Despite the bitter cold weather, about a hundred concerned Filipino-Canadians from the Ottawa valley converged in front of Centennial Flame at the Parliament Hill grounds for a peaceful yet inspiring demonstration of unity towards a cause: stopping the horrific criminality affecting the populace, the unabashed corruption in many levels of government and the devastating impact of drug addictions and its resultant miseries to the Filipinos.
Given the very little time to prepare for this event, in addition to the cold weather, it proved to be well attended. Most attendees wore Duterte-inspired Tshirts underneath thick winter jackets which they gamely took off, when the number of camera men asked, for the world to see their sentiments written on their “uniform” . With the historic Canadian Parliament building as backdrop, men and women, young kids and the elderly came and expressed their enthusiasm and support for Mayor Duterte’s presidential candidacy with chants of DUTERTE! DUTERTE! with fists “ala-Duterte ” thrusted on the cold Ottawa air.
The “papparazzis” among the attendees clicked away capturing the breath taking landscape of Filipino-Canadians bonding in moments of patriotic fervor. Deacon Rudy De Castro led the group prayer for a peaceful Philippine elections in May 9th.
The organizers, which included Rufina Edjoc Hidocos, Therese Bitanga-Almaden and Tinig Pinoy’s Dan de Castro, profusel thanked everybody particularly Fina’s daugther who designed the Tshirt, Therese for getting the beautiful banner done, Gerry Roa who brought his portable sound system, Bombo Radio reporter Alfeche Mitch and the paparazziz (Paul Panes, Danny Arriola, Ronan Noypi Mesa, etc).
As the crowd waned, a significant number gathered and spoke with the organizers led by Rufina Hidocos to propose that a similar demonstration be put together for those who missed it because of the weather and the little promotional activities prior to the event. Before parting ways, it has been agreed that a formal permit for such an event scheduled on April 23, Saturday, will be filed at the National Capital Commission which would mean the use of the Parliament Hill’s popular stairways to the Parliament’s Central block.
Tired, cold and hungry but filled with hope. We hope to meet again on April 23rd to once more let the world that although we are thousands of miles away, we care about our country of birth.
And since today, April 9th, Filipinos remember our war heroes and celebrate Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) let us express out thanks and pray for the Philippines during these challenging times.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!