Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 24, 2013

Yukon’s Filipino basketball league flourishing

The territory’s Filipino community has their very own men’s basketball league.

By Whitehorse Star on January 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm


Photo submitted

LOCAL TALENT – From left, athletes Ricarte Valdez, Trix Lumanog, and Kenneth Valdez are three of more than 150 players in the Yukon Pinoy Basketball League this season.

The territory’s Filipino community has their very own men’s basketball league.

The Yukon Pinoy Basketball League started in late 2007, and operates under the umbrella of the Canadian Filipino Association of Yukon.

From an initial league that consisted of four teams of 10 to 13 players, it has grown to seven teams currently – a total of more than 150 players who compete every weekend. 

The growth of the Pinoy Basketball League has mirrored the growth of the Filipino community, as more and more Filipinos have come to Yukon seeking employment and a new life in Canada, under programs like the Yukon Nominee Program.

The league is organized by Romeo Gayangos, also known as the Yukon’s Filipino basketball commissioner.

Teams are sponsored by a variety of local businesses, with team sponsors including: the Pilinians, Gray Management Services, Viernes Janitorial, Iceberg, KFC, Sirius Security, and Sun Life Financial. 

Currently, the Pilinians are in first place with a 4-1 record, while Gray Management Services and Viernes Janitorial are hot on their heels with 3-1 records.

The games are held on Saturday and Sunday evenings at school gyms in Riverdale, in front of enthusiastic audiences that include both Filipino and non-Filipino basketball fans.

The public is welcome and are guaranteed an enjoyable evening of fun sports entertainment.

Basketball is a hugely popular sport in the Philippines, having been introduced a century ago by the Americans when they governed the Philippines. During the period from 1898 to 1900, the Americans introduced the young sport to the country.

The Philippines was among the very first basketball playing nations in the world.

Soccer, which had previously been the most popular sport, was replaced by basketball and other American sports such as baseball and football.

It didn’t take long for basketball to really catch on.

From the 1910s to early 1930s, the Filipinos dominated the basketball scene in Asia, winning nine of 10 championships in the Far Eastern Games.

Today, basketball in the Philippines holds a status similar to hockey in Canada.

CommentsAdd a comment

Seems wrong...cuz it is

Jan 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Hmmm, yet another racial divide in the Yukon…sounds like a healthy thing…ah no!
I care not that anyone wishes to play ball or form any teams, I do care however just how comfortable “we” are with leagues based on a race.
If this is multicultural by product then that policy HAS failed.

The polarization of the Yukon/Canada is very unhealthy in my view. Can they not just form a team and play without this elite racial issue?
What a mess, but I’m a racist now I suppose for “merely” pointing out the racism with this.
...Kinda like a “Native” hockey thing…so so SOOOOO very wrong AND polarizing!

Yvonne Clarke

Jan 24, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Way to go Yukon Pinoy Basketball teams!
Thank you to the Sponsors. They are:
Platinum Sponsors: Kilrich Industries, Canadian Tire, Elias Dental, Northerm Windows, Harper Street Publishing. Gold Sponsor: the Chocolate Claim. Silver Sponsors: Mayor Dan Curtis, Dorward Engineering Services, dana Naye Ventures, Klondike Motors, Canada Flooring, and Dave’s Trophy. Thank you from the bottom of our heart. CFAY


Jan 25, 2013 at 11:24 am

The Yukon Pinoy Basketball League??  What’s next, the Filipino party of Canada? 

Jackie Ward

Jan 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

The first comment is dead on. I have no problem with people forming their own league, more power to them. But bringing your race into it projects the image of you somehow being better than everyone. Someone answer this question honestly. Could I start a something called “The British Caucasian Basketball Association”? No I could not. I would be labeled a racist and probably a Nazi. So, how as society do we accept things like this? I would be embarrassed to be promoting my race where it has no bias or actual purpose. Especially in something like a basketball league. Things like this just divide us further.


