Topic: Filipino Centre
How we build a Centre in 18 months.
For more than 30 years the Filipinos in Greater Toronto Area tried but failed to build a Community Centre. A number of groups have tried but every time someone or a group pulls it down. Silayan Community Centre first tried, then Culture Philippines, and San Lorenzo Ruiz Community Centre. They all failed. For the last time we asked the community to give us a chance and in 18 months, the Filipino Centre Toronto finally bought a building at Parliament and Wellesley. Below are the articles published in Toronto newspapers, promotions, marketing strategies we used to fulfill that dream, the joy and heart aches of the struggle. There are now 3 centres in Greater Toronto Area, 2 of which we have an influence - Rodel J. Ramos, Publicity & Promotions Chairman
Filipino Centre Toronto (FCT), Promotion and Marketing
1. Erap instructed Embassy to get involved by Rodel J. Ramos
There are times when the truth is never told and credit is not given to the right people. In fairness, the initiative to encourage the Community to build a Centre from the Philippine Embassy and the Consulate came from the President himself.
Erap corresponded with Secretary Domingo Siason Jr. of the Foreign Affairs to initiate the move. The Secretary forwarded that instruction to Undersecretary Clemencio Montesa, formerly our Consul General in Toronto. Mr. Montesa who is now the Undersecretary to the Americas, conveyed the message to Ambassador Francisco Benedicto and the Philippine Consulate in Toronto to drum up support for a Center.
Even before Consul General Susan Constrence arrived, Acting Consul General Olivia Palala in her speeches in Community gatherings was already urging us to support the initiative. Ambassador Benedicto did the same in his trips to Toronto because the instruction was from the Palace. Benedicto’s offer of giving $5,000 of his own money was a personal initiative.
How did Erap get involved? After the collapse of Culture Philippines and the SLRFCCC, the Community Center issue was in limbo. We decided to do something about it.
In the early months of 1999, we formed a think tank to study this unfulfilled dream of our people. Members of the group were Vince Vargas, a retired technocrat with 30 years business and executive experience, president of Brampton Filipino Seniors and an adviser at the SkyDome Festival; Bernie Sychangco, former Section head of the Presidential Staff of Malacanang; Clemente Cabillan, a top real estate agent of Re/Max; Roy Start, President Estrada’s loyal friend; Freddie Toledo, President of Canadian Village Development; Manny Bade, Manager of Videophone Comm. & Surveillance and myself. This was to become the Filipino Clubhouse Inc.
We found out that the Consulate, the Trade Attache and the Trade Commission combined were spending $200,000 in rent every year. Clem Cabillan, being a real estate expert said that if we could get the Consulate to rent or invest that amount to the building, it is easy to convince the banks to give us a mortgage. The Philippine Government is a solid institution and is very bankable.
The proposal does not run counter with the plans of the Consulate. In the past, there were attempts to buy their own building even during the time of Mr. Clemencio Montesa and Francisco Santos. The problem was, every time they submit the proposal, it takes Congress years act on it. By that time, prices have gone up.
We agreed that the best way to convince the Philippine Government is go directly to the President using the proper connection.
Below is the letter I composed which Roy Start signed in behalf of the Filipino Clubhouse Inc. Roy is a close associate of Pres. Estrada when he was Mayor of San Juan. This letter explains a lot of things that transpired. This was mailed in April 16, 1999 via Roy’s compadre, Mr. Mat Guerrero of Malacanang.
Pres. Joseph E. Estrada
Care of Mr. Mat Guerrero
RE: METRO TORONTO PHILIPPINE CULTURAL CENTER
After my operation from lung cancer 4 years ago, I had more time to get involved in the concerns of the Filipino Community. One of the things they badly need is a Community Center. In my 21 years in Canada, the Filipinos in Metro Toronto have tried and many times failed in this project for what ever reason. Of all the ethnic groups, we are the only ones without a Center.
Aware of your interest in this kind of project, may we request your help in fulfilling the Filipino Canadian dream to have its own Cultural Center?
We have gathered together some of your friends, businessmen, professionals, and leaders of the Community to propose the establishment of a Philippine Cultural Center. It is now gathering momentum. With your support, it will be easier to convince our people to join and hopefully build one during your term of office.
Our plan is to sell shares of stocks to Members as well as raise funds.
There are 2 things which we would like to request from your Excellency:
1. A letter of endorsement to the project (sample attached); and
2. Ask the Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Trade Commission in Toronto to join us in this venture either as partners or by moving their facilities to the building as tenants;
I believe the 250,000 Filipinos in Canada will forever be indebted to you. For a greater glory of the Philippines under your administration, Mr. President, we are committed.
Your loyal follower,
Roy Henry Start
Ambassador Francisco Benedicto answered that letter of Roy Start dated May 31, 1999.
Dear Mr. Start,
Your letter of 16 April 1999 to His Excellency Pres. Joseph Ejercito Estrada regarding the establishment of Philippine Community Center in Metro Toronto was referred to the Embassy by the Office of the President.
I want to inform you that the establishment of Philippine Community Centers in major cities in Canada is one of the priority missions I have set to accomplish during my tenure as Philippine Ambassador to Canada. After I officially assumed my post as Philippine Ambassador I met with the Communities in Ottawa, Metro Toronto and other cities to encourage them to put up a center in their respective localities.
I am pleased to inform you that, after several months of meetings and discussions, the Community of the Ottawa Valley has succeeded in incorporating and registering a non-profit organization called the Philippine Center.
The Land and Building Acquisition Committee of the organization is now in the process of scouting for available site for the Center. The Fund Raising Committee on the other hand, has launched its first fund raising activity with proceeds from the May 8 performance of the Philippine Ballet Theater at the museum of Civilization going to the Center.
I have met with some leaders of the Filipino Community in Toronto who share your dream of establishing a Philippine Center in Toronto. I have pledged a humble donation of $5,000.00 to the Filipino Community in Toronto with the hope that like minded Filipinos will share their time and resources and support this Philippine Center project.
Should you be in Ottawa in the near future please do not hesitate to contact me at the Embassy. I will be pleased to meet with you and other members of the Community to discuss how we may be able to inform and enlist the support of the Filipino Community in Toronto for this project. Best regards.
Very truly yours,
Ambassador Francisco Benedicto
We presented our own project proposal to Acting Consul General Palala, Consul Marasigan and the Labor Attache after this. We expected the Ambassador and the Consulate to get in touch with us on this.
Instead, the Ambassador went out convincing everyone who would listen to form a core and built the Centre. On their visits to Ottawa, Mann Nacario and Chito Collantes went were asked to get involved. This is how the Philippine Centre Core Group of Dr. Jun de Villa was formed with Dr. Vicky Santiago, Mann and others.
When Consul General Susan Constrence arrived, she had her own ideas. She wanted a Community consensus and asked for nominations from leaders of the Community.
2. Consul General Castrence’s initiative by Rodel J. Ramos
The Philippine Consulate’s mediation effort in the Cultural Centre issue is laudable. Her being new in the Toronto Office did not hinder Consul General Castrence from getting involved, head-on to the most important issue that has bugged the Community for more than 30 years.
In the second meeting called by the Consulate, it considered the 37 names nominated more than 3 times by 208 organizations. A few names had 12 nominations but most were mentioned 5 to 3 times. They will choose from these nominees the 15 who will compose the Think Tank. This Body will study various proposals and initiatives and decide whom to support, and then create the organizational structure and committees’ necessary to implement the project.
Some comment that these people won by popularity. Others wonder if nominated by 12 organizations or less is enough mandates considering that the list of organizations registered with the Consulate is around 230. But we have to start somewhere. As someone said, it does not matter who leads us as long as we built the Center. Expect an election as the next step.
The purpose of the Consul General is to get the consensus necessary for the whole Community to support the project. As she often reminded us, this is our project, not of the Consulate. Their role is to mediate.
Meanwhile, other groups are surging on with their individual projects, believing they can do it on their own. However, they are all relying on the support of the Community that might not be there. My warning to them is this: The Community will not be able to support more than one Community Center for the moment. There is still that distrust on our leaders, and people will be cautious on whom they will support. You will just confuse our people. Also, our resources will be thinned out and you will all end up as failures.
You can’t blame our people. Many have been burned before from the intramural of the past. There is distrust on the present leaders. This image has to be changed. If we install leaders with doubtful characters, it will be difficult to sell them to the people. Also, we have to make the people believe that no matter who the leader is, we can build the Center.
Eventually, we will need a Center in every area. But let us settle with one right now. If you think that you are better than Dr. Jun de Villa and Ric Torres in raising funds, think again. This is not just raising a few thousands. We need millions to built and sustain a center.
The San Lorenzo Ruiz group under Joe Mari Azzaraga tried to tighten its grip on the group by passing a resolution requiring members to attend two meetings and sell tickets before they are allowed to vote. But they were outvoted. There is even a rumor that they will change the name of the organization to Carlos Bulosan Center, which will better represent their hidden agenda and radical ideology. One thing about this group, once they get hold of any organization, they find ways to cling on to power, no matter if they reach the goal of building the Center or not. They should be voted out from office in the next election and Dr. Jun de Villa take over again or Gie and Marie Asis. The Knights of Columbus who started this project should reconsider taking that organization back again.
We hope and pray that Congen Susan Castrence would succeed where all of us failed for more than 25 years. Some of the names on that list triggered the disunity in the Community. They divided the Community into their small kingdoms. A few of them will never work with others unless they are the leaders. Some have deep personal differences.
To create teamwork and unity with people of different personal and hidden agenda is an impossible task. During the Centennial, we (Manny Bade, Sonny Lawzon and I) tried and even enlisted the help of Consul General Francisco Santos but gave up on it. The Spirit of Kalayaan people pursued this route until the last days of the Festival but failed. In the Marketing & Promotions, we realized the impossibility of making these people work together much earlier. We went above the leaders, direct to the people and the masses responded favorably. I said to them, only 10% of our people join organizations. You see the same faces during community affairs. And no one controls that big Community. The people will join if they believe in the cause and have fun with the proper marketing strategy.
Some of our leaders are short sighted. They would rather be “a big fish in a small pond than a big fish in a big pond.” Our hope is that they would finally realize that they had become the hindrance to our progress. That they have mellowed now that they are older, and noticed that all their achievements are so little compared to other ethnic groups with lesser populations. We also hope that this Center be their gift to our people in the new millennium.
Some of them will have to swallow their big egos. There are too many differences and hurt feelings they have to first forgive one another. What is ironic is that they all have good qualities as leaders but some just are not compatible like some husbands and wives.
Unity not important
A hundred percent unity is the most ideal. It will make the job easier. All of these leaders have big followings in the Community. And they have vast experiences in leadership and mobilization. Some have the money. But from experience, unity has never been attained. So, let us not expect that miracle.
What we have proven in the SkyDome Festival however, is that we do not need to unite everybody to succeed as a community. In fact, in any group, if you can unite 1% of the population, you can already achieve great things. We will always have the doubting Thomas dueling on negatives and pessimism. Some will never cooperate unless they are in control and their beautiful names are in the newspapers. They think they know what’s best. Many have the band wagon mentality and will join when they see success. Some will of course be crabs forever.
Unity is only one of the major factors in this project. This can be offset by other greater factors. What we truly need is a good management team, innovative financing or fund raising (our traditional ways does not work), new marketing and promotions ideas, people with technical know-how on building construction, financial controls and transparency. Cultural Centers are all over the place and are not new ideas. We have to learn from others experiences and stop being crabs.
3. Tradition our worst enemy by Rodel J. Ramos
Our greatest problem in the past was the snail rate our leaders raised funds (more than 25 years), draining the pocket of the community and throwing away most of the money raised.
We know that after three years, people will start asking why it is taking so long and where the money is going even if you show them financial statements. You cannot blame them. They will begin to doubt the capability and competence of the leaders. This is what happened in the past and hopefully the present Filipino Centre leadership would not repeat the same mistakes.
Focus on goal
In the business world, they always focus on the goal. Jim Ariz in his Feasibility Study has pointed out that our minimum requirement for the Centre is 20,000 square foot which will cost $4 - $5 million depending on the location in the City.
Why is the present leadership working so hard on projects that will only yield us less than $200,000 a year? To raise the $5 million, it will take us 25 years. Do they expect to be in office that long? Some of our leaders had been there since time in memorial. And they are the reason why we had gone nowhere.
It is because tradition is hard to die. Our present leaders are following traditional fund wasting (not fund raising) projects such as dinner and dance, bowling tournaments, walkathon and others, which draws a net profit of only 10% of the gross income. And we are not counting the waste in manpower, time and money.
It is a pity. We know that they are working hard like men trying to find gold where there is no gold. Of course there are pennies but it will bankrupt the whole community again if we keep on spending 90% of what we earn.
The Centre launching took us 5 months to prepare and only netted $11,000. We have already used 10 months of our 3 years term. We just have 2 years and 2 months to go. I am sure the leaders do not intend to cling to their jobs for another 25 years if they are still alive by then. It is just that traditions are hard to destroy.
