Category Archives: Press Releases

[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:


Like AoOP Facebook page:

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and check their website –

[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.

enfid essay 1st prize

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.


[ENFiD] Visit

“Sharing a site that contains everything that absentee voters, overseas workers, seafarers, expatriates, Pinoys with dual citizenship, Pinoys who have re-acquired or retained Filipino citizenship under RA 9225 need to know to be able to vote in the May 2016 national elections.

The deadline for registration is October 31, 2015.  Time is of the essence.

Please share with your friends and groups.


Comprehensive info for Filipino overseas workers and expats about how to register and vote in May 2016 national elections.”

Moreover, here’s a video about overseas absentee voting:

[ENFiD] 2015 Malta Conference Statement

Download ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement

We, the 92 Filipino diaspora delegates and guests coming from 13 countries in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Malta, Sweden, Norway) and joined by guests and delegates from the Philippines, United States and Israel, convened in the Second European Regional Overseas Filipinos Conference with the theme “Overseas Filipinos (OF) for Transnational Development Make a Self-Assessment (Ako ay Pilipino, Ganito Ako Ngayon, Paano Ako Bukas / This is how I am today, how will I be tomorrow?)” on August 1-2, 2015 in St. Pauls Bay, Malta hereby state the following:

1. Social Remittances(#1) as drivers of change equal the value that 1 financial remittances carry. Social remittances include also the psychological-emotional-cultural-social (PECS) aspects which OF’s contribute to the Philippines.

2. The effects of financial remittances and social remittances, including PECS, mutually reinforce each other. While financial remittances can effect a change in the Philippine economy, social remittances have the power to positively influence Philippine culture and society.

3. Therefore, social remittances should not be treated as a separate issue but as a cross-cutting element of issues of all migrant concerns.

4. Euro-Pinoys are engaged in various forms of coping strategies while giving content and gestalt to our hyphenated identities(#2). We recognize the merits of cross-cultural/transnational identities in the integration of Euro-Pinoys in the host countries.

5. Due to feminization of Filipino migration in the 80’s and 90’s, Filipino women now hold a crucial role in diffusing the PECS remittances.

6. Poignant issues such as the unfounded Chinese territorial claims in the West-Philippine Sea and Trafficking in Persons have impact on the lives of Euro-Pinoys.

7. The situation of the Filipino youth including 2nd generation and 1.5 generation have special particularities which require specific attention from the Euro-Filipino communities.

8. A lack of gender equality within many Filipino migrant organizations continues and was discussed with concern by the delegates.

9. The Uníted Nation´s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to be endorsed in September 2015, provide an important policy framework to address concerns worldwide and are recognised as a valuable guidance for the future priorities of ENFiD and partner organizations.

10.The delegates exchanged experiences in being serviced by personnel of the Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe. It was noted that in some cases the attitude of personnel in dealing with OF’s was sub-optimal and in need of improvement.

Based on the discussions and agreements, we recommend the following:

1. For ENFiD to take the lead in initiating seminars and meetings about the social remittances, including PECS, at country levels in coordination with other Filcom and other ethnic communities in Europe.

2. For Philippine government institutions, especially the CFO, PhilHealth and other relevant institutions to integrate attention to the social remittances in their policies, programs and projects.

3. For all OF’s to be conscious of the potential positive and negative impacts of their attitudes, behaviour and mind-set (through the social remittances) diffused to families and friends back home and their host countries.

4. For the delegates of this conference, to share with their own organizations the knowledge and consciousness gained from the sessions of this conference as well as the knowledge and insights gained during their daily interaction with fellow delegates.

5. For ENFiD, to function as a platform for coordinating advocacy work at the European level and to establish within the ENFiD structure a special committee to support and assist in streamlining the contents of local and national initiatives like the lobby against Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

6. For ENFiD, to further promote social-economic development in the Philippines, to partner with various NGOs and institutions and to support efforts to mobilise Diaspora initiatives for local investments. In addition, to assist in providing financial education and highlighting the role of social remittances in development.

7. For ENFiD, to advocate with other overseas Filipino communities globally for setting up opportunities for on-line registration and on-line voting in order to strengthen ties of the OF’s with the Philippines and to further the democratic process in our home country.

8. For the Philippine Government to address the portability of medical health care of Filipinos living in Europe and for ENFiD to initiate a review of various health care systems in European countries to inform the Philippine Government on various options to address this matter.

9. For ENFiD, to promote gender sensitivity concerning issues of migration and development.

10.Explore the possibility of having direct electoral representatives/participation of OF based in the US, Europe and the Middle East in the Philippine Parliament.

11.For ENFiD to conduct a baseline study of Filipino identity, type of remittance and investments made to the Philippines which includes not only financial remittances but also social remittances. The survey questions presented by Ms. Anny Hefti from Berne can be used as a reference.

12.For the DFA, to pay more attention to the selection and performance review of personnel working in Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe so that OF’s are treated with more earnestness.

(#1) As defined by Peggy Levitt (1998) social remittances are usually defined as the ideas, 1 practices, identities and social capital that flow from receiving to sending country communities.

(#2) Baubock (1998) talks of additive identities and additive assimilation, which is retaining a 2 previous cultural membership while acquiring a new one.

