By Roy Mabasa
Filipinos in Canada brought with them the traditional Filipino breakfast of longganisa (sausage), pandesal (bread roll), sinangag (fried rice), scrambled eggs and hot coffee in joining the 10-day celebration of the world-famous Calgary Stampede festival that started last week.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and other top federal, provincial and city officials came to celebrate the “Agahan,” the Filipino breakfast version of the Calgary Stampede held at the parking lot of Pacific Hut, a popular Filipino restaurant in Southeast Calgary.
Now on its third year, the Agahan attracted about 5,500 people who came to taste Filipino food, which stood out amidst the more common pancakes served in other parts of the city.
Local Filipino bands, singers, and dancers also provided the entertainment during the event that lasted from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Premier Notley, accompanied by members of her party Caucus including Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman, addressed the Filipinos and other attendees of the event, highlighting the proclamation signed on June 1, 2018, declaring June of each year as Philippine Heritage Month in Alberta.
The Premier reiterated the appreciation of the government of Alberta to the contributions of Filipino-Canadians to the economic, social, and cultural richness of the province.
Philippine Consul General to Calgary Gilberto Asuque, who was present to support the community, thanked the organizers of the “Agahan” and the crowd who came to the event, for making Filipino culture blend with the celebration of the Calgary Stampede.
The “Agahan” was jointly organized by the Philippine Fiesta Council of Alberta (PFCA) and the owners of the Pacific Hut Restaurant, Ron and Tess Ala. PFCA also leads the celebration of the Fiesta Filipino in Calgary every September.
In the same event, Asuque expressed gratitude to the government of Alberta led by Premier Notley, for recently signing the proclamation declaring June of each year as Philippine Heritage Month across the province.
According to tradition, the Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and is widely known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”