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PCCM celebrates 25 years

PCCM 25th

PCCM President Virgie Gayot (centre) flanked by guests of honour Tova and Larry Vickar (on her left) celebrate PCCM’s 25th anniversary with past PCCM presidents, representatives, and current PCCM directors. Photo by JDR Photography.

The Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gala dinner and dance at the PCCM on Saturday evening, November 25, 2023.

PCCM President Virginia Gayot and the members of the PCCM board welcomed over 300 guests who praised the elegant decor of the venue. The PCCM foyer was also tastefully adorned with rows and rows of delicious food, fruits and dessert prepared by chef Gerome Labial and his capable team of Ger Salakot Restaurant.

“Over the years, the PCCM has been the central hub for the Filipino community, and it will remain to be the (Filipinos) ‘home away from home.’ Everyone is welcome here at PCCM. We are a family that promotes inclusiveness, unity, and acceptance. We should uplift each other instead of creating division,” said PCCM President Virgie Gayot.

Mr. Larry Vickar of the Vickar Automotive Group and a long-time benefactor of the PCCM was the keynote speaker and delivered a very inspiring message.

“The evening was absolutely memorable in an extremely positive way, deserving of a silver anniversary celebration. I am convinced this is the new PCCM writing a new chapter with a new vision,” said Mr. Vickar.

The program featured congratulatory video messages from past PCCM presidents, namely, Resty Taruc, Rod Cantiveros, Lou Fernandez, Jonalyn Espero, Chris Santos, and Ramon Cairo. The other PCCM presidents who are now deceased were represented by their spouses who delivered messages on their behalf: Hester Taruc for Lito Taruc; Rod Cantiveros for Linda Cantiveros; and Leah Magsino for Dr. Romy Magsino.

Past PCCM officers, Jing Asperin and Nap Ebora, were also recognized for their years of service to the PCCM.

Resty Taruc, the first PCCM president who held the helm from 1998 to 2003, flew in from Toronto with his wife Rose to attend the event. “I wish to congratulate the executive officers and the board of directors of the PCCM for a successful 25th founding anniversary! I truly believe that the ultimate realization of the PCCM was through the Filipino Canadian Community’s collective efforts and dedication to a sustained achievement that each of us can be proud! Congratulations and carry on!” said Taruc.

Dr. Tricia Magsino Barnabe performed a special number to pay tribute to past presidents. Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham sent a congratulatory message that was read by Pt. Douglas Councillor Vivian Santos.

In her remarks, PCCM President Gayot said, “This celebration would not be possible if not for the determination, perseverance, and commitment of some concerned individuals and community leaders who paved the way in establishing PCCM and its present building. We acknowledge our pioneers, those who came before us with their shared vision and dreams, our past presidents and board members, community leaders, and volunteers, past and present members. We value your contributions and hard work.”

Gayot is hopeful as she pledged that the PCCM will continue to – “collaborate with various groups and community associations, serving our community and kababayan through outreach programs, immigrant services, youth leadership training, fundraising events, community festivals and musical events, and other projects.” She promised that the PCCM will continue to do more programs that will be beneficial to the community.

She also appealed to the community for assistance. “As we embark on the new chapter of this organization, we need your loyalty and support so we can carry out our goals and objectives. We are open, and we welcome your suggestions and proposals for the benefit of the organization and community.”

The gala night also featured local entertainers: Paul Ong, Maija and Reyna Buduhan, Dr. Tricia Magsino Barnabe, Mervin Sison, Ricardo Manalang, Marielle Cahigas, Noah Macadangdang, and the Beshie Dance Group.

PCCM Vice President Gerard Madarang opened the program with the land acknowledgement. Rev. Wendell Olojan did the opening prayer while Dante Aviso delivered the closing remarks. Lucille Nolasco-Garrido emceed the program.