Online Mock Poll


2007 Philippine Midterm Election

OFWempowerment Online Mock Poll


“Who among the list of Senatoriables below

you may consider have a heart for OFWs”


1 Ping Lacson 17.90%
2 Manny Villar 17.90%
3 Ted Aquino 12.80%
4 Sonia Roco 10.30%
5 Kiko Pangilinan 10.30%
6 Loren Legarda 7.70%
7 Chiz Escudero 5.10%
8 Noynoy Aquino 5.10%
9 Ed Angara 5.10%
10 Coco Pimentel 2.60%
11 Mike Defensor 2.60%
12 Miguel Zubiri 2.60%

Number of Registered Voters

Number of registered voters in my hometown Nasipit, Agusan Del Norte and our  ancestral town (Anda) In the 3rd District of Bohol respectively. Courtesy of Map (Philippine Election 2007). 


No. of voters: 331548
Towns / Municipalities No. of Registered Voters 2004 No. of Registered Voters 2007 Increase / Decrease (%)
1st Legislative District      
Las Nieves  10,811  12,459  15.24% 
Butuan City  139,717  150,187  7.49% 
2nd Legislative District       
Buenavista  27,875  31,058  11.42% 
Cabadbaran  33,847  37,232  10.00% 
Carmen  10,598  11,829  11.62% 
Jabonga  12,052  13,456  11.65% 
Kitcharao  9,114  10,022  9.96% 
Magallanes  11,665  12,900  10.59% 
Nasipit  20,623  22,274  8.01% 
Remedios T. Romualdez  8,635  9,332  8.07% 
Santiago  8,560  9,066  5.91% 
Tubay  10,695  11,733  9.71% 
Towns / Municipalities No. of Registered Voters 2004 No. of Registered Voters 2007 Increase / Decrease (%)
3rd Legislative District      
Alicia  10,921  11,957  9.49% 
Anda  9,126  9,598  5.17% 
Batuan  7,034  7,771  10.48% 
Bilar  9,262  9,918  7.08% 
  14,390  15,402  7.03% 
Carmen  21,577  23,651  9.61% 
Dimiao  8,895  9,679  8.81% 
Duero  9,375  10,266  9.50% 
Garcia Hernandez  11,850  13,214  11.51% 
Guindulman  15,719  17,325  10.22% 
Jagna  17,160  18,037  5.11% 
Lila  6,076  6,085  0.15% 
Loay  9,309  9,804  5.32% 
Loboc  8,845  9,472  7.09% 
Mabini  12,912  13,814  6.99% 
Pilar  12,543  12,964  3.36% 
Sevilla  5,694  6,105  7.22% 
Sierra Bullones  13,053  14,040  7.56% 
Valencia  13,070  14,301  9.42% 


Go out and Vote Campaign

Posted 27 April 2007

It was quite exhausting but happy indeed that once again we were able to do the task in line with our “go out and vote campaign”.

Yesterday night I and Ka Francis Oca with ka Alex Bello were busy preparing  the materials necessary for what we have accomplished today.

We went to Batha this morning to post our Go Out and Vote posters in selected strategic points of the area where our co-pinoys frequently hang out.

Sad to say that some of our kababayan only learned that OAV had already started after reading the posters.

My fellow concerned OFWs/Overseas Filipinos who believe that the spirit of democracy is measured  through electoral process, please  help us in our campaign.

To Francis Robert Oca, son of our colleague Francis, thanks a lot for designing as well as providing several copies of the campaign material.

To each and everyone, lets do our share.

OAV update in Riyadh:  Ka Ambo’s  “It’s Just Another Day“.

The second week of the ongoing Overseas Absentee Voting ended this evening. While there was a slight increase in the number of voters who cast their votes this week compared to last at the embassy here in Riyadh, still it is much lower than we expected. But the sight of three company buses transporting voters to the embassy was a good sign, and we hope the remaining two weeks will really see us more company buses bringing in more voters.

It's Just Another Day Ahead"

It’s Just Another Day Ahead”

Ask anybody, especially government officials, what they think is the reason why the turn out of voters have been very low, the most common answers you will get are that: many overseas Filipinos think that since this election is not a presidential election it is not so important; many think that it is useless to cast their votes because these will not be counted anyway; and many say ‘nakakatamad naman kasing pumunta sa embassy’.

