News Alert re: COVID-19

News alert! HFCC President & CEO Bonner Villabroza announces that it is with deep regret that we close HFCC Resource Centre ( aka Kapihan Wednesday) till further notice. Even though we are in compliance with the Health Dept. guideline/directive on limiting gatherings of certain number of people there is still a possibility of transmission to occur. Therefore. it is prudent out of an abundance of caution to suspend the activity every Wednesday.

A Dream, an Idea

LRT is dead or is it? We learned from the media/radio station talk shows that  it is possible  LRT may restart again. So what does it mean for HFCC? Even if LRT lives it would take a couple  of years to get going again if ever. So HFCC is pondering about an ambitious project. Why not build a retirement home/living onsite? Is it even possible?

It starts with a dream, an idea.

Art Linkletter, a Canadian born American radio and television personality and a fellow named Walt Disney had this conversation in the early 1950’s. The following is an excerpt taken from the internet link mentioned below.  “‘Well,’ Walt said, ‘this is it.’ He looked around and he could see it all in his imagination: the Disneyland Railroad, Main Street, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland. I looked around and saw nothing but a cow pasture. I thought, My poor deluded friend! He’s going to put a bunch of merry-go-rounds and roller-coasters out here, forty-five minutes from L.A. He’ll go broke! But out of respect for our friendship, I didn’t say what I was thinking.

“‘Art,’ he said, ‘there’s a fortune to be made here. If you buy up all the property around Disneyland, in a year or two it’ll be worth twenty times what you paid for it.’ Click on the link for the full story: https://waltsdisneyland.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/art-linkletters-disneyland-regret/

The Hamilton Community Filipino Centre

The dream of establishing a Community Centre goes as far back to the year 1975 when the first Constituted Organization in Hamilton, the Pilipino Canadian Association (PCA), etched in their Constitution and By-law, “to save enough money to start a community centre”.

This dream remained dormant for many years due to lack of resources, finance and know how.  In 1989 – 1990, the past president of PCA was appointed to head the 1st Community Centre Committee. A conceptual drawing of a building and a projected cost of 2-3 million dollars was presented to the community. The rest was HFCC history. Full story here:  http://www.hfcc8.ca/history-of-hfcc/ 

Click on image to enlarge

The Dream of Building a Retirement Living/Community Centre

Picture this. A 6 storey retirement living building managed by people who have experience in health care ( Retired Registered Nurses and Doctors). Add to that their expertise in Filipino culture and mores. Additionally throw in the world famous Filipino Hospitality  and friendliness. And you have a winner. There would be lots of questions to ask/answer. Leave your comments  in our Facebook page  or visit the Centre. We are there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday except for the summer months till September. Let’s have a discussion.

Corona Virus Tip

COVID-19 reminders
NEW: Self-assess for COVID-19 ONLINE at https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus and follow their instructions.

Remember when stores ran out of toilet paper because everyone rushed to stock up? We don’t want the same to happen in our hospitals.

Stay home as much as possible and limit your contact with others. This will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 so our healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed.

Only come to the hospital for emergencies and scheduled appointments, unless a clinician has told you to.

This situation is changing rapidly, please check back for updates regularly.

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kagab-ihon E:1P3

The author with his two kids sleeping  inside the ” Kulambo” or mosquito net. This is the third and last part of episode 1.

“Why did your mother point to the outside corner?” John asked. “I did not hear a thing.”

“We did hear the chicken though. It was a sign that something was making it restless.”

“Your dad is still holding a gun,” John said.

“That’s just a precaution. Likely the person was just looking around to steal a chicken or something. Still, to confront him directly in the dark would be dangerous. They carry machetes you know. They don’t want to be caught.”

           “You know Karen, the thought that someone might be sneaking around in that pitch black with a machete is really creepy.”