Even the lottery that the Filipino Centre is now holding will spend no less than $75,000 in prizes, administration, publicity and ticket printing. The maximum net if all the tickets are sold profit if all the 110,000 tickets are sold will net.
New, bold, Innovative ideas have to be injected. And the present leadership should stop thinking that they know everything and that they are the teachers and everybody else are their students to be told what to do, say and think. Teachers should stimulate creativity, and teach people how to think, not what to think.
And when people have the attitude as if they are the most brilliant on planet earth and everybody should follow them even if they are wrong, then you have the right formula for failure.
A writer once said, “In the classic confrontation of Old and New, the New always wins. It also loses eventually, as it becomes the Old. But before New wins over Old, a great tension and struggle happens more as a process than an event. We are always in that process but now possibly nearing the event when the Old fades and the New begins its domination.
That appears to be the law of creativity, of life perpetuating itself in ever-fresh forms. It is my conviction that this process is integral to life's design, and my assurance that Filipinos will transcend its patterned weaknesses towards growth and maturity.”
Our leaders are not dumb. They are the best and finest among us. But tradition is hard to kill. It blinds most of us. It makes the wrong right and the right wrong. I asked the leaders many times to review how they raise funds. They said, “It is tradition. People want to get something for what they give.”
It is natural for people to expect something when they give. A Centre has a lot to offer if packaged well. They can have discounts, their name be in the wall, have a voting right, etc.
I told them to explain that we are building a Centre, not having a party. That their money will go a long way to making themselves proud of being Filipino Canadians so that they don’t have to rent from others and the money will circulate in the Community. And they answered, “The people are not generous. They will not understand.” I told them our people are not dumb and they are under-estimating the intelligence and the capacity to understand of the Filipinos. That once they would realize the situation, they will agree.
No, our people are generous, but you do not realize the dream in 3 years, they will again begin to doubt and ask where the money is going as what they did in the past
But they want the easy way, which in the long run is the hardest way, because we will never build that Centre the way we are doing it. How long can we keep on fooling our people and ourselves?
Like a business
Another major reason for failure is the lack of profession managers. We have the talents in the community but they are not being utilized. When leaders think that they know everything and do not consult those who have vast experience and expertise on the different departments, the organization will just waste time, money, efforts and resources.
Our main problem now is the distrust with our leaders. We only have to bring back the trust. There are still a lot of honest people among us. We only have to install the safeguards necessary to avoid misuse of funds like they do in business corporations. In fact the Filipino Centre should be run professionally like a business.
At the Pista ng Bayan, Chito Collantes asked people who want a Centre to raise their hands and everybody did. But when he asked them who wants to pledge, not even one did. This Centre cannot be built without us contributing to it. It is like a dream which you do not do anything. It does not happen. This is the tragedy of our Community.
4. Lessons of past efforts by Rodel J. Ramos
"Successful Centres are not mere accidents. They blended the right ingredients and had experienced people to make their dream come true."
I am proud of our people on how they created the miracle of overthrowing our corrupt leader. This is an example on what Filipinos can do if they unite and do something to destroy evil amidst the dangers to their lives.
This is the third time we have shown the world the heroism of the Filipinos when they are fed up. It was the Philippines who rose against colonialism because of the efforts of an expatriate like us, Dr. Jose Rizal when he exposed the abuses of the foreign invaders. We were 50 years ahead of India and other nations.
It was the EDSA peaceful revolution of 1986 which served as an example to the world and triggered the collapse of Communism in Europe including Germany and Russia.
Here in Metro Toronto, it is about time we show that Filipinos can build a Centre of our own.
Last issue, I exposed the futility of the traditional Fund Raising techniques we tenaciously cling to for more than 25 years. That’s how long our people have been doling out money for the Centre. We can’t blame them if they are skeptical now. Money is not easy to earn. It was just like digging gold where there is no gold.
We offered alternatives, more or less suggested that we re-invent the system, not just hit and missed solutions but using proven ideas. Community Centres are not new. By researching on what others did, we can cut on cost, efforts and time. And if we apply the right business methods, get experienced and honest people and blend the right ingredients together, we can do it like anyone can.
The major issues are how to raise the funds for the building and sustaining the maintenance cost.
Transparency & Accountability
San Lorenzo Ruiz Community Centre and Culture Philippines failed because of lack of transparency and accountability. Safeguards and controls were ignored. They were therefore vulnerable to rumors and intrigues. For us who investigated the facts, we can attest that no money was lost. The $150,000 was turned over to the present officers. Dr. Jun de Villa’s integrity can’t easily be tarnished. Ric Torres of Culture Philippines was also found innocent of any irregularities.
It is time to remind some of us that we are not the only ones who are honest. Let’s not compare our Community to the Philippine Government where people get paid and receive kickbacks.
In the new Filipino Centre, we installed controls and safeguards to avoid past mistakes. Proper accounting system and receipts in every transactions are required. A financial report is a must after every project and it will be published in a newspaper. A yearly audit was required and an external auditor will be hired. Two signatures are needed for withdrawals and approval of the Board of Directors for amounts more than $1,000.00. The Treasurer is required to post a bond.
We are aware of the tendency of some ambitious people to create intrigues and gossips from within. Intrigues that consumed past Associations started from within. Damage control called Reconciliation Committee was created to handle this before it grows into big fires. The Publicity & Promotions Committee will counteract external intrigues.
Some people use the hakot system to be elected. We saw to it that members are in good standing for a year before they can vote or be elected. Also, some people just run for office to have a name and are never active. Three consecutive absences without valid reason automatically remove an officer.
Trust in leaders
We are aware of the damaged image of Community leaders and the lost trust in our leaders. Publicity and Marketing decided to confront the issues head on. We can prove that no one got rich serving the Community and no money were stolen. We only have to built on those facts and let everybody know that our leaders have reputations to uphold. Image building is the number one task of Publicity & Promotions.
We have to built an image of trust by focusing on the reputation and experience of the new leaders. We have to prove that the dream is feasible. Experienced people have to be recruited both as volunteers and advisers to fast tract the project. The organization has to be run like a business, professionally managed.
Constantly informing the public of what is going on is a goal with the help of the media.
Mindset of Filipinos
We know that it is difficult to change a people. We studied the mindset of the Filipinos and used them to the advantage of the new group. We have to sway our people to change direction. If they want a Centre, they have to sacrifice many of their parties and enjoyment. But at the end, they will be proud that they have built a Centre, a legacy to our children and grandchildren.
We are confronted with a negative image of the past Centre efforts, people who are fed up with donating to the Centre and solicitors who are tired of asking for favors. Also, the apathy and callousness of many is our number one concern. But we also know the band wagon mentality of many and once we can show that the efforts are sincere and the project is feasible, we expect others to follow.
We are aware too of the thousands of people who are always willing to volunteer for a good cause especially of this lifetime dream of every Filipino Canadian in Metro Toronto. We don’t really need everybody in this project. If 4,000 people contribute $1,000 each, that is $4 million dollars which is more than enough to put as a down payment for a $20 million building. And if we can convince the Philippine Consulate to transfer their office in that building, our project is sustainable. The Consulate spend more than $200,000 a year on rent in their present office. It is about time, they contribute financially to the Community they depend on.
People who party every weekend spend $3,000 to $5,000 a year. This does not include their party dresses, jewelry, gasoline and depreciation expenses for their cars and the time and efforts they spend to hold these parties. If there are 20,000 doing that, multiply it by $3,000, that is $9 million a year being thrown away. So, we have enough money to raise the Centre if handled right. And our people are known to be generous for good causes.
We have injected great incentives for donors and solicitors so that they can not refuse.
5. Launching Logo Contest by Vince Vargas, Chairman
Objective: Promote public awareness of the community centre project.
1. Conduct Press Conference during launching Event - prepare Press Kit, Presentation Materials, Invite Press People, Prepare Gifts for Press, Press table in Dinner-Dance.
2. Distribute project brochure or concept paper to all attending the launching;
3. Make visible the eye-catching signage’s of “Filipino Center in 2003”
4. Prepare ID’s with “Filipino Center, Toronto” printed on it and have all board members wear this ID during launching and in all events.
5. Press Releases before and after launching
6. Prepare Flyers for shot-gun distribution
7. Talk about the project in all other functions
8. Email and/or fax Project Concept Paper to all known addresses
Objective: Raise Funds
1. Get sponsors for the launching event
2. Campaign for memberships
3. Campaign for sponsorships for the project
4. Print and sell Tickets
5. Send letters to all presidents of organizations and enclose 2 tickets. Follow-ups on these letters
6. Conduct raffles, 50-50, silent auction during launching
7. Encourage pledges during the launching
8. Encourage outright donation of whatever amount
9. Come out with a Souvenir Program during launching
Objective: Promote organization/people behind the project in order to firm up credibility and to win the trust of everyone.
1. Start every event on time.
2. All Board Members should be present and show the solidarity and cordiality of the group.
3. All Board Members should get lifetime membership.
4. All should wear ID’s showing lifetime membership.
5. All should commit to bring 5 new members to be inducted at the launching event.
6. Include in the President’s Project Briefing:
· Mission/Vision Statement.
· Existence of an appropriate accounting system covering transaction and preparation of the required financial statements.
· Announce the plan to contract an external auditor.
· Announce the quarterly reporting on the progress of the project.0
7. Report unaudited financial outcome of the launching event during the night of the event.
8. Include brief resumes of each Board Member in the Press Kit, Project Concept Paper or Brochure.
9. Invite highly known and respected personalities to be our Honorary Chairs or Board of Advisers.
10. All Board Members should take the “Oath of Commitment” during the launching event.
Proposed launching program for discussion
Schedule of activities:
6:00 p.m. - Registration
6:30 p.m. - Press Conference (Board Members and Media Representatives)
· Introduction - M.C. and Moderator
· Project Presentation (Table: Lynda Javier, Pres
· Presentation of Pledges Project - Vince Vargas, Chairman for, Rodel Ramos, Publicity & Promotion,
· Presentation of the Raffle Project - Dr. Jun de Villa
· Unveiling of the Project (Perspective)
· Question and answer Portion
· Presentation of Press Kit (Gift to Media Representatives)
7:15 p.m. - Dinner to be preceded by a Prayer or Doxology
Entertainment within dinner time
8:15 p.m. - Program Proper
· National Anthems
· Welcome Statement and Project Briefing
· Presentation of People behind the Project and taking the Oath of Commitment to be officiated by the Ambassador (?)
· Short Message from the Ambassador
· Formal Acceptance of Donations
· Acknowledgements and Appeal for Support (donations, pledges, memberships, volunteers, etc.)
· Induction and welcoming of New members
9:15 p.m. - DANCE, DANCE, DANCE
1:00 a.m. - Adjournment
6. Critics asked to give FCT time by Rodel J. Ramos
I am glad that we are getting a lot of comments for the Filipino Centre, good and bad. It means we are being noticed, nay becoming the talk of the town. Our promotions are effective. The Centre being the dream of every Filipino in Metro is a concern for all and it needs the attention it is getting.
We love comments, because by them, we can feel the pulse of our people. We have however to distinguish constructive criticism from the destructive.
Friends comment because they want us to improve and we appreciate that. A father or a mother wants their children to be perfect and so they correct their child’s every mistake and that is great. We should listen, especially to the experts and experienced ones, not necessarily do everything they suggest.
On the other hand, what ever we do, people will comment. From experience, especially with projects that others failed to achieve and in a community that love to comment, no matter what you do, you will hear criticisms. All these are challenges for those with courage to continue the dream. It is however a discouragement to the faint of heart.
Some of us just comment without thinking whether it hurts others. A few speak up to show off that they and their ideas are better than those who are working - “Dapat ganito, dapat ganoon.” If you are better, put up your own centre.
Talk is cheap, and we are good at commenting on what others do even if we have not contributed to the project. If we are too sensitive to all these comments we will go crazy.
There are thousands of ideas out there, but many have tried and failed. Give a chance to the present group to try what we know. We have just started. Don’t expect us to be perfect, because you are not. Give us time to prove our worth.
If you think you have better ideas, please come forward to try yours and show us that you can do better. We are always willing to step down. One of the reasons we took charge is most of us had given up on the dream. And we refuse to give up because we believe we Filipinos can do it if other ethnic communities can and we have ideas to make it happen.
We know there are lots of you better than us, but some do not have the time or care for the community only in words. We are committed on this project. We have the time (some of us are retired) and we are working hard.
We can’t build the gigantic project alone. We need your help. If you are skeptical on this project and do not want to get involved, please step aside and let us show what we can do. Refrain from destructive comments. Wala na nga tayong naitutulong, sinisira pa natin ang pangarap ng bayan.
Remember that the one of the main reasons why San Lorenzo Ruiz Centre and the Culture Philippines failed is because of the destructive criticism of people from within the group and it snowballed until the leaders gave up.
Answers to comments
“While the space could seat one thousand people, only 400 were invited during the Launching.”
