Magkasama604: Filipino entrepreneurs stand together amid social distancing in virtual Vancouver food and arts market

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      Among expatriate Filipinos, some words take on a meaning deeper than their literal sense.

      Kabayan is one example. Ordinarily, it means someone from the same town, or bayan in the Tagalog language.

      For Filipinos living abroad, calling someone kabayan evokes a common bond that ties people from different hometowns, who speak as many as around 170 languages in their country of birth.

      Magkasama is another word in Tagalog, which is the main foundation of the national language in the Philippines officially known as Filipino.

      In immigrant Filipino communities in Canada and elsewhere, magkasama, meaning together, summons the spirit of unity.

      In Vancouver, Magkasama was the title of a modern Filipino market that was held last year, showcasing food, art displays, music, dance, handcrafted goods, and others.

      With ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the market is going online.

      Corvette Romero, who co-owns the Filipino food truck Shameless Buns with partner Matt Brennan, is driving the virtual market project.

      “We are focussed on celebrating modern and progressive Filipino businesses that have their sights on the future, while maintaining the integrity of the culture,” states an announcement Romero shared with the Georgia Straight.

      With the Magkasama virtual market, shoppers can purchase and discover new products in one online site.


      Website: The website will open on June 15.

      Market dates: June 15-July 5

      Pick up dates: July 10-12

      Pick up times: 11 a.m. -6 p.m. (All days)

      Market pick up location: 302 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver. This is the site of Shameless Buns, which will open for service during the pick up days.

      Vendor list:

      Bukobaba. @BUKOBABA_ESSENTIALS, premium coconut food and wellness products

      Coco Cakes.- @COCOCAKESYVR, Filipino Mochi Cakes

      Ensaimada Moment. @ENSAIMADAMOMENT, Filipino ensaimada or sweet rolls

      Gigil Clothing. @GIGIL_CLOTHING,  modern Filipino and Chinese inspired clothing, face masks, and others

      Hapag Restaurant.  @HAPAGGRILL, Vancouver restaurant offering Filipino cuisine

      Kape Coffee. @KAPE.COFFEE, social enterprise promoting farmer-first coffee from Philippine Indigenous women growers, and small batch roasted in the traditional unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-waututh Nations

      Kasama Chocolate. @KASAMACHOCOLATE, Artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate with cacao from the Philippines

      Kayebakes. @KAYEBAKES.CA, Filipino desserts and cakes

      Kiligraphy Co. @KILIGRAPHYCO, Filipino inspired cards, signage, buttons, digital art and more!

      La Meryenda. @LAMERYENDA_CA , Filipino inspired pastries and desserts

      Panaderia Corner. @PANADERIACORNER, Filipino breads and baked goods  

      Sago ToGo. @SAGOTOGO, bubble tea, and the classic Filipino treat, taho or sweet soft tofu dessert

      Shameless Buns. @SHAMELESSBUNS, food truck specializing in creative and delicious sandwiches, loaded fries, house made sauces, Filipino dessert, and the occasional wacky creation.

      The Sweet Alley. @THESWEETALLEY, specializes in custom cakes and artisan confections

      VanCity Cookies. @VANCITY.COOKIES, gourmet cookie maker