             Their conversation ended when Alfonso announced that he was going home to his bamboo house next to his parents’ place. For better lighting, Karding handed him a larger kerosene lamp made from an empty Tanduay rum ‘lipid’ bottle. They said goodnight and Alfonso left. Karding locked the bamboo framed door with a large linked rusting chain as well as a wooden beam set in place across the door and inserted into heavy steel brackets attached to wood uprights. 

            “Is it safe for your brother to go out into that darkness –alone?” John worried.

            “It is OK now. Besides, my brother lives nearby.”

            John and Keren however, were suddenly interrupted again

when Keren’s mother called out: “Madulúm na ang kagab-íhon, matulog na ‘ta!”  

            “John, we better get going; mother is waiting and has made a place for us to sleep.”  **End**

If you enjoyed this story let us know in our  Facebook page and we can encourage the author Robert Coe to write more. If you have any story to share let us know by going to the contact page and fill the form out. Thank you.

KAGAB-ÍHON P2

KAGAB-ÍHON E:1P2

The author Robert Coe frolicking in the river. If you have not read the first part click here then read this part after.

Alfonso took a sip of tubâ and paused as if reflecting upon this unfortunate and seemingly insurmountable problem of corruption in the Philippines. John shook his head to show his equivalent concern about the seriousness of the situation. Alfonso responded by pouring more RED HORSE into John’s jar. Taking up a lamp, Rosing got up again and found a real glass, which she brought back to the table indicating that she would have some beer too. Keren did not drink anything that night mainly because she did not like the taste of warm beer. She said quietly to John: “I am getting tired. Right now, I just want to sleep.” John replied that he was now feeling the same tiredness. Keren then said with some censure: “It is not the same. All the drinks you have had, especially my father’s ‘tubâ‘. I should have told you how strong it can be as it ferments.”

Outside, Karding’s dog started to bark. Then, it was quiet again. John did not think anything of that. However, he saw that the others had become more alert. He saw that they continued to listen intently.

 “What’s going on?” John asked.

“Probably nothing much,” Keren responded. “The dog became aware of something seeming to him out of place, so he barked his warning.”

“He suddenly stopped barking. It must have been a false alarm,” John joked.

“Not necessarily. Maybe he knew some person who might be sneaking around outside.”

With that John grew quiet and listened along with the others. Then, Karding picked up one of the kerosene lamps on the table and went to the back of the nipa hut. John heard him moving things about. Returning with a cotton bag, he set the lamp down again on the table and dimmed it. John watched him withdraw a revolver from the bag. Even with the limited light cast by the lamps, John could see some rust on it. The gun was an old affair.

In observing John’s interest, Alfonso said: “It is a twenty-five magnum.”

They still listened. John could only hear a subdued clucking of chickens in a securely fenced area under the nipa hut. Then suddenly Rosing exclaimed: “Dirâ dámpi!” She heard something outside beyond. She pointed to the corner where the raised cooking fire place was situated.

In Ilonggo (Hiligaynon), Karding spoke in a purposely strong voice for everyone to hear: “I’ve got the gun!” He abruptly tilted open the window panel and fired into the night’s blackness. The sound was explosive in the confined space of the hut. Sparks that shot out from the gun’s muzzle were quickly absorbed in the outer dark. Karding immediately shut the window cover again. The smell of burnt gun-powder permeated the air.

The fired gun provoked the barking of the dog for a time and then all was quiet again. Alfonso and his father returned to the table and sat down as if nothing happened. John and Keren had remained seated through the whole episode. Rosing carrying a kerosene lamp went into the back-sleeping area. John saw that she was preparing blankets and mosquito netting getting things ready to sleep.

to be continued...

KAGAB-ÍHON A Short Story

Robert Coe spent most of his younger years loving and enjoying the great wide outdoors of Georgian Bay with family and friends.  

