Marc Castillo, fourth-year accounting
Every time I spot some friends from FCAR (Filipino Canadians’ Association at Ryerson) on campus, I can always expect to see a couple more FCAR members join within 10 or 15 minutes. I’ve never seen a stronger student organization, their bond transcends past the average student group’s relationship and more like a family.
I caught Marc Castillo, the president of FCAR, earlier last week helping sell Filipino comfort foods as part of Filipino Awareness Week.
What are you studying and why?
When I was in high school I had no clue what I wanted to do. I got perfect marks in my accounting classes and my mom used to be an accountant. She never pressured me to do accounting but I felt like I was good at it, so I thought, ‘well, why not?’
How are you involved in the Filipino community?
I’m the president of FCAR. This is our first time doing Filipino Awareness Week. I’m also part of the Filipino Students’ Association of Ontario.
What does that entail?
I helped organization the first formal. Last year, we had it at a banquet hall. This year in May, we had our second formal. On a boat.
Wow, what was that like?
I’m proud of that boat cruise, it was a huge success, there were around 250 people and everyone seemed to have fun. Next year, we’re going to try and make it even better.
How do you plan to make it even better?
We want to go to the moon! Haha no, we want to make the crowd bigger by branching out to farther schools, such as Waterloo and Laurier. A lot of those organizations haven’t ever been with us. It’s usually just York, U of T, and McMaster.
How else are you involved on campus?
I’m also part of the RSU Board of Directors for the business faculty.
My main role is commissioner of student groups. I’m in charge of all course unions and student groups so if there’s any issues with them, or if they’re applying for grants, or if there’s a new group applying to be a student group, they go through us.
I work full time as well, I’m assistant manager at Guess.
How do you manage school on top of all of that?
I do all my studying when I’m on the bus. I commute from Brampton, so when I’m on the GO train, I’m read my textbook. I don’t have time to go to the library.
I try to find places where I can get involved with, and filipino’s the easiest thing you can get into.
Anything else you’d like to be a part of?
My main goal is to create a huge dance competition one day. I feel like there’s not much for dance in Canada except for World of Dance and beat down.
I go to Studio II dance crew, they do free workshops in studio 2 in the RAC. I just enjoy the whole lifestyle. The people, in general, everyone’s always happy and upbeat and trying to help each other and learn from each other.
Have you always been involved with the Filipino community at university?
Right from the get go in first year, I was very involved. But I was more involved with the Commerce Society. I would go to networking events and be the only first year.
I started to drift away from the Commerce Society and more towards the Filipino, community kind of thing. I feel like FCAR is my family, they feel more like my family than my family sometimes because we spend so much time together.
I’m also really proud of the family we’ve made within FCAR. It was smaller before and it’s gotten bigger. We have a main crowd where we’re all really tight, like for Thanksgiving, we all went to this one girl’s house and we had a potluck. There was like 25 of us.
How are you able to recruit so many people?
I think it’s because our members and execs are really involved with the school as well. A lot of them are at Orientation week, and they’re involved in their own faculty and programs too. A few of them are execs in their own course union, so they recruit and make new friends that they bring to FCAR.
Our main way is frosh week, everyone in my whole entire frosh last year have been to at least two FCAR events.
What would you say to anyone who might want to join FCAR but are hesitant?
We’re always accepting more people. More than half of FCAR is not Filipino at all. We have every race in our group. A very small proportion of us actually speak Tagalog. So don’t be scared that we’re all fluent and you won’t understand us or anything.
Don’t be shy, and even if you are, our exec members are really outgoing. So even if you come by yourself, there’s always going to be someone talking to you. Who knows, that might be your next best friend?