A growing population in the community over the last couple years has now formed as a group, as the Filipino Community Association hopes to gain official corporate status this month, after organizing itself as a valley entity since last November.
“It’s not only about what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for Drumheller as a community,” said Pulvinar at their association meeting on Sunday night.
“It gives an avenue for newcomers to feel welcome, and gives them a helping hand introducing them to Canada and Drumheller,” said vice chairman Chris Viejon.
The association estimates there to be 300 Filipino nationals currently living and working in Drumheller – of which 70 have joined the community association.
The population is expected to grow, the association says.
“The majority of people come here for work,” explains Pulvinar, “looking for ‘greener pastures’. It’s growing very rapidly.”
Sitting in the Drumheller Civic Centre after the monthly meeting, senior officials among the group explain it’s often a dream of Filipino workers to find jobs in Canada. Many earn status as family workers, others as individuals. Skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workers have taken up jobs through employment programs throughout the valley – in service, manufacturing, oil field, and food production.
“Canada needs workers, it’s not going to progress without workers,” explains Pulvinar, who came to Canada in 2007 and has lived in Drumheller since 2009. “It’s not hard for an English speaking country to hire Filipino workers. English is an official language (in the Phillipines) and we are good workers.”
The Filipino Community Association allows this influx of visitors to ask their numerous questions, seek help, support and assistance from people who have gone through the same experience. The formation of the association also firms their desire to remain in Drumheller, of which many among the group say they are glad to now live in.
“I love it here and hope to stay,” said Pulvinar.
The community is opening its doors to the public for their Valentine’s Day party on Saturday, February 12, 6 p.m. at the Midland Community Hall.