Noli Me Tangere
Both sides of Highway 93 from Calgary to Radium are sprinkled with various scenic spots for travelers to enjoy. Creeks, ponds, cliffs, trails, waterfalls, etc. compete for the attention of visitors and explorers. Selfies and real time FB postings are never ending.
Interestingly, within a span of 86 kilometers on that highway two waterfalls beg for attention, Tatakaw and Numa. Comparatively, Numa is just like a bust in size while Tatakaw towers like a monument. The same elements of beauty, though, are present – mountain backdrop, falling water, a flowing hum, and cooling mist. Nature’s workmanship and beauty are unparalleled. Perfectly spaced, visitors have all the reason to stop by for a quick selfie, snack, and bio break.
Roughly 20 minutes or the 35-kilometer drive from Calgary to Airdrie is just a warmup. No need for a restroom or stop over. For Filipino-Canadians visiting these two Cities, two interesting new spots are in the making. A bust (in Airdrie) and monument (in Calgary) of Philippines’ National Hero, Jose Rizal.
On the surface these initiatives are uniquely interesting on many fronts. First, quite possibly first of its kind in the world – two, a monument and a bust of a non-Canadian hero will be erected 35 kilometers apart. Second, the bust in Airdrie was endorsed by the Office of the Philippine Consulate General (PCG). Whereas Calgary’s was initiated by a local group. Third, names of donors and sponsors of both the bust and monument will be properly acknowledged. Fourth, the craftsmanship of the creators of both tributes will be imported and featured. Fifth, the premise behind these erections is the opportunity for fellow Filipinos to commemorate and show pride for the motherland by visiting the bust or monument of their beloved hero.
Underneath, however, are questions and observations begging to be spoken and answered. One, Calgary is the Philippine Government’s (PCG) official seat in this part of Canada. Why erect a bust in Airdrie? Two, was the idea of a monument in Calgary never discussed with PCG by the other group? Three, monuments of Canadian pioneers, influencers, leaders, etc. are being defaced or cancelled. Why erect two in Alberta of a non-Canadian hero? Fourth, this 35 km fissure may put the Filipino community’s pride, credibility, and unity in question. Finally, have you heard any politician talk about how they can help the Filipino community unite during the ground-breaking ceremonies of the two sites?
Why do you think Dr. Jose Rizal penned "Noli Me Tangere" ("Touch Me Not" or "The Social Cancer") and "El Filibusterismo" ("The Reign of Greed")?
Credit PCG Facebook
Credit: Jason Kenny FB
July 11, 2021, PIOCC/SKS sponsored Almusal. Hosted by and held at Pacific
Hut Restaurant in Calgary, AB. Photo: DAS
Shake it off and get ready folks!
July 10, 2021. AGA Academy 2021 Stampede Breakfast Extravaganza.
1000 attendees and graced by Girl Crush Band of Calgary. Photo: AGA Academy
The fabulous AGA Academy ladies behind the event
(l-r) Mangie Francisco – Student Resource Manager; Gem Datu – VP Admin;
Ada Tubo – VP Academics and Abby Villanueva – President and CEO
Photo: AGA Academy
June 30, 2021, Okotoks, Alberta. In celebration of Phil Heritage Month and Canada Day 100 gift bags were handed over to Tudor Manor Frontline workers by Okotoks Fil-Can Society and Diaryo Alberta Society (DAS). Each bag contains certificate of recognition and appreciation (Covid-19 Hero) gift card, coffee tumbler, chocolate, chips, fruit gums, one stem of rose, etc. Photo: DAS
Sponsors (Okotoks Fil-Can Society and Diaryo Alberta Society) with the nursing staff of Tudor Manor. Photo: DAS
Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation to Covid-19 Pandemic Heroes
Filipino- Calgarian contingent at the Calgary Stampede 2021. Way to go folks!
Photo credit: Missions PH Canada.
Urban Dictionary defines Just Saying as 1) a phrase used to indicate that we refuse to defend a claim we've made---in other words, that we refuse to offer reasons that what we've said is true. 2) There is an obvious implication of what I just said, but I formally disavow that implication, although I actually believe it. 3) "Just saying" is a nice way of saying, "you're a dumbass"
Just Saying primary goal is to stir our community to engage into more productive, creative sensible and relevant endeavors.
To elevate our leaders’ credibility, respectability, and believability we need to subject them to “just saying” test.
Joe comes to our office everyday to sanitize tables, doorknobs, counters, light switches, etc.
