Category Archives: Belgium

ENFiD BENELUX has come!

By Betsy Jance Vonatzigen

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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.

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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 Statement: ENFiD IS AN OPEN ORGANIZATION

Download the pdf version here: ENFiD-is-an-open-organisation

 

ENFiD  IS AN OPEN ORGANISATION

 

ENFiD is non-political, non-sectarian and not-for-profit network. It comprises members from different sectors of the society, including all political leanings. ENFiD’s foundations are formulated in its Constitution. It provides a forum for regional and global interaction between and among Filipino individuals and organisations within the European Community, with Philippines and with the rest of the world. It inspires and initiates non-partisan dialogues and discussions on relevant topics and participates in the international dialogue on ethical, cultural and political issues with a view to alleviate global poverty.

Let it be known that members of ENFiD are a mixture of supporters and non-supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte. As ENFiD, we believe that individual members have the freedom to express their (political) opinion on a personal level. However, let this be clear to all that these individual positions of various ENFiD members are NOT THE POSITION OF ENFID.

The Board of Directors of ENFiD deplores the current malicious, unfounded attacks to ENFiD in social media where ENFiD is accused of being the European arm of the Liberal Party (the yellowist) and of being funded by US-based Filipino philanthropist, Attorney Loida Nicolas. Both are not true. These accusations were based on the attendance of Mr. Gene Alcantara, the former Chair of ENFiD, at a protest rally organized by anti-Duterte groups in Paris. Mr. Alcantara was there as a journalist-correspondent of ABS-CBN and not as an ENFiD representative. ENFiD was not represented in that rally.

ENFiD is an open organization. It welcomes all Euro-Pinoys from all political colors, from any religion, from all background, as long as one adheres to principles of democracy and respect for one another.

Within ENFiD, reflecting the diversity of the Filipino society at large, different positions exist which have led to spontaneous partisan positions in public, which do not necessarily represent the official position of ENFiD.

ENFiD core values and principles: As mentioned in ENFiD Constitution, our network aims to bring different communities of the OF’s and OFW’s in Europe together, to function as a platform for exchange across European borders and to promote joint action for the cause of Filipinos in Europe, but also in support of the development of our home country.

As OF’s/OFWs in Europe, and our exposure to European society, we have benefitted from the core values and principles on which European democratic societies are built, such as the respect for the rule of law, solidarity and basic humanitarian principles. Europe’s development over the past decades cannot be delinked from these fundamental political and societal foundations which we subscribe to.

Signed:

 

The Board of Directors of ENFiD

13 June 2017

 

Previous ENFID Statement on Yellow Arm

Check out our upcoming General Assembly and Conference in Germany

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ENFiD Statement: On Yellow Arm

ENFiD Statement

Concerning the posting “’ENFiD: European Network of Filipino Diaspora’ is the YELLOW ARM here in Europe” posted on 28 April 2017 on the Facebook Wall “For the Motherland,” the ENFiD Board states the following:

The posting refers to a shared Facebook post of the ENFiD Country Representative of Iceland. This posting does not reflect the official position of the ENFiD Board and was not mandated by the same Board.

ENFiD is non-political, non-religious and not-for-profit network. It comprises members from different sectors of the society, including all political leanings. ENFiD’s foundations are formulated in its Constitution. It provides a forum for regional and global interaction between and among Filipino individuals and organisations within the European Community, with Philippines and with the rest of the world. It inspires and initiates non-partisan dialogues and discussions on relevant topics and participates in the international dialogue on ethical, cultural and political issues with a view to alleviate global poverty.

Concerning the content of the shared posting of the ENFiD-Iceland Representative regarding the war on drugs, ENFiD’s Board states the following:

“Since entering into office of the Duterte Government, the issue of alleged Extrajudicial Killings (EJK) became a highly contested topic within the Philippines and within the community of OF’s/OFW’s. At the international level, many eyes have turned towards the Philippines commenting with surprise and disapproval on these alleged EJK.

Also within ENFiD, reflecting the diversity of the Filipino society at large, different positions exist which have led to spontaneous partisan positions in public, which do not necessarily represent the official position of ENFiD.

