May 27, 2024

Mable Elmore is the first and only Filipino elected as Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of British Columbia.

May 1, 2024 — The provincial government of British Columbia and the City of Vancouver have issued proclamations declaring April 27, 2024 as Lapu-Lapu Day.

The pronouncements honour the legacy of Lapu-Lapu, who is recognized as the first national hero of the Philippines.

Lapu-Lapu is known for having defeated foreign invaders in the historic April 27, 1521 battle in Mactan in what is now the province of Cebu.

Mable Elmore is the first and only Filipino elected as Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of B.C., and she represents the constituency of Vancouver-Kensington.

Born and raised in Canada, Elmore traces her roots to Cebu, where her mother Maria came from.

As B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary of Anti-Racism Initiatives, Elmore on April 27, 2024 released a statement hailing the provincial proclamation.

“Not only does this day mark a significant date in Filipino history, but it is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the many contributions this community has made to British Columbia,” Elmore said.

Elmore also said, “In celebrating Lapu-Lapu Day, we not only honour the memory of this leader, but also acknowledge the importance of recognizing and preserving Filipino cultural heritage. It is an opportunity for everyone in B.C. to explore the history, traditions, food and culture of Filipinos, and celebrate resilience, unity and the enduring spirit of those who have fought for justice and equality. 

“Our strength lies in our diversity. So, let us come together and reaffirm our commitment to promoting inclusivity, understanding and appreciation for the many cultures that make B.C. such a rich and vibrant place,” Elmore said.

In addition, the City of Vancouver illuminated the Burrard Street Bridge with Philippine colours in honour of Lapu-Lapu. 

The provincial and city declarations coincided with the first multi-block party in Vancouver to honour the legacy of Lapu-Lapu.

The Lapu-Lapu Day Block Party on April 27 was held in the spaces west of Fraser Street from East 43rd Avenue to East 48th Avenue.

The proclamations of Lapu-Lapu Day are significant as 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada. 

The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver also welcomed the celebration of Lapu-Lapu Day.

Consul General Arlene Magno said in a statement that this was “in large part to the hard work of Filipino-Canadian MLA Mable Elmore”. 

“The occasion, which hopes to bring together Filipinos and Canadians from all walks of life is also a fitting way to mark 75 years of Philippines-Canada relations, as our history and interaction with one another is anchored on the strength and the essence of our people-to-people ties,” Magno said. 

The nonprofit Filipino BC and the Sunset on Fraser Business Association worked together to present the well-attended April 27 Lapu-Lapu Day Block Party in Vancouver.

[Editor’s note: Carlito Pablo works as senior constituency advisor to Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore.]

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