The Delegates highly appreciated the warm welcome of ENFiD by Malta President Marie Louise Preca. She stressed the positive contribution of the Filipino community in her country and expressed full support to their concerns. Her commitment strengthens ENFiD in further pursuing its goals. We thank the Tourism Ministry of Malta in facilitating the successful hosting of this conference.

The delegates hereby thank all Filipino and Maltese individuals for their warm reception. To the dedicated organizers and secretariat members, our endless gratitude!

This statement was signed on 2 August 2015 in Malta by 92 delegates present.

Download ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement

[ENFiD] 2nd Prize Essay by Marj Akil: Being a Euro-Pinoy in a Multicultural and Multiracial Society

I walked into my corner shop and scanned the produce in plastic and wooden crates. Not immediately finding what I was looking for, I discarded my habit of not asking and came up to the shopkeeper.

Hello, do you sell eggplants?”, I asked in a tone firmly suggesting that his shop should have them.

I’m sorry, say that again?”, replied the shopkeeper whose facial expression painted of hearing something he normally wouldn’t on a daily basis.

Eggplants?”, I repeated with hesitation, thinking that my slight American twang was the culprit as to why eggplants were nowhere to be found among the shop’s array of vegetables.


He then proceeded to go through all the vegetables and fruits, checked their names one by one, and began shaking his head. After a thorough inspection of all the greens, he eventually apologised for not carrying eggplants.

I was about to leave disappointed that my kare-kare may not make it to our dining table when I spotted something very purple of which the stalk and distinctive crown of leaves looked familiar.

The hand-written label read ‘aubergines’.

I had an inkling, picked up a couple, paid, and left the store without further giving away my fresh-off-the-boat status.

That night, I was complimented on how I cooked to perfection the fresh eggplants, locally known of course, as aubergines.

Ten years on, I look back at my first brush with lessons in assimilation. The eggplants have been pushed, but not relegated, to the recesses of my immigrant vocabulary.

I eventually learnt, rather than learned, that chips are what I have always known as French fries; American chips are British crisps; braces are not only worn on the teeth, but also to hold one’s trousers, which I’ve always called suspenders, but now mean something else in the lingerie department; trucks are lorries; tank tops are vests; sweaters are jumpers; cell fones are mobiles; cookies are biscuits; cilantro is coriander; band-aids are plasters; a private school is public; and Zee (letter Z) is Zed.

Beyond the language nuances are the socio-cultural customs and attitudes that make up the essence of my integration. I have grasped sarcasm as second nature as my acquired taste for fish and chips and builder’s tea. I have developed the habit of jumping into queues, or starting it when I don’t see one. I am culturally raised in melodrama, but have since leaned towards my more natural inclination to have a stiff upper lip and to keep to myself. I have always favoured assertiveness and confidence over the more deep-rooted subservience; my sentiment has found its home. Over the years, an overdeveloped politeness has rubbed off me, that I pander to political correctness. Must I apologise for that while I discuss the weather at length?

Despite my conscious efforts to adapt, I didn’t abandon quintessential Filipino traits ingrained in me: my sense of community and ability to see the upside. We collectively gravitate towards togetherness and familial atmosphere whether in merriment or in dire need, but most especially, over food. I have swapped eggplants for aubergines, but my culinary language will speak of tortang talong over ratatouille or caponata. Giving an analogy to an English friend, Filipinos never cook for two; it’s always for at least a good few.

Being a Euro-Pinoy in a multicultural and multiracial society gives me a binary perspective on differences and diversity that shape and reinforce my tolerance and acceptance. I’m liberated from some inhibiting cultural and non-secular beliefs I have been brought up in, being pigeonholed to certain roles at specific stages in my life, and harbouring bigoted views. Being part of a society of different ethnicities and social backgrounds gives me the privilege to achieve beyond material gains, but rather, to become worldly-wise as I have challenged myself to not be that fish out of water and refuse to live up to the stereotypes thrown at my ethnic origin.

On a very recent trip to the Philippines, a friend observed and commented on my direct manner, “Di ka na nga Pilipino, di ka na paliguy-ligoy.” If that’s a classic Filipino trait I’ve shed throughout the years, then my naturalisation wasn’t just on paper.

I’m occasionally asked if I’ll settle back to the Philippines one day. It’s a tug of war between my sensibilities and instinct. One thing I know is that family is family. A love-hate relationship, time, distance, and physical absence do not change that fact. Home has been redefined: it’s not necessarily where the heart inherently is; it’s where the heart chooses to be.


Author: M Akil 
from United Kingdom, 
2nd Prize Winner of the 1st 
ENFiD Essay Writing Contest

Marj Zaraspe Akil wrote and sang for a living in the Philippines. 
Now based in the UK, she pens her travels, cultural observations 
and essays, and hones her amateur photography skills through her 
blog called Chinwags and Tittle-Tattles. She pays the bills and 
the taxman through her day job in the luxury fashion business. 
When knackered and stressed, she believes in the power of Nespresso
Ristretto, power nap, ‘me’ time, and red lipstick. 

Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons/Sources: 


[ENFiD] 2ND AGM and 2nd European Conference Presentation Materials

Please DOWNLOAD the presentation materials used in the 2nd ENFiD AGM and the 2nd European Conference of Overseas Filipinos:

Contents 1 (Download JULY 31 Presentations Only):
ENFID MEMBERSHIP 20150731 (Marison Rodriguez)
Proposals for change in ENFiD Constitution and By Laws 20150731 (Gene Alcantara)

Contents 2 (Download AUG 1 Presentations Only):
MALTA PPT FINAL Welcome Remarks AUGUST 1 2015 (Mely Nicolas)
MALTA delivery FINAL Welcome Message august 1 2015 (Mely Nicolas)
Presentation MALTA 2015 (Monsi Jerry Bitoon)
Social Remittances in Gender and Generational Dynamics that Benefit Women (Berta Fernandez)
Bayani A Theological Anthropology for Filipino Migrant Communities (Lawrence)
Trafficking in Persons International_ Philippine and European Perspectives (Senen Mangalile)
What is wrong with Overseas Filipinos 20150801(Gene and Rohlee)

Contents 3 (Download AUG 2 Presentations Only):
Rizal Trail in Czech (Jed Dayang)
Rizal Trail in Litomerice in English (Jed Dayang)
Rizal Train in Litomerice Filipino (Jed Dayang)
The 1.5 Generation ppt (Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot)
WP&S_Malta_1 Aug 2015_short (Volker Hauck)

To upload:

AGM Minutes including Election Results Minutes (doc)
ENFiD Annual Report 2013 to December 2014 (doc)

WPS Complete Video (3GB) – (will be uploaded in ENFiD Youtube/Vimeo Channel)
Philam Paaralan ENFID-Central Italy (video)
Students_Proud Filipino (video from Asuncion)
Western Union THIS IS OUR HEROES celebrating our migrant workers (video)


Filipino Youth Development in Europe (ppt from Laarni de Silva)
2015 ENFiD Malta Conference Statement (pdf)

Reports from Documentation Team

[ENFID] 2015 Malta Conference Speakers & Cultural Performers


Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot is a sociologist and a postdoctoral research fellow of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) at the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Families and Sexualities (CIRFASE), Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. She is also a research associate at the ‘Migrations and Society’ Research Unit (URMIS) of the Paris Diderot University – Paris 7 in France where she completed her Ph.D. in sociology in 2008. Her recent publications include the book in French “Migrant mothers without borders. The invisible dimension of Filipino immigration in France” (Harmattan 2013) and the edited volume “Mobile childhoods in Filipino transnational families” (Palgrave 2015, forthcoming). Since 2009, her research focuses on children and childhood in migration and “mixed” family contexts.

2 berta fernandezBERTA FERNANDEZ

Ms. Fernandez is Visiting Senior Lecturer on ‘EU Migration and Asylum Law’ and ‘Contemporary Migration Issues Across the Mediterranean’ at the Institute of European Studies (University of Malta).

Between 2013 and 2014 she worked in the Brussels based Intra-ACP Migration Facility (European Development Fund). Previously, Ms. Fernandez coordinated for ILO Costa Rica an EU-funded project to promote gender sensitive labor migration policies (2011-2012). In addition, she worked 11 years with IOM as Chief of Mission (2008-2011, Nicaragua), Program Officer for the Caribbean (2002-2008, Washington, DC), and for Central America and Mexico (2000-2002).

She has a Masters Degree in European Community Law from the Autonoma University of Madrid, and a Law Degree from the University of Valencia (Spain), and the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Germany).

Contact Info:

32 St. Paul Street
Valletta 1210, Malta
Cell +356 99667790
Skype bertafdezdc


Jack Catarata studied Political Science (B.A.) and Social Research (M.A.) in the Philippines and currently works as caregiver and coordinator for a home for asylum-seekers in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, his adopted home city in southwestern Germany.

Coming to Europe in 1999, he has been active in the Philippine Solidarity Movement in Germany and had served as a board member of the Philippinenbüro of the Asian Foundation in Cologne. He also sat for many years as member of the Continuing Committee of the German Ecumenical Philippine Conference. He was an elected member of his city’s Council for Migration and Integration and was the founding Chair of the Philippine Diaspora Network (PhilNetz e.V.) in Bonn, Germany.

Contact Info:

3 JJ formento


JJ is a dancer, choreographer, director, facilitator and fellow of SSE (School for Social Entrepreneurs). Born in the US and raised in Manila, he is a scholar of the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), California State University (San Jose), and Central School of Ballet (London). He performed at the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), with the cast of Miss Saigon (Drury Lane), and danced as a company member of Dance Theatre of Ireland. Other theatre credits include Evita, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Aida and Samson et Delila. He founded Dublin Youth Dance Company, Ireland’s leading youth dance organisation which hosts the annual Irish Youth Dance Festival funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. JJ now lives with his partner in Oxford and works as a Project Support Officer for the NHS. He is the founder of Ajos Trust, a start-up social enterprise championing sustainable development, cultural diversity and positive social change.

Contact Info:

4 mely nicolas


Secretary Imelda Nicolas was appointed in 2010 as Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), a Cabinet-level Secretary position under the Office of the President of the Philippines. CFO is mandated to maintain strong and mutually beneficial ties between the country and Filipino communities throughout the world and to promote and protect the welfare, the interests and well- being of Filipinos overseas.

