One of the most wonderful things about the Miss BC pageant – I know all the contestants have heard it before (and likely will again; I’m nothing if not repetitive!) – is that even after it ends, it doesn’t.  It’s not just the titleholders who remain involved in the program and continue to work with charity and speak out against injustice – all of the Ladies of Miss BC (to quote our Pride-going contingent) contribute and keep in touch and are exactly the role models we wish for the young women (and men) of our province.

In that vein, Janelle contacted me to talk about her continuing work as a role model for the Filipino community.  Check out what she’s up to!

Looking forward to seeing all of you – previous and upcoming participants in Miss BC – soon.

À bientôt,

Christy

One year ago, I took it upon myself to ensure that I would treat my titles as Miss Philippines of British Columbia and 1st Runner-Up for Miss Philippines of the World as jobs and not merely as an excuse to wear high heels, a crown and sash. I’ve carried with me the responsibility of being an active ambassador in the Filipino community and a role model for younger generations whose dreams are embedded with visions of breaking down barriers and diminishing stereotypes as Filipinos continuously prove their abilities and share their talents with Canada and the rest of the world.

 Up until the late 20th century, the percentage of Filipino immigrants made up only a sliver of Canada’s population. Today, we are the largest Asian-Canadian group in the nation and since 2006, have been the largest Southeast Asian group in the country. Discovering more than ever that strength lives in the depth of numbers, Filipinos are determined to share their culture with Canada as we show our appreciation for the true north – strong and free – that we can proudly call our home.

 On August 14th from 10am to 4pm at St. Patrick Ground, 2881 Main Street, Vancouver, B.C., there will be a grand showcase of the first ever Filipino Fiesta (“Unang Hirit”) that will fill the streets of Vancouver and will be open to the public for free. The fiesta parade will represent various regions from the Philippines and will be coloured with Filipino culture from food/trade exhibits and unique costumes to entertainment featuring local bands and aspiring artists.

 On behalf of all the various Filipino associations, business, professional and civic groups, and of course the rest of the Filipino community involved, I invite you to join us in this special event that will educate and display glimmers of our culture that has much to offer.

 Here is to our country, rich with global cultures, and to the celebration of all races coming together as one as we all continue to be the driving force behind the progression of Canada.

Yours truly,

Janelle Velo
Miss Philippines of British Columbia 2009-2010

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