The barbecue held Sept. 15 which was hosted by the Neepawa Rotary Club and Neepawa Settlement Services to welcome the Filipino community and newcomers to Neepawa, had a tremendous turn out.
Earlier in the day, at around 10:30 a.m., the free flea market at the Viscount Cultural Centre was a success because many of the Filipino workers and their families came.
The Filipino Volunteer Group brought in the donated winter jackets they collected in the past two weeks. The Filipinos truly appreciate Neepawa's generosity and concern.
The volunteers assisted the Rotary Club in setting up the games, tables and tents for the said occasion at the Rotary Park (Bird Sanctuary) since 7:30 a.m. that morning. By 2 p.m., only a few newcomers and "old time" workers and their families arrived, so Laarni Santos led a small group of volunteers to serve as a "pick-up crew".
They drove three vehicles to give the workers a lift to the park grounds as it was a long walk from town.
The workers played a game of bolo to unwind.
Then Jason Epp and Ronald Allan Santos started the relay game for the children while the other Rotarians were busy cooking up a storm.
There were face painting and balloon art activities as well.
The Filipinos helped them by shucking several boxes of corn which were cooked in large pots of water. The wives of the "veteran" workers, Raquel Toledo and Shyla Urriza, who both work as dietary aides at Country Meadows, assisted by cutting fruits in preparation for the feast.
The newcomers sang their hearts out on the karaoke at the tent. Then Larry Novac shared his singing talent to the workers. They were immensely captivated by this kind gesture.
HyLife Foods donated the pig that the Rotarians roasted that day.
When the cooks began to peel it and was about to chuck the skin into a garbage bin, the Filipinos rushed to stop them from doing so.
They told the cooks that the skin was the "best part" of eating "lechon" ("roasted pig" in Tagalog). Some of the Canadian guests tried it and were pleasantly surprised at how deliciously crunchy pork skin was. Although, there is not much to say about the health benefits of this "feat", what matters is how much everyone enjoyed the scrumptious meal.
At least 200-300 Filipinos came to the event. Many Canadian residents of Neepawa also came down to welcome the newcomers and their old time Filipino neighbours as well.
The Rotarians were tremendously pleased by the excellent turn out. In fact, they are planning to have a repeat next year.
The Filipino Volunteer group announced their thanks to the Neepawa Rotary Club and the organizers of the occasion.
This barbecue helped in creating a path in which the Canadians and Filipinos in Neepawa were given a chance to get to know each other better which made this occasion all the more extraordinary.
The Tagalog words of the week are: "Magandang umaga!" (Good morning!)
TAGALOG WORD OF THE WEEK: "MAGANDANG UMAGA!" (Good morning!)