By Mogi Mogado
Presenting Cheques for Markham Village Project in Palo, Leyte: (L to R) Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians Chair Yoly Ladines; Councillors Allan Ho, Don Hamilton,Logan Kanapathi; guest John Tidball; Jun Clarita, Alex Ascano of ANCOP; Jojo Querubin of Gawad Kalinga; Sunny Paragas of ANCOP; Consul General Junever Mahilum-West; Councillor Alex Chiu; Regional Councillor Gord Landon; Councillor Colin Campbell; guests Rosita Tam and Benson Sy; and Agnes Manasan Of Gawad Kalinga.
The Filipino community and their friends in Markham, Ontario have fundraised $140,000 to build a Markham Village in Palo, Leyte, in a continuing effort to help with victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Led by Councillor Alex Chiu and the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, the housing project was unveiled in formal ceremonies at Markham City Hall on February 26, 2014. Two cheques for $70,000 each were presented to Gawad Kalinga Canada and ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) International. Both organizations will build 20 two-level homes each, on sites adjacent to each other, making up one village. It will include the required community facilities.
"We opted to go for a Markham Village as a tangible and lasting symbol of the generosity of the people of Markham, beginning with our Mayor Frank Scarpitti, and our City Council, and the countless friends and supporters of our Filipino community", said Councillor Alex Chiu.
"It's our way of helping the victims of typhoon Haiyan in that part of the homeland to pick up their lives again, a legacy I hope that will connect Markham to Palo, Leyte for generations to come", he added.
It will be the second project of this kind that Councillor Chiu has undertaken in the Philippines. In 2012 a namesake "Village of Markham", with 51 low-cost homes built with funds raised under his initiative and partnership with the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, was inaugurated in Las Pinas City.
"The Las Pinas Village of Markham model is thriving. It continues to bond our peoples together in enduring friendships and common aspirations. Palo Leyte Markham Village certainly promises to deliver the same positive outcome", said Councillor Chiu, the kababayan local politician with the record, longest unbroken term of 28 years in Markham City Council at present.