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Emmie Z. Joaquin was born in the Philippines to parents, Atty. Agapito M. Joaquin (d) of Kalookan City and Gavina Joaquin (nee Zapanta) of Taytay, Rizal. She’s the eldest of 8 children. Her brothers and sisters are Belinda J. Lacanilao (Winnipeg), Jocelyn J. Escobido (Winnipeg), Dr. Arnel Joaquin (Los Angeles, CA), Jon Joaquin (Davao City), twins, Rosanna J. Canlas and Rhodora Joaquin and Alan Joaquin (Kalookan City).

Emmie graduated from the University of the Philippines (Diliman) in 1974 with a B.A. in Broadcast Communication.


Following graduation, Emmie became a Media Specialist with the Radio/TV Department of Bureau of Standards for Mass Media (BSMM-Department of Public Information,1974-1975). At BSMM, she had the opportunity to work with multi-awarded journalists, Director Andres Cristobal Cruz and Director Amante Bigornia. A few years later, she worked as Operations Director for Broadcast Media Council and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP-National Association of Philippine Broadcasters). At BMC and KBP, Emmie honed her communications and organization skills under respected mentors, which included the noted journalist Ka Doroy Valencia and the great broadcaster Tony C. Barreiro. In 1977, Mr. Valencia and Mr. Barreiro, entrusted her the responsibility of heading the pioneering staff of the newly established Popular Music Foundation of the Philippines that produced Metro Pop Music Festivals. Metro Pop helped develop popular Filipino music and revitalized creativity among Filipino composers to create more OPMs (Original Pilipino Music).

In 1981, Emmie moved on to another industry. She joined McCann-Erickson Philippines (MEP-Advertising Agency) as its Public Relations Manager. At MEP, she had the opportunity to work with the very creative George M. Balagtas and many other outstanding talents who now play lead roles in the Philippine advertising scene.

In March, 1988, Emmie said goodbye to family, friends and her career in the Philippines. She immigrated to Canada and decided to settle in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A month after arriving, she started working for Business People Magazine and then, at the Winnipeg Free Press.

In April, 1989, Emmie joined the only multi-lingual radio station in Winnipeg, CKJS 810 AM Radio, as its morning personality, co-hosting and co-producing the program, Good Morning Philippines (6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.) with Joe Sulit. The program features news from the Philippines as well as international and local news, OPMs, contemporary Filipino music, interviews and community information service. This 3-hour-show provides the 48,000 Filipino-Canadians residing in friendly Manitoba with a strong link to their motherland. In 1992, CKJS President Tony Carta assigned her to anchor and produce the Saturday show, Tunog Pinoy Pang-Sabado (10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.). It was great challenge in the early 90s to introduce the Saturday morning show and to make it interesting to the target listeners. Eventually, like the morning weekday show, Tunog Pinoy Pang-Sabado has now become a household name in Winnipeg. In 1996, given the same mandate to introduce a new time-slot, she began anchoring the drive-home show, Manila Sound (4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.). It is now aired from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Emmie’s involvement with Filipino music through the Metro Pop project in the Philippines in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s became very useful when CKJS Radio’s management launched CKJS Tuklas Talino, a local talent search among the members of the Filipino community in Winnipeg. It began in 1990 and Emmie actively participated in the planning, production and creative implementation of the project. It became an event the entire Filipino-Canadian community in Winnipeg eagerly looked forward to every year. It provided a creative venue for undiscovered local talents to showcase their creative ability. Throughout the years, CKJS Tuklas Talino has gained public support for encouraging and developing local Filipino talents in the Manitoba.


In 2003, Emmie’s contribution to the Filipino-Canadian community in Manitoba was recognized when the Governor General of Canada gave her the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. The following year, she became a Nominee for the YM-YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the field of Media and Public Relations.


In January 2004, Emmie made a life-changing career move. After 14.5 years as a broadcaster, she left CKJS Radio to join the team of Hon. Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Western Economic Diversification Canada, as the Minister’s Special Assistant for Communications. Emmie considers it a great honour and privilege to work for Hon. Minister Rey Pagtakhan, an outstanding Filipino-Canadian.

Emmie is now moving on to discover more of life’s exciting adventure beyond this career move.


In November 2005, Emmie together with three of her close friends put up The Pilipino Express Inc. publishing Pilipino Express News Magazine twice a month. Emmie is the company President and the Editor-in-Chief of the popular publication that is being distributed widely in Winnipeg and other Canadian cities.


In June 2006, Emmie obtained her Life Insurance Licence in the province of Manitoba. She is now a life insurance Advisor with Sun Life Financial. Emmie is enjoying the experience and the challenges that being a Sun Life Advisor and Editor-in-Chief of Pilipino Express bring.