At one point I did believe that may be those are the valid reasons. But this afternoon, I realized that those earlier statements may not be the reasons at all..

In relation to our Go Out and Vote campaign here in Riyadh, we designed a campaign ad that centered on why we should cast our votes. The message was conveyed by the following lines that were printed on the poster/flyer:

Ipaabot ang nagkakaisang tinig
Gamitin ang karapatang marinig
Ang Boto mo, pahalagahan mo.

We had the poster designed by a young OFW for free, but the printing of the four color poster cost us SR 2.50 each for the A4 size, and SR 50 for the A3 size. Thursday night we have the number of posters we needed ready.

This morning we started placing those posters in areas around Riyadh where many Filipinos usually hang out especially during weekends. In one supermarket the Filipino cashier commented: “Nag umpisa na pala ang botohan?” In one restaurant one employee asked, “Taga Comelec po kayo?”; while a jolly barker in the fastfood center said, “huwag kayong mag-alala kabayan, akong bahala dyan”, referring to the poster that we stuck on a suggestion box.

When I heard the supermarket cashier said, “nag-umpisa na pala ang botohan,” I asked myself how many Filipinos like him are not aware that the overseas absentee voting period has already started two weeks ago; maybe a hundred, or maybe a couple of thousands? Could this not be the main reason why there is a low turn out of voters?

What really made me smile was the question from the waiter at the Thai restaurant. When asked, “taga Comelec po kayo?” we simply said we are not from Comelec, but are from various OFW organizations. But he’s got a point. Bakit nga ba kami ang nagdidikit ng mga OAV posters na yon at hindi ang mga taga Political section ng embahada?

Commissioner Tuason proudly announced during the OAV Forum at Intramuros last March that the OAV cost per voter this year compared to that of 2004 is very very much lower. That of course was great for the budget department. But given the experience of 2004, the Comelec could have spent some amount on information materials like posters and flyers. If posters were sent to the Posts a month before the start of the voting period, and the Posts are able to distribute these to the major companies and community organizations, as well as display some in areas where Filipinos usually hang out – like what we did today, chances are the turn out could be better than what we witness now.

But if Comelec cannot even send postal voting materials and voters ID on time, can we expect them to be able to think of those little, yet very important, things?

It bleeds my heart when I think of how little the government cares about us who are sacrificing to be away from home just to keep the Philippines survive. Perhaps when the bleeding stops, time will have been ripe.

But for now, today is just another day. ###

1st Friday of OAV in Riyadh

The 11th hour Filipino syndrome is one of the negative traits we have Filipinos and I personally acknowledged it. Probably, this is the main reason that progress within us and the whole Filipino nation is very slow due to the mentioned sickness.

My Right Choice

My Right Choice

Yesterday I was there at our Philippine Embassy and casted my vote. Sadly, we noticed that very few absentee voters were there to exercise their right of suffrage. I remember in 2004, the absentee voters flock at our Embassy in the last day of voting period. I will not be surprised it would be the same in this years’ election. Though the possibility of low voters turn out in Riyadh did not crossed my mind, “I still believed that Filipinos loved the spirit of our democracy and that is the right to vote”.

On the other hand, we are glad that our observations in the first day of voting period were given attention by the OAV in charge of our Philippine Embassy.

1)      The back to back lists of Party List Group postings were already in the front page

Party List Group Postings (Front Page)

Party List Group Postings (Front Page)

2)      UHU glue are available in all precincts



3)      The Black Python Martial Arts members were there assigned as Marshals. The First Friday of the voting period was peaceful and orderly. 

4)	Black Python Marshals w/ Alex V. Bello & Francis Oca (cencter) At Center Grandmaster & Founder Boy Macion

4) Black Python Marshals w/ Alex V. Bello & Francis Oca (cencter) At Center Grandmaster & Founder Boy Macion

We visited the office of the OAV Committee Chairman in Riyadh Vice Consul Abiog on some important inquiries and officialy requested him to provide us the figures of the voters turn out in weekly basis.

5)	SBEI at Precict # 1 with Attache Babes Hidalgo(center)

5) SBEI at Precict # 1 with Attache Babes Hidalgo(center)

Hoping to give you more infos in the next succeeding Fridays.

