The South EastMan Filipino Association knows how to throw a holiday party.
Their annual bash was held at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre and President Greg Carlos says over 500 people were in attendance.
“This is one of the opportunities for us to get connected with the people, with the sponsors, with the community, and of course, to welcome the newcomers in our community. It's just a big event for everything.”
Carlos notes the Holiday Party is their biggest event of the year.
“As a Filipino, in our culture, Christmas is very, very big. This is one of the occasions that we celebrate with an extra mile I would say. It's very important for us.”
Carlos says they had a number of special guests and dignitaries, with speeches from both MLA Kelvin Goertzen and MP Ted Falk. He says there was plenty of singing and dancing, a well-stocked silent auction, face painting and games for the kids, and of course, amazing food.
This was Carlos’ last big event as the SEMFA President, and he says it has been a fulfilling two years.
“All our officers, I never knew them before and we have built a good relationship, we became brothers and sisters. The opportunity to help the newcomers, it's very big. We understand that moving to a new country is very hard, especially the culture shock, but if you have the community to help you, they won't even feel that they left their home country.”
The next president of the South EastMan Filipino Association will be Joanna Bersamina, and Carlos is excited to see what she and her team will do.
“All the officers have different skills, different knowledge from different industries and this is a good opportunity for them to improve and enhance what we did.”