been previously served by outreach services from the Vancouver and Toronto consulates. In a telephone interview by PDI, Torres said Calgary was eyed because of the concentration of Filipinos in the area. The city is home to more than 40,000 Filipinos according to the 2011...

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City in Focus: Winnipeg

City in Focus : Winnipeg By Ted Alcuitas We begin a new series highlighting different cities beginning in Winnipeg where we spent a week talking to personalities, visiting places and in a way, reconnecting to the place where we started our journalism journey four decades ago. We start with Fr. Geoffrey Angeles, the first Filipino-Canadian rector appointed to a major Canadian diocese. With Manitoba having a provincial election in April, we will feature the Filipino candidates that will be running including the two incumbents – Flor and Ted Marcelino. Winnipeg Filipinos have been extensively covered by the mainstream media that...

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