Philippine Association of Saskatchewan holds welcome ceremony for new residents

Several different communities gathered at the Core Ritche Neighbourhood Centre on Sunday to celebrate Welcome Kabayan. ‘Kabayan’ in Filipino means, ‘welcome fellow members of our community.’

The event’s purpose was to welcome newcomers and members from different cultures to the city of Regina.

Anna Mae is the interim president of the Philippine Association of Saskatchewan, she explained that the event is important for newcomers to experience the city as well as to bring different cultures together.

“There is also a need to connect with the community and we want to feel safe,” said Mae. “The newcomers to feel safe in our community.”

Community partners including the Regina Fire and Protective Services and Regina police were in attendance.

Mae explained that this was very important for new residents, so that they feel comfortable joining the community of Regina.

“They are here today to support us because this is a great initiative and within commerce and further members of our community,” she said. “So we can access the information and communicate openly with them.”

One of the goals of this initiative was to help increase awareness and support a range of multiculturalism efforts that foster a more welcoming and inclusive community for the newcomers.

Kabayan is not only for the Filipino community, as the invite was extended to other ethnic communities in the city.

The Fabi family attended the Sunday afternoon event. Speaking to CTV News, they expressed that they were very humble to be in Regina.

"Every Sunday we go to church and say thank you for all the blessings that we get everyday we wake up still good,” said Rico Fabi, who has two daughters.

The day was filled with food and dancing, showcasing different communities in the Queen city.

"It is open to everyone, so we have members of different cultural communities,” said Mae.

Officials are hoping that new residents take advantage of what the Philippine Association is offering and make the transition of moving to Regina easier for all involved.