Philippine Association of Saskatchewan Hosts Welcome Ceremony for New Residents

Several different communities gathered at the Core Ritche neighborhood center on Sunday to celebrate Welcome Kabayan. “Kabayan” in Filipino means “welcome to other members of our community”.

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

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

“It’s also necessary to connect with the community and we want to feel safe,” Mae said. “Newcomers feel safe in our community.”

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

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

“They are here today to support us because it is a great initiative and within the trade and other members of our community,” she said. “That way we can access the information and communicate openly with them.”

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

Kabayan is not just for the Filipino community, as the invitation has been extended to other ethnic communities in the city.

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

“Every Sunday we go to church and say thank you for all the blessings we receive every day, we always wake up well,” said Rico Fabi, who has two daughters.

The day was filled with food and dancing, featuring different communities in the Queen City.

“It’s open to everyone, so we have members from different cultural communities,” Mae said.

Officials hope the new residents will take advantage of what the Philippine Association offers and make the transition of moving to Regina easier for everyone involved.

James C. Tibbs