Category Archives: Italy

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

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] & Council on Youth Leadership Development (CYLD) Sign MOU on Euro-Pinoy Youth Leadership Development Program

By: Vanda Brady

We are pleased to announce that ENFiD and the Council on Youth Leadership Development (CYLD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on October 24, 2015 in which both parties will work collaboratively in the implementation and execution of the project “Euro-Pinoy Youth Leadership Development Program.” The mission of the project is to provide servant- leadership training courses through seminars and workshops for the benefit of Filipino youth migrants in Europe.

The word “servant” is not separate from “leadership”. SERVANT LEADERSHIP was coined and developed by Robert Greenleaf. The principle has existed from time immemorial but was showed best by Christ. Servant leaders are the ones whose main intent is to serve others first, a type of leadership whose actions come not only from the mind but with the heart.

CYLD is a coordinating body established in Italy by overseas Filipino migrants and is focused on the creation, nurture, and development of youth leaders in every community. ENFiD has designated CYLD as its youth-arm for the leadership training component of its Euro-Pinoy Youth Program. With CYLD’s main thrust on youth leadership training and with ENFiD’s vast network of Filipino organisations in Europe, both parties can effectively reach the most number of Euro-Pinoy youth at a given time through the said project.

This undertaking is in line with ENFiD’s first thematic program in its Two-Year Action Plan that includes Euro-Pinoy Youth, where it aims to organize Young ENFiD within the ENFiD umbrella through youth leadership and development trainings to be offered to ENFiD members. This program is designed to develop a new crop of leaders within the Euro-Pinoy community with strong connection to the Philippines. The Euro-Pinoy youth have a special potential to be ambassadors for the Philippines in Europe.

The complete Two-Year Action Plan of ENFiD 2016-2017 can be accessed here ENFiD Two Year Action Plan 2016-2017.
For more information on CYLD please click here.

[ENFiD] The Reverend Msgr Jerry Bitoon, also fondly called “Monsi”

By Gene Alcantara

If anybody deserved to be the first Honorary Board Member of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD), it will have to be Monsignor Jerry Bitoon (fondly called “Monsi” by most of his friends).  He is an model for Filipino community leaders to emulate across the continent.  And truly this was what the ENFiD Board of Directors agreed at its annual general meeting held at the end of July 2015 in Malta where the organisation is registered as a voluntary organisation.

Jerry Bitoon

Msgr. Bitoon’s credentials are impressive.  For a Filipino priest first ordained in 1979, he has proven himself as a parish priest, a seminary rector, then as the Vicar General in the Diocese of San Pablo from May 2004 to September 2005.  He is now an official of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People, a department of the Roman Vatican Curia, which used to be called Congregation Propaganda Fide.  The Congregation’s specific competence is to manage some 1,400 dioceses all over the world.  In the Philippines, there are 6-7 apostolic vicareates, where 80-85% of the population are Catholic, with some 130 missions in India (only 0.2% are Catholic), even Japan, Korea, New Zealand and South America.  Missions are about the number of Catholics, not necessarily the wealth of the country.  He has been in this role since October 2005 and he is due to be posted back to the Philippines where he previously worked until he came to Rome.

Msgr. Bitoon has all these major responsibilities in propagating Catholicism and dealing with the problems of the religion across the world, including the lack of priests and their empowerment, yet he still manages to spend a great deal of his time on overseas Filipino matters.   His passion to be of service to the Filipino community is one that follows him wherever he goes on this planet.  He is the Chairman of the Board of Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative Inc, an organisation which “aims to help address the social cost of migration  and tap the development potential of migration”.  More recently, he was a founding figure in the setting up of Bantay West Philippine Sea, an organisation meant to counter China’s illegal invasion of islands belonging to the Philippines.

At the “Diaspora to Development Regional Overseas Filipino Conference” held in Rome in September 2012, Msgr. Bitoon was very prominent, perhaps because the conference was held in his territory.  He was active right from the time we set up the interim ENFiD body, and was with us throughout the time we were developing the organisation’s mission and vision which fed into the Constitution and Bylaws.  As a Tagalog from Luisiana, Laguna it became clear right from the start that he knew his language well, influencing the incorporation of many positive terms in ENFiD’s governing instrument.

