Friday, April 17, 2009

Well Done !

Toronto is home to the largest Filipino community in Canada. Meeting other Filipinos is no longer novelty, it is just an ordinary day-to-day encounter.

However, I still am on the look-out for news that involve Filipinos – specially on the better side of the news.

Two things caught my attention recently :

Years of Championing Caregiver's Cause Pays Off

On April 2, 2009 - The Toronto Star had Pura Velasco's photo on the front page. Pura Velasco is the 59-year-old Filipina who has been advocating for the rights of desperate foreign caregivers in Canada, since her arrival as a foreign caregiver in 1989. (Excerpts from the Toronto Star story below)

Pura waited for 20 years for the day her volunteer work finally paid off. Ontario Minister of Labour Peter Fonseca rose in the Legislature to announce his government is introducing legislation to protect exploited caregivers.

"After so many years of believing something would happen, I still could not believe it," she said.

Almost immediately after her arrival in Toronto in 1989 from Vienna, where she was a migrant caregiver, Velasco took on the cause of her Filipina compatriots in Canada.

"I have no regrets. A lot of people would be tempted to back down because it took so long for government officials to act. It's not fair at all. But it's all really, really worth it now."

Filipino-Canadian Jedi from Scarborough

On April 15, 2009 - the Entertainment Section of the Toronto Star had a Filipino Canadian in their main feature.

21 year old Randolph Lizarda, an animation student from Sheridan College was among the lucky 4 interns chosen from 1,500 applicants to work at Lucasfilm Studios in San Francisco, this summer. Wow! Lizarda’s family immigrated to Canada 9 years ago and had always been artistic.

His teacher says of Lizarda “He has a really good sense of storytelling. He had the basic principles of animation (but) it was also comical. And that's our job. Anyone can make a picture move, but to make it entertaining, that's the craft of an animator."

Well done, kabayan!

Links :
Main Toronto Star story on Pura Velasco
More Toronto Star article
Star Investigation Part 1 : Nannies Trapped
Star Investigation Part 2 : Nannies Not Protected

A Jedi from Scarborough

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