She is currently one of the focal points of the Philippine government to the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC, together with the United States’ Government, by the United Nations’ Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon during the 2nd UN High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in New York.

She is currently a member of the Migration Advisory Board of the International Organization for Migration and a member of the Advisory Group of the ADB-MPI’s project on “Achieving Skill Mobility in the Asean Economic Community.” She chairs the Metropolis Asia Secretariat and is a member of the Metropolis International Steering Committee.

Contact Info:

5 jed dayang


Jed Dayang completed his Doctorate in Diplomatic Studies in 2012 at the Australian National University under the Australian Leadership Award scholarship grant. He has a Masters of Public Administration from University of Oklahoma, USA and a Masters of Business Administration from Kyung Hee University in Seoul and a BsC Management from San Beda College. He did postgraduate work at the Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University, USA as a Visiting Scholar.

He is currently First Secretary and Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Prague. As a professional diplomat, he served in the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, Korea for six years. In Manila, he served as Director in the Office of ASEAN Affairs & Assistant to the Philippine Representative and Alternate to the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights, Special Assistant in charge of migration & development and anti-human trafficking in the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs, and Acting Director in the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Dr. Dayang was awarded “40 Under 40 International Development Leadership Award” by London-based DEVEX in 2013. His research interest is in migration and development, migrant’s rights, and consular diplomacy. He recently organized a book project “Voices of Women: Essays in Migration, Family, and Work in the Czech Republic” with Las Damas de Rizal. He is currently working on a Rizal Heritage Trail in Litomerice, Czech Republic.


Lawrence S. Pedregosa is a doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. While doing his Ph.D. in Theology in KU Leuven, he is also an Assistant Professorial Lecturer (on study leave) affiliated with the Theology and Religious Education Department of De La Salle University, Manila. He holds an MA in Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (magna cum laude) and a Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (magna cum laude) from KU Leuven. Prior to his studies in Belgium, he received his MA Applied Theology degree from De La Salle University and AB Political Science from University of Santo Tomas, Manila.

Contact Info:


Having reached over 20 years of working experience with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna, Austria, as an International Civil Servant, currently providing administrative support to a team of public health experts, Mae Cayir has decided to channel her institutional knowledge into mentoring the next generation, as well as serving the global community as a Creative Non-Fiction Writer with the purpose of raising awareness and advocacy in the various thematic areas that are covered by the United Nations Charter and its mandates. She comes from a culturally diverse background, born in the Philippines, crossing oceans and continents since she was a child, finally settling down in Austria with her husband originally from Turkey and their two children. Her university studies at the University of Natal, Durban and University of Namibia, grounded her skills as an educator, while her residences in the US, South Africa and Austria have cultivated her appreciation for art, culture, and global relations. Mae is the author of many personal essays with the purpose of educating, sharing and mentoring. In her capacity as a Creative Non-Fiction Writer she hopes to be able to broaden her audience of cultural diversity, building bridges back to her native country of the Philippines.

Contact Info:


Chief Emigrant Services Officer (October 2011-present)

Ms. Maria Regina Angela G. Galias has been with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) for over fourteen years (since February 2001) and currently heads and directs the overall activities of the Administrative and Finance Division. Aside from managing the administrative and financial operations of the Commission, she is assigned, among other adhoc tasks, to spearhead the conduct of the 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora (Manila, 2015) and part of the team managing the Joint Migration and Development Initiative Phase 2 (JMDI) Project in the Bicol Region.

Prior to heading the Administrative and Finance unit, she served as division chief of the Migrant Integration and Education Division (MIED) for four years. The MIED as the CFO’s frontline division is primarily responsible in ensuring that Filipinos migrating to other countries are adequately prepared to meet the practical and psychological challenges attendant to international migration through the conduct of pre-departure orientation seminars and guidance and counseling.

She was also tasked by the CFO Chairperson to be the team leader for the establishment of the 1343 Actionline Against Human Trafficking when the CFO was appointed as the Chair of the Advocacy and Communications Committee (ADVOCOM) of the Inter-Agency Council Against Human Trafficking (IACAT). The 1343 Actionline is a 24/7 national hotline dedicated to respond to cases of local and international trafficking.

Ms. Galias also represents the CFO in discussions and fora (local and international) on migration management, diaspora engagement, marriage migration (i.e., integration and reintegration, mail-order spouses, domestic violence among Filipino spouses/other partners of foreign nationals, etc.), among others.

Before heading the frontline division of the CFO, she also supervised the Projects Management Office, and was responsible for overseeing the planning, research, development, and implementation of some of the major programs of CFO such as the Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Program or LINKAPIL, Lakbay Aral sa Pilipinas and the Philippine Schools Overseas.

Ms. Galias was a university scholar with an undergraduate degree in Management from the Ateneo de Manila University and a Master’s Degree in Management (major in Public Management) from the University of the Philippines.