One Monday morning, he confirmed if I was from the Philippines. I said yes with pride! Then he informed me that Philippine’s president is one of the worst world leaders. I inquired which fake news outlet that info came from. He watched it from YouTube the night before.
Sad, but he said, “just saying”.
Confusion engulfed the Filipino community in Alberta. Two groups posted in their FB of their plan to erect Jose Rizal monument or bust. One in Airdrie and one in Calgary. Goal is identical. The idea was three years in the making, the Calgary group (CG) proclaimed. The Airdrie group (AG) was endorsed by the Philippine Consulate General Office in Calgary.
Back to Joe’s discovery about world leaders, true or not, I felt shameful. In Alberta, what the heck is going on with our community leaders and officials? PCG official seat is in Calgary, but the ground-breaking of the monument on June 19, 2021, was held at Nose Creek Regional Park in Airdrie, Alberta. In attendance were Airdrie local officials and community leaders. A week later the CG had their ground-breaking ceremony in Prairie Wind Park in Calgary attended by provincial and municipal leaders and politicians.
These bizarre ground-breaking ceremonies displayed some of the unpleasant characters of Filipino Canadian officials, leaders and the community at large. The implications are clear. For one, PCG’s relationship with the City of Calgary is in question. Why endorse a bust in Airdrie and not in Calgary? Second, for the CG why was the office of PCG neither involved nor invited? Intentional or simply a show of true character? Third, is the community lacking seasoned and reasonable elders to point out this absurdity? Fourth, most likely for Filipino Canadians visiting Alberta – what is the point of visiting two monuments of the same hero less than 36 kms away? Finally, possibly erecting a bust or monument of the late hero is one of the ways to showcase some of the Filipino leaders’ vanity.
“Installing a bust or monument of a hero is inspiring. However, erecting two of the same hero 35 kms apart in a foreign land is absurd and confusing"
The opening of the province from the grip of the pandemic was welcome news. However, the habit of being cautious – wearing masks and distancing – is still entrenched deeply into most of the population. In public places you will see people still unrecognizable and keeping themselves separated 2 meters away.
“If you have the second shot and are feeling healthy you don’t need the mask and distance,” said my friend. He just got back from Costco. “Still many people are crazy with their mask on”, he whined aloud.
“Or they saw you coming so they put on their mask and distance themselves from you”, we both laugh. Then he went out of the door coughing.
“No wonder people use their mask.” Just saying.
Stampede breakfasts are sure magnets for politicians. More than a dozen of these creatures swarmed and spoke at one along 17th Ave in S.E. The “Almusal”, generously hosted by Pacific Hut Restaurant, various businesses and community groups was a blast. Even the heavens poured tears of joy that day. It did not dampen the thirst, hunger, joy, and appreciation of the people.
The afternoon stampede meal held at Seafood City was equally impressive.
Interestingly and possibly, it was the most opportune day for politicians and leaders to show their care, concern, and blah blah blah to the community. Bottom line? They just need your votes and approval.
Just saying, folks!
35,500 Low-income Alberta households will receive rent support from the governments of Canada and Alberta. July 06, 2021 Edmonton, AB
A combined investment of $444 million from the office of Families, Children and Social Development Minister (Federal) and Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing will benefit no less than 35,500 low-income Alberta households. The support started in 2019 and will end in 2028. For more info visit alberta.ca/affordable-housing-programs.aspx.
Alberta parents and teachers dialogue to strengthen the province’s education system.
July 9, 2021 Edmonton, AB
Approximately 80 individuals are being sought by the government to serve as members of either a Parent Advisory Council or a Teacher Advisory Council. These groups will provide valuable feedbacks to the Minister of Education.
The initiative provides another venue for parents and teachers to discuss their understanding, perspectives, views and recommendations on education policies and initiatives for the benefits students.
Interested parents and/or teachers can apply online until Aug. 31. For more info contact Sean Carter, 780-643-9401, email@example.com.
Government of Canada launches 150 initiatives to mitigate hate-motivated crimes.
July 21, 2021, Markham, Ontario
A total of $8 million in funding for fiscal year 2021-22 was earmarked to Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIP).
“Today, the Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair, and the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, the Honourable Mary Ng, announced that as a result of the SIP Call for Applications of September to November 2020, 150 projects representing over $6 million to support communities at risk of hate-motivated crime have been recommended for development. This is the largest investment for a given year in the history of the program.” (Public Safety Canada News release. July 21, 2021)
Funding until September 22, 2021, is open to eligible applicants including community centres, educational institutions, and places of worship. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org