This year, the Ms MHHS 2013 title went to Mrs Debit Garcia, a widowed and retired demonstration teacher from Baguio City, Philippines. Mrs Garcia has four grown children, two of whom are living in Canada, one in the Philippines and another in Australia. Mrs Garcia spends most of her time teaching Filipino folk dances to the Sampaguita seniors, and volunteering for other senior activities and community events in Vancouver.
“I wasn’t too interested in joining the contest at first, but then again, I realized it’s fundraising for a good cause. So I decided to participate,” says Mrs Garcia. Next thing she knew, she was being crowned Ms MHHS 2013. The Ms Luzon crown went to Mila Schulze from Bohol, Philippines. Mrs Schulze is married to a Canadian, mother of two and currently working as a self-employed childcare professional.
Aida Bhargava, a recently retired former nurse who migrated to Canada from Pangasinan, in 1974 won the Ms Visayas 2013. The former Miss Dela Cruz met and married her husband Ashok Bhargava in 1976. They have two children, Arnef and Neil. Mrs Clarita Corpuz is Ms Mindanao 2013. A widowed mother of 7 from Ilocos Norte, Mrs Corpuz came to Canada in 2002, under the sponsorship of one of her daughters. She spends her weekdays looking after her grandchildren. Mrs Corpuz comes to the MHHS on weekends to spend time and play bingo with her Sampaguita senior friends.
The Ms Faith 2013 title went to Mrs Norma Yasay from Negros Occidental. Mrs Yasay is a former librarian. She migrated to Canada in 1976 and had since worked as bank payroll officer and a Nursing Care Aide.
Now retired, Mrs Yasay does a lot of dancing, modelling and travelling. She believes in enjoying life to the fullest. Evangeline Martinez, a 38- year-old graduate in accounting and currently working in Canada as a live-in caregiver, became Ms Hope 2013. What was a 38-year-old doing competing with the seniors? “I’m representing the caregivers,” she says. Mrs Martinez received her permanent residency last June and was re-united with her children in Vancouver this August. Angie Igonia reports that the event has been a success all around. “We made some money for the MHHS. We had a great party, and we had a chance to dress up and it’s all in good fun,” says Ms Igonia.