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The First Gender Training Held in Essen, Germany


The first Gender Training held in Essen, Germany 5-7 May 2017

Under the ENFID Gender and Leadership Programme

Amidst our rapidly changing world, ENFID aims to bring out the basic issues that humankind is struggling to deal with – respect and dignity. Under the leadership of ENFID Chair, Betsy Von Atzigen, the ENFID Gender and Leadership Program organized its first successful Gender Training which was participated by 25 representatives from ENFID Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

The training session were conducted by Rohlee de Guzman and Rosalud de la Rosa last 5-7 May 2017. It was held in a beautiful and inspiring place where the upcoming General Assembly will be held at St. Alfrid Jugendhaus, Charlottenhofstrasse in Essen Germany.


Both Rohlee and Rosalud have a longstanding career and background on gender going back from their women’s rights activism days during the First Global Beijing Women’s Conference in 1995. The two-day Training Session introduced key concepts and issues of what it means to become a gender aware individual, why it is important to be gender aware for our relationships and our society, the differences between sex and gender, where our current mindset about women and men come from, the roots of our gender socialization process starting from our childhood environment, the traditional gender stereotypes and the gender meaning for men, women, girls and boys and LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The training also touched up violence in all forms, respect for sexual orientation and gender identity and gender equality. Finally, the trainors challenged participants to reflect within oneself what it means to be an empowered – first, as an individual human being, second, reflect with their relationships with those closest to them, and third, as a leader within their own communities.

Since this was the first Gender training organized by ENFID, it was a great opportunity to discuss and debate the future training module that should be developed by ENFID for all of its members. It was also a great opportunity to make recommendations on how can ENFID Gender and Leadershp Programme can have an impact to the organization itself. For those interested, a detailed report is also available from the Secretariat.

The participants and organizers originally designed the Training Session to include Leadership Training, however, the timing felt short because of the constraints of flight schedules among participants. We felt that there was a dire need, if even more, for other participants to learn and hear more about leadership, and that was regretful. This shows a great interest among ENFIDers to become model leaders and gender aware! On a whole, the short two day training session achieved an important milestone for ENFID for having kick-started its Gender Training. It was a good learning process for the first ever training for the Gender and Leadership Programme of ENFID.

By the end of the Training Session, the trainers introduce an innovative tool called Gender Action Learning System (GALS) which allow each one to reflect on their own personal, family household and community objectives, how it relates to their roles and relationships at those levels. and the possibility to create and achieve their visions and dreams.

Mindful that each one of the participants and organizers dedicated their precious volunteer time and resources to make this initiative happen, it was an impressive group of dedicated 24 women and 2 men. Congratulations to all participants!

Philippine Independence Day 2017 Photos from across Europe

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Berlin

June 11 The Independence day celebration at the Heilig Geist church in Bayernallee,Berlin.

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Czech Republic

ENFiD-CZ together with Philippine embassy staff during the Independence Day Celebration, 11 June 2017, St. Thomas Church Courtyard, Mala Strana Prague CZ.

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - UK

ENFiD-UK Mass Celebration, 11 June 2017, Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Church, London, UK

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Ireland

Book Launch of “From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery” by Retired Journalist Vising Kennedy, 2 June 2017, Dublin, Ireland

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Israel

National Alliance of Filipino Communities in Israel (NaFilCo Israel) Gala Dinner in Commemoration of 119th Philippine Independence, June 10, 2017 at Afecka Hall Tel Aviv, Israel

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Israel

Diplomatic Reception on the occassion of the Philippines 119th Independence Day and 60 years of Philippine-Israel Diplomatic Relation at Hilton Hotel Tel Aviv held June 15, 2017

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Italy

119th Anniversary Independence Day of the Philippines in Rome

Philippine Independence Day 2017 - Italy

Celebrations for the 119th Day of Independence of Philippines with Filipino community in Rome, among faces, dances, traditional dress and friends

Here are some more pictures of the 119th Philippine Independence Day celebration from the Philippines and around the world:
Celebrations of Independence Day in various parts of the Philippines
Independence Day in pictures

60th Philippines-Switzerland Diplomatic Relations Anniversary

60th Philippines-Switzerland Diplomatic Relations Anniversary (1957-2017)
by Betsy von Atzigen, ENFiD Chair

17 June 2017, Switzerland — A festive, colourful memorable day-long celebration of the 60th Philippines-Switzerland Diplomatic Relations Anniversary welcomed a multitude of Filipino-Swiss community to Waisenhausplatz at the country’s capital Bern.

