Rohlee de Guzman, Executive Director

A Conference on the Exploration of Filipino Values as Tools for Understanding and Supporting the Global Agenda to End Poverty and to Protect the Environment 2018 European Conference of Filipino Diaspora organized by ENFiD

The Tagalog proverb ‘ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan’ reminds us of the temporal connection between the past, the present, and the future. Considering that our past is central to what we do in the present and the plans we have for the future, we may want to ask ourselves just what does it mean to look at the past?
One approach is acknowledging our presence as migrants. As overseas Filipinos, our communities that are spread all over Europe mirror this temporal connection: we have a generation of retirees, who have made impressions in their respective European countries, and probably the first ones who have showed the western society how hardworking and competent we are; those who have recently migrated to Europe and starting to build their nest and imprint including specifically the generation of Filipino youth; and those who have yet to come who would be sustaining the generational link of the Filipino spirit for years to come.
The other approach, which bears this year’s theme, is about remembering and reflecting on our core values in relation to local and global concerns.

As ENFiD moves forward, it is equally crucial to look back and assess our Filipino core values and explore these values to further our commitment to help our fellow Filipinos both in
Europe and the Philippines. And this year, as we come together in Paris, we do not only pay homage to our values but also find ways to apply these values to address pressing matters such as poverty and development strategies- by consciously looking inwardly at our attitudes and appraise our Filipino core values for the common good. For this year, we take an extrarecognition of the Paris Climate Accord as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ENFiD’s host country, Paris, has played an important role in putting together the Accord de Paris or the Paris Agreement in 2015. It is, indeed, timely and sensible to lift up the discussion on the environment and position our roles as Euro-Pinoys, especially because ENFiD has a concrete initiative that addresses the environment through the biogas digester project. In addition to the environment, we should as well take time to acquaint ourselves with the Global Goals or the SDGs and put these into perspective in connection to, for example, our local endeavors such as our charity groups that promote poverty alleviation in the Philippines; ENFiD’s gender and development education activity; and cooperation with other European groups or organisations that are actively promoting the SDGs.

Thus, to emphasize how essential it is to incorporate our values in conveying our roles and how universally relevant ENFiD’s projects and activities are, we convene the 2018 ENFiD  European Conference and General Assembly to discuss:

How can we, as global citizens, explore and utilise our Filipino core values to understand the present challenges that confront the Euro-Pinoys and use these as tools to implement the Global Goals 2030 and the Paris Agreement 2015?