Submission by Dolly Punsalan Castillo to Mabuhay Newspaper June 2018 issue

“ Seek, Wonder, Discover, Share”  is the catchy byline I read at our Calgary Central Public Library.  I think it is a very apt opener in the tone and mindset I wish to influence my dear readers.  To get the fullness and ripeness of a message, these traits have to interplay.  Some ideas might seem trivial and insignificant at first glance, but given a second cursory look and this will unravel:

“To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour,”

The first event I want to share is the joyful and emotional proclamation of the month of June ad infinitum as Philippine Heritage Month by our Alberta Provincial Government,  Getting to this point is a wonder unto itself  – the myriads of Filipino – Canadians all over Alberta who signed the petition, the laborious and methodical process set by the government in authenticating the will of the people.  A people who worked hard and continue to do so as assets of this beautiful country of Canada.  In a sign of a meaningful verbal proclamatiom supported by a signed certificate by the Honorable Premier Notley,  all the sweat and blood of countless hours dissipated and was replaced by a deep sense of national pride, satisfaction and respect for being recognized as deserving Filipino Canadians.

As a corollary to this proclamation, several functions and events are scheduled.  Foremost of this is our 120 Philippine Independence anniversary.  Celebrations at the consulate, private businesses, organizations, communities sprouted to declare to the whole of Canada and the world that we have arrived to be recognized as valuable citizens in the mainstream society.

The recent Alberta Filipino Leaders Conference last June 2 – 3 sponsored by the Philippine Festival Counicl of Alberta (PFCA)is the first ever in our provincial history.  The wonderful intermix of elders, middle age and young adults raised the quality of input and output a notch to higher excellence. It was a hard look at ourselves as a unified people with our strengths, weaknesses, talents, and gaps in community service.  The whole aim is to design better programs to realistically meet the needs of the masses, as they perceive and experience them.

The energizing realization of these events is the gradual coming together of what used to be silos of community groups.  There is strength and wisdom in collaborating, partnering, and implementing together.  Everybody shares in the glory of successful results.  The young generations have something to look forward to in the community they envision – responsive and tailored to the changing traditions and practices of the times.

Hope is bolstered in this microcosm despite the sometimes gloomy outlook and happenings in the world.  The bible puts forth that despite sad realities, continue to persevere in doing what is righteous and fair.  It will all straighten out in the end.

Spring / Summer has sprung and minds turn to dream destinations, escapades, thrilling adventures, and even fulfillment of their bucket list.  Enjoy and savor the opportunities that pleasantly present themselves in serendipity – finding pleasure where you least expect it.  My Philippine vacation was such an adventure….another topic to be shared and grow wise in.