Victoria, BC – The proverbial Filipino “bayanihan” spirit was literally at play during last weekend’s fundraising at the Bayanihan Community Center at 1709 Blanshard St.
Filipino-Canadian organizations in Victoria joined hands to raise money for the rehabilitation of those who were affected by the recent eruption of Taal Volcano in Batangas a province in the Philippines. ANCOP Victoria together with with the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society (BCHS), Victoria Filipino Canadian Association, Victoria Filipino Canadian Seniors Association, and Victoria Filipino Canadian Caregivers Association hosted the Dinner Fundraising last February 9, 2020 at 5:30 PM.
“I am happy to serve and volunteer kasi kung ang mga taong hindi naapektuhan willing na tumulong ako pa kayang taga Batangas ang hindi magkusa.” – Susan Agno, ANCOP volunteer and Victoria resident originally from Talisay, Batangas
ANCOP International Canada was chosen as beneficiary charity to channel the funds to the Diocese of Lipa, Batangas who are spearheading rehabilitation efforts along with other private organizations and the Philippine government. From a single text to VFCCA President Annette Beech about Ancop’s plan to do a fundraiser at the Bayanihan center, the ANCOP team were invited to join Bayanihan (BCHS), VFCCA and the rest of the local FilCanadian organizations who were also planning a fundraiser for Taal. With the stars all aligned, the leads of each organization sat down to finalize the plan and make the event a reality. Volunteers had their hands full with only a week to prepare and spread the word leading to the event.
“Fulfillment within knowing you have helped a little and you are in solidarity with those suffering.” – Helen Majia, CFC-Handmaids of the Lord – a Victoria resident originally from Batangas
Come Sunday, people started to pour in even before the Bayanihan Community Center doors opened at 5:30pm. Those who came to support the event were a microcosm of the diversity of culture that is Canada. With no established Filipino restaurant locally, the supporters were in for a treat . A variety of genuine Filipino home-made style cuisine – a greatest hits version from each of the participating organization. The staples of pansit (noodles), adobo and menudo were beefed up with more options of afritada and mungo (mung beans) soup. Filipino desserts of ginatang bilo-bilo, espasol, egg pie, pichi-pichi (to name a few) were an added sweetener in the literal and figurative sense of the word. For $20, the variety of the spread was a small fiesta by itself. Some who were not able to come had their support felt through donations.
Last January 12th, the Taal Volcano in Batangas, Philippines, erupted spewing ashfall within the 80km radius of the volcano. Half a million residents from around the 14km radius had to flee and be evacuated. The alert levels were recently lowered allowing residents to come home to their home towns ravaged by earthquakes, ashfall and their livelihood gone. The funds raised will help in the rehabilitation efforts. The disaster happened in the country who have just been recovering from a 7.5 intensity earthquake and two hurricanes a couple of months before the eruption.
ANCOP (Anwering the Cry of the Poor) is the charity arm of the Couples for Christ (CFC) family ministries. CFC is a Catholic lay organization with presence in most countries around the world where Filipinos are also present.