ENFiD core values and principles: As mentioned in ENFiD Constitution, our network aims to bring different communities of the OF’s and OFW’s in Europe together, to function as a platform for exchange across European borders and to promote joint action for the cause of Filipinos in Europe, but also in support of the development of our home country.

As OF’s/OFWs in Europe, and our exposure to European society, we have benefitted from the core values and principles on which European democratic societies are built, such as the respect for the rule of law, solidarity and basic humanitarian principles. Europe’s development over the past decades cannot be delinked from these fundamental political and societal foundations.

Against this background, ENFiD was created with a spirit of openness, respect for the other and willingness to include all different OF/OFW communities. This spirit does not align with the manner how the drug problems are being dealt with in the Philippines. The current practices go against the rule of law and against basic humanitarian principles as written in international agreements which also the Philippines has adhered to.

ENFiD’s position with regard to the Philippine war on drugs is informed by six aspects:

  • Recognition that drugs is a serious problem in the Philippines and that the Government needs to address it with vigor;
  • Disapproval of the practice of EJK as it goes against the rule of law and human rights principles
  • Killings of humans, whether by drug gangs, other criminals or the police, is categorically unacceptable and should be condemned;
  • Drugs problems need to be attended to by means of specific Government programs to help drug dependent person and families and setting up rehabilitation centers;
  • Drug problems, and the related criminal practice of users, cannot be looked at in isolation; they need to be seen as a product of poverty, inequality, social problems and economic exclusion which the Government’s policies and actions should be focused on;
  • Corruption within Government institutions, which have allowed criminal and drug-related illegal practices to proliferate need to be targeted and fought against.

What ENFiD does: ENFiD promotes towards our network, our members and our relations to support alternative approaches in dealing with the drug problems. This comprises support to rehabilitation projects, specific programs to help drug dependent person and their families, anti-drug public awareness campaigns, the setting up of rehabilitation facilities, utilisation of judicial system and non-violent initiatives to combat drug use.”

 

Signed

 

ENFiD-Europe

28 April 2017

Click here to download the statement

Euro-Pinoy Youth Working Group meeting in Poppel, Belgium

Euro-Pinoy Youth Working Group meeting in Poppel, Belgium

As agreed during the Skype Conference of the Working Group (WG) of Euro-Pinoy Youth on the 9th of December 2016, a “face2face” meeting of the group was held on Easter weekend, 14-15-16 April 2017, in Poppel, a Belgian town near the northern border with the Netherlands.

Under the supervision of Rohlee de Guzman, ENFiD Executive Director, a group of eight people from different corners of Europe- the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Italy and UK- from 18 to 48 years old, gathered to discuss about the situation of the young Filipinos in Europe, but also to plan the launch of the YENFiD (Young ENFiD) with the special Youth Forum within the European Regional Conference of ENFiD in Essen on 30 September- 1 October this year.

Photo YENFID meeting

The first day was dedicated to the socialization of the youngsters and a round of their “expectations check” for the three-day meeting. Then there was a presentation of ENFiD (its history, aims and present status) and a general overview about the role of the Youth within the ENFiD structure. At the end of the day, representatives of ENFiD Netherlands gave a warm welcome to the WG and treated us to a sumptuous Filipino dinner.

The second day started with a levelling-off session conducted by Ms. Rohlee about the Philippine history and a presentation of the Migration Waves of the Filipinos all over the world, from the end of the 19th century until now. Then the Working Group discussed about the features of a Euro-Pinoy Youth, their interests and concerns, the issues they face in the different European countries, with consideration to the different stories behind each Euro-Pinoy. After this, we had a planning session of the activities by and dedicated to the Euro-Pinoy youth during the next ENFiD Conference and General Assembly.

In the third and last day, the WG brainstormed on ideas for a logo of YENFiD. The meeting closed with recommendations for the next Two-Year Action Plan for 2018-2019 of ENFiD which would be submitted for deliberation to the ENFiD Essen meeting. Then again the representatives of ENFiD Netherlands joined the WG and together we celebrated the gathering of these 8 youngsters and also celebrated Easter.

