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Envisioning our future
m zamora
Maui Zamora, one of the many participants at the Envisioning conference, presents the History & Context Canvas

WINNIPEG – The Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba (PHCM) hosted a conference dubbed: Just imagine… Envisioning Celebration for Manitoba’s Filipino community on March 7, 2015 at the Skyview Ballroom of the Marlborough Hotel.

One hundred twenty members of the local Filipino community attended the conference.

“There was a good cross-section of people who participated … from diverse sectors, various ages, the old and the new with distinctive immigrant experiences. Each one was asked “to imagine” how our community would be in the year 2030 or 15 years from now,” said PHCM president Perla Javate.

The Envisioning Celebration’s goal was to ask attendees to focus on pinpointing the challenges that the Filipino community faces and examining possible steps to help the community grow and prosper.

“It is very interesting to note that the participants identified certain values that – if [they were] recognized by our community members – could help us flourish as a community,” added Javate. “These values are respect, leadership and teamwork, trust and integrity, and positive attitude.”

The envisioning process was designed by the PHCM with the assistance of head coach Martin Itzkow, in consultation and discussion with the PHCM planning and steering committees. The participants were divided into ten groups with assigned group facilitators and recorders.

“The Envisioning Celebration was from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and I am very happy that over a hundred stayed up to the end. Prior to March 7th, we were fully aware that it might be challenging to keep the participants up to closing time because it’s a day-long event … and for various individual reasons… but I was pleasantly surprised at how everyone actively participated in the discussion and the interest was really high,” observed Araceli Ancheta, member of the PHCM steering committee in charge of logistics.

UPAA-MB chairperson Norman Aceron Garcia remarked that he was happy to see active participation among his fellow participants. Garcia shared with Pilipino Express the wish he expressed during the envisioning conference, “I imagine a Filipino community where each one of us is supporting each other’s businesses and professions. We go to a Filipino realtor whenever we buy a house. We go to a Filipino engineer, builder or architect whenever we renovate our homes … to a Filipino restaurant or store for our consumer needs … this is my dream.”

The recorded results of the daylong sessions were gathered by the PHCM and will be shared with the general members of Manitoba’s Filipino community. “Then we, as a community, will decide what our next steps will be to tackle these challenges in the next 15 years,” remarked Javate.

Special guests who attended the conference were Deputy Mayor and Pt. Douglas Councillor Mike Pagtakhan who brought greetings on behalf of the City of Winnipeg Council and Hon. Consul General Orli Marcelino who brought greetings on behalf of the Philippine government. (EZJ)

Photos by Rey-ar Reyes