On May 14, 2016, the Filipino Community in Edmonton sponsored a free Dinner and Entertainment for the Fort McMurray Evacuees which was held at the Mccauley School gym. A full packed gym of our kababayan from Fort McMurray and from Edmonton shared abundance of Filipino delicious foods donated by various organization, businesses and individuals and lots of entertainment. Our kababayans from Fort McMurray craved for Filipino foods after two weeks in the shelters provided by the city and the Red Cross so many trays of rice, pansit, lechong manok, pork lechon, menudo, spring rolls, turon and many more were shared with them. Cheers of Mabuhay erupted when our kababayan from Edmonton offered red roses, hugs and words of support to the Fort McMurray evacuees which brought tears of joy and laughter. They were so grateful to the unexpected welcome and support from the people of Edmonton.
Mandy Servito, the president of the Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations who spearheaded the event gave his welcome address. Some dignitaries were also present and offered inspiration and hopes to the evacuees; the honorable MLA Lorne Dache of Edmonton – Mclung , the Deputy Consul Eric Aquino from the Philippine Consulate in Calgary, the honorary consul Esmeralda Agbulos and Pastor Pol Narido from the JIL.
Nelson Baranda of the United Bicolanos of Alberta coordinates the volunteer drivers. Fort McMurray evacuees were picked up from the Northlands, University of Alberta, various hotels and from host families to go to the venue and were driven back after the event. Other volunteer drivers are Fabian Orino, president of UBA, Carmelo Espedido, Benjie Lindo, Angeline Alvaro, Gordon McMilan and Leslie McMilan.
The lechon donors are Loida Lumanlan from REMAX, Celso Andrade, owner of Sunfreight Cargo, Oscar Dela Paz, owner of Midwest Heating and June and Edna Gilera of Pinoy City Market. Loriz Bakery donated hundreds of white loaves bread which were distributed to the evacuees. Other food donors are United Bicolanos of Alberta; CEFA; Nasipitnons Association in Edmonton; Nancy Naval and Jimmy Naval of Camiling Society of Edmonton; Marjorie Newman of MCN Immigration Canada Consulting; Freddie and Willie Ramos of Novo Ecijano; Virgie Sumalinog and Aurelio Sumalinog of Vismin Association; Claro Cagulada of TSADA Edmonton; Aimee Symington of Filipino Support Services Society; George Aguilar of Batanguenos Association; Mana Nita’s Binalot; Jovito Andres and Bella Andres of Edmonton Ilocano Association Canada; Bayai Alcantara of Panciteria De Manila; Eloisa Lau; Ferdie Mendita; Josie Yee of Fat Jakks, Lydia Jimenez of Palabok House; Rolymie Bakery and Resaurant; Leslie and Gordon McMilan; Lito Velasco, Paul Briones and Jojo Lucila; Benjie Lindo, Irene Dormitorio, Arlene Morales and Aida Santos Prasad.
The Mccauley School gym was arranged by Dr. Josie Pallard, Education Program Director, Changing Together and Dr. Cesar Mejia, President of Filipino Canadian Saranay Association.
The Bayanihan effort of the Filipino Community in Edmonton was planned and pre
The whole event was prepared for only 5 days and once again we have proven that the Filipino Bayanihan is still working among the Filipino Community wherever we are. Salute to the team and we will continue to pray for our displaced kababayan from Fort McMurray. Mabuhay!
By: Mandy Servito