Photo via Sandwich's Facebook
Canada is known as a cultural mosaic, a nation that espouses people of various cultures, traditions and beliefs. One of the many minorities that consist of this mosaic are Filipinos (Pinoys) residing in much of western Canada. You might know a pinoy working at your nearby McDonalds drive-thru, taking your orders of five McDoubles while you’re likely under the influence. Or, on the other end of the vocational spectrum, you’ll find many of them working under the medical field, often as nurses and doctors. While these are the most common western stereotypes of Filipino culture, like it or not, they’re very much part of your daily life, and many of them aren’t going anywhere. Case in point, much of the Canadian workforce consists of immigrants and people within visible minorities that work in both low-skilled and high-skilled areas of employment. Unfortunately, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper having given Filipinos and many other temporary foreign workers the big fuck you, much of their hard work is unrecognized. For these Filipinos, known as Overseas Filipino Workers, or OFWs, much of what they earn is sent back to their families back home, where more than a quarter of the population (of 98.39 million people) still lives under the poverty line, living under one dollar a day.
With that said, the Philippines, has been—and still continues to be—significantly influenced by the west. Due to being colonized by the US in the early to mid 1900s, as well as having been previously under centuries of Spanish rule, nearly every facet of Filipino culture has been inspired by, if not directly influenced by these factors. Even the language, which uses the Roman alphabet, phonetically sounds quite similar to Spanish. This Western influence is also notably, and obviously evident with Filipino music or OPM (Original Pinoy Music). So, here are five Filipino bands/artists—both old and new—that would translate well in the western market.
“Buhangin” by Sandwich, from their album Debris (2015) Sandwich, often in the past stylized as