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.