Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada, and aboutAbout 49% of its residents are not native English speakers. With over 100,000 Filipino residents—nearly 20% of Canada’s community of overseas Filipinos—it’s no wonder many Filipinos are saying “Mabuhay!” to Vancouver.
Climate, Culture, & Community
Metro Vancouver is home to almost 2.5 million people and is often named among the top five cities for livability – for its amenities and natural beauty. Vancouver’s distinct ethnic neighborhoods make it an easy choice for socially oriented Filipinos looking for a community.
Vancouver’s Mediterranean climate of relatively warmer winters and cooler summers make it ideal weatherwise, not to mention those Pacific Ocean and mountain views for outdoor enthusiasts. Make sure to keep an umbrella handy because it rains around 160 days a year!
Thriving Art & Film
Vancouver’s thriving art scene and location make it a popular film location. Filipino-made indie films and the community of Filipino filmmakers continue to grow as second and third generations of Filipinos cycle through Canada. In June, the Pinoy Fiesta and Philippine Days are two annual cultural events that attract over 20,000 people looking for Filipino connections.
A Taste of Home
From adobo to halo halo, Vancouver boasts a fantastic Filipino food scene. More than 10 Filipino restaurants offer a variety of favorites: Filipino-style spaghetti, Baon boxes, and authentic desserts, including ube cheesecake. Feel like making an authentic dish at home? There are at least three Filipino grocery stores in Vancouver, making it easy to find the ingredients you need for your favorite dishes.
Many Filipino neighborhoods run along the SkyTrain stations making travel more accessible . Fraser Street neighborhood signposts are written in Tagalog, denoting laundromats, tailors, restaurants, and more. Other pockets of Filipinos in Vancouver include Guildford in Surrey, urban Richmond, and south Delta. Are you looking for a spiritual connection? Consider attending prayer services at one of the Filipino churches, such as the Filipino Fellowship Baptist Church or the Lakeview Multicultural United Church. Community events, outreach opportunities and their respective social pages, will help you feel more at home in your adopted country.
Immigrant resources, such as S.U.C.C.E.S.S, offer social and settlement services, including language instruction, career advice and housing support to newcomers. Government services and low barriers of entry make moving to Vancouver relatively easy for newcomers. The Kalayaan Center serves the needs of the Filipino-Canadian community by offering a wide array of programs and services.
Moving to a new country can be exciting, but it’s normal to miss things and people from home. Canada’s higher standard of living and work opportunities may allow you to support your family from afar and send money home. If this is the case for you, use the Western Union app as an easy way to stay connected to family, help support them during difficult times, or celebrate holidays and special events by sending money.