The event was open to the public. Our press releases invited everyone. If you were truly concerned and interested to go, all you needed was pick up the phone for a ticket. We tried to sell as many tickets as possible but the time constrain, limited manpower and the expensive price gave us in. In any project, the beginning is the hardest. There are many skeptics and we expected this. Many will just sit in the fence and watch. When they see us succeeding, then they will join to be part of the success. I see this comment as just another excuse for not getting involved.
“While the project calls for the involvement of the community, only four community organizations were represented.”
We called a meeting with organizations at Metro Hall but only a few came to get their tickets. All the Board of Directors were given a list of organizations to contact. We invited everyone who wanted to come.
We are glad that the comment was that they were not invited. That means they wanted to join. We are now generating the bandwagon interest.
But it was not true that only 4 organizations were represented. All the 25 Board of Directors represented different organizations. We just did not mention them.
“Officers should have tapped local businesses to help the project. If they can give sponsorship of $1,000 for concerts, they could certainly afford to help in this noble project.”
In due time, we will reach everyone. We have just organized the Pledges and Donation Committee under Vince Vargas, Celia Mojica and Chito Collantes on February 10 and the Launching was March 10. We have to formulate the Entitlement Package and be approved by the Board, recruit volunteers, set the sub-committees; prepare a marketing and promotions plan, etc.
“Why should we pledge if the directors and officers themselves have not pledged their own money?”
Most of the pledges and donations we have were the efforts of Chito Collantes, and our publisher Ace Alvarez. They did it on their own initiative even before we were truly organized.
In our agenda is to ask all Directors to pledge no matter what amount. Not everyone in the Board of Directors is rich but they have something to contribute.
This drive is not all about money. A Group required all the directors to pledge $1,000. They excluded people who had the expertise in raising money and have the time. What have they achieved since a year ago?
Just accepting a Directorship is a big sacrifice. If you put a dollar value to the time, efforts and expenses just going to meetings and working for various committees, it amounts to thousands of dollars. The expertise of some of us cannot be measured by dollar signs. Some of us have 30 to 40 years of management, marketing and promotions experiences. We don’t get paid in all these. So be careful when you belittle our humble contribution. And please look at yourself in the mirror before pointing your fingers at others.
Some of us are gifted with talents to make money. Others have the experience and ideas that can generate funding and support. They are as valuable as donations and pledges. The idea here is you contribute what you can and have.
“Money credited to Dr. Jun de Villa from Filipinos for Progress and Unity.”
Here, there was a miscommunication. During a meeting, Dr. de Villa just said that they have $3,200 and will give it to the Centre. We understood this to come from his pocket. Everything was corrected and the money will be In Memory of Mrs. Ging Chan, mother of Pauline Chan, Anchor Woman of CFTO. The late Mrs. Chan worked with the Filipinos for Progress & Unity during the Marcos era.
“It was not the Philippine Dental Association that pledged $5,000 but the Philippine Medical Assn. presented by Dr. David Sarile.”
“Some of the contributors were not acknowledged.”
As much as possible, we tried to acknowledge the contribution of everyone. We do not want to hurt people who sacrifice for this project. But we are only human and the stress of the event was too much for all of us. Our President, Lynda Javier lacked the sleep for 3 days. And she has to take care of her bedridden mother during those times.
This is a community project. Why do we expect to be acknowledged for every good thing we do for the community?
“This project is only for the elite?”
Some sector thinks that because a lot of the rich and famous in the community were in the launching, that the Centre will only be for the elite. This is far from the truth. Because we cannot build a Centre without money, we are trying to solicit the contribution of the moneyed among us. But it is the masses that will benefit from this project. Services for the new immigrants, the jobless, seniors, the youth and overseas contract workers are part of the program.
Because the contributions are in the thousands, it is perceived that we are disregarding the donations of the ordinary people. It is not so. We accept amounts even a $10 a month donation or whatever one can afford.
7. Filipino Centre Membership Drive On by Rodel J. Ramos
Filipino Centre, Toronto Membership Committee headed by Chairperson Zoraida Locquiao, launched an aggressive Membership Drive. This is to gather enough community support to build the Centre. Zoraida said that the Centre would not be build without the overwhelming effort of the community as this is a very huge project.
The Drive goes hand in hand with an education and awareness Campaign to inform the public of the goals, proposals being studied, strategies being pursued and the developments in the various Committees.
To encourage Membership, the Centre offered a low membership fee of $5.00 a year and $50.00 for lifetime membership. For organizations, the fee is $100 a year.
Benefits for members are: a) A vote during elections, be qualified to be nominated and elected to the Board of Directors and Executive Council or appointed as head of Committees. The biggest beneficiary is the Community specially the less priviledged because of the varied facilities and community services that we can provide.
Zoraida offered prizes to the three (3) Most Outstanding Solicitors. First Prize will win $500 in cash; the Second Prize $300 and the Third, $200. The winner solicitors must recruit at least 100 members to qualify.
The Membership Campaign will end on June 2002. Those who are interested to join the Drive and win the Membership Contest can contact Zoraida Locquiao at: 1.905.428.7690 or 416.323.6400 Ext. 4248. Her fax No. is 1.905.323.6116. She will send you the materials, receipts and Membership form needed. Cheques must be addressed to Filipino Centre, Toronto.
The Membership form printed at the bottom of this press release can be filled up and faxed or mailed to Zoraida Locquiao, 47 Coles Avenue, Ajax, Ont. L1T 3H5.
The goals of the Centre are: 1) To realize the illusive dream of every Filipino in Metro Toronto, a Cultural Center; 2) To preserve & showcase our cultural heritage, history, traditions, and customs; 3) To have a place to display, promote & be proud of our arts, crafts, paintings, products & pictures of Phil. sceneries; 4) To leave a legacy for our children and future generations; 5) To service the various needs of the growing Filipino Community; 6) To bring pride and honor to our people; 7) To create jobs for Filipinos and Canadians; 8) To give extra income for our people instead of catering to other facilities; 9) To promote the concept of multi-culturalism and unity; 10) To have a place for Filipinos to socialize, maintain fitness, etc.; 11) To make the Filipinos visible in the Canadian mainstream.
The various facilities being proposed and studied, depending on availability of
Feasibility, financing and sustainability are: 1) A Philippine Consulate Office, Philippine Trade Commission and the Philippine Labor Attache if the Philippine Government would agree to move their offices to the facility; 2) Business offices; 3) Senior Citizens apartment; 4) Hotel facilities for Filipino tourists from the U.S., Philippines and Europe; 5) A Theater for concerts and cultural shows; 6) Party rooms (large & small rooms/expandable/movable/sliding walls); 7) Church (ecumenical, multi-purpose room); 8) Meeting rooms; 9) Library - books, CDs, tapes, videos, history, pictures, artworks; 10) Miniature Philippines (Philippine Village); 11) Filipino Restaurant/caterer/karaoke bar; 12) Sports Center - tennis, basketball, basketball, Fitness; 13) Daycare center/Kids Playroom, playground; 14) Recreation Room; 15) Bowling; 16) Golf Course; 17) Picnic ground; 18) Parking; 19) A Cooperative Grocery/Souvenir Store; 20) Philippine Trading House - display of Phil. products & services; 21) Silayan or Kababayan Community Services.
8. There is no turning back for FCT by Rodel J. Ramos
Filipino Centre, the merger of Philippine Centre, Toronto led by Dr. Jun de Villa, Mann Nacario & Dr. Vicky Santiago and the Core Group formed by the Philippine Consulate led by Dr. Francisco Portugal and Lynda Javier will launch the kick off campaign on Saturday March 10 at the Constitution Hall, Metro Convention Centre, Toronto. Cocktail is at 6:00 p.m..
Ambassador Francisco Benedicto was instrumental in merging the two groups. He also kick started the project by pledging $5,000 of his personal money. Consul General Constrence is credited for forming the Core Group which became the nucleus of the two.
Lynda Javier, a retired teacher, run for Trustee in Peel region and head of Quezon Provincial Associations of Canada (QPAC) was unanimously elected President. Dr. Francisco Portugal is her Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Fund Raising Committee while Dr. Jun de Villa is Chairman of the Board with Tessie Jew as Vice Chairperson.
Honorary Chairpersons are: Ambassador Francisco Benedicto and Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, recently appointed Minister of State of Asia-Pacific Region.
The Community raised hope that the Centre will be built this time by the merged Group. The merger was hailed by a lot of organizations as a step in the right direction. This is the first time that two community organizations joint ranks to support a major project.
Pres. Lynda Javier wishes that the Kalayaan Cultural Centre of Mississauga and the San Lorenzo Ruiz will realize that this is a gigantic project and can not be built by any one organization without the support of the whole community. Having different Centre projects at this time when the people are still burnt out and suspicious with the past failed attempts to built the Centre will only confuse the people and give unnecessary burden. She appeals to the leaders of the two organizations to join forces.
More than 25 years have passed and the Community is still to realize their dream of a Centre because of individual ambitions which end up in failures. Eventually, the Community will need a Centre in every city because of our growing population and the difficulty of commuting.
The Community has to raise $1 million dollars a year if we want to see the dream within our lifetime. It will need extra ordinary efforts from everyone and an aggressive marketing and fund raising ideas.
While the group is launching the project with a Dinner and Dance Party, Lynda Javier acknowledged that it is impossible to built the Centre by this traditional means. Our fund raising efforts for the past 25 years throws away in expenses 90% of the gross income and leave only a maximum of 10% to the organizer. It is also competing with the more than 350 organizations. They are overburdening both contributors and solicitors and takes too long. She will unveil their strategies of raising funds during the event.
Officers of the Filipino Centre met the presidents of different organizations on Thursday, January 18 at the Metro Hall to discuss their plans and gather suggestions from the Community.
Meanwhile, a total of $32,000 have been pledged by various generous individuals. Ambassador Francisco Benedicto gave a cheque of $5,000 to Dr. Jun de Villa. Dr. Chito Collantes has his 2 cheques of $5,000 as a part of his pledge of $10,000. Consul Olivia Palala donated $500.
Other pledges to the Centre are: Roland S. Chan, $5,000; Dr. Jun de Villa, $3,000; Roland Tallud, $1,000; Rose Cruz, $1,000; Cecille Mojica, $500 which will still be collected.
Co-Chairs of the Launching are Edgar Adan and Erlinda (Erlie) Gallardo. Edgar Adan is also the Chief Financial Officer and Erlie Gallardo is the Treasurer. Ed Birondo is the Asst. Chairman.
Other Sub-Committees are: Corporate & Private Sponsors: Dr. Vicky Santiago as Chairperson, Members: Dr. Guillermo de Villa, Dr. Francisco Portugal, Dr. Mario Andres, Dr. Ferry Trenholm, Mann Nacario, Rick Falco, Chito Collantes, Lynda Javier.
Protocol & Invitation, Cocktail/Press Conference Committees are: Tessie Jew & Evelyn Laraya. Budget/Finance Committee: Edgar Adan, Erlie Gallardo & Dr. Ernie Quinit.
Ticket Control Committee: Ed Birondo as Chairman and members: Precy Tumulak, Ledy Ramos, Lourdes Alonzo, Baby Reyes, Verth Bugtong, Ely Ramos, Joy Frondes and Tobby Mendoza.
Reception Committee: Zoraida Locquiao, Lily Victorino, Alam Benemerito, Norma Carpio, Julie Corpuz, Miss QPAC, BPAC, Miss Manila, etc.
Inside Coordinators are Manny Boado, Alex Parucha, Tobby Mendoza and Rose Mendoza. Promotion/Publicity are Rodel Ramos, Jun Cruz, Lynda Javier and Vicente Vargas
Program/Entertainment/Technical Support are Wendy Arena as Chairperson, and members, Albert Alonso and Joseph Redobaldo.
Souvenir Program Committee are Celia Mojica, Jun Cruz as Co-Chaipersons and production are Bernadette Zaragoza, Jim Ariz, and Ores Ting. Advertising Coordinators are Evelyn Laraya, Alma Benerito, Zoraida Locquaio, and Dr. Ernie Quinit.
Decor Committee Chairperson is Dario Meriales and members: Julian Locquaio, Ely Ramos, Joby Paminial, and Nards Vergara. Silent Auction Committee are Dr. Ferry Trenholm, Chito Collantes and Ores Ting. University students are members.
Raffle will be handled by Mike Saavedra and Ely Ramos.
Committees appointed by Pres. Lynda Javier are: Research/Feasibility Study & Registration, Jimmy Ariz & Bernadette Zaragoza, Government Grants & Political Lobbying, Tessie Jew for Provincial & Local Governments and Mann Nacario for National Government; Legal Affairs, Rick Falco & Alex Parucha; Secretariat,
Ores Ting & Julie Corpuz; Admissions/Membership, Tessie Jew, Zoraida Locquiao & Mann Nacario; Organizational Liaison, Dr. Ernie Quinit; Ethnic & Mainstream, Dr. Chito Collantes & Dr. Vicky Santiago; Financial Planning & Investment, Edgar Adan; Information Technology Systems, Jim Ariz;
Panel of Advisers, Vince Vargas; Strategic Overall Planning, Lynda Javier, Dr. Francisco Portugal, & Dr. Jun de Villa; Official Spokespersons, Rick Falco, Lynda Javier, Tessie Jew, Dr. Portugal & Dr. Jun de Villa; Conciliation Committee, Dr. Mario Andres & Vince Vargas;
Grand Fundraising: Dr. Francisco Portugal; Publicity & Marketing, Rodel Ramos; Pledges & Donations:Vince Vargas Celia Mojica, Chito Collantes, & Mann Nacario. Corporate Sponsors: Dr. Jun de Villa & Dr. Vicki Santiago; Volunteers/Recruits & Seniors, Ed Birondo & Wendy Arena; Youth, Sports & Multiculturalism, Manny Buado & Zoraida Locquiao.
