Pamulitika: Walo ang tumatakbo sa British Columbia

City of Kitimat’s Edwin Empinado is seeking a third term as councillor. (Facebook)

Updated: October 13, 2018, 9:33 AM

British Columbia

Eight Filipinos seek seats in municipal elections

By Ted Alcuitas

A total of eight candidates are vying for seats across the lower mainland.

Edwin Empinado is seeking a third term as a City councillor in the City of Kitimat with two women running for Surrey City council.

A native of Cebu City, Empinado became the first Filipino Canadian to be elected as a Municipal Councillor in British Columbia in 2011.

A graduate of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City where he finished  M. S. in Nursing.  He taught at his alma mater while managing his own business.

He pursued his career in nursing  in Dublin, Ireland, where he met his wife Doris, also a nurse. They have one daughter,Diana Mae.

In 2004, they moved to  St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver but soon transferred to Kitimat General Hospital the following year.

Neneng Galudo is an independent candidate for Surrey Council. The former college administrator, career and employment counsellor is currently an entrepreneur, college instructor and volunteer.


Neneng Galudo, Surrey council

Isabelo  ‘Bel’ Evangelista, School Trustee, District of North Vancouver

A native of Isabela, the 66-year -old Evangelista immigrated in 1980. A former Accountant in the Philippines he worked for 36 years as a School Custodian for the district of North Vancouver. Evangelista took over the radio program Tinig Pilipino when its founder, Ben Viduya died. He anchored the program from 1995-1998 and among his guests were Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Premier Glen Clark. He believes that serving in public office is a way of giving back to the community.

Narima Dela Cruz, Surrey council (centre) on the campaign trail. (Facebook)

Narima Dela Cruz is with the Surrey First Party whose mayoralty candidate is Tom Gill, a longtime member of city council. If successful, the realtor and mother of two will be the first Filipina to be in city council.

Dela Cruz is the well-known founding director of the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS). The organization has been running Independence Day activities for the past ten years.



Jojo Quimpo, NPA, Vancouver council

In Vancouver, Jojo Quimpo is running under the NPA team. This is Quimpo’s first run in municipal politics. He run unsuccessfully for the Conservatives in the last federal election for Vancouver-Kingsway.

“Jojo Quimpo was a fourth-year law student in the Philippines prior to coming to Canada with his family in 1996. Like many new immigrants, Jojo had to overcome similar challenges faced by first-generation Canadians. As he left his books behind and settled in Vancouver, he worked in a fish-packing factory to provide for the family. In between work and family duties, he continued his legal pursuits, eventually completing his paralegal studies and joining a premier legal firm soon after.

Canada is a country where everyone participates and embraces multiculturalism. For Jojo, this means sharing the music, culture, and diversity of Filipino culture with Canada. He is perhaps best known as the organizer of Pinoy Fiesta, a marquee event and showcasing all things Filipino in Vancouver.

Staying involved in the community is important to Jojo. He volunteers with seniors and community organizations, and with local churches. When natural disasters strike overseas, Jojo steps up and rallies his community to contribute to various disaster relief efforts. For his long-standing contribution to the community, Jojo was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2013.

Today Jojo is a successful paralegal professional of 14 years, and a well-respected community leader.  He is ready to expand his role by becoming a City Councillor in Vancouver, enabling him to serve the wider public.” (Source: NPA website)


Rod Belleza is aiming for a comeback in Richmond. (FB)

A Richmond School Board trustee from 2008 to 2014, Belleza Rod advocated for sound financial management and good governance. He helped establish the Audit Committee, which is responsible for helping the Board in financial reporting, information system and risk management, internal and external audit, and budget process.  He also advocates for more support for students who are in need especially those students who are negatively impacted by child poverty.

Belleza’s community service, spanning over 25 years includes the Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee, Richmond Community Services Advisory Committee, East Richmond Community Association, Richmond Multicultural Community Society, AMSSA, Rotary Club, Jaycees, and various Filipino and Canadian Associations.

As a community leader, he promotes the values of service, multicultural harmony and inclusion in our schools and city. He has received service awards from the BC School Trustees Association, Philippines Asian News, and the Filipino Canadian Business Directory.”

He is a fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and as has a Bachelor of Arts in political science as well as a Bachelor of Law from the Philippines, where he practiced law.


Tommy Raquero, Councillor, Port Coquitlam

Born and raised in the city of Vancouver by his Immigrant Filipino parents, Rustum and Lucilyn. Growing up under their roof, along with his brother Ryan, Tommy quickly learned that respect and having great family values are a few of the keys to being a great human being. It wasn’t until he met his future wife, Reni, that another key was to have the ability to give relentlessly without expecting anything in return.

A natural born leader, who has a passion for sports, health and youth development. Over the years, Tommy has volunteered his time to coach baseball and soccer, he also has help raise money for the Special Olympics and other various organizations. It is now time for him to step up his game.

Tommy envisions bigger and better things for our community. All generations play an important roll, but Tommy feels a focus on our youth is needed, to nurture this generation towards a strong and vibrant future.

Our community continues to grow and should be thriving when it comes to small businesses, and celebrating our community’s diversity. Tommy feels we need a council in place that is willing to fight to push the boundaries to create a community that is safe and supports it’s youth, small businesses and our diversity.

Tommy believes we can make a difference…Together…(Source: Candidate’s Facebook page)


Cyrus Sy, School Trustee, New Westminster Porgressives

Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and raised in Surrey, BC, as the oldest of three children of hardworking immigrant Chinese-Filipino parents from the Philippines, his multi-ethnic upbringing taught him the importance of working hard, a good education, a solid career, giving back to the community and strong family values.

As a husband of an elementary school teacher and a father of two grade-school children, Cyrus understands the ongoing challenges and struggles of the public education system, and the role and impact of school board policies on children and families. He is a firm believer of a strong public school system, having been through it himself, and understands the needs of students, teachers, and parents.

As a Simon Fraser University alumnus, professional engineer (P.Eng) and marketing professional working in a Top 10 BC technology company, his business acumen and leadership skills give him the foresight to understand the big picture, and the insight and focus to get things done. His problem solving and decision-making experience, and his strong communications and collaboration skills enable him to work with different groups in order to achieve a common goal.  (Source: Cyrus Sy website)

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