Robert also worked in a more restricted environment at Guelph Correctional Centre as an officer with recidivous inmates. Robert is also a PK (Pastor’s Kid).  He later became a CBOQ (Convention Baptist of Ontario and Quebec) Ordained Missionary to serve for many years in the Philippines with his wife Norma and children.  His time in the Philippines with the people and community greatly enriched his life and love for writing.  However, in later years, while in Canada, Robert was diagnosed  in 2013 with a rare disease called Amyloidosis. Like cancer, it has no cure.  Generally, people will go for years before the disease is accurately diagnosed by medical specialists. In Robert’s case, a kidney and bone marrow biopsies finally confirmed the condition.  While living in Hamilton, Robert achieved, remission (disease in hibernation) after chemo treatments and Analogous Stem Cell Transplant at Juravinski Cancer Centre.   Sadly, the Amyloid disease destroyed Robert’s kidneys and he has been on Peritoneal Dialysis every single day since 2016 while awaiting prayerfully for a Kidney Donour to come for transplant. Rob’s medical condition however, gave him the opportunity to pursue when able his passion for writing, which is also inspired by his favourite authors; John Steinbach, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Dostoyevsky, James Mitchener and Pierre Burton. Robert has a degree in History at McMaster University and Master of Theological Studies at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton.

KAGAB-ÍHON By Robert Coe E:1 P1

The night in the little village was as dark as dark can be. The village still had not electricity and no streetlight shone to give relief from the darkness. John Klein partially lifted open a framed bamboo panel that covered the window. Looking out into the night’s blackness, he saw no evidence of any visible stars. Being night, he again closed the window panel to keep the mosquitos out. A typhoon was further away to the northeast causing the sky to be heavily clouded for days. He and Keren had arrived at the bário earlier that afternoon from Roxas City.  The mission house had not yet been built, so they were staying with Keren’s parents. Her mother and father were tenants on a farm property on the other side of the river that wound its way through the village. To get to it, John and Keren had to cross a three-bamboo bridge. This was to be John’s first overnight visit to Keren’s family in the Visayas region of the Philippines.

          That night, placed on a roughly cut planked table, were two kerosene lamps made from a condensed milk can and the other from a recycled medicine bottle. A short distance away on a raised fireplace’s ledge was a single tin can lamp whose wick’s flame cast a fluttering shadow against the nipa hut’s back wall. John not yet use to the intense darkness of village nights felt closed in. He felt that guttural need to take refuge from the impenetrable blackness of the outside night that seemed intent to invade and overcome the dim light of the flickering lamps. John took his place with the others huddled around the table trying to remain in as much light from the lamps as they could –his wife Keren sat beside him, her mother and father and brother Alfonso across from them. There were a couple crudely made chairs and a bench; the chairs being what John and Keren sat upon. John felt his wobble on the hard-packed earthen floor whenever he shifted his weight.

          Alfonso’s English was quite good, and he was delighted to be able to use it with his newly met Canadian brother-in-law. Alfonso had that Spanish appearance common to many Filipinos and John could detect what sounded to his ear a Spanish accent whenever he spoke. Alfonso was thin yet wiry from a life of hard work. His black wavy hair was beginning to show some grey.  John was glad too to have this conversation in English with him. While John and Alfonso talked, Keren and her parents became occupied speaking in their Ilonggo dialect. Alfonso would from time to time refill his as well as John and his father’s glass jars with the family-size RED HORSE beer. All along, he would tell how he rarely drank but that this was a special occasion being together. John wondered, but no matter, he took him at this word.

Keren’s dad, Karding, thin like his son, got up from the table and went over to an area of the nipa hut that served as a kitchen. He appeared just a shadow away from the lamps’ light, but John heard the sharp clink of glass. Karding returned into the dim glow of the table’s lamps and set a liquor bottle on the table. John saw the tattoos that had become faint from age on his outreached arm. Earlier in the daylight, he had seen many of these prison tattoos all over his body. John had been told that he had killed a man many years before.

“You drink the juice of the coconut tree?” he said in English.

