In May 2007, from a few individuals who felt that concern for human rights know no boundaries and something has to be done to help the children victims of militarization and violence in the Philippines, PATAC was born.

Initially known as the Philippine Advocacy Through Arts in Canada, registered as Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture (PATAC) and renamed Philippine Advancement Through Arts and Culture is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. PATAC is a network of concerned individuals and organizations working together to advance the issues and agenda of people of Filipino origin. 


It is PATAC's mission to Promote, Educate, and Affect Change by Engaging people to act as a community and help them transform their life and their world.

PATAC realizes the need for effective advocacy on issues that affect the people of Filipino origin in Canada; and the need to support programs and actions that help the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors (women, workers, youth and children). It needs to reach out to a broader audience here and abroad. 

PATAC believes that art is a potent instrument in reaching out and inspiring people to act and change their life and their world. It must help in understanding the current issues that people of Filipino origin face, to raise awareness and enable them to act to improve their lives.

PATAC ripples

By: Paulina Corpuz

Like a drop of water in a quiet pond, PATAC rippled through  the local Filipino and mainstream community when it held its fiurst event in 2007. 

Considering that it is a 100% volunteer-resourced organization with no government funding or grants, it has made ripples within the Filipino community, promoting the progressive, patriotic and nationalist facets of the Philippine culture and arts.

PATAC believes in collaboration and partnership.  It recognizes that there are already existing Philippine culture and arts organizations that are very  good in what they do.  PATAC hopes to work with these organizations to advance the arts and culture of the Philippines, particularly in music, spoken word, new media and literature.

PATAC recognizes that part of its responsibility is to give back to our compatriots in the Philippines. It partnered with a Philippine-based organization that shares the same vision of a ?sovereign and peaceful society, the Children's Rehabilitation Centre.

To date, PATAC produced multimedia events (concert with photo or art exhibits) like:Song of Our Times: a concert for peace,Mine, Mine, Mine: (about Mining in the Philippines), Himig ng Pag-ibig  (a presentation of Filipino folk and love songs), Na-shock Ako (Migrants' Night), An evening of Peace and Music (on human rights).

PATAC effectively leveraged its members and members' network to do its work.  This is proven by the diversity of organizations that PATAC reached out to, worked with or got involved with. It reached out and established relationships with more than 40 organizations, like the Philippine Independence Day Council, Migrante Ontario, Ryerson Student Union, Santaginians Association of Ontario Inc, Filipino Students Association in Toronto, Scarborough Arts Council, Migrante Youth, Scarborough Arts Council and Workers? unions (OPSEU and CAW).

PATAC also performed in 55 community events, from issue based events to the normal association Christmas or anniversary celebrations, presenting and singing songs that they are known for: songs that depict the Filipinos success and struggle for dignity, freedom, justice and peace.

In 2008, PATAC launched a literary competition, an essay contest on Filipino identity titled, Filipino, Huh.  This is the first literary essay contest that truly focused on people of Filipino descent and allowed them to tell their story about their journey to discovering their Filipino identity.

Through the literary awards, PATAC honoured the lives of three individuals who symbolize the Filipino: Alejandra Cabanela Tsang embodied every Filipina mother?s image, sacrificing and inspiring. Loreto Paras Sulit personified the accomplished and progressive Filipino woman ? a great pioneer of Philippine English Literature, as novelist Juan Laya said of her in 1951. Antonio Zumel exemplified the Filipino journalist and writer. He wielded the pen as a mighty weapon in the quest for justice and an enduring peace. He experienced, as many of our compatriots have, the loneliness of living in a distant land, all the while immersed in the collective fight for what he believed in.

PATAC merited the attention of a student at York University and made PATAC's work a subject of his study about Social movements and music. His essay was entitled, "Every drop counts: Social Movements and Music, an analysis of Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture." It is also one of the organizations featured in the Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage? site of the Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.

PATAC's impact is slowly rippling out to the Filipino community. It is launching its 2010 literary competition this March, titled, Retelling Filipino Family Heritage?.

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 PATAC is an Anglicized spelling of the Filipino word 'patac'. It means a drop of something and aptly describes the basic principle of the organization. 'Patak-patak' ls a common phrase that Filipinos say when they ask everyone to share whatever they can afford to to attain a goal; whether it be to help someone or to buy a meal to be shared by everyone. It is a modern version of bayanihan. This same principle fuels PATAC.

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