I recently had the pleasure of going to meet the Filipino Community as about 250 Filipino – Irish families from Limerick and Shannon gathered in St. Clement’s College Hall to celebrate The Santacruzan which is a novena procession commemorating the finding of the Holy Cross by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, and her Royal Regiment in the year 324 A.D. The Sagala, a religio-historical beauty pageant, was composed of more than 60 participants from 3 – 20 years old. It was followed by a mass which by Fr. Pat O’Connell, Chaplain of the Filipino Community in Ireland. The celebration was ended with a Salo-Salo (food sharing), a tradition among Filipinos. There are currently over 600 Filipino’s living in Limerick and Shannon and most of them work in the healthcare industry so this community is a valuable asset for Limerick. The rest are either working in hotels, restaurants, personal care, and IT. “Our mission is to foster a healthy relationship and mutual respect within the community, to inspire its members to share and develop their skills, abilities and talents in order to make a progressive, effective, and beneficial impact in its relationships with other communities,” says Josefa Molloy, the event co ordinator. The community also organizes events and help immigrants to Ireland to settle in and integrate with the local Irish community. For the last two years, at the St. Patricks Day parade, the Limerick Filipino Community won the Most Entertaining Group award and after spending a day with them I can see why!
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