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Toronto’s Filipino community celebrates with song and adobo at Taste of Manila festival

Toronto’s Filipino community celebrates with song and adobo at Taste of Manila festival

In Toronto’s Little Manila this weekend, barbecue, adobo and karaoke delight the throngs filling the city’s Wilson Heights neighbourhood.

Last year, festival organizers say the event drew 350,000 visitors — about as many Filipino residents living and working here in Toronto.

Many of those residents came to Canada looking for “greener pastures,” as festival host Carl Diaz, 31, put it. He landed in Aurora, Ont. six years ago through a foreign workers program to become a caregiver.

He’s now living in Toronto, studying to become a registered nurse. While he’s seeking citizenship next year, he says the Philippines is never far from his heart.

“It’s overwhelming to be here and be connected with people,” he said.

Congressman John Bertiz flew in from the Philippines for the festival, aiming to speak to overseas workers-turned-permanent residents like Diaz, wanting to remind them that the Filipino government has been working to make life better back home.

The country’s foreign worker program allows Filipino nationals who want to work abroad to apply for sponsorship through agencies or from Canadian residents. Workers often come to Canada on short-term permits.

For Diaz, it offered the first step into a new country, a place he eventually wanted to call home. Read more…

Toronto’s Filipino community celebrates with song and adobo at Taste of Manila festival

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