Three dancers for the event were: Jana Villegas, Alaissa Tolosa and Alpha Mendoza
Authentic Filipino food, authentic Filipino dress and authentic Filipino entertainment made up an authentic cultural event, Filipino Fiesta held in the Wetaskiwin Moose Hall on June 1st, 2013. “Wetaskiwin has been very good to the Filipino community so we wanted to give back to the community”, explained Filipino organizers, Nelia Selt and Helen Pacaoan. “Catholic Social Services hires many of our people so we wanted to support their Sign of Hope fundraising campaign.”
This was a great opportunity for the residents of Wetaskiwin to have a meal of Filipino food, watch dancers and singers and view the colorful dress while at the same time knowing they were helping the Filipino community support a local charity, Wetaskiwin-Camrose Region Catholic Social Services, Sign of Hope campaign.
Neila and Helen described why the event was being planned and hosted by the Filipino community. “This event had been going for five years then stopped for two years and now the Filipino Fiesta has been started again this year. Catholic Social Services have been long time employers with lots of Filipinos working for them for more than 10 years and we thought about it and said what can we give back to Catholic Social Services. We wanted to give back to the agency because they have been so good to us.”
In Wetaskiwin, a City with a population of 12,000 there is an estimated 1000 Filipinos. As Nelia explains, “We have become a big community especially since they have brought in that Temporary Workers program”.
The Sign of Hope Society is a non-profit organization responsible for the fundraising and community relations endeavours of Catholic Charities and Catholic Social Services. Every year, the society holds a fundraising campaign throughout central Alberta. Through the generosity of thousands of individuals, business owners, corporations, and social organizations approximately $2.5 million is raised on an annual basis. These funds are critical to the success of programs and services provided to help people of all faiths and cultures in their time of need.