VANCOUVER, Canada – The Filipino Plaza in Vancouver will soon get a makeover.
Younger members of the community are now raising awareness about the plaza by bringing small groups of Filipinos to the park.
“When this is something Filipino they feel different. They feel proud. I think importante na may nakikita tayong it connects sa atin as Filipinos,” said Jay Razon, a Filipino Plaza Advocate.
They also launched a web campaign. Some have suggested building a small stage and creating a Filipino mural at the plaza.
The Filipino Plaza in Vancouver is one of the many multi-cultural parks developed in the area during the 1980s.
Nelson Didulo was part of the Filipino Plaza committee of 1985 when government offered various ethnic groups lot area under the Expo Sky Train line in Vancouver.
This was part of Transways BC's parkway program, a showcase of different cultural parks on the 26-kilometer path that parallels the Skytrain.
Didulo said the community raised funds for the Filipino Plaza and decided to put a “sarimanok” near the park’s name.
“Ano pa ang something that is Filipino na the North American or the whole world could relate to? So, what are we well-known in the Philippines for? Sabi namin sabong. At the same time we give honor to the people that helped us, nagtinda kami ng mga bricks. We told them that your name would be etched into the bricks and laid it on the wall. It would be a testimonial that you are part of the Filipino Plaza,” Didulo said.
But more than 20 years after the Filipino Plaza was created, Didulo admitted he is disappointed. Some walls have been vandalized. The grass and plants are not maintained, and today, only a few Pinoys actually know of the Plaza's existence
“It’s not the way it was envisioned to be,” said Didulo.
Much work needs to be done but Filipinos here hope that fellow kababayans will come out and do their share to revive the Filipino Plaza. Balitang America