Contact Info:
Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Telephone no. (+632) 552-4795; 561-8329; 561-8317
Fax no. 561-8317; E-mail:


Volker Hauck is the head of the programme on Conflict, Security and Resilience at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) with offices in Maastricht (The Netherlands) and Brussels (Belgium). With an educational background in political science and public administration, he is a policy analysis and practitioner on European international cooperation, institutional development and capacity development support. In recent years, he has focused on conflict prevention, fragile contexts, post-conflict transition and peacebuilding. He was team leader and member of various international studies and evaluations, developed ECDPM’s knowledge management and communication strategy and co-founded the journal Prior to ECDPM, Volker worked with UNDP, the International Red Cross and a Dutch development company, MDF, to engage on development, recovery and emergency operations in various countries in Africa and Asia. He is a member of ECDPM’s senior management team. To view his publications, visit

7 emmalyn kotteb


Migration history

Spent some months in Germany after graduating from college; came to Germany as a journalist in 1990; learned the German language in Bochum in 1992, married a German development worker/ writer in 1993 and settled in Cologne; in 2003, lived between Germany and the Philippines from 2006 to 2010, resettled in Bochum in 2011

Civil society engagement

Philippinenbüro (socio-political information center/NGO on the Philippines in Germany based in Cologne) Board Member, April 2015 – present; Member since 1993

Philippine Diaspora Network for Integration & Development Cooperation (PHILNETZ e.V.) Founding member/Board Member/PR Officer/ website administrator, Oct. 2014 – present; Project coordinator/Tutor 2014-2015
Board member/secretary/PR officer 2011 – 2013

Philnetz e.V. ( ) was founded on Sept. 21, 2011 and was officially registered in Bonn on Oct.18, 2011. It strives to promote, support and organize projects in the areas of culture, education and development politics in Germany and in the Philippines.
Ecumenical Philippine Conference (ÖPK)
Working Comittee Member, 2010 – present
Center for Solidarity Tourism (research project of the Asian Social Institute Graduate School, Manila), volunteer, 1986 – 87
Union of Journalists of the Philippines (Now NUJP), founding member, 1989
College Editors´ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) 1983 – 1984

Contact Info:


M.A. Counseling Psychologist
Member (ret.) Federation of Swiss Psychologists
Cross-cultural and Family Counselor, Counseling Center for Foreign Women, Bern, Switzerland
Former Director, Zentrum 5, Intercultural Center for Migrants in Bern
Member, Commission for Gender Equality, Canton Bern; Commission for Adult Education Canton Berne; one of the founders, Samahang Pilipina Bern; founding member, Babaylan Philippine Women’s Network in Europe; Migrant’s Forum City of Bern; member, Siena Kolektiba, an informal networking group of Filipina professionals in Europe.

Contact Info:


Charito Basa is a freelance development and research consultant based in Rome, Italy, who specializes in gender, migration and development issues. She is founder and the moving spirit of the Filipino Women’s Council (FWC), an organization of Filipino women migrant workers in Rome that promotes the empowerment of FIlipino women thru counseling, intercultural mediation, research, advocacy, policy lobby, capacity building activities.

Charito has become a major spokesperson on migrant issues in Italy, and has worked for many Italian and international organizations helping them manage development projects, conduct research and foster networking. She was conferred with Italy’s most distinguished award, the Order to the Merit of the Italian Republic, and was named Knight of the Republic by Italian President Carlo Ciampi for her contributions in social development as well as in the promotion of the rights of women and migrants in general.

Contact Info:

13 carol dominguez

President and CEO
John Clements Consultants, Inc.

Carol Dominguez is the President and CEO of John Clements Consultants, Inc., the Philippines’ leading recruitment and human resources services firm and the premier provider of talent and training for shared services and BPO companies operating in the Philippines. Under Carol’s leadership, John Clements Consultants, over the last twelve years, has quadrupled its revenues and profits and has become the go-to firm for BPO-related HR services.
Carol was one of the first to recognize the tremendous potential for outsourcing in the Philippines. The unique attributes of the Filipino people – an affinity with Western culture, English language skills, high literacy rates, good work ethics, eagerness to learn, and an empathetic and patient nature – were not well known in the early years of this decade. Carol became a tireless proponent of her country and her people and made a major contribution to the standing the Philippines now holds within the international outsourcing community.
She was uniquely qualified to do so. A native Filipina, Carol understood the Filipino people and their capabilities and was well connected with influential members of the Filipino government and business community. She also knew how to relate to Westerners, having received her graduate degree (an MBA from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University) in the United States and having working in both the U.S. (New York) and Europe (London and Milan).
Recognizing the needs of the BPO industry and recognizing the need for the Philippines to continually upgrade the capabilities of its people, Carol has been a leader in bringing advanced, Western-developed education to the Philippines. She has encouraged building the skills needed in the BPO sector, beginning with advancing the level of English competency foillowed by improving the leadership and management skills of the Filipino people.