Emmie loves going to the movies. She’s a big fan of The Matrix Trilogy. She likes seeing movies by actors, Edward Norton, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves, Hugh Grant, Kevin Spacey, Cesar Montano, Julia Roberts and Sharon Cuneta. She regrets that Lino Brocka nor Ishmael Bernal are no longer around to create movies that could elevate the status of Philippine Cinema. The music of the Filipino band River Maya is number one on her list of favourites. She also likes Filipino singers: Regine Velasquez, Lea Salonga and Jaya.

Emmie is disappointed that music piracy is killing the music industry and that creation of more OPMs in Pilipino (Tagalog) seems to be neglected by the powers-that-be in the Philippines. Perhaps the creative artists are not being given enough motivation and support. Another disappointment is the proliferation of Pinoy novelty songs that seem to abuse the airwaves and eclipse the beauty of OPMs by our great contemporary composers.

Emmie loves Manitoba summers. She enjoys swimming, walking along The Forks’ river walk, and keeping in touch with best friends back in Manila and in other parts of the globe through e-mail.

Emmie would love to hear from you. You can e-mail her at this address: emmie@sangandaan.net .


Filipinos will miss beloved local voice
Winnipeg Free Press, Saturday, January 17th,  2004

by Carol Sanders

For more than 14 years, Emmie Joaquin helped Winnipeg's 48,000-member Filipino community stay in touch with the people and the land they left behind while introducing them to life and the customs of their new home.

The co-host of ethnic radio station CKJS's Good Morning Philippines signed off for the last time New Year's Eve.

"It was time to move on," said Joaquin, who didn't have an opportunity to say goodbye on air to her co-host Joe Sulit or a legion of dedicated fans.

Today, she's special assistant for communications to Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Winnipeg MP and minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification.

"It was really time to learn new things and face new challenges and go to the unknown... that's pretty exciting," said Joaquin, who ventured into the unknown back in 1988 when she left Manila and emigrated to Winnipeg.

"I gave myself six months," said Joaquin, who holds a BA in broadcast communication from the University of the Philippines. Her first love was radio, but the pay was so poor she had to go "corporate," working as a middle manager at an international advertising agency in the Philippines. When former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986 after more than 20 years in power, Joaquin was ready for a change, too.

"The political upheaval was getting too much for me. And I was in PR and when the Marcos regime went down, all my PR connections went down too... when the other government took over, I thought, 'Am I going to start again?' Nah. Everything happens for a reason."

She came to Winnipeg and stayed with a cousin who'd moved here in the 1970s. One of her first jobs was as an administrative assistant at the now-defunct Business People Magazine. It exposed her to the media and what it's like for educated immigrants working in jobs where they aren't able to maximize their skills.

"They told me I'd have to make coffee for the staff every morning and I could feel the tears coming," she said.

"As a new immigrant this is part of the adventure -- the learning process," said Joaquin, who laughs about it now.

When she accepted a job in 1989 co-hosting a new morning drive show at CKJS -- Good Morning, Philippines -- she wanted to unite Winnipeg's Filipino community. At that time, there wasn't the Internet or satellite dishes to connect people with current events and culture in the Philippines. The weekday radio show spoken in Tagalog was the main source of breaking Philippines news for Winnipeg's Filipinos. Joaquin remembers taking frantic calls from people here looking for updates whenever a natural disaster occurred that threatened loved ones, like Mount Pinatubo erupting or earthquakes. They were able to get the latest insights on political upheaval in the country of 80 million, thanks to connections with media and politicians in the Philippines, she said.

But Joaquin seems to be most proud of the work she did behind the scenes helping newcomers find their way here.

"They'd call me and ask for advice and I'd refer them to proper agencies." One of the most memorable calls for help came from a little girl whose family had just arrived from the Philippines.

"She said, 'My mom is being beaten up by my dad...'

"Her dad was already throwing chairs at her mom." Joaquin told the little girl to call 911, but the traumatized child said she couldn't. Joaquin made the call, and followed up with Osborne House and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba because the abusive father had a gambling addiction.

"They're good, now," said Joaquin. "The family's still together." Joaquin was also key in setting up Tuklas Talino -- an annual singing contest sponsored by CKJS that first showcased the talents of mega-musical singing stars Ma-Anne Dionisio and Jill Guingcangco.

All in all, Joaquin figures she received more than she's given the community, and wanted to pass along a message to her former CKJS listeners:  "I thank you for being there for me, for making the program a success, and I'll still be around to assist you."

She's still writing a biweekly column for the Filipino community newspaper Ang Peryodiko. While Joaquin loved her radio experience, she was ready to push herself again and see how far she can go this time.

"I decided it's time to go and explore. It wasn't easy -- I was so comfortable.

"But now, all of a sudden, I feel young again -- er, younger than before," she laughed.