Featured were all-time popular Ati-Atihan, Sinulog, Philippine cuisine, seasonal home grown fruits, pasalubong items, handicrafts, cultural performances, and Phil-Swiss youth concert in the evening.

Swiss EU Event3

Swiss EU Event4

Swiss EU Event5

His Excellency Joselito Jimeno greeted everyone on the grounds, in the booths, on stage, after street performances, on food stalls and tirelessly posed for never ending photo ops.

Swiss EU Event2

Swiss EU Event1

The year-long celebration was officially launched in January 2017 in Bern, Switzerland and also in Manila,Philippines. Here’s a line up of history- making events:
17 June – Philippine Fiesta Bern
02 July – Zürich
02 Sep – Basel
23 Sep – Zürich
11 Nov – St Gallen
18 Nov – Tessin (Ticino)

Philippine Cultural Events
19 June -Schaffhausen Wreathlaying to commemorate the 156th birth anniversary of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, who first visited venue in Switzerland

21 June – Basel Cultural event

6-7 Oct – Bern Food Festival by Chef Domingo Mille Sens Restaurant

Oct – Tessin (Ticino) Gala Charity and Food Festival

21 Nov – Prof Randy David’s lecture in Franklin University

28 Nov – Zürich Prof Randy David’s lecture on How Philippine Culture Evolved

ENFID-Swiss is actively engaged in the year-long celebration of joint PR-CH 60th anniversary.

Let us connect. Let us celebrate. Let us be grateful for 60 years of fruitful Philippine-Swiss diplomatic relations. Manuhay!

YENFiD-teen Netherlands

YENFiD-teen Netherlands
By: Kaya Bosch (18)

We had a bbq dedicated to YENFiD-teen in Maastricht, the Netherlands, last Friday 9 June 2017. This was the first informal YENFID- teen ‘meeting’. Present were 3 other Dutch-Filipinas: Mandy van ‘t Veer (16 years old), Toni Campos (15 years old) and Astrid Schenk (13 years old).



Marison Rodriquez (board member), official from ENFID Czech Republic, who now lives in France, visited the Netherlands for a meeting with Rohlee de Guzman (Executive Director). Both of them were at the meeting but they let us do our own thing which was fun. Unfortunately, Rosa (Youth Leader ENFID Europe) couldn’t join us that day but she came the next day and asked how it was.


We (the girls and I) didn’t really talk about ENFiD or YENFiD a lot because we had a lot of personal things to discuss and we hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. We know each other through our ENFID mom’s who are friends with each other.

Rohlee de Guzman gave us some information about ENFiD but mainly about the projects and activities ENFiD has done or will do just like the Sports Day in Paris, Paaralan project, the PR team weekend and YENFiD-UK. A reaction of one of the girls after Rohlee explained about ENFiD and Yenfid was “Sounds interesting. I will join,” to which the others also agreed with her.


At the end of the evening we played ‘Mens erger je niet’, in English Ludo (we were a bit loud and we got some complaints from my mum (Rohlee) and Mars who were discussing some things.

Everyone was also interested in joining YENFiD and will probably attend the Essen conference in September-October 2017. Another comment from one of the girls: “Are we going to be in our own groups only? When Rohlee told they will be mixed with the other Euro-youths from other European countries, their reaction was very happy and excited and lots of laughter.

We all looking forward to meet other Euro-Pinoys in September!

Tri-nation: Solidarity Through Sports



ENFiD is happy to announce that the TRi-Nation volleyball invitational is the first ENFiD volleyball competition among France, Czech and United Kingdom. Paris will be the venue of this historical ENFiD event aptly during the Celebration of the Philippines Independence Day on 1 & 2 July 2017 at Stade de La Muette.

Dennis Mana-ay of ENFiD-France wishes to acknowledge with a big thank you their  fellow ENFiD families from U.K. and Czech Republic for their special participation in this year’s Independence Day celebration dubbed ‘Pista sa Paris’. Bringing their team to compete as part of the celebration with a three nations sport event that has not only contributed to the attraction of the celebration but has also enhanced our cooperation through sport underpinned by our ardent desire to strengthen camaraderie among the Filipino community in EU that could be replicated in the future.

The first implementation of the Learning and Development project of ENFiD Europe

Essen, Germany – May 2017: The first implementation of the Learning and Development project of ENFiD Europe

The ENFiD Board of Trustees, as well as members and guests from all over Europe gathered together for the Gender Awareness and Leadership Programme. The training was headed by Executive Director Rohlee de Guzman (Netherlands), Chairperson Betsy Von Atzigen (Switzerland) and Board member Rosalud de la Rosa (Italy).