First to Vote – OAV Riyadh Update

OFWC Pres. Alex Bello (First day of Voting Period)

OFWC Pres. Alex Bello (First day of Voting Period)

4/14/07,Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – OFW Congress-Riyadh President Mr. Alex Veloso Bello is urging Filipino community leaders in Saudi Arabia to set an example to their members by casting their votes early this week.

A call received from Mr. Alex Bello who is now at Philippine Embassy, one of the first Absentee Voters who sacrificed the first hours of his work and instead give time to go to Embassy to exercise his right of suffrage.

Filcom Leader Mr.Romeo Sinamban and wife

Filcom Leader Mr.Romeo Sinamban and wife

 Early absentee voters who cast their votes includes Mr. Romeo Sinamban, head of Capampangan Riyadh Workers Association (CARIWA) and his wife.

Alex Veloso Bello asked community leaders to provide necessary information to our Embassy and Consulate the fax numbers of their members whose companies employing considerable numbers of OFW absentee voters for our Philippine Mission in KSA to do the following:

1)     Informing the companies of the conduct of the 2007 elections,

2)     Request to allow Filipino employees to cast their votes;

3)     Provide appropriate transportation to the voting venue; and

4)     To schedule their employees during the weekdays in order to avoid the long lines during Thursday and Fridays.

H.E. Ambassador Tony Villamor inspecting CLOAV

H.E. Ambassador Tony Villamor inspecting CLOAV

“Lets do our share to encourage our members to “Go Out and Vote” and participate in the election process”, Alex Bello added.

(L-R) Romy Sinamban, Vice Consul Gerardo Abiog, Attache Delsa Deriada & Alex Bello

(L-R) Romy Sinamban, Vice Consul Gerardo Abiog, Attache Delsa Deriada & Alex Bello

OFW Congress-Ruh is spearheading a campaign “ANG BOTO MO MAHALAGA! BANTAYAN MO!”

OFWC Executive Council and participating member organizations will conduct the campaign starting today 14 April 2007 to May 14, 2007 up to the counting and canvassing of votes in Riyadh. ### BongA

On his way to serve

February 17, 2006 a small barangay in St. Bernard town of Southern, Leyte named Guinsaugon was buried with mudslide. The tragedy that claimed hundreds of lives, young and old shock the nation and the entire world.

In KSA, an urgent call for monetary and relief goods made a significant contributions for the survivors of the said tragedy.      

Sir Fredo Pamaos & Sen. Chiz Escudero

Sir Fredo Pamaos & Sen. Chiz Escudero

Today, a political neophyte is running for mayor in the town of St. Bernard to help building back the ruins brought by the mentioned catastrophe.

 A schoolteacher for 9 years, before spending the next 31 years as DILG Assistant Provincial Director, independent mayoralty candidate Mr. Fredo Pamaos with his platform of governance is on his way to serve the people of St. Bernard more particularly in Guinsaugon.

 Sir Fredo Pamaos is a graduate of Agricultural Education and Masters in Public Administration. Armed with the above experienced in public service is quite enough a good qualification that the voters of St. Bernard must consider when casting their votes.

Kuya Ted as official Candidate

Abalos Confirms Kuya Ted as official Senatorial Candidate


In a public forum held in San Francisco in April 4, 2007, Comelec Chairman Benjamin S. Abalos restored the name of Kuya Ted in the official list of senatorial candidates. Abalos personally phoned the Comelec office in Manila to carry out the necessary correction in the list of official senatorial candidates.  


The forum participants, composed of local and global Filipino community leaders, briefed Abalos that following the issuance of the Comelec March 22, 2007 en banc ruling on Kuya Ted’s candidacy, Kuya Ted timely filed a motion for reconsideration. Therefore, the Comelec ruling did not become final and executory.


Pending Comelec action on the motion for reconsideration, Kuya Ted continues to be an official candidate for senator.  


The forum also advised Abalos that the case papers are ready for submission to the Supreme Court if Comelec rules adversely on the motion for reconsideration. Should the case reach the Supreme Court, Kuya Ted’s lawyers expect a restraining order that would put Comelec’s possible adverse ruling on hold – thus paving the way for Kuya Ted to continue to be an official senatorial candidate.


The forum participants advised Abalos that the first premise of the Comelec March 22nd ruling casting doubt on the fact of Kuya Ted’s citizenship was, in fact, erroneous.  