Carol has long believed that development of the Philippines’ BPO industry must be done with an understanding of what is being done in other markets. She has made several trips to India and China to better understand BPO operations there. As leading Indian firms have discovered the benefits of the Philippines, contacts she made during her trips to India have yielded Indian clients and an understanding of how BPO operations are conducted in that country.
More recently, Carol led John Clements Consultants in establishing a partnership with Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) that broadens the scope of her company’s solutions to include talent development and brings to the Philippines one of the world’s premier business education and leadership development services. Carol strongly believes that companies need to invest in people, especially during times of crisis, and that the Harvard services offer powerful tools for doing so.
Carol has also led her company in establishing a partnership with Zenger Folkman, a U.S.based, premier provider of 360-degree assessments. Before promoting these services to the market, she put herself and her employees through Zenger Folkman assessments. The results have been highly positive and have helped her employees step up to higher levels of leadership proficiency. Carol has been certified as a Zenger Folkman Extraordinary Leader Facilitator, Coach and Elevating Feedback facilitator.
In recognition of her exceptional expertise, Carol has been invited to speak at several fora and conferences, including those organized by the American Chamber of Commerce, CCAP, the Business Process Association/Philippines (BPA/P), e-Services and Nasscom-BPA/P events.
During the past five years, Carol has focused heavily on developing the skills of her people through the Harvard leadership and management programs. Over 100 employees of John Clements have undergone a Stepping Up to Management program and 20 high potential individuals are currently undergoing a accelerated internal MBA program using Harvard Business School content taliored to the specific compentencies and needs of her organization, all part of a John Clements succession planning program. In addition, twenty senior leaders are undegoing a John Clements Executive MBA in partnership with Far Eastern University. On top of this, 40 John Clements leaders are participating in an Executive Coaching program. Carol strongly believes that leadership development creates tremendous capacity in an organization.
Taking to heart her belief in the power of education and training, Carol applied for and was accepted into Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, from which she graduated in 2012.
She also has been trained as an executive coach and is working on her certification by the International Coach Federation.

Before joining John Clements Consultants, Carol was an officer of Citibank, where she worked from 1985 to 2001, starting as a Management Trainee both in Manila and New York and moving up to becoming a Manager for Business Development for Citibank’s Global Trade Finance. She was expatriated to London, England as Resident Vice President for their European Trade Finance group, focusing on the UK and Scandinavian markets. She then moved on to becoming Vice President for Citibank’s Italy Trade Finance Group based in Milan, Italy. Carol then returned to the U.S. and took on the role of Vice President for Global Trade Finance as global product manager overseeing the oil and gas sectors. She stayed in the U.S. until 2002, when she returned to the Philippines to assume leadership of John Clements Consultants.
Carol is a recent graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. Carol also graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines and holds a Masters of Management Degree from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Evanston, IL. Carol is also a certified discussion leader from the Harvard Business School. Carol is the President of the Harvard Business School Club of the Philippines, a Board of Trustee of the Harvard Club of the Philipines, Reunion Chairperson of HBS AMP 182 and a board member of the Northwestern University/Kellogg Alumni Club of the Philppines. Carol is a vegan, practicing macrobiotic, avid yoga enthusiast and instructor and recently found golf as a lifelong sport.

14 laarni silva


Council on Youth Leadership Development
Chairperson – Education and Training Committee
Head – Secretariat

Laarni pursued a career in BS Statistics at UP-Los Banos and BS-Secondary Education at Don Bosco College in Canlubang, Laguna. She also underwent masteral studies for Guidance and Counseling in PNU-Manila.

She acquired her leadership skills starting from her secondary level where she received rigid leadership trainings under the tutelage of Sr. Estrella Castalone, FMA thus adopting the Salesian charisma of Don Bosco . Before she migrated to Italy, she served as a faculty member at the Assumption College in San Lorenzo Makati, Caritas Don Bosco School, and the University of Perpetual Help.

In 2010 she became actively involved in community services where she co-founded the Associazione Donne Filippine (ADF), an organization registered in the Italian government which is focused in issues of Filipina migrant-life in Italy, including the second generation children. ADF initiated a brain-child project called “Batang Pinoy Joyride: Pagkilala sa Lahing Pinagmulan” which focuses on teaching Filipino Culture and Traditions by workshops and games as they go to places of interest.

Her love for the young naturally emanates everywhere she sets her foot on. She conducts workshops for the youth of Padova and Venice with a strong belief that young people need the space and chance to develop their talents from where they will discover their abilities to lead well and be a good follower. Laarni had also directed musical stage plays for the youth in both of these two Veneto cities.

Laarni Silva is a co-founder of CYLD and is current Chairperson of the Education and Training Committee and the Head of the Secretariat of the Council on Youth Leadership Development in Northern Italy (CYLD). She is a mother; raising two teenage daughters, living in Padova, Italy for 3 years now.

15 senen mangalile


Senen Tiemsin Mangalile is presently Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General at the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in London, and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Philippine Mission to the International Maritime Organization.

Mr. Mangalile holds the rank of Career Minister at the Department of Foreign Affairs, which he joined in August 1997. He has previously served thereat as concurrent Director of the United States and Canada Divisions of the Office of American Affairs; Director for Ceremonials at the Office of Protocol; and Principal Assistant at the Office of ASEAN Affairs. He was also detailed to the Office of Presidential Protocol at the Office of the President of the Philippines.

Mr. Mangalile’s previous posting overseas was as Consul and Administrative Officer at the Philippine Consulate General Osaka-Kobe from 2002 to 2010. He was also detailed as Chargé d’affaires, a. i. at the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Turkey from August to October 2013.