The thorough and intelligent discussions regarding gender sensitivity and the sex/gender system were indeed eye-opening, aligning stereotypical perspectives with realities of modern society. In addition, participants engaged in a lively exchange of ideas, moderated by main speakers Rohlee and Rosalud.


Aside from an opportunity to discuss gender-related issues, the programme provided a practical hands-on experience of leadership. I salute Chairperson Betsy for her calm and effective way of leading ENFiD Europe, considering the many challenges posed by its diversity. As the saying goes: actions speak louder than words– Betsy exemplifies qualities of a great and effective leader through her handling of ENFiD Europe.

We started developing the training programme weeks ahead, from the time we received the information. During preparation, we were reminded of the importance of communication as a two-way process. Replies to all forms of communication, including emails and text messages, were needed for the training program to come together. (So, take note everyone– please reply to messages as soon as you can!)

The programme had also shown what organised and great leaders we have in ENFiD. From the moment we arrived in Dusseldorf Airport, we were greeted with a warm welcome and driven to the Essen Consulate for a courtesy call. We were also treated to lunch at a posh resto before heading off to the venue at St. Alfrid. What a fantastic way of starting the weekend– Thank you ENFiD Deutschland! Danke!

On another note, the pairing of roommates from different ENFiD member countries proved to be a great idea. I had the loveable Manay Tess and, the German Chairperson herself, Emmalyn as my roomies . All participants had the chance to participate in late night group meetings to brainstorm future ENFiD Projects and to get to know each other better over a bottle of special brew. We were able to produce lots of creative ideas for future projects, so make sure to watch out for them!

Of course, the programme would not have been complete without the talent portion on ENFiD night. We have all agreed in ENFiD that Europe we will never be short and lacking of talent. We smashed it! The talent show was spectacular! See it for yourself when the next one comes.

To end the programme, a holy mass was celebrated by the Rev. Fr. Zaldy Abong. A special prayer was offered to all leaders in church, in politics and in ENFiD.

Greenery, fresh air , environmentally friendly technology, on time activities, intellectual and practical discussions, well priced hydration, ambiance and camaraderie … The very diverse programme of the weekend provided a glimpse of what we have upcoming for the Annual General Meeting in Germany. You have done so well ENFiD Germany– see you at the AGM!

By Myla Arceno
ENFiD UK, Secretary
Coordinator, Arts and Culture

Remit for free

social remittance

About a million Filipinos today live across the European continent prompted by a variety of
reasons: education, economics, experience, relationships, ‘improvement of the specie,’
career, adventure and so on. The experience of being away from home almost automatically
provides a channel to send back to the home country what has been earned, mainly the
euro (synonymous with financial remittance) and the PADALA of the DAY – social

The two most valuable acquisitions of Filipino migrants today, given positive conditions of
migration, are no doubt , financial and social.
Majority of Euro-Filipinos may not be too aware that the term social remittance evolved
over a decade ago to mean that apart from the hard-earned euro, pound or franc, migrants
also earn creative ideas, admirable habits, ideal practices, cumulative skills and consciously
or not, pack these up and ship them home in Balikbayan boxes or cargo them up during
home visits.

Visualize a Filipino nurse who has dramatically picked up punctuality in the hospital, as
opposed to ‘late na naman’ just because the European standard is arriving at a designated
schedule on time. Listen to a Filipino speak with courtesy and respect, even in the face of
opposition, because generally that is how communication flows at work, in the social,
organisational and political arenas.

Social remittance. Here is one definite area where Euro-Filipinos may contribute immensely
to the growth of family, community and society back home, in Europe or anywhere else.

  1. The Filipino can remit the skill of listening even to opposing views.
  2. The Filipino can remit critical thinking on current issues or beliefs.
  3. The Filipino can remit respect when writing comments or sharing videos on social media.
  4. The Filipino can remit restraint when using foul, manipulative or abusive language in public.
  5. The Filipino can remit moderation in zeal or enthusiasm over political issues and identities.
  6. The Filipino can remit self-respect when accepting a weakness and be able to find a solution.
  7. The Filipino can remit an individual, moral stand and not flow with the crowd.
  8. The Filipino can remit agreement in the face of disagreement.
  9. The Filipino can remit values learned for family and community building.
  10. The Filipino can remit a sense of nationhood in every aspect of life at home or abroad.

Filipinos have more to earn while making the above remittances. Investment now open for a
brisk Euro-Filipino social remittance. Remit for free. Padala na.

