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Walking through Manila’s history

Just when I thought I knew my Filipino history, a remarkable walking tour experience in Vancouver enlightens me on Philippine history and where my love for all things eclectic, comes from.  Toronto’s Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts and Culture, in collaboration with Vancouver’s Tulayan (meaning bridge in Tagalog) brought us Carlos Celdran’s famous walking tour, “If These Walls Could Talk.”

Despite the highly charged streets full of Canucks fans honking and hooting, it seemed nothing could detract from our focus on Celdran’s charismatic delivery of anecdotes and historical narrative.  Complete with images of colonial Manila, local architecture as backdrop, and music, the audience was shown Manila’s history through the Spanish and American colonial eras, right through WWII and linking to our present day identity as Filipinos around the world.  While 99% of the audience was of Filipino heritage, it is a cultural experience relevant to anyone interested/willing to understand the role of Manila as the “Pearl of the Orient”, and a community that is shaping Vancouver culture.  As the 3rd largest visible minority group in Vancouver, it is a course on this culture’s history that is long overdue!

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