September 1, 2016

One step forward, one look back

Johsa Manzanilla presents the ANAK Scholarship
to Isabella Ramirez at the Maples Collegiate convocation
Rizaley Patio, presenter Andrew Aviso, and
Dianne Guinto at Sisler High School awards ceremony

by Ricardo Reyes  (Published in Pilipino Express September 1-15)

This past year has been special with ANAK celebrating its big 10th anniversary. Reaching this milestone naturally came with time to reflect on past achievements, but also continued to provide us the opportunity to connect with fellow youth and to see the hopeful promise of the future.

For 10 years, ANAK has been awarding high school graduates in our community with the ANAK Liwayway Scholarship for Leadership Excellence; a scholarship program created by Filipino-Canadian youth for Filipino-Canadian youth. Volunteers raise funds each year to not only support the pursuit of post-secondary studies, but also to celebrate a focus on preserving and promoting Philippine heritage.

This year’s theme was “origins” and applicants were asked to conduct oral history interviews and write an essay on their family history. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who applied. Each year we have the difficult task of determining who will receive our limited funds, and this year’s candidates did not disappoint nor make it any easier.

This past June, ANAK awarded two scholarship recipients: Isabella Ramirez of Maples Collegiate and Rizaley Enriquez Patio of Sisler High School. Each received a $500 scholarship, which they will be using toward their post-secondary studies this fall at the University of Winnipeg and Red River College. In addition, ANAK also awarded its annual Citizenship Book Award to Dianne Guinto of Sisler High School for her active participation and volunteerism in our programs this past year.

Congratulations Class of 2016! Best of luck on your journeys!

Ricardo Reyes is currently the director of ANAK and formerly one of the first recipients of the ANAK Liwayway Scholarship 10 years ago. To learn more about ANAK and how to become a volunteer visit or email