Despite being involved in Church matters at the highest level, Msgr. Bitoon continued to be involved with the formal setting up of ENFiD Europe, agreeing to be an elected member of the Board of Directors in our first organisational meeting in Valletta, January 2013.  Msgr. Bitoon went on to unite his adopted country to form ENFiD-Italy with assistance from like- minded leaders.   He was elected to be ENFiD-Italy Country Representative, which was a little controversial as some Filcom leaders in the country appeared to believe they should have this role, and not someone from the priesthood.

Not one to back off from conflict or complex situations, Msgr. Bitoon being bold in speaking his mind, is able to deal with perspectives from all angles and levels.  The ability to lead his flock, with the skills of a diplomat, has contributed to his success in both his life and career.

In the Philippines where there is a shortage of priests, their role in serving the community is supplemented by lay people.  And in this, Msgr. Bitoon is evidently adept at dealing with lay people, coming from a theological training and education that has prepared him very well. Msgr. Bitoon studied at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati, then completed his Licentiate degree, Theology/Theological Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome from 1982 – 1984, and his Research Doctorate, Theology/Theological Studies at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in 1987 – 1990.

He is unsurprisingly fluent in Italian, having spent the last decade mainly in the Roman capital.  This means therefore that he has also been a prominent member of the Filipino community there all that time, not just for the priesthood but for the estimated 165,000 Filipinos living in Italy.  Since they know that Msgr. Bitoon is soon leaving them, numerous despedidas have already been held in his honour and will continue until he finally departs.  The flock to which he returns back in the Philippines await eagerly to welcome him with open arms.

[ENFID-Italy] ENFiD Italy Builds Classrooms in Bohol

Translated by Tessa Mendoza Cruz

The Filipino communities in Rome and Italy, led by ENFiD Italy, built a two-classroom school following the destruction caused by the October 2013 earthquake.

Bohol Classroom

Rome, September 16, 2015 – Following the devastating earthquake on October 15, 2013, the province of Bohol had many needs in order to recover and the Italo-Filipino Concerted Action for Relief, Rescue and Rehabilitation or ITA FIL CARE, the charitable arm of ENFID-Italy, chose to help by constructing a new building that would serve as a school.

ENFID-Italy strongly believes that the youth is an important investment in nation-building and long-term prosperity. As such, a school building became its priority project.

The response of the Filipino communities in Rome and in the whole of Italy had been swift, warm and meaningful. The same is true among Filipino local businesses. A total of €10,000 in donations had been collected. In partnership with the Philam Foundation, the Philippine American Charitable Trust Foundation (PACT) and Give2Asia, the funds gathered by ITA FIL CARE were sufficient for the project.

The building was turned over this September to the leaders of Maribojoc Central Elementary School in Bohol. The community eagerly received new school building that had two classrooms, a kitchen and a rest room, anticipating that this will provide hundreds of children in to town of Maribojoc the hope for the right to an education.

Because it is made of concrete, it can also serve as an emergency evacuation center in the event of a calamity. According to experts from the United Nations (UN), the Philippines is one of 10 high-risk countries in the world. Having sturdy evacuation centers that could withstand wind speeds of above 200 kilometers per hour as well as an earthquake registering 7 in the Richter Scale is a huge help.

Bohol Classroom

Carmencita Ferreira, an official of ENFID-Italy represented the Filipino community in Rome during the turnover along with Sally Pedersen, the local contact person of ENFID in Bohol.

This is ITA-FIL CARE’s second project following their initial efforts in raising €12,515.36 following Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban, which was given to the Divine Word Hospital. The amount was used to purchase Omnibus lab equipment and other critical medicine needed by the hospital.

According to Monsignor Jerry Bitoon of ENFID-Italy who spearheaded this effort, “There’s still much to be done. Let the Filipino bayanihan spirit be kept alive so that through a continuous partnership we can build more school classrooms for the children of Bohol. I would like to take this occasion, to thank all those individuals and the many Filipino communities and businesses who contributed to this project. From ENFID-Italy and ITA-FIL CARE, we have been able to show that networks of communities can deliver projects like a school building. Mabuhay po tayong lahat.”

Related Link: Silid Paaralan sa Bohol, Naisakatuparan ng ENFiD-Italy

[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)

what is wrong cover

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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