Filipino teachers’ association turns 45
The Manitoba Association of Filipino Teachers Inc. certainly knows how to plan a gala. Its 45th anniversary was a red-carpet event held at the posh Hilton Winnipeg Airport ballroom on Jan. 21. Over 280 guests from all over Manitoba attended the formal affair.
Founded in 1977, MAFTI is a volunteer association whose members include teachers, educational assistants, new immigrants, child-care workers, and members from related professions.
MAFTI plays a major role in preserving and promoting Filipino cultural heritage, especially the Filipino language. The first public school Filipino-English bilingual program in Canada was introduced four years ago at a school in the Seven Oaks School Division. This coming school year – 2023- 2024 — the Winnipeg School Division is also launching Filipino bilingual programming for kindergarten and Grade 1 students.
The gala evening was highlighted by the presence of the organization’s founding members, led by Lolita Oandasan, Socorro Juan, Gemma Dalayoan, Julie Mandac and Nemesio Juan.
Special guests included Seven Oaks School Division trustees Perla Javate, Dante Aviso, Ann Evangelista, and Derek Dabee. Also gracing the occasion were Winnipeg North MP Kevin Lamoureux, Notre Dame MLA Malaya Marcelino, Tyndall Park MLA Cindy Lamoureux, Winnipeg mayor Scott Gillingham and Charles Cochrane, executive director of the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre.
Gemma Dalayoan was presented with the lifetime achievement award for her unceasing dedication to MAFTI mission and ideals. Genalyn Tan received the exemplary achievement award in recognition of her outstanding leadership in MAFTI, which has resulted in several successful educational and cultural programs.
Jasmin Masangcay, Victoria Cabrera, Carrie Barroga, Julie Mandac, and Clarita Manzano received awards for their stellar volunteer service throughout the years.
MAFTI also expressed its appreciation for the continued support of the Manitoba Multicultural Secretariat for its annual programs grant.
Full credit is due to MAFTI’s newly elected officers and board members who formed the gala event committee and presented a most successful and enjoyable evening. Members are: Genalyn Tan (past president), Maryjane Napolitano (president), Michael Valdez (vice-president), Loreta Genota (secretary), Carrie Barroga (treasurer), Roldan Laguerta (PRO), Jasmin Masangcay (auditor), Jonathon Malek, Michelle Feliciano, Ernesto Ofiaza Jr., Gloria Ortiz, Vinza Bautista, Gloria Agravante, Clarita Manzano, and Gemma Dalayoan (consultant and adviser).
“It’s always a pleasure to work with fellow MAFTI volunteers, members and with other diverse community organizations,” Genalyn Tan said.
The Maples community correspondent
Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples.