Filipinos in Riyadh Celebrate Migrant Workers’ Day
RIYADH, 17/06/2012: Filipino workers joined the successful two-day celebration of Migrant Worker’s Day 2012 on 07-08 June 2012 at the Philippine Embassy grounds in Riyadh. It was memorable and fun-filled as Filipinos attended Recognition Night on June 7th, and participated the next day in the sportsfest dubbed Palarong Pinoy, health awareness program, migrant workers’ forum and the 1st Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago Cup in table tennis.
“It was the first time in Riyadh that different but related activities were held one after the other within two days to celebrate Migrant Workers’ Day,” Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago enthused.
As a fitting start, Recognition Night was held in the evening of 07 June 2012 at the Liwasang Bonifacio to honor ten (10) outstanding employers of Filipino workers in Riyadh.
The awardees, which represent different business sectors, are Prince Sultan Cardiac Center and Dr. Ahmed Abanamy Hospital (health care), El Seif Engineering Construction Co. and ABV Rock (construction), Jarir Bookstore and Saudi Arabia Company for Hardware (for wholesale/retail trade), Almarai Company (food manufacturing), Al Babtain Company (power generation), Ibralin Company (restaurant business) and Al Hamrani Company (diversified business).
A 6-member joint committee led by First Secretary and Consul Noordin Lomondot was organized to select the outstanding employers. The committee members were Second Secretary Roussel Reyes, Labor Attaché Albert Valenciano from the Philippine Embassy, and Filipino community leaders Rolando Nicolas of the Philippine Professional Organization in Riyadh, Roberto Barretto of Manggagawang Kapit-Bisig and Faisal Sharque of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Congress.
Equally important, the program recognized the excellent work of Filipino workers in these companies. The Filipino awardees were Jovenid Marcelo and Melvin Castillo of El Seif Engineering Construction Co., Reynaldo Payo and Alejandrino Monis of ABV Rock Group Ltd., Honorio Zoleta and Danilo Quijano of Al Babtain Company, Danilo Cachola and Sonny Magno of Almarai Company, Oliza Intal Anigan and Danilo Mangilaya of Dr. Ahmed Abanamy Hospital, Sheiron Jimeno and Maharlika Alindayu of Prince Sultan Cardiac Center, Francis Gatpatan and Virilio Lavidia of Jarir Bookstore, Ronald Ales and Waleed Salazar of Saudi Arabia Company for Hardware (SACO), Fedelito Reyes and Febie Estorque of Ibralin Company and Salmineo Espinosa of Al Hamrani Company.
At 7:30 a.m of 08 June 2012 18 different teams from registered Filipino community associations in Riyadh, including a contingent from the Philippine Embassy gathered at the Liwasang Bonifacio multi-purpose court for the friendly matches. The games featured traditional Filipino games such as luksong sako, sipa, hilahang lubid, hulihang buntot, tao sa kahon, and kadang-kadang.
A sports committee composed of officers of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Riyadh and P.E. teachers from Palm Crest International School and Elite International School managed the games.
The Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers in Riyadh emerged as the over-all winner. Garnering 2nd place was Filipino Athletes and Performers Society while 3rd place went to Alpha Phi Omega Riyadh Alumni Association.
The participants as well as spectators enjoyed the 3-hour event as can be gleaned from the cheers and laughter that filled the air that fun-filled morning evoking a spirit of camaraderie and sense of belonging among fellow Filipino workers in Riyadh.
“This is the first time that these traditional Filipino games are played by Filipino workers within Embassy premises who really enjoyed each other’s company,” Labor Attaché Albert Valenciano pointed out.
The health awareness program started at 10 a.m. with short presentation on diabetes and lifestyle check.
After the presentation, a medical/dental team composed of Filipino health professionals from King Khalid University Hospital and other medical clinics in Riyadh provided free medical/dental services such as check-up, health counseling, tooth cleaning and extraction. Medicines donated by SPIMACO were given to patients in need. All in all, 176 Filipinos benefitted from the medical/dental mission.
Forum On Workers’ Rights
The workers’ forum began at 4:00 p.m. at the Chancery of the Philippine Embassy. Lecturettes on the Saudi labor law and programs and services of the Embassy and attached units were presented. The speakers’ panel included Consul Roussel Reyes, Labor Attaché Albert Valenciano, Attaché Jun Duran, Social Services Attache Nilda Oliva, Philip Salem of Pag-IBIG Fund and Danilo Calape of Social Security System. Welfare Officer Leonardo Rodrigo Jr. facilitated the proceedings.
Several attendees asked pertinent questions on the topics presented. Fifty workers attended the forum.
1st Ambassador Tago Table Tennis Cup
Organized by the All-Filipino Table Tennis Association of Riyadh (AFTTA), the quarter finals of the table tennis tournament kicked off at 9:00 am at the Mabini Hall of the Chancery. It was participated in by 56 table tennis aficionados from Jubail, which was represented by Jubail Table Tennis Club and Table Tennis Enthusiasts Club, Jeddah Pongers Table Tennis Club and AFTTA itself.
Donato Baes of AFTTA won the singles event. AFTTA also grabbed the team event title.
A day before, the elimination round of the tournament was held at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology-KACST.
There were also other activities in the Embassy, including free calls to the Philippines by COMSOFIL During the affair, service providers were allowed to showcase their products and promotional offers. –E N D-
Philippine Embassy-Riyadh “Press Release 101-2012″ 17 June 2012