Consular officials who processed Kuya Ted’s dual citizenship papers in 2003 were present during the forum. They confirmed Kuya Ted’s dual citizenship, citing the fact that the Bureau of Immigration’s rules and regulations of 2004 came after the initial processing by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the law.  


The lawyers present in the forum emphasized that BI’s subsequent rules and procedures cannot be applied retroactively.


The forum participants also briefed Abalos about the unconstitutionality of Sec. 5 of R.A. 9225, which requires dual citizens running for public office to renounce foreign citizenship before a Philippine public official.


It was pointed out that Art. VI, Sec. 3 of the Constitution prescribes three qualifications for senatorial candidates: minimum 35 years of age, natural born Filipino and 2-year residency. Legal authorities and jurisprudence point to the fact that no law can add to or subtract from the qualifications.


Besides, the forum participants pointed out, Sec. 5 of R.A. 9225 is unjust, discriminatory and prejudicial. They referred to the practice of at least 85 countries that allow dual citizens to run for public office in their motherlands.


The forum participants called attention to the renunciation of their foreign citizenship by some dual citizens who are candidates for Philippine public offices have no legal effect in their adopted countries, i.e., they remain citizens of the adopted countries.


Hence, it was pointed out during the forum, Sec. 5 of R.A. 9225 is meaningless.


Abalos concluded at the end of the forum that Comelec’s role is to implement the letter of the law and it is up to the Supreme Court to rule on its constitutionality.



OAV – The fight must continue

The Fight must continue… The Overseas Absentee Voting.

OFWs in 3 Regions of KSA gathered at Phil. Embassy grounds for the Senate Bicam Consultation (March 21, 2002)

OFWs in 3 Regions of KSA gathered at Phil. Embassy grounds for the Senate Bicam Consultation (March 15, 2002)

Many years ago WE, the Overseas Filipinos/OFWs, fought hard for the passage of the Overseas Absentee Voting.

Filcom Leaders from Eastern, Central & Western Region Gathered at Phil. Embassy-RUH during BICAM Consultation

Filcom Leaders from Eastern, Central & Western Region Gathered at Phil. Embassy-RUH during BICAM Consultation

Year 2003 when Republic Act 9189 becomes a law, more particularly known as “The Overseas Absentee Voting Law of 2003“. Finally, overseas Filipinos are allowed to vote in absentia. Though, OFs have been given the right to vote under the Philippine  Constitution of 1986, it took more than 15 years before the mentioned law was passed.

Filcom Leaders one by one spoke to the Senators wit hundreds of crowds at the Phil. Embassy grounds

Filcom Leaders one by one spoke to the Senators with hundreds of OFWs at the Phil. Embassy grounds

Today, 20 years ago, the fight must continue. Our right to be represented as a marginalized/special sector remains futile. It is not just the right to vote but we are entitled  “vis a vis” in shaping our country to move forward.

Next month, April 14 to May 14 to be exact, the 504,110 OFWs registered as overseas absentee voters will cast their votes for the second time around. In this figures, 191,760 are in Asia-Pacific countries, 218,260 in the Middle East, 27,240 in North and South America and 48,446 in Europe. And a total of 18,404 Filipino seafarers serving in ocean-going vessels will cast their votes too.

Senator's Angara, Pimentel, Sotto and DFA USec Rafael Seguis

Senator's Angara, Pimentel, Sotto and DFA USec Rafael Seguis

Most number of OFW absentee voters are in Hong Kong with 96,505; Saudi Arabia, 58,245; United Arab Emirates, 35,304; and Singapore, 26,835.

Go out! fellow Absentee Voters,  exercise your long awaited right of suffrage and vote wisely. ###  BongA

On my way home

I just found a very interesting blog to read. Based on the archives this blog started January of 2006.  Not quite new to the world of blogging. His first entry was  “Am I Crazy?”, and the blog title is “On My Way Home“. 


Excerpt of the entry “Am I Crazy?” below:


I leave my Oklahoma exile at the peak of my medical practice. While most of my fellow Filipinos who remain in the Philippines would likely exchange places with me, my wife and I have made a decision to return to our Philippines on our own terms.

The author/owner of the said blog is also an OFW, in the person of Dr. Martin Bautista.


Who is Dr. Martin Bautista? He is one of the three candidates for Senator under the “Ang Kapatiran Party”. If you want to know more about him – try read his blog.  

