Filipino community night at Rangiora Library

The Rangiora Library will be hosting a Filipino migrants’ night on Saturday 9 April to provide the district’s steadily increasing Filipino population with information and advice about free services available from Waimakariri Libraries, the Council, Citizens Advice Bureau and Immigration New Zealand.

The Library is working closely with the president of Alpha Phi Omega South Island Alumni Association, a Filipino based international leadership development organisation, Roberto ‘Bob’ Bolanos who recognises the value of the migrants’ night in bringing Filipinos together, particularly those who are new to the community.

“Our hope is that by creating events that bring people together we will be able to provide them with the information that will help them navigate their new life and integrate into the communities in which they live”, he says.

“Most Filipinos are not aware of the help and support that local government can provide and may be afraid to approach local council – perhaps after sometimes traumatising experiences dealing with government back home”.

The Filipino community in the Waimakariri District has been growing steadily over recent years. The ‘Pinoys’ – a colloquial term used to describe people of Filipino descent - are working across a wide range of industries including dairy farming, health care, construction, IT and food and beverage, and can experience significant stresses in adjusting and adapting to language, local customs and behaviours and even seasonal changes. Filipino values are strongly based on close family and community ties with a focus on preserving social harmony and acceptance within a group.

Bob Bolanos says that almost every important event in Filipino life involves food. ‘Magkita tayo’ - Let’s meet, ‘Mag salu-salo tayo’ - Let’s share a meal and ‘Mag usap tayo’ - Let’s talk, are central tenets to the Filipino way of life, and this is the base on which the Filipino community night at the Rangiora Library is structured. The organisers hope that, by initiating first contact, ‘Pinoys’ will get to know each other and begin to work together in the gathering of information and support from the organisations that already exist to provide it.

The organisers have set up a Facebook page (Waimakariri Filipino Community Group) for those who want to find out more or register for the Filipino community night.

Contact: Phillippa Ashbey, Libraries Manager

Phone: 03 311 8901