The warm weather we have been blessed with for the past weeks is a wonderful sign that spring is coming. I have always been fascinated with the way the seasons change here in Canada. Spring is definitely my favorite because, for me, it symbolizes “new beginnings”. Although I have been here for three years now, I am still amazed at how the almost “mountainous” mounds of snow start to melt and how icicles start to form on the roofs of the houses. Driving and walking on the slippery streets can be particularly challenging but it is a welcome change from all the “shoveling-your-way” moments. I cannot wait to watch the leaves sprouting from the trees and listening to the chirps of the birds every morning. These motivate me to be more enthusiastic about spring cleaning. We are all eager to start barbequing and spending more time outdoors. We are invigorated by the thought of travelling on weekends. Filipinos are still curious about how the rest of Canada looks like. We marvel at the fact that we can safely drive to beautiful places without having to worry about heavy traffic. We Filipinos are looking forward to a lot of exciting spring activities. Now that the Filipino Association of Southwestern Manitoba Inc. (FILTOBA) has a new set of officers, there are several plans for events that will help in unifying the community. FILTOBA is focused on coming up with activities that will contribute to integration into the community as well as the drive for better coordination among its membership. The continuously growing population of Filipino workers in Neepawa urges our leaders to come up with more cultural, educational, sports and leisure activities. The inclusion of Filipinos in some of Neepawa’s community organizations is a remarkable development. The Chamber of Commerce has two Filipino directors who will actively participate in major community events. I am honoured to be a new member of the Board of Directors for the Viscount Cultural Centre as they are really keen on discovering more about Filipino culture. Even the Hazel M. Kellington elementary school is planning to do a program to teach the students about Filipino ethnicity. I believe that we Filipinos can now anticipate an amicable means of intercultural communication with our Canadian neighbours. There is a pleasing sense of relief that we will now have better information dissemination. Learning more about each other is part and parcel of the “new beginnings” that the Spring of 2013 will bring. The Filipino community appreciates how the Town of Neepawa continues to encourage us to take part in many important endeavours.