Other officers and members of the Board are: Bernadette Zaragoza, Secretary to the Board; Ores Ting, Secretary of the Executive Council; Cecilia Mojica, Internal Auditor.
Other Board of Directors are: Dr. Mario Andres, Dr. Chito Collantes, Dr. Ferry Trelholm, Dr. Vicky Santiago, Wendy Arena, Manuel Buado, Ed Birondo, Vince Vargas, Rodel Ramos, Evelyn Laraya, Mann Nacario, Alex Parucha, Julie Corpuz, Rick Falco, Zoraida Locquiao, Dr. Ernie Quinit.
9. Sensitivities and Insensitivities by Rodel J. Ramos
Officers and active members of the Filipino Centre, all volunteers, without remunerations for their efforts and sacrifices, spending their own money, time, efforts and talents for our dream of a Centre, want to focus on the goal of building the Centre that is in itself a huge task. However, we cannot ignore negative comments to the group no matter how trivial. We are afraid that the Community, fed up with what happened in past efforts would turn their skepticism to cynicism. (Cynic as defined by Webster is a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions.)
One of my colleagues in the press seems to leave the impression that the media people whom we invited to the Filipino Centre Press Conference paid for their dinner. It was not so. While there are still a few people within the group who believes that the media should not be treated special, we have explained to them that they spend money for film, development, gas, printing and time to come to cover the occasions. And to think that newspapers are given free to the public. Their only income is from advertisements. And it is not a joke to publish a newspaper.
But we in the Centre, having been entrusted with public money have to be careful on what we spend on. We can’t just throw their money away. Remember that this is not our personal project and no one of us will benefit from it. This is a project of the Community, and we are just there to oversea it. It will benefit all of us. Forget about our names being sikat. We would rather be unknowns than being subjected to too much criticism from people who thinks that they can do better and yet when you let them do it, they would screw it up worst than what we are doing. Remember too that there are no perfect animals.
All the officers and other guests paid for their food from their own pocket except the media people. We took that as a price of our involvement.
There are always two sides to a story. True to the Filipino hospitality as a host, we treated the media in a special way as we know. We know their importance. They can make or break this project as they had broken it in the past. That is how powerful these media people are. And we know it. But do not ask us to kiss your ass nor will we permit ourselves to be humiliated or lied upon. Some media people thinks that they are gods and that they can destroy anybody they want to destroy.
My colleague revealed his reason for attacking us when he said that during the Launching of the Centre, how come some media people were represented there by three people while their newspaper was only given one free ticket. He despised that because he said that he had contributed to the project by driving with our publisher to Ottawa to talk with Ambassador Francisco Benedicto.
Chito Collantes, explained that those were paid by some members of the Board of Directors. The ticket of the publisher of Atin Ito was paid by Roland Chan of Liland Insurance.
I was only given 5 tickets to distribute to the media people and they specified whom to invite. In fact, we did not give Loo of Filipiniana a ticket because we knew Loo do not accept free lunch when he covers events. And there were many media people who were not given tickets nor invited. It was expensive, and we were trying to reduce expenses. We ourselves paid for our tickets and our wives.
Intention, reason for outrage, vengeance
10. Questions & answers about the Centre by Rodel J. Ramos
Q. Do we need a Centre?
A. Among ethnic nationalities, the Filipinos are one of the very few who does not have a Community Centre of their own.
It is estimated that the 350 registered organizations and another 350 unregistered. There are 200,000 Filipinos in Metro Toronto and we spend more than $4 million a year just in renting banquet halls, community centers and hotels for our parties.
This is besides the expenses in food, music, entertainment, decorations, party dresses, gas, etc. Organizations rent for meetings and other functions. We are throwing away all these money. If this circulates in the community like it does with the Jewish and Chinese, we can make some of our kababayan richer and they will be more generous when we approach them for donations. We can create more jobs for Filipinos and we can use the money to serve our needs better.
The Consulate with the Trade and Labor Attaché spends $200,000 for rent a year. Our seniors spend much in rent, so with Child Care and Geriatric care. Many of our doctors, dentists, travel agencies and other businessmen rent for their offices and facilities. Let this amount circulate in the community as well.
We have new immigrants to service, overseas contract workers. Our children need to see some of our cultures, books and artistic creations. The Centre will house a Filipiniana library and a museum. We need an ecumenical chapel to service our different religious groups.
Q. Walang mangyayari diyan! (Nothing will happen there)
A. There are always negative people in every community. Kung walang contrabida, walang bida, hindi ba? If what they say discourages us, we won’t be able to accomplish anything. Sometimes, this is their way of avoiding their obligation to our Community. Oftentimes,
it is a way of bragging that they are better than us. But if they are better, they should be offering their services and prove their worth.
Observe that there are only few heroes in a nation or in a community. They are the ones remembered and honored. Critics and indifferent people die in oblivion.
But it will be these people who will ride the bandwagon when they see that we are succeeding. They will grab the honor and the glory.
Q. Is the Community Centre feasible?
A. 1. Consulate spends $200,000 a year in rent.
2. 5,000 Filipinos contributing $1,000 each is $5 million. 10,000 people at $500 each are $5 million. We have an easy payment plan.
3. With our 350 organizations and the many birthdays, weddings and anniversaries in the community, we spend more than $4 million a year in rentals of banquet halls, hotels and community centres. If we have a centre, a portion of this money can circulate in the Community and can be used again for the needs of the people.
Q. Our Community is tired of supporting this project because of what happened in the past.
A. We understand that we got burned in the past. Even the solicitors are tired of the project. But we must try again because this is the dream of every Filipino in Metro Toronto. If not us, who, if not now, when
Q. Who are the proponents (involved)?
A. Lynda Javier, President is a retired teacher and run for trustee in Peel Region. She is a product of the University of the Philippines. She is also President of Quezon Provincial Association of Canada (QPAC)
Dr. Jun de Villa, Chairman has vast experience in fund raising as President of San Lorenzo Ruiz Community Centre who was able to raise $150,000. The money was turned over to the present officers.
Dr. Francisco Protugal, Executive Vice President is an acknowledged leader of the Community for more than 25 years. He has been President of PIDC, an umbrella organization in Toronto and various other associations.
Q. You have the same people with San Lorenzo Ruiz?
A. We need everybody in this huge project. People like Dr. Jun de Villa have the experience in fund raising. As leader of SLRCC, he was able to raise $150,000 which was turned over the present officers. A lot of people still have high respect for Dr. de Villa specially the doctors and the elite among us. The Project is mostly about money, so we need the people who can afford. We need people like him to solicit donations from the rich and influential in the community. However, he is the Chairman of the Board which is the policy making body. The President and CEO is Lynda Javier who does the implementation of projects.
Q. Is this not another San Lorenzo Ruiz Community Centre?
A. We have studied what went wrong with all past efforts to build a Centre. There was no transparency, no public accounting. That made them vulnerable to inside and outside intrigues. And they had no Public Relation Committee in place to counteract any criticism.
Regarding transparency and accountability, we have installed safeguards and controls in the constitution. Luckily, no funds were lost. The $150,000 was given to the officers of the SLRFCC.
1. We bonded the Treasurer;
2. All bank withdrawals are signed by 2 people;
3. More than $1,000 withdrawals need the approval of the Board of Directors.
4. There is an internal auditor to audit the books every time there is a project.
5. There is an external auditor who would audit the books at the year end.
6. Income Statements will be published within 2 months of project completion.
Conflicts happen within the organization which results to divisions and destruction from within the group, sometimes from people with good intentions and sometimes from ambitious oppositions from within. Knowing this, we created a Conflict Resolution Committee to handle internal problems before they get big.
For external intrigues and destructive attacks, the Publicity and Promotions people will handle those problems. We also established rapport with media people have a friendly relationship.
We will run this efficiently and effectively like a business corporation.
But the worst thing about the traditional fund raising practices is, they were wasteful, tiresome, time consuming, and only 10% is profit. 90% of the income goes to expenses. We corrected this and are now concentrating on new fund raising ideas which retain more for the building than the expenses such as the pledges and the raffles.
Q. Why don’t you just join all the organizations building a Community Centre?
A. That is easier said than done. Sometimes, it is personality conflict. Some people do not want to join with others unless they lead. We have already merged Dr. Jun de Villa’s group with the Core Group of the Philippine Consulate. Kalayaan wants their Centre in Mississauga. San Lorenzo Ruiz has its own reasons. Hopefully, the leaders would realize that this is a gigantic project and no one group can built it without the support of the Community.
Q. What are going to be parts of the Centre?
A. The things we are studying are: 1) Party & concert rooms; 2)Filipino Restaurant, karaoke; 3) Offices - doctors, dentists, travel agencies, businesses; 4) Philippine Consulate (if they decide to join us); 5) Seniors’ home; 6) Child care facilities; 7) Sports facilities - basketball, tennis, etc.; 8) Parking lot; 9) Filipiniana Library; 10) Museum; 11) Ecumenical Chapel; 12) Geriatric Homes or Seniors Homes; 13) Hotel; 14) Offices to serve the new immigrants and contract workers, etc.
Q. Is this going to be done in 1 stage?
A. These will depend on financing, zoning bylaws, time table and whatever the majority of the officers decide on what they perceive as the priority needs of the Community. It construction will be by phases.
Q. What do we get as donors and sponsors?
A. Pledges entitlement
1. Your picture and name will be published in the newspapers;
2. Your name and picture will be in the lobby of the building ($5,000 and above with picture)
3. A Certificate of Donation
4. A lifetime membership Card
5. Discounts in the use of facilities for you and your family
6. You and other Filipinos will feel proud of being a part of the building
7. Filipinos will be more visible to the mainstream
8. This will be your legacy to your children and grand children
9. We can create jobs for Filipinos and Canadians
10. We can serve the needs of our people specially the seniors, new immigrants, unemployed
Q. How much should we donate?
A. $1 million - the building will be named after the donor. Ex.: DR. JUN DE VILLA BUILDING
$100,000 - a room will be named after the donor; Platinum - $15,000; Gold - $10,000; Silver - $5,000; Bronze - $1,000; Any amount will be appreciated
Q. How are you going to sustain the maintenance cost?
A. The rental income from parties and concerts, sports facilities, offices for the Consulate, business offices, restaurant etc. will pay for the mortgage, administrative and maintenance cost..
Q. How do you get funding?
A. We are presently studying all possible sources of funding. We tend to shy away from the traditional fund raising practices but it is difficult to kill tradition. Filipinos love to party, eat and dance. They can’t be avoided but can be minimized. We are eyeing at: 1) Pledges; 2) Raffles; 3) Gov’t funding; 4) Corporate sponsors; 5) Mortgage.
Q. How do we join?
A. As donor, solicitor or volunteer
Q. How do you safeguard our money?
A. The President and Treasurer are bonded. Checks more than $1,000 require 3 signatories. We will be as transparent as possible. An annual report will be published. We have an internal and external auditor to check on the books of the Centre.
Q. Where is the location?
A. Right now, we are looking at a building at Parliament and Wellesley.
Q. What is your estimated cost of the building?
A. We are looking at a minimum of 20,000 sq. ft building. At $200 - $250per sq. ft., we are looking at$4 to 5 million depending on whether we buy and renovate or buy a lot and built from scratch. It will also depend on the location. It is cheaper in Etobicoke and Scarborough than Toronto or North York. Architects, engineers, real estate brokers and other experts can only answer this. What we can do now is raise money and hope that we can accumulate enough to start planning the structure. This will depend on the responds of the community.
Q. Are there any Government funding?
A. Right now, what we hear is that the Government does not grant money for buildings. But for programs to hire people, they do. But there might be some exceptions and our research with other community centers might help us discover hidden grants and how they were able to get them.
Q. Are you going to buy an existing building or built a new one?
A. This will be studied. It might be cheaper to buy an existing one. You don’t have to get permits, zoning etc. Materials now are much more expensive than before. However, existing buildings might not fit our needs and we can’t have what we really want. We will identify our needs and wants, examine our available resources and decide what to do.
Q. Are you going to build a small one or a big one?
A. We will study the advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons, the problems of both proposals. Also, we are constrained by the available resources. If the responds of the community is favorable and we can see that we can sustain a big one, then we will go for it.
We can also buy a small one with a big lot and then expand when we have the money.
Or we can buy a small one, sell it and then buy a bigger one.