From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Mangalile was a high school teacher at Immaculate Conception School for Boys, Malolos, Bulacan where he taught English, History and Economics. He was also a college instructor at the Philosophy Department of Immaculate Conception Major Seminary where he taught courses on Advanced Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Asian Philosophy and Theory of Knowledge. From 1993 to 1997, he served as Public Relations Officer of Philippine National Bank, where he handled the bank’s advertising plans and concepts and served as Features Editor of Publics, PNB’s corporate magazine.

Mr. Mangalile graduated in 1989 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Major in Philosophy from Immaculate Conception Major Seminary in Bulacan, Philippines. He attended the Master of Arts, Major in Philosophy program of the Ateneo de Manila University from 1990 to 1992 and entered the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1993.

Mr. Mangalile sits at the Executive Committee of the Consular Corps of London, which was established in 1902. In 2014, he was honoured with the Gawad Dangal ng Lipi Award, Bulakenyo Expatriate category, the highest award that his home province of Bulacan, Philippines confers.

Mr. Mangalile is married to the former Maria Fe Barcelon, an experienced educator, with whom he has two daughters, Alexandra and Elizabeth. In between reading books and finding unorthodox ways of cooking adobo, he enjoys quiet strolls with Ashley, a golden retriever, and Gru, a shih tzu.


Veronica Amodia Cadag-Ugates
Chief nurse – Filipino-Libyan Friendship Hospital 1982-1984, Marawi City
Staff nurse – pediatric and nursery wards in 2 libyan hospitals, 1984-1989
Administrative assistant to the medical director of Harouge Oil Operations, Tripoli, Libya 1989 – 2011
Pre-cana counselor and youth coordinator, St. Francis Church, Dahra, Libya 1997-2007
Recipient of Papal Apostolic Blessing 2003 at the Vatican- Pope John Paul II
Bagong Bayani Awardee 2005 at Malacanang Palace from Pres. Gloria Arroyo/POEA
Publisher-Editor-Heroes Magazine from 2005-2011, Tripoli, Libya
Author of book Questions Women Asked About Their Men published by National Book Store 2010
Refugee to Malta from Libyan war – 1 March 2011
Staff nurse, Casa Leone, Church Home for the Elderly, August 2011 to present
Acquired registration with the Malta Nursing Council- 2013
President, Filipino Community in Malta 2013-present
EEA Representative for Third Country National Forum 2014 – Portugal
Committee member – Third Country National Support Network, 2014-present, Malta


Gene Alcantara is Chair of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD), a voluntary organisation registered in Malta (no. VO/0885) from September 2012-July 2015. [ENFiD is an active international networking association that hopes to propagate the sense of Filipino ‘nationhood’ away from the home country, and works towards empowerment and integration of the community in Europe, aware of its cultural identity and contribution to the home and host countries. ENFiD has to date 21 member countries which in turn have organisational and individual members.]

With a degree in Russian Studies and a MBA, Gene worked for British Council for over 20 years promoting British culture overseas, 4 years of which was as Assistant Director Poland. He is an experienced community leader and organiser and has been involved as a journalist with community publications, and with charity work since 1985. He now runs his own immigration consultancy in London where he lives with his family. His 3 children are all British born and raised. He co-hosts the Migration and Media Advocacy Award 2014 winning Television Show, ‘Juan EU Konek’, with his segment tackling immigration in Europe. He is also now working towards the mounting of Roger Chua’s new musical “Marco Polo, An Untold Love Story” in the UK in 2016.

18 vic lecaros


Ambassador of the Philippines
to the Czech Republic

Mr. Lecaros holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a Master’s degree in Philippine Studies, both from the University of the Philippines

In the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Home Office, Mr. Lecaros served in the Press Office, the Protocol Office, the then-Deputy Minister’s Office, the Office of American Affairs, the Undersecretary’s Office and did 2 stints as DFA Spokesman for total of nearly 4 years.

His overseas assignments included the United States, Indonesia, China and Singapore before being named in 2003 Ambassador to Vietnam and, in 2005, Malaysia.

In 2007, the President conferred on Mr. Lecaros the Order of Lakandula Award, one of the highest Philippine decorations for a civilian. Following Home Office duty in Manila again, the President nominated him Ambassador to the Czech Republic, a post he took up in 2014.

Prague, 2015



Born in Manila, Florencio studied classical piano at the University of Santo Tomas during his high school years. He graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a degree in Piano Performance and is co-founder of the San Francisco Academy For The Performing Arts. It is in San Francisco that he spent most of his adult life.
Florencio lives in Paris, France and was part of the founding faculty of American Musical Theatre Live. In 2014, he traveled extensively to perform and teach master classes in Buenos Aires, Manila and in New York. He was the music director for the 2013 Paris premieres of the musicals “Edges” and “The Last Five Years”, and in 2015 “Ordinary Days” by Adam Gwon and répétiteur for “Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story” by Roger Saldo Chua at the Vingtième Théâtre in Paris. He is currently music director for the UNICEF Germany galas in Austria and Germany with singer/actress Stephanie Reese and a host of other artists from all over the world playing a diverse range of music. With Reese, he has performed in many cities across Asia, the U.S. and Europe, notably in 2009 when they played a concert for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga-USA at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York. He is a part-time composer for films as “Graham’s Tales” by Adam Chin and writing incidental music for theater productions such as “Splittin’ the Raft” (Marin Theater Company- California) and “Hit It!-the musical” and has composed the UNICEF Song of 2014, “Come, Make A Little Step of Peace” with Heribert Klein, from Germany.


