“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi
By Alex P. Vidal
SINCE I am now in the Philippines and wasn’t able to campaign door-to-door and reach out to the members of the Filipino community in the City of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada, I would like to make an appeal to all Filipino-Canadians through this article to please unite and vote for our friend, Narima Dela Cruz, who is running for city councilor under the One Surrey Team with Barinder Rasode as standard bearer for city mayor.
Rasode, Dela Cruz, et al want to “build a safe and prosperous city together.”
Dela Cruz is aiming to be the first Filipino-Canadian to sit in the legislative branch of Surrey, known as the city of parks, in the November 15 elections.
Advance voting began on November 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8.
I am rooting for Narima Dela Cruz both as a Filipino and as a personal friend.
We need her in the Surrey Council to represent the voice of the thousands of Filipino-Canadians.
No Filipino-Canadian has made it to the Surrey Council in history.
If the Filipino community, Surrey’s second largest community next to the Indian community, will unite for Dela Cruz, we will have our first Filipino-Canadian representative in the city legislature on Nov. 15.
Dela Cruz, who is the president and founding director of the non-profit Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS), is a true-blue community leader and public servant.
Based on my personal experience with Dela Cruz, I can declare with absolute certainty that she is a genuine, competent and sincere public servant.
She helps her kababayans using her own talent and resources and does not brag about her accomplishments.
She can do more wonders not only for the Pinoy community, but also for other multi-racial communities in Surrey and its environs.
An accomplished realtor and a consistent event organizer in British Columbia, Dela Cruz was born a leader.
Even when she was still in the Philippines, she has already mastered the art of public service.
She is the type of leader who brings her heart to her advocacy.
Dela Cruz is also a silent worker who places God and family at the center of her life.
When we visited in the Vancouver hospital a newly-arrived Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who collapsed in the airport in 2012, Dela Cruz painstakingly spent her time to contact the patient’s relatives in the Philippines even if nobody noticed her efforts; even if nobody paid attention to her.
Dela Cruz’s top priorities are safer streets, better transit, and healthy city.
When the New Canadian Media asked her “Why should voters vote for you over any of the other choices available on the ballot this year?” on November 29, 2014, Dela Cruz answered:
“I have been a leader within the Filipino community for years, and have been a passionate volunteer since arriving in Surrey.
“I have also been a successful entrepreneur and am a licensed Realtor.
“I believe that Surrey residents are looking for individuals who have experience building community, and who have become engaged volunteer community leaders simply because they want to improve this great city.
“I am a Founding Director of the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS), which is a duly registered and incorporated organization of Filipino-Canadians in Surrey. SPIDS has been the head organizer of the annual Surrey Philippine Independence Day Celebrations, a large-scale event now on its 7th year.
“I have also served with organizations such as S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and Options Community Service Society.
“I am actively involved in the school system as Vice Chair of the Johnston Heights Secondary School Parent Advisory Council.
“I was also the Scholarship Committee Coordinator for the Johnston Heights PAC from 2008-2014.
“I have received numerous awards for community work, including being named one of the RBC Top 25 Immigrants in Canada.
“I have also been honored with the REALTORS CARE Award, an award given by the memberships of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver to a member who exemplifies excellent community volunteerism.”