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Calgary exhibit launched to mark Filipino Heritage Month

Jihan Alisangco | TFC News Calgary

Posted at Jun 06 2023 10:10 PM

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The Philippine Consulate General in Calgary opened its "Malaya" exhibit which features the works of Filipino-Canadian artists.

The exhibit, launched on June 1, is part of the Filipino Heritage Month celebration in Alberta and in Saskatchewan.

It's also part of the commemoration of the 125th Independence Day in the Philippines on June 12.

"I am thankful to these artists," said Zaldy Patron, consul general in Calgary. "They are expressing art in a Filipino context. This is another way of educating the Canadian public on what the Philippines is about."

Among the artists featured are Day Pajarillo, Audere Santos, Thea Galang, Ryle Ramirez, Gladzy Kei, Allan Rosales, and Von Zuniga of the "Filipinx Kasaganaan Collective."

Rosales said they formed the group three years ago and have since received grants from various organizations.

"We had the pleasure of putting together the first Filipino murals of our culture in Calgary," he added.

Artists Audere Santos and Gladzy Kei, meanwhile, shared that they drew inspiration from their Filipino heritage for their works.

"These are images from my childhood, growing up in the Philippines," said Santos. "The theme of the exhibit is Malaya (Freedom). Being a child has this freedom that you can never have again as an adult."

The youngest featured artist is 17-year-old Thea Galang, who will attend the Alberta University of the Arts this fall.

"Those who have to choose between their own heritage or being Canadian, I say don't choose," she said. "Embrace both identities. My art has always found home in each one."

Patron urged the Filipino community in Calgary to support the Malaya exhibit, which ends on June 30.