Q. How can we help?
A. You can pledge, solicit donors or volunteer.
As volunteers, we have different committees in Membership, Fund Raising, Secretariat, Publicity and Marketing, Technical Aspects and Management areas. We need people in IT. We need people on research, recruitment, etc.
We need solicitors for pledges and ticket sellers for the raffle.
11. Logo Contest Launched by Rodel J. Ramos
The Filipino Centre, Toronto, the merger group which was mandated to built a Community Centre by most of the Filipino Canadian organizations in Metro Toronto, is inviting artists to submit their proposals for the Official Logo of the Centre and the future building.
A $500.00 cash prize was donated by Dr. Jun de Villa, Chairman of the Board of the Filipino Centre, Toronto to be given to the Winner of the Logo Contest. He/she will have his/her picture and logo artwork published in newspapers. The Logo will be the official symbol of the Filipino Centre, Toronto in all its billboards, brochures, posters, advertisements, press releases, letterheads, envelops and website. It will be a great pride for the creator and will be his/her legacy to the Community and his/her parents, children and grandchildren.
The Contest is open to all except the members of the Logo Contest Committee and the Board of Directors of the Filipino Centre, Toronto.
The Criteria are: 1) Originality (self interpretation) - 30%; 2) Symbolism (significance to Filipino Canadians) - 30%; 3) Catchy and easy to remember (memorable) - 30%; 4) Simplicity & neatness - 10%.
Other guidelines are: 1) Colors must be complimentary to the subject (Filipino Centre, Toronto); 2) Three (3) colors mixed with screen; 3) Must be readable at reduction of .35 inches (smallest); 4) Size: bond size, 7 inches radius; 5) Submission: Diskette, PC or Mckintosh format (diskette supplied by contestant)
Ownership and right to publish will be surrendered to Filipino Centre, Toronto. All submissions will be owned by Filipino Centre.
Artworks must be submitted on or before the April 15 deadline to this address: Rodel J. Ramos, 536 Luzon Cres., Mississauga, Ontario L5B 3W9. The winner will be announced at the May issue of Filipino newspaper.
The President of the Filipino Centre, Toronto is Lynda Javier. Chairman of the Logo Contest is Vince Vargas. Other members of the Committee are: Wendy Arena, Zoraida Locquiao, Ed Birondo and Rodel Ramos. The 3 top contestants will be decided by the Committee and the final winner will be selected by the Board of Directors. The decision of the Board is final.
12. Logo Contest Rules Revised by Rodel J. Ramos 21 March 2001
The rules for the Logo Contest of the Filipino Centre, Toronto was revised to accommodate more entries. The former rules were too high tech for some artists because it was computer oriented. We want to give a chance to those who have not updated their skills in computer graphics but have the artistic talents and ideas to get a greater selection.
The deadline was also moved from April 15 to April 30 for the submission of artworks. Entries can be mailed to these addresses: Vince Vargas, Logo Contest Chairman at 28 Mallard Cres, Brampton, Ontario L6S 2T5 or to Rodel J. Ramos, 536 Luzon Cres., Mississauga, Ontario L5B 3W9. For inquiries or questions, call Vince Vargas at 905.791.4933 or Rodel at 905.615.8727. The winner will be announced at the May issue of a Filipino newspaper.
A $500.00 cash prize was donated by Dr. Jun de Villa, Chairman of the Board of the Filipino Centre, Toronto to be given to the Winner of the Logo Contest. The winner will have his/her picture and logo artwork published in newspapers. The Logo will be the official symbol of the Filipino Centre, Toronto in its building, all billboards, brochures, posters, advertisements, press releases, letterheads, envelops and website. It will be a great pride for the creator and will be his/her legacy to the Community and his/her parents, children and grandchildren.
The Contest is open to all except the members of the Logo Contest Committee and the Board of Directors of the Filipino Centre, Toronto.
The Criteria are: 1) Originality (self interpretation) - 30%; 2) Symbolism (significance to Filipino Canadians) - 30%; 3) Catchy and easy to remember (memorable) - 30%; 4) Simplicity & neatness - 10%.
Other guidelines are: 1) Colors must be complimentary to the subject (Filipino Centre, Toronto); 2) Three (3) colors mixed with screen.
Ownership and right to publish will be surrendered to Filipino Centre, Toronto. All submissions will be owned by Filipino Centre.
The President of the Filipino Centre, Toronto is Lynda Javier and Chairman of the Board of Directors is Dr. Jun de Villa. Members of the Logo Contest Committee are: Vince Vargas, Chairman; Wendy Arena, Zoraida Locquiao, Ed Birondo and Rodel Ramos, members. The 3 top contestants will be decided by the Committee and the final winner will be selected by the 25 Board of Directors. The decision of the Board is final.
13. Logo Contest Winner Announced by Rodel J. Ramos 17 May 2001
The winner of the Logo Contest sponsored by the Filipino Centre, Toronto was announced during the Unveiling Ceremony and Press Conference on Thursday, May 17, 2001, 7:00 p.m. at the Pearl of the Orient Restaurant.
Twenty-seven contestants submitted their entries, some of them with 5 entries. A total of 54 entries were received. One contestant gave 24 entries but only 5 were considered. The participants are: Rolando Cabrera, April Casala, Philip dela Cruz, Santiago de Villa, Romi Guevara, Alda Guevara, Rudy Leyco, Heginio Manaois, Maria Russel Mangilinan, Rey Mangilinan, Ricardo Mirasol II, Antolin Neo Asor, OSA, Darius P. Reyes, Ed Robles, Frank Tonido, Ador N. Obtinalla, Omel Masalunga, Jacquelin Asuncion, Antonio A. afable Jr., Romeo Mananquil, Jhun C. Diamante, Calixto Quiachon, Dino Arrogante, Joe Arrogante and Noli Aguillon, and Thea Sahagun.
A $500.00 cash prize was donated by Dr. Jun de Villa, Chairman of the Board of the Filipino Centre, Toronto to be given to the Winner of the Logo Contest. The 2nd Prize is $200 and 3rd Prize wins $100. Logo Chairman Vince Vargas and Mrs. Erlie Gallardo donated the prizes for the 2nd and 3rd prizes. Erlie is the Treasurer the latest addition to the Board of Director substituting for Tessie Jew who is on leave. Mrs. Gallardo is the wife of Dr. Rodolfo Gallardo.
The Logo will be the official symbol of the Filipino Centre, Toronto in its building, all billboards, brochures, posters, advertisements, press releases, letterheads, envelops and website. It will be a great pride for the creator and will be his/her legacy to the Community and his/her parents, children and grandchildren.
The Logo Committee Members headed by Vince Vargas chose the three finalists from the many entries during their meeting at the Police Headquarters at 40 College St. They had a difficult time because of the many beautiful and professionally done artworks. Other members of the Committee are: Wendy Arena, Zoraida Locquiao, Ed Birondo and Rodel Ramos. Bernadette Zaragosa was the Auditor of the Contest. The Board of Judges choosed the winner during the May 10 Executive Council meeting at the North York Civic Centre. The three Finalists chosen by the Board of Judges were Darius Reyes, Romy Guevara and Ray Pangilinan.
During the May 10 monthly meeting of the Board of Directors, they picked the entry of Rey Mangilinan as the 1st Prize Winner; Darius Reyes for 2nd Prize and Romy Guevara for 3rd Prize.
The Criteria were: 1) Originality (self-interpretation) - 30%; 2) Symbolism (significance to Filipino Canadians) - 30%; 3) Catchy and easy to remember (memorable) - 30%; 4) Simplicity & neatness - 10%.
Other guidelines are: 1) Colors must be complimentary to the subject (Filipino Centre, Toronto); 2) Three (3) colors mixed with screen.
Ownership and right to publish will be surrendered to Filipino Centre, Toronto. Filipino Centre will own all submissions.
14. WIN BIG IN FCT LOTTERY by Rodel J. Ramos 17 May 2001
The Filipino Centre, Toronto will launch a Lottery with more than $60,000 prizes at the Pista ng Bayan on June 9, 2001 at the Philip Square, Toronto. The target is to sell 250,000 tickets worth of $2.00 in one year. This will generate $500,000 gross income. This is the boldest fundraising campaign so far in the Community.
The Grand prize is a sports utility vehicle, a Honda CR-V worth $35,000; the 2nd Prize is a complete Home Entertainment System worth $10,000; 3rd Prize is a Trip for 2 to the Philippines which includes 6 nights five star hotel accommodation worth $5,000; 4th Prize is a Caribbean Cruise worth $3,000; 5th Prize is a Weekend get away for 2 to Atlantic City worth $ $2,000)
An early bird will be drawn on a Christmas party in December 2001. One ticket will be drawn with a Prize of $3,000. The final draws will be in June 2002 at the Pista ng Bayan.
The drive will need an army of 600 volunteers to distribute 25,000 booklets of 10 tickets within 12 months period. The President, Lynda Javier of the Filipino Centre, Toronto and Board Chairman Dr. Jun de Villa appeals to the community to volunteer for the huge project. Dr. Jun de Villa is also the Chairman of the Raffle Committee. A Director will be hired to manage the project.
There will be 50 Team Captains, 25 of them will come from the Board of Directors. The team captains will form their own groups to distribute the 25,000 booklets to the various organizations, stores, clinics and other volunteer members.
Dr. Jun de Villa made the deposit requirement of the Ontario Lottery Incorporation of $60,000 from his own money. This is to insure that the prizes will be given to the winners. Meanwhile, his money will be held in trust until enough money is generated to pay for the prizes.
Loonie to fulfill our dream
Benjie Bondoc will launch a Loonie/Penny for FCT this May. They will distribute to all the stores a Plastic see thru Box with the slogan “A Loonie for FCT”. The Plastic Boxes will be donated.
Other fund raising
Meanwhile, Vice President and Grand Fund Raising Chairman Dr. Francisco Portugal is arranging other fund raising events.
In July, PACA schedules a Jumbo Garage Sale. In February, a Valentine Party by FCMA/Dental, a Bowling Tournament, a Golf Tournament on Aug/September. On December, a Misa de Gallo and other projects.
15. Feasibility study of FCT released by Rodel J. Ramos 17 May, 2001
Feasibility Study Committee Chairman Jim Ariz released to the Board of Directors a comprehensive study of the proposed building for the Filipino Centre, Toronto. This was done in less than a month after his appointment. Jim Ariz is an Engineer and has an extensive experience in planning and construction of buildings with Living Waters Residence, formerly Sampaguita Seniors Residence. He is now the President of Living Waters and works with Enbridge Consumer Gas as an Engineer. Dr. Jun de Villa, Filipino Centre Board of Director Chairman commended the professionalism of Jim Ariz how the Study was presented.
The study was conducted to determine the financial requirement, location, available land or building, capital and operating costs, financing, manpower requirements, timetable and other needs.
The Committee recommended implementing a needs assessment survey to solicit community input and participation in the center development process including hiring a professional architect to design the optimum viable space configuration of the facilities from the survey results.
Conclusions & Recommendations
Using the “top-down” design approach, the study indicates that the building space minimum requirement for the Filipino Centre could be in the neighborhood of 23,000 square feet having a footprint of about 15,000 square feet.
There were three alternative proposals: a) Purchase land and build; b) Purchase an existing property and renovate; and c) Lease a property and renovate. In Toronto, to purchase a 22,000 square feet property and build the facility will cost from $5,5 million in Scarborough, $3.1 million in North York, $4.6 million in Toronto, and in Etobicoke $2.1 million.
The second option, to buy an existing property and renovate in Toronto, it will cost $2.95 million, in Scarborough $2.73 million, in North York $2.2 million, and in Etobicoke $2.3 million.
To lease and renovate in Toronto, it will cost $510,000; Scarborough $480,000; North York $480,000 and in Etobicoke, $472,500.
The facilities process of the First Option consists of two stages: the Design stage and the Construction stage. The Design stage has four phases: 1) Formulation; 2) Preliminary Design; 3) Design Development; and Construction Documentation. The Construction Stage consists of: 1) Bidding/Negotiation; 2) Construction; 3) Construction Closeout. It was recommended that the first two options be pursued.
The community is strongly encouraged to have a say in the selection process and to suggest what facilities and services they want in the Centre. Please fill the questionnaire at the bottom of this article and mail it to us. Photo copy the form and give it to your friends and relatives so that they can also participate in the selection.
Proposed Main Level, Block 1 with 7,500 sq. feet will have a multi-purpose hall for banquets, theater, auditorium, pageants, basketball, volleyball, etc. Block 2 with 7,757 sq. ft. will house the library, Day Care Centre, and 3 Store Spaces. The Second Level, Block 3 will have the Rental Offices, Expandable Meeting Rooms and Professional Offices for a total of 22,951 floor area minimum requirement with a Building Footprint of 15,257.
Jim Ariz said that his survey indicates there are 127 vacant lots for sale in Toronto, 46 in Scarborough, 98 in North York and 16 in Etobicoke. There are also 73 Industrial Properties for sale in Toronto, 66 in Scarborough, 48 in North York and 51 in Etobicoke.