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In conclusion, the expectations of all the members of the WG were more than satisfied and at the end, this group was no more only a “Working Group”, but also a “Bunch of Friends”.

Allen Magsino, Italy

[ENFiD-Belgium & Luxembourg] Spotted in Belgium: December 2015

Events in Belgium by Juliet Frisnedi Regidor

Vlaams Gemeenschap’s Feest (Flander’s Feast Day), July 11, 2015

This is an annual celebration in Leuven, the capital of Vlaams-or Flemish Brabant, Belgium.  As one of the organizations invited annually to the celebration, Filipiniana-Europa vzw is seen sharing some native delicacies with the multicultural community and other guests in Leuven. The festivity is sponsored by the City of Leuven.

The Feast Day of the Flemish Community celebrates the Anniversary of the Battle of the Golden Spurs also called the Battle of Courtrai (Kortrijk), in which the count of Flanders, with the borough militia, were victorious over the king of France outside Courtrai (July 11, 1302).

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MIEUX CONFERENCE ‘ADVANCING MIGRATION COOPERATION THROUGH DEMAND-DRIVEN CAPACITY
BUILDING, September 22, 2015

In light of 2015 being the European Year for Development, and the month of September dedicated to Demography and Migration, MIEUX hosted a one-day conference to share its efforts, experiences and lessons learnt in delivering peer-to-peer, demand-driven migration expertise. The event gathered stakeholders from varying backgrounds to reflect upon their shared experiences and on the implication of MIEUX’s peer-to-peer approach towards facilitating delivery of the requested support to partner countries in an effort to develop their capacities in migration management.

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Attendees to the event from Belgium were H.E. Ambassador Victoria Bataclan, Consul General Robespierre Bolivar, who was also one of the speakers, Consul Oliver Delfin, Ms. Consorcia De Leon and Ms. Juliet Frisnedi Regidor. ENFiD Europe Chair Mr. Gene Alcantara and Executive Director Ms. Rohlee De Guzman were also at the conference which was held at Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi, Brussels.


Friendship for the Philippines in Knokke-Heist, September 27, 2015

As in the previous year, Filipiniana-Europa vzw had again a guest performance during the Anniversary Celebration of Vriendschap voor de Filippijnen (Friendship for the Philippines) at Knokke-Heist last September 27. The organization was founded by Mr. Dominiek Segaert and his wife Leah Gallego. Among their guests were Honorary Consul Peter Van Bogaert from Antwerp and Consul Anna Lilia De Vera of the Philippine Embassy in Brussels. Friendship for the Philippines is one of the members of the Belgium-Luxembourg ENFiD Core Group.

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Unveiling of Landmark for the Celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and Discrimination, October 17, 2015

The celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty in Leuven was a great success. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of a special landmark of the United Nations (this time written in Dutch). The landmark, situated in the Grote Markt, or Great Plaza, will always remain a strong and symbolic location between the historic buildings of the CHURCH – Saint Peter’s Church; the ECONOMY – the old National Bank and POLITICS – the City Hall. This landmark is the 6th in Belgium and the 51st in the world.

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The event was led by Leuven Mayor Louis Tobback together with other political leaders of the City Council and other guests. Representatives of different recognized organizations had also been invited to translate and read the text in their respective languages during the program and to carry their country’s flag.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”

FILIPINO (TAGALOG) TRANSLATION: Saán man ang mgá tao ay nasadlák sa matindíng kahirapan, ay nagiging paglabág sa makataong karapatán ng bawa’t nilikhâ. Ating banál na tungkulin na makiisá para sa paggalang at pagtataguyod ng mgá karapatáng itó.


Filipiniana-Europa’s 17th Anniversary Celebration & Halloween Party, October 31, 2015

The celebration of Filipiniana-Europa’s 17th Anniversary – Halloween Party last October 31st was held in Restaurant Oli in Leuven.  For the first time, the ENFiD logo was officially used in the organization’s activity, as featured in their Programme for the evening. Schepen (Alderman) Denise Vandevoort of the Council of Leuven was among the guests who addressed the group. Likewise present was another Adviser of the group, Ms. Lydia Van Hirtum of ACV- ACW/ beweging.net. Dinner was followed by the reading of the Message from H.E. Ambassador Victoria Bataclan by Ms. Cherry Gloria Briossos of the Philippine Embassy, Brussels, some dancing, and a tombola for a special project in the Philippines through the Carmelite Sisters in Vilvoorde, Belgium. Also present were members of COFAB (Council of Filipino Associations in Belgium), also a member of Belgium-Luxembourg ENFiD Core Group.

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[ENFiD] What is Wrong with Overseas Filipinos

Presented by Gene Alcantara, ENFID Chairman on the 2nd Filipino European Overseas Conference in Malta v.20150801 (latest)

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Please click the photo above for the latest presentation.

 

Presented by Gene Alcantara, ENFID Chairman in the 3rd Global Summit in Manila, Philippines v.20150224

what is wrong cover (summit)

Please click the photo above for the presentation in 3GS.

 

[ENFiD] and ENFiD-UK presents Appellation of Origin in London. September 10.

Appellation of Origin: The Philippines is organised to celebrate the Philippine artistry and imagination in the form of crafts unique to Philippine culture.

Appellation of Origin: the Philippines is a project of WELL (Work, Environment & Lifelong Learning) Trust; Ajos Trust; ENFiD: European Network of Filipino Diaspora and ENFID UK.

Please BOOK your tickets now:

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Like AoOP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Appellation-of-Origin-The-Philippines/382529201949980?sk=timeline

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and check their website – http://www.aoop.london/

[ENFiD] The 1st ENFiD Essay Writing Contest Winners

Article written by Rachel Hansen
Photos courtesy of JJ Formento

 

The 1st ENFiD Essay Writing Contest was launched to coincide with the 2nd European Regional Overseas Filipino Conference in Malta held last July 31-August 3.

essay winners

An overwhelming number of entries from 44 Euro-Pinoys were submitted and the first three essays which garnered the highest points were proclaimed the winners. The announcement and the prize-giving ceremony took place at the ENFiD Cultural Evening held at the Catholic Institute Auditorium in Floriana, Malta last August 1st 2015.

The purpose of the Contest was to engage as many Euro-Pinoys as possible in ENFiD objectives as well as to examine their roles in Europe’s multicultural environment. The essayists were asked to provide an entry on the following topics:

1 My cultural life before and after being an Overseas Filipino
2 My profession, work habits/ethics before and after working in Europe
3 How much do I know about Europe (or my adopted country)?
4 Am I am better individual as Euro-Pinoy (i.e. living, studying and working in Europe)?

Four judges were handpicked meticulously to choose the winners based on a selection criteria such as Creativity, Structure, Adherence to Topic, Grammar, Length and “Wow!” factor.

The top 10 essays that received the highest points were subjected to a second reading, and the judges engaged in a measured discussion of the essays content and value, before finally voting on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winning entries. It was a tough task for the judges to say the least.

The 1st prize went to Jaye de la Cruz-Bekema from the Netherlands, the 2nd prize to Marj Akil of the United Kingdom and the 3rd prize to Richelle A. Craw from the Czech Republic.

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Rohlee de Guzman, ENFID-NL, receives the award in behalf of the 1st place ENFiD Essay Writing Contest winner: Jaye Dela Cruz-Bekema

enfid essay 2nd prize

Amelia Alado, ENFiD-UK, receives the award in behalf of the 2nd place ENFiD Essay Writing Contest winner: Marj Akil

enfid essay 3rd prize

Richelle Anne Craw, 3rd place winner of the 1st ENFiD Essay Writing Contest receives her award with Ambassador Lecaros, 1st Secretary and Consul General Jed Dayang, and Marison Rodriguez (ENFiD-CZ)

The 1st prize winner received 700 EUR cash, one week stay in Tagaytay Condo for 2 and weekend stay in a 5-star hotel for 2 in Manila with breakfast.

The 2nd prize winner received 500 EUR cash, weekend stay in Tagaytay Condo for 2 and weekend stay in hotel for 2 in Manila with breakfast

The 3rd prize winner received 300 EUR cash, weekend stay in hotel for 2 in Manila with breakfast.

ENFiD is planning to hold an Essay Writing Contest annually on different themes.