Filipinos Represent! Canada's Top 25 Immigrants 2012

WRITTEN IN ENGLISH AND TAGALOG BY MARICAR RANADA, CLUTCH VOL.1 PARTICIPANT

Caroline Mangosing is a finalist in Canada's Top 25 Immigrants. She was nominated by CLUTCH Vol.1 participant, Maricar Ranada

One of the hardest things one person can go through is to leave their homeland and try to survive in an adopted one. As an immigrant in this multicultural land, I was not an exception to that. I too had a challenging time settling in Canada.

In our life's journey, we meet people who share our own story, who help us grow, who inspire us. About five years ago, only months after I arrived in Canada, I met one. I met Caroline Mangosing, the co-founder of a Filipino arts-based, youth-focused center, Kapisanan.

Maricar Ranada before she moved to Canada (left) and Maricar as a CLUTCH Vol.1 participant (right). Click for bigger photo

As a fresh, young newcomer searching for a place to belong, Caroline and the Kapisanan team welcomed me and offered me a more positive way of adapting to a new environment. Through their program, "Clutch" which helps young Filipino-Canadian women hone their creativity, gain empowerment and explore their identity, I was able to experience an amazing journey in the world of arts.

Throughout the six-month program, I met and shared a dialogue with a wonderful and talented group of people. They were all supportive and generous in sharing their knowledge and talents to us, the participants. During those times, I remember calling Caroline as our "Ate", Filipino word for older sister. As our Ate, she was always their to guide and support us. Her story is like our own. She was once a young newcomer who wanted to fit in, who wanted to be heard. And through her love of arts, her passion and her perseverance, she was able to build a haven for Filipino youth to develop their talents while they recognize their roots and identity, all through the lens of arts and culture.

Thanks to Caroline's creative way of helping young people like me, I had an easier transition to adjust to a new country. It helped me embrace another culture while maintaining and remembering my own. I am proud and honored to have met a person as passionate and as inspiring as Caroline. For me, she's one of the people who truly make a difference.

Please vote for her for Canada's Top 25 immigrants 2012. Let's support her and all the people that make Kapisanan thrive as they continue helping the community and inspiring the youth.

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Isa sa pinakamahirap na pagsubok sa isang tao ay ang lumayo at mamuhay sa ibang bansa. Bilang isang imigrante dito sa bansang binubuo ng iba't ibang lahi at kultura, nahirapan ako sa umpisa na umayon sa aking bagong kapaligiran.

Salamat na lang at nahanap ko ang Kapisanan Center at nakilala ko si Caroline Mangosing. Masayang malaman na may isang grupo ng mga Pilipino na talagang pinahahalagahan ang sariling kultura. Kasama ng isang kaibigan, binuo ni Caroline ang isang "Filipino arts-based, youth-oriented community center" na may layuning suportahan ang mga kabataang Pinoy sa pagtuklas ng kanilang kultura at pinagmulan sa pamamagitan ng sining.

Sa tulong at inspirasyong ibinigay sa akin ng Kapisanan na pinangungunahan ni Caroline, natutunan kong yakapin ang dalawang magkaibang kultura. Sa pamamagitan ng sining, napawi kahit papano ang aking kalungkutan at pangungulila sa bayang kinagisnan.

Ikinararangal ko na makilala si Caroline at ang mga bumubuo sa Kapisanan. Maraming salamat at nandiyan kayo, hindi lamang para gabayan ang mga kabataang Pilipino sa pagkilala ng kanilang kultura kundi para magsimula ng iba't ibang aktibidad na may layuning tumulong sa mga nangangailangan nating mga kababayan malayo man tayo sa Pilipinas.

Atin pong suportahan ang kanilang adhikain sa pamamagitan ng pagboto kay Caroline na mapabilang sa "Canada's Top 25 Immigrants". Maraming salamat.