Jan 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thanks to some of the comments here for highlighting the need for continued education and promotion of cross-cultural awareness, anti-racism & discrimination.  Here is an organized group sharing their culture in a comfortable, safe, healthy, and fun activity and this is the ignorance that they must endure.  Although the league is primarily made up of players from the Filipino community, they have had players from other ethnic groups and mainstream Canadians.  Furthermore, their games are open to the public and EVERYONE is welcome.  The league is organized by the Filipino community but is not restricted to Filipinos.  If you don’t want polarization, then come out and join them like others who actually appreciate and celebrate the Yukon’s diversity.

Yvonne Clarke

Jan 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm

If you would like to know more about the Filipino-Canadians, please see the documentary film, Cold Paradise on February 6th at 6:00pm at the Arts Centre. It is part of the Available Light Film Festival.
Here’s the info: Dir. Werner Walcher, Yukon, 2013, 44 min

Many Yukoners only know the Filipino community through the communities’ annual Canada Day tent and the Whitehorse businesses that employ temporary foreign workers. This film introduces us to the pioneers of the community who moved to the Yukon twenty years ago and offers a rare insight into the lives and hardships temporary foreign workers and immigrants from the Philippines face when they leave behind young children, and other family members to live in a culture and climate very unfamiliar to them.
Q&A with the director to follow screening. World premiere.
Youth (under 16)  tickets for this screening $5
Thank You!


Jan 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I’m a white Canadian. Can I join the team?

stan rogers

Jan 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

I think I have seen some of these players practicing at the CGC.

They seem happy and focused. Another racial divide? Who really cares. Have fun celebrate your culture with your friends- do not let negative people or comments get you down.

Everybody Happy Happy Happy!!!!

Jan 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Wow, some people have way too much time on their hands. This article was forwarded to me by a friend whom could not believe how narrow minded some folks are.
As a white Yukonner and basketball player, I applaud the Filipino League for running a very successful program. Having been involved in men’s league in the Whitehorse over the years, I know how hard it was for the previous administrators. Now all that exists is drop in basketball, cause every time it came time for players to pony up the cash for the year for the league, you’d go from 50 players to maybe only 12 dedicated.
I have been out to quite a few of the Filipino league games and would encourage all those “non narrow minded” Yukonners to visit a game. It is truly a family affair.
Oh and to add to the flame for ignorant folks, there were 2 keys Filipino players at the last Arctic Winter Games boys tem which saw Yukon take gold. Shame on all of you, think before you type.

Jackie Ward

Jan 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm

No, Mr Happy. You are the narrow minded person. This is not about organization. This isn’t about drop in. This is about having a league with someone’s race in the name. Do you understand simple logic. We are not attacking anyone here. We are simply stating it is racist as a white person could never create a league with Caucasian in it. Instead of stomping around in the sandbox like a little kid, lets have a discussion like an adult would. Snide remarks is the only weapon of a person who can’t counter arguments in a constructive fashion.


Jan 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm

“This is a league with someone’s race in the name”

Jackie:  Would this be comparable to the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame which, like this organization, lets everyone play (that makes the cut that is) and not just Irish players?  How about the Cleveland Indians?  How many clubs across North America (Knights of Columbus for instance) are based on an organization for people who share common lineage as a means for sharing common ground.
This league was started by people from a great community in Whitehorse which, as they normally do, open up their arms to all of us, and the best response people like you have is that you resent the use of “Filipino” in the name of the league.  The insanity of your comment makes me want to dust off my old Chuck Taylors and take up hoops again!

Free North

Jan 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I can honestly understand why some people are concerned with a possible prejudice in this; However, there is one fatal flaw in that argument. This is a Philipino league, not an Asian or South-East Asian League. It would be no different than an Italian, Greek, Scottish or Mexican league. It is very different from a White or Caucasian League. It is not based on a skin colour but on their country of origin. As long as they are putting in the work and holding an open league what is the real issue?

