Espee Gonzales crowned Valentine Queen

Espee Gonzales (second from left) with fellow birthday celebrant Mario Batsapra (left), Helene Montes and me.

Espee Gonzales (second from left) with fellow birthday celebrant Mario Batsapra, Helene Montes and me.

A striking feature of Vancouver’s Filipino community its the strong social network.

Organizations like the Multicultural Helping House, which offers services to people of all origins, has a strong Filipino membership that gathered at MHH’s Fraser St. office Feb. 28 to celebrate the February birthdays of a number of seniors.

First among the honorees was Espee Gonzales, a spry 91-year-old who emigrated to Canada from Isabela province in the Philippines in 1983. I had the pleasant task of crowning her the MHH Valentine Queen, my first coronation as councillor.