Thursday, 25 January 2018 04:38

Building Cultural Bridges Philippines event informative

Written by  Demi Knight
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The audience were giving their attention in full to Dr. Bonifacio as she made her presentation on Filipino culture and its positive migration at the Building Cultural Bridges session on Jan. 15 at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association The audience were giving their attention in full to Dr. Bonifacio as she made her presentation on Filipino culture and its positive migration at the Building Cultural Bridges session on Jan. 15 at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association Demi Knight

The Southern Alberta Ethnic Association in Lethbridge took some time to explore the Philippines at the most recent Building Cultural Bridges event.


As part of their series of weekly programs which work to assist audiences in understanding one and other from different corners of the world on Jan. 15 guest speaker, Dr. Glenda Bonifacio whom is a professor in women studies at the University of Lethbridge was brought in to talk about the Filipino culture and its contribution to migration in Canada.
“Filipino’s are globally in one-hundred and fifty countries world-wide, about fifteen percent of the population are actually outside of the country,” said Dr. Bonifacio during her presentation to the audience.
“Overall, the Philippines have prominently skilled migration, but that isn’t highlighted in the news because it isn’t controversial,” she added.
Dr. Bonifacio an established professor at the University of Lethbridge with expertise in gender, migration, and citizenship of Filipino women, over the duration of the session spent time talking about the patterns, contributions and traits Filipinos bring to Canada as well as how their strong backgrounds and ethics can help contribute to the economy of the country from which they migrated.
Originally from the Philippines herself, Bonifacio came to Canada in 2003 and was excited to share her knowledge not only on her culture, but also on the perception of her culture and the truth between it all.
“The basic premise of migration is labour exchange to add to the labour force in the country,” said Bonifacio during her session. “Canada has 621,615 Filipinos in the labour force as of 2016, which is 77.5% of all Filipino populations in the country and actually the highest rate of visible minorities in the workforce within Canada.”
Bonifacio also shared statistics with the audience that showed the unemployment rate of Filipinos in Canada being 5.2% which is also the lowest of all visible minorities within the country.
However, it wasn’t only statistics Bonifacio shared, but also her personal findings of why Filipino populations are so beneficial to Canada’s multicultural entity. Touching on different aspects of personality, faith and work ethic, Bonifacio dedicated a segment of her session to address their values for integration as well.
“Filipinos believe in Pakikisama which is the idea to get along, they don’t complain, because the idea for them is to produce a common goal and achieve those goals as they come from such a collectivist culture,” said Bonifacio.
She also touched on Filipino populations having a deep sense of gratitude and their belief to give back and help all those that have reached out and helped them along their journeys, as well as strong traits of hospitality, respect for authority and elders and their collectivist orientation overall.
“By 1995, majority of Filipinos in Canada were women aged twenty to thirty-four who were educated, English proficient and Roman Catholic. The populations of Filipino’s within Canada has seen a gender stream migration over the years.”
With Lethbridge itself seeing a 460% growth in its Filipino population over the past ten years, the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association has brought the Building Bridges program to the community to help create a better understanding of migration, how it contributes to the area and to share the intricacies of different cultures with one and other to create better inclusion and togetherness within the community as a whole.
With many events being held to help celebrate multiculturalism within the community, the SAEA has several events to look forward to including a taste of Holland, a Masquerade Gala Fundraiser and more building cultural bridges sessions on cultures from Hungary and Ukraine to Nepal, Bhutan and Syria.
More information on the SAEA and its upcoming events can be found on their website at http://saea.ca

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