Proud to be Pinoy
by Yvanne Dandan
On May 15, 2019 my family and I celebrated our 25th anniversary of living in Canada. When we arrived in Winnipeg 25 years ago, I was a simply a toddler then and didn’t fully understand what was going on. Little did I know, this was a huge moment for my family and me.
Although I was raised here, I feel so grateful because there are so many opportunities to stay connected to my Filipino roots.
For me, everything started at home. “No English at home” was a rule that I grew up with. My mom didn’t want me to lose the ability to speak and understand Tagalog. Every time I spoke to her in English, she would motion to me in a way that implied, “I don’t understand what you’re saying,” as a way for me to finally communicate in our native tongue. Boy, am I ever grateful for this. I love being able to converse with my family, friends, and the community in Tagalog. When doing so, it automatically makes me feel connected to them in a very special way. Plus, I get to understand all the teleseryes and Filipino movies on Netflix without having to rely on the subtitles. Thanks mom!
Our dinner table was always filled with delicious homemade Filipino dishes. Everything from sinigang, adobo, tinola, tosino, kare kare, lugaw, you name it! Our culture has some of the tastiest dishes! When I lived on my own in Toronto, when I felt homesick, one of the things I would do to bring me comfort was make a Filipino dish for dinner. So good!
Winnipeg, we are so blessed to have a strong Filipino community and so many people who care about the preservation of our culture. We have several wonderful festivals and events that bring us together to celebrate and take pride in our heritage. As someone who grew up here, I am so appreciative to learn more about who I am through my culture.
I am incredibly proud to be Filipino-Canadian and I’m thrilled to walk hand-in-hand as a community into the month of June to celebrate the very first Filipino-Canadian Heritage Month across the nation.
Yvanne is a Program Manager with Career Trek Inc. She’s also an Independent Pop, R&B/Soul Singer-Songwriter.