Yup...still wrong

Jan 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Thanks Jackie, the tactics clearly on display here are how special interest groups function. Any opposition to self proclaimed “elitist” are berated with the rhetoric of bigot, racist, redneck, hillbilly, CPC voter, RW radical…and up here the most popular? destroyer of planet earth, as if you wish not to parkify the entire Yukon…clearly you must litter, drain your oil in the ditch, burn plastic for fun cuz, and in short HATE the planet.

Matters not what special interest group it is, many use that cut and paste tactic.
Folks as myself whom call them out on it are branded as said above…does not scare me one little bit. Very strong this lobbyist tactic is too…as it is not PC to disagree with any of them.
You think my few words are harsh? you should hear me without a moderator to hide behind. To all those whom are thinking why the handle…use your name coward?
you can think that, but until the “playing field” is actually neutral/level and the UN driven HRT/Witch hunters are disbanded…I’ll be smart and keep doing what I do. Any real Yukon folk know damn well how I feel and whom feels this way.

Some may call me a racist/bigot in the term of today, but hey go nuts (kinda a free country for now)... rather like to view my tactics as “empowering” MY people (we know who we are).

Play ball folks, have fun, be safe and understand the “new home” many of you now reside in…is not the NDP headquarters and a few as I…do not like the elitist racial polarization of this Canada/Yukon.

just look at yukonpete’s post, what exactly are those folks down thumbing?
His whiteness, or inquiry into joining?
Today this crew, tomorrow INM, after that the park lovin’ hippies…then the HRT supporters…and on and on and on it goes.
Much of it too I might add funded by public money via NGO’s etc.
The “Filipino” league…I call foul!


Jan 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Why does this have to be about race? Why can’t it be about where the league players are from Geographically? There are all sorts of “Yukon Nights” promoted at events across the country, and a lot of “Canadian” teams, groups and activities in other countries.


Jan 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Kind of sad that we can’t have a rational discussion on these issues without any opinion contrary to politically correct doctrine on diversity or multiculturalism instantly being attacked as ‘racist’ or ‘narrow minded’.  A few comments simply stated the truth, that a Caucasian based sports or cultural organization of any type would not be tolerated and some people are of the view that there is a double standard at play.  I personally find any organization that is racially or ethnically based quite disturbing - this view is not racism or intolerance, quite the opposite actually.

Vida Nelson

Jan 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I think this basketball league is a great idea. As for the whole “race” issue, I feel some people are having trouble differentiating between “race” and “nationality”. Yes, it would be wrong to start a league that was called the “Caucasian basketball league” but in Universities, for example, there are tons of clubs where you can celebrate your culture like the German Students Association or the Polish Student Society. Basketball is a huge sport in the Philippines and it is awesome that immigrants to the Yukon can connect with other Yukoners (of any nationality) through sport. The sport is organized by members of the Filipino Association so why not have Filipino in the name? It truly is inclusive. My boyfriend is Caucasian, doesn’t really play basketball, and was invited to play. I’ve seen a few games and it is exciting to see the enthusiasm in the gym and watch the performances they organize. I encourage everyone to go check it out because it really is a welcoming environment and a great way to connect with the Filipino community. It’s hard moving to a new place and if you want to see people be more comfortable integrating, instead of creating another “racial divide”, maybe you should be the first to reach out and make those connections.

George Carlin

Jan 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

*edited swear words*

I saw a slogan on a guys car that said “Proud to be an American” and I thought “What the heck does that mean?”
I’m fully Irish, and when I was a kid I would go to the St Patrick’s Day parade and they sold a button that said “Proud to be Irish”, but I knew that on Columbus day they sold the same button only it said “Proud to be Italian”, then came Black Pride, and Puerto Rican Pride. And I could never understand national or ethnic pride, because to me Pride should be reserved for something you achieve on your own.
Being Irish isn’t a skill, it’s a freaking genetic accident.
You wouldn’t be proud to be 5’11”. You wouldn’t be proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.

romeo gayangos

Jan 29, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Mr. Ward just to explain for this, last previous year we adopted a system having a canadian players for the team and we called that fil-can basketball tournament, and it happen this year that we decided to try all filipino tournament, but we have all the agendas every season how to make it open to everybody. One of the committees challenge is the size factor for the canadians, pinoy can’t match up against canadians players that’s the reality. Every year we learn from the past hoping next year we can give more excitement together with the canadian players.


