Ancop joins Pinoy Fiesta

Monday, September 04, 2017

ANCOP Canada-Vancouver participated for the first time in Pinoy Fiesta Festival, the biggest and most anticipated Filipino cultural event in British Columbia.

ANCOP (Answering the Cry Of the Poor) International Canada, the outreach arm of Catholic renewal community Couples for Christ (CFC), is a registered Canadian charity committed to help alleviate poverty by building homes for poor families and providing scholarship education to children.

ANCOP’s donor base has been mostly members of Couples for Christ and their network of family, friends, and colleagues. Participating at Pinoy Fiesta Festival is in line with ANCOP’s goal of engaging individuals, groups, and corporations outside the CFC community for its global work primarily in the Philippines and in other countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and India.

The Pinoy Fiesta Festival, now on its 5th year, brought together thousands of Filipinos for a cultural celebration and community spirit on August 10, 2014. The event kicked off with a parade at 11 a.m. A long stretch of Fraser Street up to 41st St. in Vancouver was closed for the parade that lasted almost two hours. The parade ended up in Memorial South Park where tents and gazebos were put up in colorful fashion presenting a variety of products and services for the public.

The display of Filipino food and the familiar aroma wafting in the air was a fitting way to welcome the participants after the long walk. Leading the guests were Consul General Neil Ferrer, Mayor Robertson of Vancouver and many other government and community leaders. Following the parade was a program and a variety show that lasted until 9 p.m.

Rene and I led the ANCOP delegation, and most of us came in our neon green ANCOP Walk t-shirt. The color of our shirt was so bright that we managed to assert our presence during the parade amidst thousands of people in decorated floats, banners, and colorful unique costumes. Occasionally, spectators at the side street cheered us on chanting, “ANCOP! ANCOP!” while others with camera took a close picture of the printed words at the back of our shirt: “sponsor a child…build a home for the poor.”

In high spirit and unmindful of the long walk under the scorching heat of the sun, we were convinced that our smiling faces brought forward the many faces of the countless poor waiting for help.

Spectators especially non-Filipinos were given a glimpse of the Philippines celebrations and renowned festivals like Ati-atihan, Dinagyang, Maskara, Flores de Mayo and many more. The drum beats, the clangs of cymbals, the dancing, and chanting all lend to the festive air reminiscent of the joyful celebrations in the Philippines innate to the Filipino culture. For some fleeting moment Filipino Vancouverites like us were transported back to old times, and Vancouver really felt like “home.”

Having been to the festival for the first time, I was amazed at the huge number of Filipinos in attendance. I realized that the Filipino community in Vancouver is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.

For us in ANCOP, it was an opportunity to raise people’s awareness of our work in helping improve the lives of the poor by building homes and by providing scholarship to children. The task of lifting poor children and their family out of poverty is immense. We Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike are all called to answer their cry to respond and make a difference.

By Edna Garrucho on August 21, 2014

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