Betsy von Atzigen, ENFiD- Chair

Philippine Independence Day in Ireland

President Duterte’s Inspiring Message to Filipino Migrants in Ireland Featured at Philippine Independence Day Celebration and Book Launch in Dublin

By Vanda Brady

The Philippine Honorary Consulate Dublin and the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD)-Ireland launched the first book of its kind, From the Philippines to Ireland: A Voyage of Discovery, at a special Philippine Independence Day Celebration held at Ballsbridge Hotel Dublin on the 2nd of June 2017 from 6pm. The book, an honest account of the life of Filipino immigrant and former journalist Vising Benavidez-Kennedy as she explores her two homes, was officially inaugurated by Philippine Honorary Consul to Ireland, Mark Christopher Congdon.

The event, “Two Nations, One Spirit”, also featured 2017 Emerging Scholar Awardee Diane Nititham who presented her book Making Home in Diasporic Communities: Transnational Belonging Amongst Filipina Migrants, which is based on original ethnographic work conducted in Ireland and the Philippines.

“May the commemoration of our country’s Declaration of Independence inspire you to build a community . . . that embodies a deep love for their homeland.” This and the Philippine government’s efforts on eliminating crime and drugs are the main points that attendees of the event heard from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s letter.

Philippine Embassy London First Secretary and Consul Mr Voltaire Mauricio delivered a message on behalf of the newly appointed Non-Resident Philippine Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Antonio Lagdameo, a Davaoeño like the President. Honorary Consul Congdon, along with First Secretary and Consul Mauricio, was introduced to Filipino community organisations, who, in return, presented issues and concerns affecting over 13,000 Filipinos in Ireland.

Sancha Magat of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) spoke of the origins of her group’s work which started mainly with the Filipino community, and drew attention to its campaigns with workers.

Performers included world-renowned Filipina-Irish-American vocalist and ENFiD Ambassador of Goodwill Stephanie Reese and the young Filipino winners of the 2012–2016 All-Ireland Irish Dancing.

Cynthia Barker, the first Filipino to be elected Borough Councillor in the UK and 2016 Recipient of the British Honours Award endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen, and Carmen Legarda, the first Filipino-origin to run for the Houses of Parliament in England and selected to be the Parliamentary Candidate for the Hendon constituency by the Green Party for the June 8th British Elections attended the event.

“Two Nations, One Spirit” was followed by a solidarity/fundraiser disco for Carers and Undocumented Workers, called “Dance ‘Til Ye Drop”, to celebrate the courage and resilience of marginalised workers. All proceeds will go to My Fair Home and Justice for the Undocumented.

Three other Philippine Independence Day events were held in Ireland which include “Pistahan sa Cork” held on June 4 of the United Filipino Irish Association, “One Mind, One Soul and One Vision” by the Filipino Community Network on June 10 at St. John Bosco Youth Centre Dublin, and a Cultural Gala Night by the Ilocano Irish Association and Lumad nga Bisaya Ireland on June 17 at Maldron Hotel Tallagh.

ENFiD BENELUX has come!

By Betsy Jance Vonatzigen

Benelux meeting1

3 June 2017, Maastricht NL. – The fruitful weekend meeting of ENFiD leaders from the BENELUX region was strategic in all counts. Prominently present were Tess Ramakers-Badana ENFiD Chair Netherlands along with her highly engaged Team, ever dependable Juliet Frisnedi Enfid Belgium along with educator and community leader Bernadette Schlueter, sister of friend & Enfid Swiss elected leader Zürich-based Minerva Mondejar Steiner.

ENFiD Europe leadership was all out in supporting this momentous event with organizer / presenter Rohlee de Guzman Exec Director herself based in Maastricht along with BOD Secretary Diane Mondragon Halmans of Roermond NL and ENFiD Chair Betsy von Atzigen of St Gallen, Switzerland. ENFiD deeply acknowledges Volker Hauck of the European Centre for Policy Development for the meeting venue. So central was this location that it significantly positioned ENFiD BENELUX within the continent.

Benelux meeting2

We met rising stars at the same gathering – young and talented YENFiD forerunners Kaya and Mandy while NL based Rosa occupied herself connecting with YENFiD Italy. Be not surprised, the coming General Assembly may just burst at the seams.

Congratulations ENFiD BENELUX! Watch ENFiD connect with Filipinos across Europe, network with Euro-Pinoy kababayans, and raise one voice over our common concerns in Europe and at home. Come, connect and network with ENFiD prime movers on 29 September-2 Oct 2017 in Essen, Germany for this year’s General Assembly and Conference.