The results indicate that the building project cost with the two options investigated range from a maximum of about $5.5 million in Toronto to $2.1 million in Etobicoke for the Purchase-Land-and-Build-Option. The cost of purchasing an existing property and renovate range from $2.94 million in Toronto to $2.28 million in Etobicoke.
A time table for 33 months for the Property Acquisition, Design and Construction process for the Build on Vacant Land Option from Formulation, Needs Assessment & Land Purchase Planning, Preliminary Design, Design Development, Construction Documentation, Bidding/Negotiation and Construction. The Community will see a completed building at the end of 2003 or early 2004.
In the Purchase and Renovate an Industrial Property, a 29 months timetable is estimated from Formulation, Needs Assessment and Renovation Option Planning, Property Search and Purchase Negotiation, Rezoning Approval, Purchase of Property, Preliminary Design, Design Development, Construction Documentation, Bidding/Negotiation, and Construction.
The Study even listed the properties for sale and vacant land available and a price survey for each area.
16. FCT calls for consultation by Rodel J. Ramos June 25, 2001
Filipino Centre President Lynda Javier arranged a Consultation meeting with the Presidents of all Filipino-Canadian organizations who share the dream of a Community Centre for Filipinos in Metro Toronto on Sunday, July 8, 2001 at the Metro Hall at John and King Sts., Toronto, 1:30 p.m.
The meeting was called for to exchange ideas about the Centre, listen to comments, answer questions, and update the community on the project. Please call Maryann San Juan, or Secretariat at 416.492.7313 or 416.394.1022 or Rey Ballares at 416.575.1240 or 905.276.9524 for further information.
17. WIN BIG AND FULFILL OUR DREAM! PRIZES WORTH $44,000 UP FOR GRABS AT FCT GRAND RAFFLE! By Rodel J. Ramos July 19, 2001
The start of the biggest Raffle Draw ever in the Filipino Community was announced by Dr. Francisco Portugal, Grand Fund Raising Chairman. Prizes worth $44,000 are at stake. The Grand Raffle is sponsored by the Filipino Centre Toronto that is mandated to build the Centre for the Greater Toronto Area.
A CR-V Honda 2002 worth $31,000 will go to the lucky 1st Prize winner, the 2nd Prize is a $7,000 Home Theater and 3 Panasonic Camcorders worth $1,000 each goes to three 3rd prize winners.
An Early Bird Draw is set for December 15 at Humberwood Community Centre. The prize of $3,000 awaits the lucky Early Bird ticket holder. The grand draw will be at the Pista ng Bayan Philippine Independence Day Celebration on June 2002.
Attractive posters will be strategically posted at Filipino stores, restaurant, doctors, dentists, and churches. Filipino businesses, and professionals are asked to take advantage of the project to increase their sales by giving their customers a chance to win the CR-V Honda 2002. It is proposed that they give a free ticket for the purchase of $100 or more of their products. That means donating to the FCT $2.00 per $100 purchase. This will encourage Filipinos to buy from their fellow Filipinos and fulfill our long elusive dream of a Filipino Community Centre in GTA.
Sponsors will have their logo in posters and ads for 12 months and will be given 100 tickets worth $200 to give away or sell. The sponsorship is $500.
Five team leaders will handle the distribution of 110,000 tickets worth $2.00 each to Filipino organizations and individuals. If all the tickets are sold, it will raise $220,000 for the building of the Centre.
Those interested on volunteer work and help built our dream Centre can get in touch with the Team Leaders or their members. Dr. Jun de Villa who has the most experience in Lottery Raffles is the Chairman of the big fund raising initiative. The Team Leaders are: Lynda Javier (905.275.5848) with Zoraida Locquiao, Evelyn Laraya, Alex Parucha and Jim Ariz as members; Dr. Jun de Villa (416.243.5084) with Bernadette Zaragosa, Ric Falco, Manny Buado and Mann Nacario as members; Wendy Arena (416.416.281.2408/416.816.4740 cell) with Dr. Vicky Santiago, Dr. Mario Andres, Rodel Ramos and Ores Ting as members;
Dr. Kiko Portugal (416.928.1197) with Dr. Ernesto Quinit, Dr. Chito Collantes, Vince Vargas and Dr. Ferry Trelholm as members; Edgar Adan (416.635.0009) with Celia Mojica, Julie Corpuz, Ed Birondo and Linda Gallardo as members. Members will have $4,400 tickets to sell. Organizations and individuals interested on volunteer work to help built the Centre are urged to get in touch with the Team Leaders, members or Rey Ballares, who is the Administrator of the Lottery Raffle at (905.276.9524 or 416.575.1240)
FCT Office at Wilson
Meanwhile, President Lynda Javier announced the Filipino Centre Toronto has now an office at 365-A Wilson Ave. Ste. 201, on top of the Aristokrat Restaurant and Cine Manila Video Store. This is to facilitate the realization of the Centre and for members to have a place to meet and service the community needs. Rey Ballares (905.276.9524 or 416.575.1240) will administer the Office.
Associations can use the Office free but will be asked to donate any amount to the Centre. To use the Centre, a Board of Director has to sponsor an organization.
Members of the Board have a gathering on July 28 at Dr. Jun & Nanette de Villa’s residence and will meet again on August 9 at the Filipino Centre Office in the evening.
Councilor Li Pritte to help
President Lynda Javier had a meeting with Toronto Councilor Peter Li Pritte of North York who was introduced by Ang Bisaya officers Dolphing Tigley and Nick Alo. She is pursuing the possibility of securing a piece of land from the City of Toronto. Li Pritte said that he has been trying to convince the Filipino Community through Dolphing Tigley to have a Centre of their own. The problem is, we do not have an umbrella group to lobby for the concerns of the Filipinos.
He said that there is no money for Community Centres but the City will donate a piece of land if the Community Centre is incorporated into a low cost housing project that the City encourages. He has facilitated a deal like this for the East Indian Community and the small Ghana Community. Why not for the Filipinos who are close to his heart? Lynda was referred to a Consultant who packages these kinds of proposals.
On the other hand, Dr. Jun de Villa is exploring to get a piece of land from the Federal Government at the former Downsview Military facilities for a Centre. However, politicians want to know now many will benefit from the project. The FCT is therefore asking every Filipino to sign up for membership to show Canadian politicians that we have the political clout, the only language they understand.
Meanwhile, a Committee was formed under Conrad Fajardo to research on how other communities were able to build their own Centres so that we can learn from their experience. He has reseached on 5 already.
Bowling & Walkathon
A Bowling Tournament and a Family Walkathon are being planned for the summer.
18. FCT donors & sponsors offered goodies by Rodel J. Ramos
President Lynda Javier and the Board of Directors of Filipino Centre, Toronto decided to deviate from traditional fund raising after the Launching Dinner and Dance. They do not get the desired results, are too expensive, too tiresome and too long. Our people are burnt out and tired of such projects and we only keep less than 10% of the income. However, we can’t avoid parties as an activity because our people love to dance, eat and have fun.
Ambassador Francisco Benedicto, Mann Nacario of the only Filipino TV Program in Toronto, Philippine Sundae, Chito Collantes of CWSS and Ace Alvarez of Manila Media Monitor started with a Pledges Drive which when packaged well can attract donors and be the key to the realization of the Centre.
So far, a total of $31,000 have been pledged by various generous individuals to them. Ambassador Francisco Benedicto gave a cheque of $5,000 to Dr. Jun de Villa. Dr. Chito Collantes of CWSS has his 2 cheques worth $5,000 as a part of his pledge of $10,000. Consul Olivia Palala donated $500.
Other pledges to the Centre are: Roland S. Chan of Liland Insurance, $5,000; Philippine Medical Association, $5,000; Dr. Jun & Nanette de Villa, a gynecologist and a heart specialist husband and wife team, $3,000; Roland Talud of RCT Travel, $1,000; Rose Cruz of Ladies of Rizal, $1,000; Cecille Mojica of Cavitenos, $500 which will still be collected.
It is estimated that the Community is spending $4 million in renting banquet halls, community centres and hotels to hold parties. There are more than 350 organizations with a minimum of 2 events a year. There are also thousands of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and reunions held by families and friends. With that amount, we can built 1 Centre a year. If this money circulates in the Community like the Chinese and the Jews, we can create more jobs and businesses within and our community will be richer.
It is projected that if 5,000 Filipinos pledge $1,000 each, we can generate $5 million to buy or built a Centre. This amount can buy a $20 million building. The Filipino Centre projects a conservative estimate of $500,000 pledges, donations and proceeds from the raffle in the first year. With the generous pledges of our people, we can generate $500,000 in the first year as projected. Imagine some of us are pledging $5,000 to $10,000 like Ambassador Francisco Benedicto, Dr. Chito Collantes of CWSS, and Roland Chan of Liland Insurance.
The Pledges Committee Chairman Vince Vargas and Publicity & Marketing formulated a bundle of goodies as benefits and entitlement to donors, sponsors and the community. It is natural for people who donate to ask what they can get out of their contribution and we have to satisfy their needs. They would also want to know how their money is safeguarded.
The following are the proposed benefits and entitlement to donors and sponsors: 1) Their Picture & names will be published in a Filipino Community paper. 2) Their Picture & names will be engraved in the lobby of the building up to $5,000. For less than that, only their names will be listed. 3) Discounts on rental facilities for family and friends. 4) Will have a say where his/her money goes. As donor, they are entitled to (1 vote per $100.00) for life. 5) Can be nominated to the Board of Directors or the Executive Council. 6) This donation is tax deductible when Charity No. is granted. 7) The books of accounts will be open to donor at reasonable time notice. 8) They will receive a Certificate of Donation. 9) They will receive a lifetime membership Card. 10) Will have the pride as partner in building of the Centre. 11) The building is his legacy to his children and grandchildren. 12) Filipinos will be more visible to the Canadian mainstream. 13) Serve the needs of the Filipino Community better. 14) Create jobs for our people and others.
There are 5 types of donations: Platinum - $15,000; Gold - $10,000; Silver - $5,000.; Bronze - $1,000. Pledges must be made in the name of the Filipino Centre, Toronto.
Easy payment plan
Not all Filipinos are rich, but everyone wants to have the honor of being a partner/contributor in this worthy project. An easy installment plan was devised to give everyone the chance to be a part of the project. Ex: For $1,000 donation, 1) donors can pay a monthly installment of $100.00 for 10 months; 2) $50.00 a month for 20 months (1 year & 8 months);
3) $25.00 for 40 months (3 years & 4 months). Smaller donations will also be accepted.
Chairman Vince Vargas appealed for volunteers and solicitors.
To motivate solicitors to work hard for the project and defray transportation and meal expenses, a 10% finder’s fee is offered. While others may see this to be generous, it is only giving away 10% for expenses, compared with the old system where we throw away 90% of our income and end up with only 10% profit. Also, if we want people to work for our project, we have to give them the right incentive. This will encourage those without income or needs more money to survive while helping the community built their Centre.
Solicitors can either donate their finder’s fee to their organization, the Filipino Centre, or spend it for their family. If they donate it to the Centre, they can have their names also have the same entitlement as donors. It is a win-win situation where the Community and our people benefits.
Cash prizes for the 1st 3 highest solicitors is also offered. The 1st Prize is $1,000; 2nd Prize - $700; and 3rd Prize - $500. To qualify for these prizes, they must solicit at least $10,000. Cheques must be in the name of Filipino Centre, Toronto. Finder’s fees will be paid after pledges are collected.
Members of the Pledges Committee are: Vince Vargas, Chairman, Members are: Chito Collantes, Mann Nacario, Dr. Jun de Villa, Dr. Vicki Santiago, Dr. Ferry Trelholm, Dr. Francisco (Kiko) Portugal, and Rodel Ramos for publicity.
The President, Lynda Javier is appealing for volunteers. This is a huge project and we need the help of everyone to carry their share of the burden. Call: Pres. Lynda Javier @ 905.
275.5848; Secretariat, Maryann San Juan @ 416.394.1022 or 416.492.7313; Fund Raising, Dr. Francisco Portugal @416.928.1197; Membership, Tessie Jew @ 905.508.5366; or Publicity & Marketing, Rodel @ 905.615.8727.
19. Multi-faith Memorial Service by Rodel J. Ramos September 11, 2001
The Filipino Centre, Toronto (FCT) and the Philippine Consulate headed by Consul General Susan Constrence are jointly sponsoring a Multi-Faith Memorial Service for the terrorists’ victims of the World Trade Center, Pentagon, Philippines, and other parts of the world. More than 52 Filipinos perished in the WTC alone.
This is to show our sympathy and oneness with the victims and their families, and to pray for world peace. It will also be a prayer for those who are displaced and are suffering in Afghanistan war and other countries.
The Memorial Service will be held at the Council Chamber of the North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. North York, on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. For further info, call Chairperson Zoraida Loquiao at 416.323.6500 Ext. 4248 or 905.428.7690 or Evelyn Laraya at 416.927.5411 or 905.829.2267. Donations to the Red Cross for the Filipino victims are welcome.
November 1 is All Saints Day in the Philippines, a day of prayer for the dead.
