*Mabuhay (ma-boo-high) means welcome in Filipino.

After living over 14 years in a small, rural community in Eastern Ontario, I was frustrated with the lack of Filipino news, hard-to-find ingredients for my recipes, and an absence of Filipino services and community organizations in my area. I decided to do something about it.

Despite having a million Filipino residents in Canada, news about the Filipino community is lacking representation in Canadian media. Filipino newspapers, distributed free in Asian and Filipino grocery stores, are limited in distribution to metropolitan areas such as Toronto, Vancouver or Winnipeg.

An average of 26,500 Filipinos arrive every year in our country. As newcomers, their needs include basic knowledge we take for granted: how to ride public transit, how to properly dress for winter, how to get health cards, and how to access services such as housing, employment, career equivalency, among other things.

Mabuhay Canada aims to fill the gap by focusing on four main topics: news and issues affecting Filipinos in Canada, services needed by Filipino newcomers, online shopping for Filipino products and clothes, and a way to connect with Filipino groups and organizations in Canada.

Mabuhay Canada will help solve a newcomer's challenges by featuring unique articles such as an "Ask a Mentor" section, an annual "Reader's Choice" contest, and restaurant/food/business reviews and listings.

As Filipino newcomers become more established in Canada, their needs will change, and Mabuhay Canada will offer stories that highlight Filipino-Canadian success stories, Canadian travel destinations, Filipino city guides, essays on Filipino norms and culture, retirement guides and health stories discussing concerns specific to Filipinos.

Subscribers to the website and weekly newsletters will be given a coupon code to use for shopping Filipino online businesses.

The website's articles will be written primarily in Tagalog, followed by English translations, with other Filipino dialects planned in the future. Articles, photographs and videos will be created by Filipinos.

My name is Yona Harvey, a journalist with credits in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and many others. I'm a graduate of the University of the Philippines’ Mass Communications program and hold a Certificate in Magazine Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Mabuhay Canada aims to be your one-stop source of all things Filipino.

Join Mabuhay Canada Media as we explore and celebrate what it means to be Filipino in Canada–our challenges, our successes, our heritage, our stories. Join us as we celebrate the best of Filipino life in Canada.