Jan 30, 2013 at 12:19 am

Ms Ward, you may be simple but there is absolutely no logic in what you’re saying. First of all, race refers to people who share the same physiological characteristics like the color of their skin or their facial features. It has nothing to do with their country of origin. The three major races in the world are Caucasian, Mongoloid and Negroid.  Ethnicity, on the other hand, is based on a shared culture,  language,  ancestry, nationality or a combination of these.  It is not unusual for people of the same race to come from different ethnic groups. Your argument that forming a Filipino league is racist is unfounded. They are not called the Yukon Mongoloid Pinoy basketball League.  However,  putting the word Caucasian in a league’s name would be racist. Now to put it simply, race is genetically determined by Nature and ethnicity is determined by Nurture. Now that is simple logic.

diore ulgasan

Jan 30, 2013 at 2:22 am

sighhhhh. what next? no more season after this I guess, to make everyone happy. I started it, then I close it. I’m hoping that the local white canadians and other nationalities who played and being a good friend with us for the past seasons can say something about this.

Helen Booth

Jan 30, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Just ignore the trolls! Play basketball, have fun with your friends and don’t worry about people whose main joy in life is to tear people down on a newspaper website. The league is great, play on!

Ok less wrong...but still not right

Jan 30, 2013 at 6:49 pm

OK folks as I reviewed both my input and the others, I can be big enough to admit a boo boo. Yes there is a difference between country of origin Vs. “a” race, that much I’ll give ya and eat some humble pie.
MMMmmm not bad either..but I’m bias…I baked it!

That said it is almost hairsplitting.
I say the “intent” is very much there to promote your culture and ethnicity with a very big divide from ours…whatever “ours” is.
As Canada lacks an identity big time, I speculate there are many reasons for this the PC Crusaders for but one.

Romeo your comment that Filipinos do not measure up to Canadians…IS very much a racist statement however. Are you suggesting all Canadians are giants or that all Pinoy’s are short?
I’ve met both tall and short from both, what exactly does a “Canadian” look like, I’d sure like to know.
Personally I wish folks could all just celebrate being here, a bunch of humans living in what I feel is the best country on the planet(for the time being at least)...without all the other crap trying to define whom we are individually or collectively other than mere humans.
So now perhaps I’m a mere “ethnicitist” Vs. a racist…for pointing out the slippery slope this complacently leads to.


Jan 31, 2013 at 9:28 am

Jackie Ward, I really don’t think your race is caucasian, maybe Irish, maybe Israeli, maybe Jewish - get your leagues with your race not skin colour affiliations and I am sure there won’t be any objections. Yukon is a great place to live too bad for the few ignorants


Jan 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Congratulations to all in support of Pinoy basketball team.  The more team-the better.  Move forward…Leave ignorance behind. Thank you to the people who belief in humans.


Jan 31, 2013 at 7:42 pm

The Filipinos in the Yukon are the most Kindest, hard working, honest citizens and the Yukon should be so lucky to have them. Shame on Jackie Ward for all your Red Neck ignorant comments, every time I read one of your posts my stomach turns. They are simply joining a sporting league for others to play and interact in the dark cold winters. Al least they are involved in our community with positive events. I can’t believe the negative comments on this page shame on you..

romeo gayangos

Jan 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Sir? when we say challenge it doesn’t mean not possible, we are working on it. When we say you’re tall and a great player for us is complimentary. I respect people’s ideology for we are different in nature.
I ask everyone who is sincerely concerned to join us and share ideas. Again nothing less is our intention is to support sports through our capabilities not beyond our capabilities.

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