Tarlac Cultural Assn. led by Ely Ramos donated $1,000.00 as their initial share in building the Centre for Filipinos. It is estimated that if all the 350 organizations in Metro Toronto donate the same amount, that is $350,000 a year towards the building. This does not include individual donations.
Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe representative Betsy Walter Abarquez offered the services of the Group to perform a show for a fund raising project. FCT plan includes a place where our colorful dance troupes can practice and keep their props.
Raffle Tickets selling well
Evelyn Laraya, Chairperson for the FCT Lottery Raffle Draw for the Centre said that so far ticket sales are doing well. Nearly 50,000 tickets have been distributed to stores, individuals and organizations. Raised from sponsors alone is $7,500, which will take care of the advertisement. The Centre is expected to raise $220,000 if all the printed tickets are sold. The 1st Prize is a CR-V Honda 2002 worth $31,000; 2nd Prize is a Home Theater worth $7,000 and there are three Camcorders for 3rd Prize. With the rate tickets are being sold, the final raffle will be drawn earlier than expected. For tickets, call Rey Ballares at Tel: 416.473.2724.
Some businesses like Forex Door to Door Services are using the Lottery to promote their products by giving a FREE Ticket for every box or $100 purchase. It gives their customers a chance to win a $31,000 worth CR-V Honda 2002 and the other prizes.
Associations are also giving out free Lottery tickets for every purchase of their dance/dinner fund raising projects.
Early Bird Draw
Early Bird draw of $3,000 will be on Saturday, December 15 at the Christmas Dinner/Dance Party of the Filipino Centre Toronto in coordination with Quezon Province Association of Canada (QPAC) at the Humberwood Community Centre, 850 Humberwood Blvd, Etobicoke. Ticket is $20.00 and attire is semi-formal. Contact persons are: Wendy Arena T416.281.2408 or 416.816.4740 or Erlie Gallardo T905.896.4353 or 416.530.6394.
The Executive Council passed a resolution that every purchase of 1 booklet of tickets will entitle a buyer to FREE membership for 1 year. This is to drum up the Membership Drive of Chairperson Zoraida Loquiao. Increase in membership is important to the FCT because they are negotiating with the Federal Government for a land in Downsview Military Airport and they are required to submit a list of members. Associations are urged to register their members to the FCT to show that Filipinos have the political clout.
Meanwhile, a Committee was formed to decide on which proposal will be accepted to construct the FCT website. Horizon Network headed by Mark Gellegan and Danny Samson’s company has proposals to undertake the project.
The Bowling Tournament at the Paradise Lane in Scarborough last August 18 headed by Ed Birondo made a net profit of $800.00 for FCT.
Consul General Susan Constrence and imported Singer Yoyoy & Hannah Villame graced the 1st FCT Family Day Walk on September 23 at Earl Bales Park, on Bathurst St. Marilyn Palileo, Erlie Gallardo, Ed & Evelyn Birondo headed the Walkathon Committee. Free T-shirts were given to those who pledged $100.00 and above. The weather was perfect for the run. Additional income came from sales of the T-shirts. Gross income for the walkathon was $2,600 with for than 150 people in attendance.
Clem Cabillan of Remax Realty donated the hotdogs Dr. Vicky Santiago paid for the Pizza, FCT President & CEO Linda Javier donated the soft drinks and Chito Collantes, PhD. the bottled water.
20. History repeats itself by Rodel J. Ramos
. It happened every time – Culture Philippines under Ric Torres, San Lorenzo Ruiz Centre under Dr. Jun de Villa, and now with Silayan, Filipino Centre Toronto and again Culture Philippines. In San Diego, somebody reported their fellow Filipinos to the FBI for investigation and their more than $350,000 budget was frozen. They don’t know now how they can survive. Hawaii has a similar problem. Yet we don’t hear this self destruction among the other ethnic groups.
Linda and I drafted the Constitution of Filipino Centre Toronto. As our experience with Filipinos, I knew that when there is already money and the project had succeeded, the crabs will try to pull us down. During the drafting of the constitution, I suggested we create a Conflict Resolution Committee to protect the FCT from internal and external intrigues. Unfortunately, the committee was neglected and FCT was caught unprepared by these attacks.
It is good that we have established partnership with the media and they helped us tremendously in the realization of the project especially Paul de la Cruz of PPC-O, Rolly Cabrera of Taliba, Tess and Ruben of Balita, the late Roger Turino and now Turing Muere of Likha, Hermie and Mila of Philippine Reporter, Lagring Bautista, Joe Baking, Ace Alvarez of Manila Media Monitor and Front Page Philippines, Bin Kon Loo of Filipiniana and most specially Carlos Unas of Filipino Bulletin.
FCT was built in 18 months with the hard work, dedication, talent, ideas and sacrifice of a few. It was not a miracle. It proved that if we have the right people with vision, passion, dedication, talents and faith, we can do it. It brought back faith in the Filipino and trust was restored. The media cooperated and our people once again started giving. Now, we are back to square one.
As one of the major proponent of the FCT, the one who triggered the revival of a Centre issue when almost everyone believed it is impossible to build a Centre in a community where talangka abound, permit me to express my views on the subject.
Leaving Kalayaan Centre in 1998 after we successfully promoted and marketed the Philippine Centennial Festival at the SkyDome with the late mentor Vince Vargas, we orchestrated the events leading to the realization of the Filipino Centre Toronto. Vince chaired the Logo Contest that created awareness of the project and I headed the Publicity and Promotion. My first task was to bring back trust to our leaders. Without trust, we can’t achieve anything as a community.
There are basic issues we have to resolve in this controversy. The FCT is owned by those who contributed to it, not by the Filipino Canadian community which is a myth and none existing. This is an internal problem. Disagreements and problems must be resolved within not in the media or the courts. Bringing it out is unprofessional and is washing dirty linens in public.
There is no Filipino community. Yes, we have common origin and culture but we don’t have a common government where everyone pays taxes or contribute. Many just share the glory from the sacrifice of a few. And they are the first to criticize and condemn.
Some people believe that they are the guardians of the community. You should first look at yourself in the mirror and see if you are without blemish or that you have contributed to this cause. When you were the leaders of the community, did you submit an accounting of your projects?
There is an $11,000 that is being questioned here. While they can be subjected to suspicion of conflict of interest because Felino who managed the renovations and repair is the husband of the President, I do not think that this couple will risk their name with that amount. Linda is a former school teacher and Felino was a Vice President of a Marketing company before retirement. They signed as guarantors in the purchase of the Centre. It means that if we fail to pay the building, they will run after the assets of these husband and wife. If there were other volunteers, I am sure Felino would let others do it, but who was willing to do the job?
This couple worked 7 days a week on that building for more than 2 years. The cost of the building was one million and fifty thousand. The assessment is now $2 million or double the purchased amount. And those who claim that FCT is going bankrupt just want to pull the organization down perhaps out of envy because they failed to accomplish anything during their terms as leaders of the community. That questioned amount of $11,000 which according to Windy Arenas was spent for the louvers, and lightings all over the building. Felino bought these materials from their former company and charged it using their receipt. The materials are there and can easily be checked and estimated by contractors and suppliers.
Managers and workers deserve a salary like any charity organization but they just get gasoline allowance which is even smaller than my pension. It is not fair to expect others to sacrifice their lives while we do nothing yet harshly criticize and condemn. I would not even doubt the integrity of these people and the passion and dedication to the community. Without them, that building would not materialize. But it seems this is the way we reward our heroes.
Linda and Felino I am sure are not perfect. But who among us is perfect? This couple had saved us a lot in that building. The renovation of the Rizal and Ottawa halls was quoted by contractors at $310,000. Felino and members of QPAC volunteered their time to do it and the materials only cost $46,000.
When you start destroying the integrity of people in public, you expect them to get back to you and everything having touched the sensitivity of Filipinos. Batuhan na ng baho iyan. Now, I am hearing a possible libel case. Sige, magubusan kayo ng yaman. Matutuwa ang mga abogado ninyo.
At least you gave the community some entertainment with the soap opera but again the community is the biggest loser. Sino pa ang gustong maging leader na matino kung tuwing mayroong gagawa ay sisirain lang natin?At sino pa ang magbibigay?
In the beginning, I had proposed a private corporation where we will sell shares of $1,000 each. It should have been easier to raise money and the public can’t scrutinize the records. With 1,000 contributing $1,000 each, it should have been paid at the start. All the income of the building should have been profits. And they could pay their managers and personnel salaries. We bought this for one million and fifty thousand. Today, it is assessed at $2 million. We should have all made a killing. But Linda would not even listen to me because she wanted the community to benefit from her work.
They would rather do it the hard way. FCT opted for selling lottery raffle tickets and gala nights which are hard to sell, take so much time, efforts and are wasteful. You have to talk to so many people. Eighty percent of the money you raise goes to expenses.
Ngayon, samaan pa ng loob. At maraming mga hindi naman nagbigay ay nakikialam, hindi na nahiya. Pera daw ng bayan iyon. Anong bayan ang pinagsasabi ninyo? When you don’t contribute to a community, you don’t belong. Kung may bayan man, hindi kayo kasali dahil wala kayong ginagawa kung hindi manira ng ginagawa ng iba. And yet during your time, you were only good at organizing gala nights and picnics. And you never made an accounting of your income and expenses. Kung pababayaan mo sa kanila ang community, we can’t accomplish this dream of a Centre.
This Centre was build on solid foundation, and no matter what you do, you can never destroy it.
21. Without Lynda Javier, the FCT did not exist! By Rodel J. Ramos
(The author helped start the Filipino Centre Toronto with the late Vince Vargas. They both promoted and guided it as Chairmen of the Promotions Committee and Logo Contest. Rodel and Ace Alvarez convinced Ambassador Benedicto to merge the groups of Dr. Jun de Villa and Lynda Javier)
It is true that hundreds contributed to the Filipino Centre Toronto venture buying lottery tickets, going to the fund raising events and volunteering their time, efforts and money to this cause. The media played an important role in this project too specially after Dr. Jun de Villa resigned from San Lorenzo Ruiz Centre and the community no longer believed it was possible for the community to have a centre.
But it was Lynda Javier’s determination and great sacrifice more than anyone that made the Filipino Centre Toronto a reality. Lynda and her husband Felino with a few officers spend much time, money and effort there.
We were able to raise only around $160,000 to $170,000 from the Lottery Raffle, dinner and dances and other fund raising activities for 1 ½ years. When the offer of the present building came, we needed more than $300,000 as down payment. The offer was a bargain. The owner spent $3 million in constructing the building but was selling it for $1.05 million for some reason. Lynda placed an offer for FCT. She did not know where to get the rest of the money when the deadline came. It was her daring and do-or-die character that pushed her knowing she has the backing of her husband Felino and the wealthy members of the Board. They were negotiating for a loan from David Liu, husband of Dr. Vicky Santiago but the night they were suppose to meet, David died of a massive heart attack.
Lynda prayed hard and the night before the deadline she called the moneyed members of the Board and officers even after midnight. Dr. de Villa wrote a check for $20,000 as a loan, Dr. Mario Andres $20,000, Dr. Vicky Santiago $50,000, Camilla Jones $20,000, Anita Caquicos $10,000, Aida d’Orazio $10,000 and Jazmine Dakahashi $10,000. Felino gave the remaining balance of $9,820.00. This is one of the amounts the opposition is claiming to be fraudulent. But there was a record with the real estate lawyer that all these money were deposited.
It was only Lynda and Felino Javier who signed the purchase contract as guarantors to the mortgage. It meant that if the group fails to pay the mortgage, the bank will run after them. Only a few among us are crazy enough to risk their personal properties, a lifetime savings for the community. We need more leaders of this kind of commitment.
Felino and a handful of volunteers worked for months cleaning up the place. It was infested with rats and cockroaches and smelled like shit. They renovated 3 offices, the Rizal Hall and Ottawa Hall, 2 lobbies, the lower and 2nd floor hallways, and suite 103 which became the FCT office. They knocked down and changed walls, ceilings, lightings, and washrooms, all without pay. Two companies were asked for quotations on these renovations. Both quoted above $300,000 which the organization did not have. For labor alone, they were charging more than $100,000.
Without much funds, Felino found ways to renovate the place. He used to work with ALC Groups Inc. which manufactured lighting equipment and accessories that went bankrupt and could not pay his salary. They agreed on an arrangement that he get paid in materials so he took their louvers and used them in FCT charging only the basic manufacturer’s cost. Felino charged only $11,836.46 for these materials and his labor was free. This amount was claimed by the auditor as fraudulent without purchase orders or original invoices claiming Felino profited from them. They did not take into account the hundreds of thousands in savings and hard work of the man. Other groups would praise him into high heavens as a hero, but in our community we have the nerve to call them “thieves”.
Lynda went to the building almost every day including her weekend also without pay. They were allowed gas allowance which was claimed by the “Save the FCT Movement to run as high as $1,000 a month. When asked, Lynda said, “I wish.”
