Author: Ted Alcuitas

Julius Tiangson: Historic nomination in the Greater Toronto Area

By Staff In November last year, Julius Tiangson, who came to Canada in 1985, emerged as winner in a three-way race for the nomination of the Conservative Party in the new riding of Mississauga Centre. For the 51-year-old financial consultant, the victory set a historic precedent for the Filipino community in the Greater Toronto Area. In an interview with The Mississauga News, Tiangson said that he is the first Canadian of Filipino descent to be nominated as candidate of a major political party in the Toronto metropolis. Tiangson also told the local paper that his priorities include advocating for job creation for young people. Tiangson relates in his campaign website that he finished an accounting degree in the Ateneo de Davao University in the Philippines. His accounting background brought him to Saskatoon in 1985 for a job exchange program. He became a landed immigrant two years later. Tiangson and his family moved to Mississauga in 2000, where he co-founded the Gateway Centre for New Canadians, which helps new immigrants integrate in their new country. “Through the Gateway Centre, I’ve successfully collaborated with over 40 community associations in Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area,” he relates in his website. “I have been very active in the Conservative movement in both Saskatchewan and Ontario,” the Mississauga candidate also states. “My involvement in mobilizing hundreds of volunteers has been instrumental in helping...

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Controversy dogs Filipino candidate Jojo Quimpo in Vancouver Kingsway

By Staff It seems as if the controversy surrounding Quimpo’s candidacy does not stop. On the day of the last all candidates debate in his riding which he refused to attend, a story on a local media revealed that he “signed” a pledge from pranksters Shit Harper Did (SHD).The pranksters talked the Conservative candidate into signing a pledge that he will not cheat in the October 19 federal election, which was fine except for one thing: the vow signed by Quimpo makes a promise not to do what “my counterparts have done…in the past three elections”, which means not cheating. It makes Quimpo seem to admit that the Conservatives didn’t play fair and square in the 2006, 2008, and 2011 elections. The SHD even had Quimpo on-camera gladly signing the pledge and saying: “Absolutely. As much as possible, we have to preserve the democratic process and respect it.” Quimpo’s campaign office was one of a number of Conservative election headquarters visited by SHD instigators. One of the mischievous activists would drop to a knee and, with a ring in hand, pop the question to candidates and staff: “Do you promise not to cheat in the 2015 election?” It is not clear why Quimpo signed the pledge knowing the pranksters were from Shit Harper Did. In September this year, a new Filipino community paper ran two lengthy articles critical of...

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Monterona exhibits works in Hongkong

Artist Bert Monterona to exhibit works in Hong Kong By Ted Alcuitas Vancouver artist Bert Monterona and artistic associate Mylene Maranoc will hold an exhibition in Hong Kong from November 15 to November 27 this year. The show will feature 16 tapestries to be displayed at the Centre for Community Cultural Development. The theme of Monterona’s exhibit will be the plight of migrant workers around the globe, and their culture and struggles. The artists believe that personal relationship will be substantiated by involving themselves in the community, and getting involved in different social and political issues affecting the daily life of people, such as peace and justice, global warming and the environment, socio- economic justice, unity in cultural diversity. The artists are aiming to raise HK$30,000 through the crowd funding site FringeBacker to finance the costs for their trip. Monterona is actively involved as an educator and cultural worker working in a wide variety of practices that includes design, illustration, painting, murals, sculpture and installations. His works have been exhibited in Australia, France, U.S., and Canada. He has won numerous international awards. Monterona’s works are strongly influenced by social, cultural, religious, spiritual, and political norms. “My ideas and inspirations come from my daily observation of the environment and events and interaction with the different people and culture,” he says of his works. His bark-like tapestries use techniques that he...

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Shirley Camia launches book in Vancouver

Shirley Camia’s The Significance of Moths honours women By Ted Alcuitas While the author’s motivation to write this book of poetry was the memory of her grandmother, it is also a tribute to the thousands of Filipino women recruited to work in the garment factories of Winnipeg during the 70’s. Winnipeg-born Shirley Camia launched The Significance of Moths (Turnstone Press) in Vancouver on October 8 as part of literASIAN, a festival organized by the Asian Canadian Writer’s Workshop Society. “I remember it still, the way the starchy lace collar on my dress scratched at my neck, the way my fragile grandmother, my lola in Tagalog, sat stoically to receive a kiss that didn’t come, the way I was afraid to touch her because she might break, afraid because she had become intimate with the ghosts of death. My mother and I were returning to Winnipeg after a two-month vacation in the Philippines. We had gone to visit my lola, and I was too afraid to say goodbye. I was seven years old,” the now Toronto-based Camia writes about what spawned the book. The regret that she was not able to say goodbye to her lola haunted her throughout her life. She remembers her own mother’s story about a Filipino superstition that when a person dies and a moth appears, that means the deceased is still with us, her spirit taking...

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