By: Lindsay Santos
Photo by: mabcom.webs.com
The Mabuhay Communication Group (Mabcom) is a Calgary-based non-profit amateur radio club comprised of about 30 members.
The club’s objective is to promote amateur radio through friendship, education and communication assistance. Mabcom also focuses on doing their work at Filipino community for events like Fiesta Filipino and Agahan.
“Amateur radio helps connect people without having to rely on the Internet or cell phones to communicate locally and even on an international level,” says one of Mabcom’s founding members and club president, Mervin Dulce.
Radio transmitters and receivers enable amateur radio operators to communicate over different frequencies.
“Our frequency is 145.150 MHz and we usually check in on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. at least twice a month,” Dulce says.
Topics Mabcom discuss cover a broad range, but Dulce stresses that they steer clear of taboo topics like religion and politics.
“Amateur radio is more of a fun hobby and unlike commercial radio, it’s non-profit so advertisements are prohibited,” Dulce explains.
“It can also be used as a public service because when there are disasters or emergency situations, amateur radio is the main line of communication assistance.”
Dulce and the other founding members of Mabcom met through the Calgary Amateur Radio Association and bonded over their Filipino roots and passion for amateur radio. From there, they established Mabcom in 2004 and have been steadily gaining members over the years.
“Although the majority of our members are Filipino, our club is open to all interested parties who are amateur radio operators,” Dulce says.
“If someone checks in at our frequency and is an English speaker, we’re inclusive so instead of speaking Tagalog, we’ll converse with them in English.”
If you are interested in becoming an amateur radio operator, you can go to Industry Canada’s website and take a practice exam before you take the official exam to get licensed. The examination fee is $20.00.
“One of our members is an examiner so you can reach out to Mabcom if you’d like some guidance,” Dulce says.
For more information about Mabcom and how to become a member, visit their webpage at mabcom.webs.com or follow them on Facebook. Dulce can also be reached regarding membership inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org