Friendly Manitoba – Part 2

September 11, 2006 at 11:52 pm 12 comments


In my previous post, I cited a few examples why I think this province lives up to its motto, “Friendly Manitoba.” 

Now let me share with you two articles that I read in our community newsletter, The Herald, just last week. 

Rene wrote about his neighbour.  Their relationship, he said, consists of happy waves and occasional chit-chat about the weather and such.  But this day, she frantically waved at him to come over and she gave him a big bag of fresh vegetables from her garden.  She said that she was just so happy to have him and the others as her neighbour.  The following days, he saw her hand out vegetables also to their numerous neighbours.  


Another article started as a complaint on how Shelagh got “stuck in traffic” in the aisles of the grocery store that was offering dollar days that Saturday afternoon.  She went to the store to grab only a few items and get out of there fast but nobody in the store was moving quickly.  There were groups of shoppers gathering in the middle of aisles and “each chatterer had their cart parked in an-awkward-to-get-by position.”  She wondered if traffic laws should also apply to grocery store aisles but then she realized that people where just trying to catch up on old times or the latest gossip. 

She ended her article with this. “But we are a friendly people so our license plate states.  And that’s what started the traffic jam in the first place.” 


And I have to tell you about the Manitoba socials. 

The first time I heard about it was when a co-worker tried to sell me tickets to a wedding social for $10.00.  I asked her what it was.  She said that it’s like a party, there will be food and drinks and raffle draw where I could win prizes.  But it was on a Saturday night and I was not really into attending parties.  Besides I had small kids and I didn’t think we could get someone to look after them.  But she always buys the chocolate almonds I bring to work for my kids fundraising for school, so I bought one ticket.  I didn’t attend the social.  But I’ve learned my lesson.  Every time I heard someone selling tickets for a social, I try to avoid them. 


A few years ago, I heard from another co-worker that socials are unique to Manitoba.  People from the other provinces don’t know what we are talking about if we mention “social.” 

What is a social, you may ask?  Well, it’s a gathering usually held at a community centre or a parish hall to raise money for a wedding, if it’s a wedding social, because you know how expensive a wedding can be.  Or it can also be a fundraising event for a good cause.  Like for someone who’s ill, as in a cancer patient, to help the family out.     

I have only attended one social.  It was a benefit social for my brother-in-law after he had a triple heart by-pass surgery last year.  When his friends and co-workers learned that he wouldn’t be able to work for at least six months, they decided to help him out and his family.  He was the only breadwinner and he and my sister has seven children.  So the organizers rented this parish hall and friends and family of friends came and we all mingled and danced.  Of course there was food: chips, bread, pizza, spaghetti, and of course pancit and kakanin because it was mostly Filipinos who attended.  There were also drinks: soda and alcohol. 


And speaking of Filipinos, there is a huge Filipino community here in Winnipeg.  Last time I heard, there are roughly 30,000 of us here.  I jokingly tell to anyone who asks me if it’s true that there are a lot of Filipinos here, I’d say, ”Everywhere I look, there is at least one Filipino in sight.” 

Filipinos love gatherings and eating and fiestas.  This is true even here in Winnipeg.  In the summer, you’ll find the Bulakenos’ organization, or the Cavitenos, Pampangenos, or Ilocanos, having a picnic at Kildonan Park or Assiniboine Park.  Or usually there are invitations to a baby’s christening or a birthday party at some restaurant or somebody’s home. 

As years go by, more and more Filipinos flock here.  And it was because of this that the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) was built.  The roof-top of the building has a distinctive design.  It is in the shape of our very own salakot (a native protective headgear), according to the PCCM website, “to forever etch our cultural identity in this part of the world we have chosen to build a new life.” 

Winnipeg has long and very cold winters.  But as I’ve said before, it is the friendliness of this province, the huge Filipino community here, the closeness of my family and the warmth of my friendships with fellow kababayans that make it bearable for me to live in this city.


Entry filed under: Winnipeg.

Friendly Manitoba – Part 1 Tickle Me Elmo

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Major Tom  |  September 12, 2006 at 2:10 am

    Oh my…Judging from the pictures here, Manitoba is such a beautiful place. I could have used some other word to describe it but I think “beautiful” is the best word to use. My aunt lives in Toronto and they laways had pictures that had snow on them, as if it was always snowy in Canada. But these pictures tells me otherwise.

    I like that idea of “social” that if someday I’d become a community leader, I’ll try to study this kind of activity and apply it here. It is such a very useful idea especailly for Filipinos.

  • 2. ipanema  |  September 12, 2006 at 2:25 am

    I agree that socials is a good idea. It brings a community together to help someone.

    That’s also what I heard about Canada – long winters. I have friends who migrated there as well as relatives.

    I believe that Filipinos, wherever we are, we try ‘to bring’ the Philippines to our adoptive country and that’s a nice thing to do. It keeps our identity that we should never forget about.

    Thanks for sharing niceheart.

  • 3. eric aka senor enrique  |  September 12, 2006 at 3:41 am

    Socials seem a wonderful way to get together with friends, as well as help out another!

    Very nice place you live in , Irene 🙂

    God bless!

  • 4. Kyels  |  September 12, 2006 at 9:23 am

    I love the bond that Filipinos have with each other. It’s just so warm and fuzzy.

    It’s amazing! Definitely.


  • 5. niceheart  |  September 12, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Major Tom, I think we tend to send pictures of snow more often to let our family experience it at least in pictures. But of course, it’s not always winter over here. 🙂

    Wow! you have this idea of becoming a community leader? Good for you. 🙂

  • 6. niceheart  |  September 12, 2006 at 10:47 pm

    Ipanema, that’s true. I think other nationalities too try to bring their culture and values to their adoptive countries. It gives you a sense of home.

    Eric, thanks. Yeah, socials are really a nice way of helping others who are in need.

    Kyels, people here also admire the Filipinos friendliness and the bonding we share.

  • 7. Sidney  |  September 13, 2006 at 12:29 am

    You almost convinced me to come over to Manitoba! 😉

  • 8. mmy-lei  |  September 13, 2006 at 6:41 am

    you’re “social” is the modern day of bayanihan. helping one another!

    good to hear that!

  • 9. Karen  |  September 13, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    ugh, i hate wedding socials. minsan kasi nagiging greedy na lang yung mga nagpapasocial. at saka paano kung nag break sila? 😀 kung may ibang purpose like the benefit for you brother in law, then i’d buy the tickets.

    i didn’ even realize that the roof of PCCM is in the shape of a salakot. thanks for pointing that out ;).

  • 10. niceheart  |  September 13, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    Sidney, he he he. Come over in the summer when it’s warm. Or in the Fall. It’s beautiful here with the changing leaves.

    Mmy-lei, if it’s a benefit social, yes I agree.

    But as Karen said, sometimes you get bullied into buying tickets for wedding socials. Minsan ginagawang negosyo. 🙂

    Yung PCCM, nabasa ko din lang sa website. 🙂

  • 11. Friendly Manitoba - Part 1 « Journey to Honeyville  |  September 20, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    […] Continued here. […]

  • 12. lindo casinillo  |  November 20, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    good project. i am an ordinary filipino and open to communication with other filipinos out there. thanks


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