Daily Archives: January 26, 2012

‘Symphony 8’ investors launch Philippine Canadian Inquirer

TIMES Telecom CEO and "Symphony 8" head Alan Yong (center) with Alex P. Vidal and Reyfort Media Group Chairman Reynaldo Fortaleza during the launching of the Philippine Canadian Inquirer.

By Alex P. Vidal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A group of investors calling themselves “Symphony 8” led by Times Telecom CEO Alan Yong launched “Canada’s first and only nationwide Filipino Canadian newspaper” at the Rock Studio Academy on Granville St. Tuesday (January 24) evening.
To be published four times a month, Yong said the paper, which carries the masthead of the Manila-based daily, will also circulate in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary soon.
“We have not invited representatives (of the Philippine Daily Inquirer) from the Philippines today but we will invite some of them during our second launching in Toronto in April this year,” Yong said.
Yong, 52, a Malaysian-Canadian, said the Manila PDI office is the one preparing the paper’s printing materials “and we do our own marketing here in Canada.”
In her published message, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said the paper “will not only serve as a medium to help readers to stay informed about issues that matter to them, but it will also help to enhance a greater sense of community among Filipino-Canadians.”
In his published message, Philippine Consulate Consul General Jose A.P. Ampeso said “the paper’s entry into the scene will heighten the competition in this field, no doubt, and expand the choices for the Filipino-Canadian reader which, for us, is an exciting prospect as this opens up opportunities to better serve the community through a broader reach and improved and enhanced coverage of events.”
He also welcomed “this development as an opportunity as well as to harness the power of the mass media as a tool for spreading useful and constructive information, empowering the Filipino community, and advocating for Philippine growth and development.”
Others who gave messages were Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Minister James Moore, Member of Parliament for Richmond Alice Wong, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Richmond Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Burnaby Mayor Derek R. Corrigan, News Westminster Mayor Wayne Wright, and the different Filipino-Canadian community associations.
Yong’s other partners include Terry Bahar, Peter Cheung, David Mew, Kenneth Kwan, Gigi Astudillo, Jojo Quimpo, Janice Lozano, Irene Yatco, Lilia Tiamzon, Theresa Baguisa, Ryan Ferrer, Laarni Liwanag, Boy Masakayan, Jenn Torres, Jennifer Yen, and Nancy Floro.

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


EXCLUSIVE: Miss World Canada swimsuit component to be removed?


By Alex P. Vidal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Will organizers of the Miss World Canada remove the swimsuit component when the pageant’s 2012 edition selects its new “Voice and Ambassador” on May 13 at the River Rock Resort Show Theater?
This will be known when the Board of Directors of Miss World Canada discuss the controversial issue during the “business mixer” meeting of the ownership, the management and the staff of Quality Hotel and Suites Langley at the hotel in Langley on January 26.
In an exclusive interview, Miss World Canada National Director and Chairman Ike Lalji said they will have as guest Miss World Canada 2011 Riza Santos who will join the discussion.


She will also be promoting Miss World’s powerful mandate of Beauty with a Purpose, said Lalji, who is president of the Coast Meridian Hospitality.
Lalji, an industrial engineer who grew up in Belgium, said there have been mounting suggestions to remove the swimsuit portion in consonance with the pageant’s mandate as “philosophic and charity-driven.”
“While other pageants are based on beauty, ours is not only based on beauty but charity. Other pageants teach the participants how to walk while we teach our participants the life skills — leadership skills prior to the competition,” Lalji stressed.
He said as ambassador of Canada, the Miss World Canada travels around the world to pass the message to the young generation to help the children.


“We involve the United Nations and we let the people all over the world know that Miss World Canada is also about beauty with a purpose,” he pointed out.
Santos, 24, who wowed everyone at the Miss World competition in London with a 4th place finish in the sports competition, and a top 30th overall ranking out of over 120 contestants, will be accompanied by her runner-up Poonam Punni.
Santos is from Calgary and is engineering student and Canadian Forces soldier. She completed her BMQ and SQ with the Canadian Forces Army Reserve, and plans on becoming a commissioned officer.
She has also been a dedicated volunteer for the last 14 years, and continues to raise funds for charities such as Variety – The Children’s Charity, the Safe Haven Foundation, and relief funds for victims of natural disasters.
Lalji said “a lot of changes are happening with Miss World Canada. The search is on for women aged 17-24 that are beautiful on the inside and out, have a philanthropic and passionate mindset, and above all else believe they can be Canada’s next ambassador to the world.”
Every contestant will be taught valuable life building skills which will help open up many doors. The winner will receive numerous gifts, including an all-expense paid trip to China to compete in the Miss World pageant in July of 2012, as well as scholarships, and opportunities to work with and become a spokesperson for Variety – The Children’s Charity.


Lalji said the Miss World Pageant is the oldest and most annually watched televised show in the world, even beating out the Olympics in its ratings. Miss World is one of the two top pageants in the world and continues to break records.
Represented by over 120 countries and fundraising topping £150 million and the most successful ever international television show.
Lalji said they have donated $5 million for children’s charities worldwide. He was accompanied in the interview by Comfort Inn & Suits Director Evelyn Yadao.
Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender will award a certificate to Santos.

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized