By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2016 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked the Filipino community in Toronto, Canada Saturday (Aug. 20) for enriching the Canadian
culture with lots of lumpia (spring roll) adobo (marinated meat) and pancit (noodles) which contribute to “extraordinary diversity that makes Toronto one of the best cities in the world that makes Canada the best in the world.”
In under four-minute remark, the baby-faced Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, who wore Barong Filipino, greeted the crowd with “Mabuhay (long live) and Komusta (how are you?) after he was introduced by Member of Parliament Marco Mendicino.
PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL Rosalita S. Propero (at rostrum) of Toronto, Canada welcomes the guests (from left) led by Philippine Ambassador to Canada Leslie B. Gatan and his wife, Lydia Mijares Gatan, Member of Parliament Marco Mendicino, Toronto Mayor John Tory and MP Michael Leavitt. (JGL Screengrab from Filipino Web Channel)
After thanking Mr. Mendicino and fellow MP Mark Leavitt, the 44-year-old Trudeau said, “Wonderful to see you guys. I want to start by thanking Tito Rolly (Mangante, the Taste of Manila organizer) and all the board and organizers for making the Taste of Manila festival an extraordinary success.
“The fact is every year, people come out with their family to celebrate this extraordinary Filipino Canadian identity in a lot of lumpia, adobo and pancit under the 152,000 (Filipino) people in the community that’s an awful lot.
“But one of the great things as well is that this is not just a festival for Filipino Canadians. Our neighbors, our friends, people across Toronto are all coming to celebrate the extraordinary diversity that makes Toronto one of the best cities in the world that makes Canada the best country in the world.”
Mr. Trudeau also said, “But we all understand the differences are a source of strength, not a source of weaknesses. When we learn from our neighbors, we got to know the different cultures, stories and different backgrounds. Our community gets richer, stronger, our future we build for our kids gets better and better and that is why we are celebrating today.”
IN BARONG FILIPINO:
As the crowd chanted ”Justin,” “Justin,” Mr. Trudeau said, “It’s an amazing pleasure for me to be here celebrating today to say thank you for supporting me and all my friends up here on stage. But mostly to thank the Filipino Canadians for all the incredible contributions you make everyday to make Canada better, to make Canada stronger.
“Thank you all for everything you do. The sun shining down in Little Manila let me tell you it’s an extraordinary time to be here. I was lucky enough to be in big Manila last year, this is much more fun.”
Mr. Trudeau was in Manila when he attended the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation conference shortly after he became Prime Minister last November.
Concluding in French, the Prime Minister said, “I’m not going to keep on speaking here so I can say hi to as many people as possible. Thank you all. Mabuhay! Salamat!
He later worked the crowd by shaking hands and having pictures taken with the community.
LITTLE MANILA PARKETTE
Earlier, Toronto Mayor John Tory, who was also wearing Barong Filipino, said with the help of his friends in Ottawa (the seat of the Canadian Parliament) and Toronto Councilor James Pasternak, “We are going to have a date that will happen in four weeks to celebrate the renewal of the parkette right here.
PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN Trudeau is being interviewed by a Filipino Canadian journalist as he works the crowd that attended the first day of the two-day “Taste of Manila” food and other cultural festival in Toronto, Canada Saturday, Aug. 20. (Screengrab from Filipino Web Channel)
“It will contain a reading garden, including Tagalog, out of affection and respect for Little Manila and for the Filipino community. The Bathurst parkette (where the ToM is held) which we said will be done two years ago with support of our Provincial and Federal friends is ready for ribbon cutting. A small gesture we can make to the vitality and importance of this Filipino community for the respect, affection we have for the community and we will look forward to that as soon as work is done as soon as Councilor Pasternak and our friends can find the date. Mabuhay and give the Prime Minister a warm welcome this afternoon.”
Mr. Tory greeted the crowd with “Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Salamat po sa pagimbita nyo sa akin. (Good morning to all of you. Thank you for inviting me.)
“I am so delighted to be here. I am so happy to be with you and I thank you for your invitation and wish you good morning. As (MP) Michael (Leavitt) said this is a very special event because people have fun, and part of what it is all about, learn each culture, each other’s culture, come together, celebrate each other’s culture, music and everything else and those that make this city special. We just don’t do it as group with our own culture, background, own food and music. We celebrate with others who are not lucky enough to be Filipinos but would celebrate come to celebrate with you that makes such contribution to our city.
Philippine Consul General Rosalita S. Prospero opened the program by greeting Philippine Ambassador to Canada Ambassador Leslie B. Gatan Gatan and his wife, Lydia Mijares Gatan, and MP’s Marco Mendicino and Michael Leavitt, Toronto Mayor Tory.