By Ms. Rose Tijam, PPCO President – Philippine Press Club Ontario

Greetings one and all!

I am glad and relieved that after several attempts in as many years to call a General Meeting and Election, we are here today – not in a huge number as we wished, but here nevertheless. The last AGM was in May 19, 2019; the following year when we were scheduled for another AGM, the world was hit with a massive Coronavirus pandemic. Our lives turned upside down – we were convulsed with fear, losses and uncertainties, as nearly a million people died, including Canadians and Filipino Canadians. There was a general lock down; the government imposed restrictions on vaccination, masking and other things. Our alternative was to cancel our activities; a few members and their relatives succumbed to the pandemic or other illnesses, were hospitalized, lost jobs, were stranded abroad, and suffered general fear and uncertainties, as several members are at a vulnerable age and were going through pre-existing health conditions.

We also cancelled our big plans to celebrate our 20th anniversary in December 2021.

Also, the media was hit hard – print publications, and radio and TV channels lost their sources of advertising income, so they limit their output, or closed down.

There are braver souls in our community, that as soon as the pandemic ebbed down a little, they resumed some of their activities, while PPCO did not. While as an organization majority of our members opted to close shop, PPCO was kept alive by our presence and attendance to the brave activities of other community organizations, as Coronavirus ebbed, and rules were relaxed.

Over the recent years, as your PPCO president, I was invited and made my presence at the following community organizations:

Filipino Centre Toronto; Adhika; Knights of Rizal; Auxilliary ladies for Rizal; Mariposa Association of Canada; Philippine-Canadian Charitable Foundation, UP Alumni Association of Toronto, Asian Festival group; Kalayaan Cultural Community Center, Philippine Artists Group, Philippine Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Some of us also made our presence at Consulate General of the Philippines.

A few weeks ago, PPCO presented a certificate of appreciation to the outgoing Consul General Orontes Castro during a despedida party for him.

In these events, I was made speaker, resource person, committee chair or committee member, special guest – best of all, I represent a respected organization, the PPCO.

The PPCO board continued to meet even in the absence of general activities – some of our topics were on activation of membership, resumption of seminars on leadership, laws and ethics on journalism, and related matters.

We suspended our organizational activities due to circumstances I mentioned earlier, we cancelled our 20th anniversary in December 2021, we cancelled our membership fee for three years —- it’s time to come back, resume, and run actively again.

These topics, and others, shall be recommended to the new incoming officers.

There is your Board to thank for their attendance at our meetings in spite of our general inactivity

As I’ve stated before, I am pleased to remind our membership that the Philippine Press Club of Ontario continues to enjoy the respect, credibility and deep regard of our community, as shown by the numerous invitation for our presence and participation.

Thank you all.

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