Connie Frances Zerafa studied the pianoforte with Betty Eastwood and is currently studying singing with Antoinette Miggiani. Connie has her Dip.ABRSM and LRSM (Musical Performance) in singing. She attended master classes with Laure Florentin in France and participated in the Festival de Marseilles. Connie has sung at several venues including St. James Cavalier, Salesians Theatre, Manoel Theatre, President’s Palace (San Anton), St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Mdina Cathedral and St. John’s Co-Cathedral. Connie’s repertoire consists of opera, operetta, musicals and sacred music and because of the versatility of her voice, has been cast for both mezzo and soprano roles. Her performances include King and I (Lady Thiang), Madame Butterfly (Suzuki and Kate), La Danza delle Libellule (Tutu), L’Elizir D’Amore (Giannetta), Il-Paese dei Campanelli (Bon-Bon and Ethel), Antonin Tucapsky’s Stabat Mater, Simon Brixit’s Magnificat, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Verdi’s Requiem, Carlo Diacono’s San Paolo Evangelizzi i Maltesi, Joseph Vella’s Demm fuq il-Verna, Dion Buhagiar’s L-Oratorju San Nikola, Schubert’s Mass in G Major, Colin Attard’s Missa Brevis (in onor di Papa Giovanni Paulo II) and recently Dion Buhagiar’s Juxta Cructem Lacrymosa (Marija). She was as a soloist for Frisina’s Apostolo delle Genti and Magnificat, the latter being conducted by the composer himself, Mons. Marco Frisina as part of the Paulus Orchestral Concert. She also performed in Paolino Vassallo’s Messa Grande and Pietro Paolo Bugeja’s Messe Solemne, both released on CD. Connie lectures Chemistry at the Junior College.


DAWN ZABALA-DICKEY is an Educator-Singer-Storyteller, Consultant for Steiner Education and Mentor for Philippines, Ireland and Singapore schools.

Dawn graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines in Art Studies and Philippine Literature. She travelled with U.P. Singing Ambassadors in its world tour. She is a pioneer teacher at the Manila Waldorf School, had roles in musicales like “Madame Butterfly” and played “Diwa” for the Philippine Centenary celebration. She was a residence artist and initiator of the Alitaptap Storytellers Club at Museo Pambata and other practitioners of storytelling as a healing tool. Dawn worked for CCP-UNICEF training teachers for children and women in the armed conflict. As a strict raw-foodist, she apprenticed at a Buddhist Temple organic-permaculture farm in Japan

From Manila, Dawn pursued singing and healing courses in Germany and Japan and in 2005 landed in Ireland to teach and mentor teachers in the Steiner/Waldorf pedagogy. She continued and strengthened her craft as a singer-storyteller in her community work leading forest & nature-based Parent & Child Circles where she incorporates the richness of Philippine Folk Songs and Folk tales.


Born in America, Stephanie held a solo concert at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City to a sold out audience and a standing ovation. Stephanie performed as Kim in the German production of Miss Saigon, Esmeralda in the Disney World Premiere of, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and the Princess Tuptim in “The King and I” at the Palladium Theater in London’s West End. She also wrote, directed and starred in her autobiographical one-woman show entitled “The Journey” which received rave reviews in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.
Stephanie also wrote and directed a musical Christmas show, “The Gifts”, that featured her and children of different ages and backgrounds. It has now been produced in three cities including Seattle, Virginia Beach and in Los Angeles for the Make a Wish Foundation.
Stephanie’s solo career and with her original music, versatile sound and fusion of opera, pop and theatrical music, she created a new genre and style that has brought her global recognition.
She has now performed solo concerts around the world including Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Sweden, Paris, Germany, China, the U.S. and Canada. She has shared the stage with Miss Patti Labelle and Natalie Cole, worked with Lionel Richie as well as artists from the Philippines including Martin Nivera, Lani Misalucha, Richard Poon, Jose Mari Chan and Raymond Lauchenco.
Stephanie was given the distinction of artist from abroad in 30 years to participate in the UNICEF televised concerts and galas in Germany. She was also chosen to compose and perform the UNICEF theme song for UNICEF Germany’s 30th Year and performed her composition for German television and press. The album for her original song was released in 2012. She has now done these concerts annually for 4 years and just returned from Europe from the 2013 UNICEF tour in Germany.

She has recorded two albums “Stephanie Reese at Her Best” and “This is My Life” which includes more of her original songs and fan favorites. She is currently working on her new album and is scheduled for release in February 2014.


Since moving from London to Ireland in 2014, Vanda Macion-Brady started planning for the “Paaralang Pinoy” to teach Pilipino, culture and practices to Filipino kids.  Vanda was a cum laude graduate of UP Broadcast Communication and a masteral scholar at Ateneo’s Dept of Communication.

[ENFiD-Philippines] Overseas Absentee Voting Information Campaign


Courtesy of Commission of Filipinos Overseas

Courtesy of Sec. Mely Nicolas

Content Editors: Mr. Rodrigo V. Garcia, Mr. Frencel Louie T. Tingga