L-r: Christopher Santos, Member; Dante Aviso, Auditor; Lou Fernandez, Treasurer; Virginia Gayot, President; Gigi Gacula, Member; Lucille Nolasco-Garrido, Member; Maria Harper, Assistant Treasurer; Rodrigo Lopez, Member, and Atty. Efren Cabrerea, Member.  Photo by Rey-Ar Reyes

There are about a million people of Filipino descent living in Canada today – 960,000 according to the 2021 census. About 100,000 of them now live in Manitoba (94,000 in 2021), making up 7.4 per cent of the province’s population.

At present, there are many Filipino groups and organizations operating in the province, of which the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) serves as an umbrella organization in keeping their traditions, customs, values, and identity, remain strong even far from the motherland.

Sesame Street presents TJ, its first Filipino muppet

TJ is Sesame Street’s first Filipino muppet.
Photo: Screen grab

Sesame Street has introduced TJ, the show’s first-ever Filipino muppet. TJ joins Ji-Young, the show’s first Korean muppet, that was introduced in 2021. TJ first appeared on May 7, 2023, alongside actor Kal Pen, Sesame Street favourite Grover and Ji- Young. In the video, TJ and his friends learned the meaning of the word “confidence.” TJ said that he was working on learning Tagalog, the language his Filipino family speaks. “It’s a language my Filipino family speaks,” he tells his friends.