ENFiD-Swiss: Euro-Filipino’s engaged partner in Europe

by Joanna Wennstroem, ENFiD-Swiss Country Representative

ENFiD-Swiss has come a long way. On our 3rd year of active growth, we continue to grow beyond
expectation. This year is the 60th anniversary of Philippines- Switzerland Diplomatic Relations and all
over Switzerland, as well as all through the year, Filcom organizations are organozing a variety of
events to highlight this event in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy Berne. ENFiD-Swiss is
taking a pro-active role in these celebrations.

ENFiD-Swiss gives the anniversary a big cool cultural splash on November 11, 2017 in Canton St. Gallen,
where ENFID- Swiss is registered. Be part of Euro-Swiss history, come join us in St Gallen!

Last May 27th, ENFiD-Swiss organized a Spring Dinner and second Annual General Assembly at
Erlöser Halle in Zurich where we enjoyed a successful turn out. Everyone enjoyed a delectable
catered Pinoy dinner spread as some key leadership posts were filled. We introduced ENFiD-Swiss’ 2
Year Action Plan, highlighting our engagement on ENFiD’s 4 Action Plan Objectives: Euro-Pinoy
Youth Development, Environment/Sustainable Energy Project in the homeland, Art, Culture and
Sports promotion and providing Learning and Education sessions to our members.

ENFID Swiss Photo1

ENFID-Swiss new set of officers L-R: Marissa Gartenbein-Asst PR & Media Communications, Marissa Duss- Treasurer, Eppie Balagasay & Joanna Wennström -Country Reps, Marilou Hasler-Asst Events, Marcelina Manalo- Ermert- Honorary leader, Merlin Burner-Asst Membership, Maria Theresa Talisay-Asst Secretary, Minerva Mondejar Steiner-PR & Media Communications, Imelda Vollenweider- Events/ Environment, Crystal Leutwyler (with baby)- Deputy Country Rep, Irma Kaestner-Youth Committee & Maggie Gloor- Auditor (both not in photo), Julia Sequerra & Jeff Panes Youth Committee Members, Thezi Gauckler- Membership, Mary Jane Hug- Secretary and Betsy von Atzigen-ENFID- Europe Chairperson

At the Assembly’s Q&A Forum, one question that everyone thought of and actually asked was if we we
at ENFID were paid? Again, we stressed that our work for ENFID is pure dedication and willingness to
volunteer for the betterment of our Kababayans in Europe and in our beloved country, We cannot
stress enough that we are a NON-Political, NON-Partisan, NON- Religious and a NOT for profit
network. Anytime, do check out our online ENFiD Constitution and By Laws to understand
the organization’s mission, vision and aims.

I am most excited about the YENFiD Youth Committee, three of whom were in attendance at the
recent Assembly. My daughter Gaby has also shown interest in joining, but was unable to come.
Lenny Bugayong, head of Noi P has now their contacts for coordination purposes.

More questions were asked by the curious ones, for example, when we explained about the Bio-Gas
Digester technology developed in the Netherlands. How would this work in our country? Where will
this be constructed? When? Where do we get the money? ENFID- Europe Chairperson Betsy von
Atzigen explained that this is along term plan needing a sizeable funding and dedication from all sides
– ENFiD Europe and local partners back home who will see through its implementation and
sustainability. Yes, it it will take some time and effort for us to help and guide and train our
countrymen, but this will also ensure work for them. Sponsorship is a vital part of this ambition project
and fortunately, we may have the help we are looking for. Sponsors are around the corner and we
need the right contact person who can introduce us to them.

ENFID Swiss Photo2

For Philippine Arts, Culture and Sports, in our forthcoming St. Gallen event, we are going to feature
our beloved Cultural dances. Meanwhile we are still on the look out for singers to perform our
Kundimans. We’ve met a member of the Youth Committee who is the founder of the Swiss ARNIS
Club, so hopefully we can also feature a Filipino sport.

On June 17, 2017 ENFiD-Swiss is committed to help with the 60th Philippines-Switzerland Diplomatic
Relations in Berne at the Weissenhausplatz. We are featuring the charity project of one of our ENFiD-
Swiss members Edith Niklaus and her Philippine products made by hand by young prisoners of
Muntinlupa and the DSWD project in Barangay Sto. Rosario, Pandan Antique.

ENFID Swiss Photo3.jpg

Above Philippine products that ENFID-Swiss will sell at the 60th Philippine-Switzerland Diplomatic Relations on June 17, 2017 come from the DWSD project in Pandan Antique.

On September 29, 2017, we very much look forward to ENFiD-Europe’s 4th Annual General Assembly
and Conference to be held in Essen, Germany. We are excited to meet our ENFiD friends from all
over Europe at this most-sought after assembly. Very limited slots so register today and see you