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MP RECHIE VALDEZ: Meeting the Woman of the Hour

In photo: MP Rechie Valdez, WFG-Agnes Miranda, Li Eron at Kalayaan Cultural Centre, Mississauga, On.  Agnes Pasaporte Miranda is a force to reckon with in Canadian community landscape. She and her sister Norma Carpio are a portrait of community service and volunteerism. Their unselfish endeavors in our community, especially in Ontario, made smaller organizations achieved small endeavors into remarkable successes with their unselfish support. Durham Filipino Fest in Durham Region is a tiny witty non-profit organization in its infancy established in 2019 in Durham Region. It has one general mandate; to bring people together. I will compare Durham Filfest as a premature birdling completely bald and unable to fly, obviously needing a rescue. On its infancy, it met a strong opposition from older generations of so called leaders and work so hard to mute it and kill it even on its first event, sabotaging it by telling people not to come and organizing their own event to refrain their own peop

Beating Covid Lockdowns With Backyard Gardening

  Canada's summer is suffocating! I can't remember where I was when SARS hit Canada.  Surely I knew I was working in one of Canada's largest Supermarkets and as I looked back at it, I wonder how I escaped that virus. This current pandemic is of course, the worst the world can ever imagine. The lengthy lockdowns made people irritable and vicious! Being confined to your own home had people felt depressed and hopeless. The social media represents the many opportunities of its eventual usefulness allowing us to see the outside world in the palm of our hands. Smartphone, for us, is our saviour. For a longer time me and my roommate quit watching tv shows and have our tv connection cut off. We opted on the use of high speed internet. Our cellphone has become our window to the world. I won't exchanged it to any other forms of communications nowadays. It has everything and that is when we knew the world has significantly changed. Internet is king! While the rest of the world are

My Youth Is Catching Up On Me

Science has proven  that young brains are still developing, therefore, making decisions are normally left for adults. Some are grossly underdeveloped up to their young adult life. It puts them at risk of falling into the cracks for bad decisions. Especially during senior high school and college sophomore years, life is topsy-turvy. These are years of wanton abandonment and self-discovery. Or it could be that someone's skeleton fell off the closet much early. Growing up and being in the juvenile bracket is when life's trajectory truly started shaping up. The choice is in our hands to go North or go South. In my case, I started confusions early in my junior high. The confusions led me to alcoholism, a stint at the nun's convent for discipline. I felt like I was trashed by my father and brother who collaborated in putting me in the convent. I think it was shameful because in reality, I was just lost and that all I need was someone to talk to which there was no one.

Flowers Will Never Forget To Bloom

  This bee feasts on our backyard flowers every summer...My camera just love it. The world looked bleak and unpromising for over a year now. The pandemic seemed to have offended us and robbed us of our basic human rights and dignity.  It exposes the ugliness of the world, its incompetent leaders are clad bare in the eyes of its citizens.  Advocates scrambled to make things right. Those who've lost their loved ones are quietly struggling to let go. I watched in horror the many deceptions and falsehoods circling around endlessly because social media has just given all of us an infinite opportunity to express ourselves, true or not. Sometimes our convictions are faint and weak and so we are fighting against science and truths. But that's life and that's what humanity is all about; a contradiction. Like musical instruments in various forms and sizes playing altogether, it produces a variation of sounds and yet beautiful. Differences of opinions nourishes confused minds. It open

My Tale of Early Motherhood

My niece, now a mother of her own... Before Mother's Day 2021 draw to a close, I would want to reminisce my juvenile years of becoming literally a mother for a month or so as I was asked to babysit a newly born niece in the early 1980's. I posted this story on my facebook profile but then I accidentally deleted it. Now I am putting this in my blog so it can be shared for those who find this early motherhood predicament amusing. At that time when my older brother's first and only child was born, it was also the time I was struggling with my own self not knowing what to do with my young life. And there he comes, my brother, coming home and wanted to take me home to his family in the city to babysit an infant. She was about 2-3 days old. I do not want it because now I cannot go where I want to go. I was a stubborn juvenile and wanted no part of anyone's problems. My parents spent time persuading me to help out and babysit until they can find a new nanny they can trust. And

Kitchen Crew To Interpret Original Visayan Song As Tribute To 4th Philippine President Carlos P Garcia