Could the wife and husband team enrich themselves with the Centre? We can call Lynda as arrogant, domineering a dictator even, frank even feisty and vulgar at times. I had my fights with her as Chairman of Publicity and Promotions. She treats the members sometimes like her school children and call them “boys and girls” during meetings reminiscent of her being a school teacher. But calling them “thieves” as claimed by a placard during a rally is too abusive, not a way to reward our heroes who sacrifice their energies and resources to the community and is a total lie. What is worse is when we subject our leaders to trial by publicity. We subject all our leaders to suspicion including those who perpetuate it.
If Lynda and Felino wanted to get rich, they should have kept on working for a living instead of wasting their time, efforts and money with the community. They can spend their retirement in a cruise to the Caribbean, Europe or the Philippines and with their children.
When we started the Centre, having observed this community for more than 25 years, I knew what happened to San Lorenzo Ruiz Centre, Culture Philippines and other Centre projects will repeat itself because we never learn from the past. It will be subjected to a costly court battle and sparing of egos that will only enrich the lawyers. I then proposed to turn this project into a Private, for Profit Corporation and sell shares of $1,000/per share. We will avoid this kind of trouble and people who did not even put a cent into the project will not have their voice. There are so many free loaders in this community and only a few really works. But when they see money, they would grab the glory and claim it for themselves.
It should have been much easier to raise the funds of a million dollars. And we could have been rich. Imagine the market value of the building is now worth more than $2 million in less than 5 years.
Lynda Javier opposed that idea and so did Consul General Susan Castrence. They wanted the community to own it. Today, they already have spent $199,000 in court and counting fighting allegations of wrong doing. Their names are maligned and smeared.
Lynda made a lot of mistakes and so with some of the officers and members of the board. She was inexperienced with community organizations and the dogs eat dog culture of Filipino politics. But she was sincere in her desire to give the community a Centre. What does she know of purchase orders and invoices? There where people in place that were suppose to install the accounting system but did not do their jobs. Or course Lynda also seldom listen to others. But she was a fast learner and did spend time to learn the business.
As in the other cases, the trouble started from within. If you don’t know Lynda, you will be offended simply by the way she talks. Mayabang talaga at siya palagi ang bida. Her character is her worst enemy. And she did make a lot of enemies even from within. But she would not tolerate wrong doings especially with money.
Drs. Vicky Santiago, Jun de Villa and Dr. Mario Andres and many of the members of the Board also will not tolerate wrong doings especially with money. They are all honorable people with great dignity like the others opposing the group. But even the most honorable among us sometimes are vengeful and vindictive. We have big egos and once this is hurt, we fight all the way no matter what.
I beg all of you to settle this case outside the courts. It has damaged the community more than you ever know. It took us years to bring back the trust and faith of our people to their leaders after we brought down Dr. Jun de Villa in San Lorenzo Ruiz Centre and Ric Torres in Culture Philippines also on false allegations. For 30 years many tried to give us a community centre but failed. Lynda and this group did it in 17 months.
Instead of fighting each other, let us focus on bigger dreams for our community. We need a credit union, a cooperative and even a bank. We need more community centres. Our seniors, youth and young children even our caregivers and new immigrants. We need Filipinos to represent us in the 3 levels of government or at least a lobby group. Use your talents and resources for them, not to satisfy your big egos and little dreams.
22. Re-elected Board of FCT thank community by Rodel J. Ramos
The re-elected Board of Directors of the Filipino Centre Toronto thanks and congratulates the community for an intelligent vote in spite of the negative publicity by the opposite camp. Lynda Javier who was the target of the hate campaign still got into the top 4 elected.
While there were appeals for reconciliation between the two camps, Dr. Andres said that for now there is too much hurt that it is too early to forgive. They intend to pursue three more cases in court to give those who try to destroy the integrity of leaders in the community a lesson. However, we appeal to both sides, forgiveness may not heal the hurt but will enlarge the future. Much time and money had been spent in court cases.
Now that one problem has been cleared, the Board wants to appeal to the community and even to the other candidates who did not make it to volunteer to the many activities aligned for this year if they really are sincere in their desire to serve the community.
The committees that need volunteers are: School Outreach Program where Ontario registered teachers are much needed; Golf Tournament; Line Dancing instructors; PGIF dancers for the seniors program; the Pistahan; Cabbage Town Festival; Filipino classes; Search for Young Filipino Entrepreneurs; Outstanding Academic Awards; Medical Seminar Workshop; Basketball tournament; Homework Club; Income Tax Seminar; Will & Testament Seminar and some other programs. The number to reach is 416-928-9355.
23. Lessons from the battle for FCT by Rodel J. Ramos
The conflict as to who should manage the FCT was resolved by the election but how about 3 years from now when another election comes? Shall we repeat this kind of expensive comedy and tragedy at a heavy cost to the community?
We should look at making the FCT into a private corporation as I suggested in the beginning to stop any hostile takeover. Let’s learn from history. A few will always find ways to take over organizations specially when there is money involved. Assign shares and votes to associations who have contributed heavily on the project and others who contributed money, efforts, talents and ideas. Then, sell shares to pay for the balance of the mortgage. Ask a lawyer how it can be done.
Then, use the equity of the building to get a loan and buy more community centres around Metro Toronto. Or expand into credit union or consumer cooperative to service the needs of the community even more. However be sure to secure control of management of these ventures.
The Filipino community is a myth. Only a few dedicated, hard working souls deserve to be called members of that community. Most are just free loaders ready to grab the glory when we have won the battle just like when Pacquiao won in boxing, most Filipinos ride with the win even if they did nothing.
I am not saying that those who started the trouble did not sacrifice in the making of the Centre. The trouble started from within the organization from disgruntled and dissatisfied officers and members. Both sides had their faults. The president and the board violated parts of the constitution. All troubles in organizations start from within. They ignored the Conflict Resolution committee which handles such cases from escalating into total war. Then the community newspapers sided without knowing both sides. Personal issues burst into a scandal of untold proportion consuming the whole community.
There is no recognition of volunteers. Only money contribution is valued. Time, efforts, ideas and talents exerted did not matter much. It is time we recognize those factors. There is nothing free in this world. In the business world, these are all valuable. Many times we are lavish in criticism and so stingy with praise. How expensive is it to recognize others’ contribution?
We organized the Philippine Press Club – Ontario and rallied the media to support this frustrated dream of the Community. Most of the publishers went out of their way to help specially Filipino Bulletin, Taliba, Balita, Ano? Sino? iFilipino magazines, Philippine Reporter, Likha, and Filipiniana. Their contributions were seldom recognized. That is why when the conflict progressed, some took sides.
It is about time we pay managers salaries not just allowances. Treat it like a real business enterprise and hire professional managers.
Separate the ownership of the building to the community services. Then we can ask for grants for these social services and programs.
Reduce the Board of Directors to seven members. Nineteen are too much. We only accommodated that because we merged Dr. Jun de Villa’s and the Consulate’s group.
It is also about time that leaders who have been around for decades to step aside especially those who have not achieved anything concrete except gala nights and picnics. Some of you have become hindrances to the dreams of the community. Let go and give others a chance.
24. One Stop Shop Centre for GTA 2001 by Rodel J. Ramos
It was the original proposals of our think thank to make a One Stop Shop Centre for GTA. In our mind it was very feasible. The Filipino community was wasting so much money including the Philippine Consulate. The Filipinos like to party a lot. Every organization has 2 or 3 dinner and dances a year. Our families have parties for weddings, birthdays, and other occasions.
Below are some of the expenses we make:
1. Philippine Consulate, Labor Attache & Trade Commission office rent - $200,000/year
2. Community Centre Project – needs a minimum of 20,000-sq/ft spaces is needed by the Centre. The plan is an adjustable/convertible and can be broken down into smaller dance halls/theater/chapel area that can also be used for meetings, cultural presentation, arts, sports & dance classes. It can also be converted into a basketball, tennis, ping-pong court when needed. The Centre will house a Filipiniana library, museum and Community Centre office to service the community. There are 3 groups that have accumulated some money but refuse to merge.
Filipino Center Toronto has now $ 85,000
Kalayaan Cultural Centre - 175,000
San Lorenzo Ruiz Centre - 150,000
Total $410,000 If the 3 groups decide to join.
It has to be strategically located near Mississauga but in Metro Toronto
a) The community spends from $4 – 5 million dollars a year in banquet halls, hotels, party rooms with food and drinks every year for fund raising, weddings, debut, birthdays, etc. and also concerts.
b) There are now 250,000 Filipinos in Metro Toronto & growing.
c) More new immigrants are coming every year
d) The population is growing with newborn babies.
e) There are 280 organizations registered with the Consulate and another 100 unregistered (Religious, sports organizations such as Couples for Christ, Bukas Loob, El Shadai). These groups have a minimum of 2 parties a year – fund raising, Christmas, Independence, etc.
f) There are 2 basketball tournaments a year and also tennis, bowling, and a lot of golf tournaments once a year.
3. Seniors/Retirement Apartment homes – (this is a growth area because the 1st Filipinos here are retiring, selling big homes and moving to condominiums and apartments to avoid shoveling snow and cutting grass. They want to stay where they don’t have to go far to buy their groceries, and other needs. They need extra services like house cleaning, and need friends to talk to, etc.
4. Geriatric Care for Elderly – (Growth area) There is no facility like this for Filipino elderly now and the elderly is growing. They would need a lot of care and we can create jobs in this area too.
5. Childcare – The seniors can baby-sit the children.
6. Contract workers and domestics are growing too with more coming. They need a place where they can be with friends during weekends. Also, there are workers who live out.
7. Offices/Apartment for Filipino-Canadian businesses and professions. The seniors, children, and contract workers need doctors, dentists, hairdressers, travel agents, money remittance, restaurant, convenient stores, etc. They have a captive market here.
8. Silayan & Kababayan Community Centers are renting an estimated value of $24,000/year.
9. There is a need for a 1st Class Filipino Restaurant & Catering to service Canadian mainstream market and affluent Filipinos.
10. Filipino tourists coming to Toronto needs cheaper hotel accommodation than the existing hotels now.
11. The 1st floor of the building can house a Restaurant, Convenient Sari-Sari Store, hairdresser, doctor’s office, barber, etc.
25. Promotions Goals and Structure by Rodel Ramos
1. Plan, budget, organize and supervise the marketing and promotions.
2. Generate ideas and program to attain objectives.
3. Change the wrong perceived image of past community leaders and bring back trust.
4. Built a good image for the Centre, the leadership, the organization and the project.
5. Damage control. Protect the reputation and image of the leaders and the organization from criticism and scandals. This is important because of the crab mentality of a few people in the community and from the bad experience of past leaders.
6. Public awareness of the project, its goals and how it will benefit the community.
7. Stress on the need for the center (Importance of the project):
- Every Filipino in Metro Toronto dreams of a Community Center.
- We spend from $4 to $5 million every year to celebrate our parties just for facilities alone. This should circulate in the community.
- Pride for Filipinos in having a Center of their own.
- Will create jobs for Filipino Canadians.
- Will bring benefits for Community instead of giving it to others.
8. Change the mind set of the community (resistance to change) on fund raising and supporting worthy projects. (Traditionally, dances, concerts and parties to raise funds where too much time, money and efforts are wasted and profits are less than 15%.
9. Inform community of developments
10. Explain viability of the project & benefits to community;
11. Involve media on projects;
12. Promote recruitment of volunteers & workers;
13. Raise funds, solicit sponsors & donors
1. Market research and development - attitude of market, what would interest them,target market, income bracket, needs, how they would benefit. (Need for security, recognition, belonging, achievement,
2. Packaging - package the products and services so as to make it attractive and sellable.
3. Pricing - a costing of expenses and allowance for profit.
4. Sales - canvassing, prospecting, presentation and closing.
5. Advertising & Promotion - ads, sales kit - brochures, posters, press relation - press releases, press conference
6. Channel of distribution - existing organizations, religious groups, sports, cultural, social, youth
7. Educational & Motivational programs
8. Incentives for sales force
Public Relation Committee (Media people) -
1. Press Release,
2. Image building - vision, drive, activities, development, leadership
3. Public information,
5. Destroy the image of distrust among Filipino leaders and community Centre projects, use for personal gains, lost money
6. Encourage volunteers, donations/
7. Destroy apathy, indifference, non-involvement and negative attitude
8. Damage Control -
9. Speakers Bureau -
10. Writers Group
1. Website: IT Information -Maintenance of website, email address, receive inquiries, application forms and pledges, discrimination of information to members with email and public using internet.
2. Market Research Committee - demographics, statistics, share of market, direct & indirect competition, and target.
3. Mktg. & Promo Planning Committee - Planning the Marketing & Promotion Strategy, timetable, feedback, measure results,
Information Technology (IT) Committee - Website, emails, graphics, latest development
4. Artists Group - graphic artists
5. Ads - Purpose, concept, copy, artwork & design, which media is the best for project, director
6. Promotions - press conference, press release, ads, brochure, flyers, and packaging
7. Brochures - goal, copy, artwork,
8. Flyers; 9. Posters; 10. Packaging;11. Distribution; 12. Sales; 13. Pricing.