John lifted the bottle and it read Tanduay on the label and that it was 80% proof rum. However, Alfonso intervened: “It no longer has rum in it. He puts tubâ  (coconut palm wine) into his empty bottles.”

          “Papang makes it,” Keren explained. “He climbs the coconut tree still at his age. He wants you to drink some.”

          Keren’s mother, Rosing, got up from the table. She wore a drab and worn dress. The kindness that showed so clearly on her face is what John had noticed when first meeting her at the threshold of the nípà hut. Keren told her in Ilonggo that she need not bother to get another jar since John could use the now empty one his RED HORSE was in. Rosing sat down again while John poured a little of the tuba into his jar. He drank it. Its taste was not familiar nor to his liking. However, with Keren’s father anxiously watching for his reaction, John politely lied, saying that it was good, but declined when Karding lifted the bottle offering to pour more into his jar. Undeterred, Karding and Alfonso again filled their own with tubâ.

Alfonso was becoming freer in conversation, asking questions about Canada.  John was impressed that he already displayed considerable knowledge. It became obvious that Alfonso was a reader and educated himself through books somehow obtained. He clearly knew more about Canada than the average American did. Being a rice farmer, he was interested in the weather and the kind of crops grown in John’s country. He was a little surprised to learn that rice was not a crop cultivated anywhere in such a vast land, but when John described just how long and severe the winters could be, he understood.

In conversation, Alfonso got around to the reasons commonly and fatalistically put forth by Filipinos for poverty in the Philippines. “Your country Canada is a very rich country. I have read that there are many natural resources. And the people do well because you have a democratic parliamentary government that actually cares for them.”

“I suppose, basically that is true,” John concurred with some hesitation. “Sometimes, I wonder if our politicians really care so much for us. Generally, it is mostly their interests and those of the party they represent that matters most to them.”

“Still, it is nothing like it is here,” Alfonso continued. “Corruption is what holds us back. The corruption begins at the top where it is at its greatest and flows down to the barangays. However, it is the dynastic families that are the most powerful and corrupt in economics and politics.”

End of episode 1 part 1… to be continued or click here to proceed to page 2

Pomoy Facts

He is the hottest trending topic in YouTube.  Non-Filipinos just can’t have enough of him. Here is a review by Ms Chawla about 10 things you might not know about him. Enjoy.

FILCRAH USHERS IN 2020

Filipino  Canadian Retirees Association of Hamilton (aka FILCRAH) held their first ever Appreciation Night at Hamilton Filipino Community Centre, December 31, 2019. Over a hundred people attended as they dined and danced the night  away and helped usher in the New Year. Shown below are current Officers of FILCRAH

Seated L to R Gaspar Aberilla 2nd VP, Yoyex Chan, Social Director, Ron Chan 1st VP Standing L to R Perla Rafols, Treasurer, Cris Aberilla, Membership Director, Vina Sibayam, President, Evelyn Vanderspek, Secretary, Pong Palafox, Auditor, Bernia Elkami, Social Director, Tessie Abugan, Social Dircetor.

The star of the event was The Star(no pun intended) which was  unique, as it featured the Holy Family in the center of it. See picture below.

It drew a lot of  positive comments. A number of people took pictures as well as posed with it.

Click on picture to enlarge it.

The different organizations such as ATOATO, ZHC, PBA, PCA were well represented.

The activities included handing out of Door prizes, 50/50 draw line dancing, singing Karaoke  which made for a  lively event.

The night started with the playing of the Canadian & Filipino  National Anthems. Mrs. Elizabeth Burgie delivered a prayer before meals. Cris Aberilla , FILCRAH Membership Director emceed and Music was provided by DJ Rey Sibayan. 

FILCRAH officers were grateful for the support of the public and our generous donors who made the night extra special.

The audience ushered 2020 with a lot of noise with the provided noise makers. To cap the night off participants had a shot or two of champagne. It was a great night!

Written by  Jung Aberilla