  Songwriter/Composer Joseph Malon Torrefiel Kitchen Crew music group young members are born in Canada, I presumed. Most likely, they normally don't speak Filipino dialect, if I am right. But past performances they've presented for our community events, especially our Durham Filfest Virtual Event, proved their versatility. Kitchen Crew sang the Philippine National Anthem in perfect harmony. Something that truly surprises me as production/director of my community or personal projects. They understand professionalism on their performances. KC members Now comes another challenging project for Kitchen Crew; an original Visayan song. How on earth this song project landed on the plates of our young Canadian performers? Because Kitchen Crew has proven their versatilities in their performances and the ability to take on challenging roles and they are passionate about their music. I believe on their ability to give justice to an important song in a Visayan dialect composed thousands of

Jarius Monzon Takes Us Back To Our Past

JARIUS MONZON  Photo: Krypton Quero Filipinos, whether they are born in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world, carry that instinctive love of music. As what Simon Cowell insists most times, "it sounds like karaoke" when the style and quality of singing does not met his standard. There is a deluge of singers among the Filipino communities even in Canada. Too much, too many...But in fairness, some does leave a mark when you happened to find one among the heap. As a community leader and organizer of meaningful events, I have an obligation to find the finest from our community's homegrown talents. I am like a search light constantly prowling to spot what I perceived as worthy performers. I don't remember putting someone that does not deliver because I believe in giving chances and opportunities to those who truly belong to the stage and deliver a solid performance. I also owe it to our audience to bring in the bests.  My last event which was virtual, showed tremendous

A WOMAN OF CONQUEST: Agnes Pasaporte Miranda

  Agnes Pasaporte Miranda's WFG Office hangs trophies and awards of a lifelong journey in business and community service. It was 2017 when she walked into the first Golden Balangay Awards and I knew she was somebody in the community they looked up to. As she settled on a table not far from where I was, most eyes were fixated at her. It could have been enough to pry on this woman and get a scope of who she was. But I am not a gossiper nor a backstabber who would desperately want to know a person to start something interesting or intriguing. Then as the awarding begins, there she was being called for an award. I could barely remember her name because when it comes to business themes, I am definitely drooling. That encounter of this woman happened again at Pinoy Radio studio where I was hosting a public service program. When she came out, I think I was introduced with her and Danny Orbillo who was co-hosting their show. It was casual, selfies were taken and then they left. Her name ki

Reported Nanny Stranded In Mexico Had Toronto Advocates Leap Into Action

Hon. Marco Mendicino On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Nicholas Keung , Immigration Reporter of The Star, run a story about a Filipino nanny having difficulty re-entering Canada from Mexico with her Canadian employer after Canadian government declared border restrictions to allow entry only for Canadian citizens, Permanent residents and Americans as well as trades and commerce to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the story here:  Filipino Nanny . The online article crossed my Facebook News Feed and so I read it in full. As a former nanny myself on my early years in Canada, I have been advocating for Live-In Caregivers in Edmonton, Alberta. I can feel the dilemma that Mary Anne De Ramos was facing, according to the report, over the prospect of being left behind because of border restrictions. Being left behind and being stranded in Mexico is scary for the nanny.  It dampens my celebration of feeling safe and secure as a Canadian now that the government is closing its borders to

Marlene Lucas & Merecyl Cauton: The Real Troupers Came First For Valentine Gala 2020

Merecyl Cauton (L) and Marlene Lucas are real troupers from the West. I have a bad habit of not sending scripts on time for an event. Often times it happened when I knew that the assigned master of ceremony is well-equipped to do the job. But at last Saturday's Valentine Gala at Tosca Banquet Hall in Oshawa, the MC came with the Runway Canada CEO in tow for one reason; the script. To think that Merecyl Cauton drove all the way from Brampton and then pick up Toronto's popular fashion show organizer which I called "The Matriarch of Fashion" I was a little embarrassed for failing to send the script on time. Real Troupers! Both of them are busy on their own personal affairs and here they are, finding time to show their ardent support to our community undertakings a little bit far from where they live. An experienced host picks up a horrible draft and make it all work. On instances that I don't want to spend time wondering if this person can do it or not. I no

The Enbridge Community Volunteer Program

Meet Cleofe Teves Cornelio- Enbridge Employee and Volunteer of Durham Filipino Fest 2019. In my life as a community volunteer and at the same time executing my passion as a writer/advocate, I met a lot of people. Some of them are forgettable, some eventually become allies. It is true that friends don't normally talk nor see each other often, but friendship exists. In my case with Cleofe, who contacted me at our first Durham Filipino Fest last September, she is a blast from the past. Organizing an outdoor festival for the first time is both exciting and streneous. And this is where well-meaning individuals come in to save the day. You have a couple of volunteers at various aspects of the event, many of whom came on the final day to assist organizers. Some, played special roles and spent hours on the planning stages up until the event is over. Organizers, normally like me, don't even have time to say thank you before that particular event folds away. As active members of