School children and their teachers will be able to watch for free a theatrical production about the history of an Asian country that has been the number one source of immigrants to Canada in recent years.
This is being made possible by the Laurier Institution, a Vancouver-based champion of cultural diversity, and other sponsors for the May 25, 2019 staging at UBC of Philippines Historama: Birth of a Nation.
“The first step towards cultural harmony starts with understanding and learning about each other's histories, “ Laurier chair Robert Daum said in a media release.
Based on the 2016 Census, there are 837,130 Canadians of Filipino ancestry, comprising over two percent of the entire population.
With a cast of 110 and show time of over two hours, Philippines Historama offers a broad sweep of past and contemporary events in the country.
The show is presented by the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre–Museum of Migration (PCHC–MoM), and the UBC Kababayan Filipino Students Association.
“There is no better way of learning about their history, struggles and aspirations than watching this live show,” PCHC–MoM president Tineke Hellwig said in the media release.
Teachers can contact PCHC–MoM (email@example.com or 778-636-2368) to obtain tickets for their students, so they can and watch as a group.
The PCHC–MoM release advised that older students can claim a ticket online with this promo code (XculturalUnity) at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/philippines-historama-2019-tickets-60504588854#tickets.
Philippines Historama was written by local Filipino community advocate and literary figure Carmelita Salonga Tapia. It is based on research by historian Bernardino Julve, and first staged in Vancouver in 2012.
According to Tapia, the show celebrates the freedom-loving spirit of Filipinos, who have fought foreign colonizers and local tyrants.
“We got our independence through the heroism of our forefathers,” Tapia told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.
The show is narrated in English, and acted on stage in short plays and colourful native dances.
PCHC–MoM executive director Winnie Cheung said that Philippines Historama provides an important background to one community that has been growing in Canada.
“It is a good opportunity for those who don’t know much about Filipino Canadians here to learn about their aspirations, and their previous journey before they came,” Cheung told the Straight by phone.
Based on Statistics Canada figures, a total of 1.2 million new immigrants moved to Canada within between 2011 and 2016, and Filipinos represented the biggest group with 188,805 arrivals.
“This is a very good chance for us to build those bridges between cultural groups, which is what we are really about in trying to discover and uncover the hidden stories among Canadians here in Pacific Canada,” Cheung said.
The show is produced by the Philippines Historama Society of B.C., Philippine Cultural Arts Society of B.C., and the Bibak Organization of B.C.
Philippines Historama is also supported by UBC’s Philippines Studies Series, Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Program, and St. John’s College.
The show will be on Saturday (May 25) at the Frederic Wood Theatre (6354 Crescent Road), starting at 2 p.m.