One OFW Voice

One Political Party One OFW Voice

One Political Party One OFW Voice

2007 Election is just around the corner. Signs of political movements in our country are indication that election fever is fast approaching. I also feel that some OFW groups in Saudi Arabia are starting to mobilize themselves vying for a possible seat in Congress through party list representation.

However, if they are really serious in their moves for the good of the OFWs in general, then I would suggest that this groups should join hands together and form a one solid party list group.

If we cannot forge an alliance to other OFW organizations in other part of the globe, at least we can have one within KSA or perhaps in the Middle East.

To those who believe that OFWs must be represented in Congress, then let us empower ourselves into One OFW Voice, otherwise we will be facing the same fate as always.      

To my fellow OFWs who have not yet register as an Absentee Voter, do it now! And let your voice be heard through the power of ballot; and prove to ourselves that WE are The Best Political Electorate. 

AKO Muna Party List (Personal Glimpse)

Personal Glimpse


2007 Election

The recent statement issued by the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that the proposed NOEL (No Election) in 2007 should be scrapped and amendments to the Constitution is not the answer to the political uncertainties in our country, is indeed a clear manifestation that the Catholic Church and the Filipino people are not yet ready for a Charter Change. It means that there will be 2007 Election.

Electoral Fraud

Electoral Fraud

However, the controversies of electoral fraud is somewhat discourages us to participate in the forth coming electoral process and to set right this kind of attitude, first and foremost the current electoral system should be transformed into a credible institution that can foster voter participation. Electoral reform should be introduced; cleaning up the mess of those involved in electoral maneuverings or even overhaul the entire Commission on Election and designate new personalities that could probably win back the trust of the Filipino people to our country’s electoral processes. Only then that we could perhaps gain back the momentum of hope in exercising our right of suffrage as the fundamental nature of a truly democratic nation.

OFW Vote

Cleansing Vote

Cleansing Vote

Many friends asked me why I am so involved with the OAV, my answer is very simple, “I want to exercise my basic right as a responsible Filipino by casting my vote”.

Why OFW Vote? Overseas Filipino Workers community will be most likely the best political electorate, we are outside the Philippine soil, no politicians can court us or buy us out, we know in silence what is really happening in our country. We have the money, our remittances can be used as a tool to influence our families and relatives back home in choosing the best public servant that could properly lead our country to progress. Absentee voters can be a political muscle someday that could probably put back the shattered pieces of Philippine politics, “a cleansing vote” shall we say. All of these can only be achieved with our participation. That is why I am an ardent supporter of the OAV and I am urging OFW’s to register and be an absentee voter.

This is a big challenge to all of us, the OAV is already in place, it only needs our intense participation, and we should show to the world wherever we are that we are Filipinos.

OFW Representation

OFW Representation

OFW Representation

OFW remittances (Year 2005, USD 10.85 B) helps a lot in rescuing and uplifting economic condition in our country and this contribution could not be discredited vis a vis as to our role in nation building. Migrant Workers is perhaps the biggest sector of Philippine Society and yet we do not have proper representation in government policy-making bodies that oversees OFW issues and concerns, more particularly in the Lower House of Congress.

We know in reality that the issues related to sad stories of our Filipina Domestic Helpers, Contract Substitution, Illegal Recruiters, Proper Legal Assistance and many more were not given proper attention from our government.

In perspective, all of these problems are because the OFW sector is in need of a political mandate and we have to admit that we lack the virtue of patriotism among our ranks. We continue to advocate changes but we ourselves are fragmented on issues and trends that concern OFW’s in general. Following this cynical political judgment, OFW groups are scattered around the globe, how could we ever unite to pursue a common grounds in our fight for OFW recognition and Empowerment even for the fact that there is already a chance for us to put up a national leadership through the existing OAV law?

Do we need physically together to attain this vision? The answer is NO; all we need is attachments even in the absence of physical aspect. We only need to register as an absentee voter and through a unified collective effort we can build the foundation for the creation of an OFW National Leadership. This can only be achieved if others will give way to a so-called unification process. Then all of the above mentioned problems would be addressed accordingly.

OFW Party List

Do we need a solid OFW Party List group to address these problems in a political point of view? In my opinion the answer is Yes! But the problem continues, in the previous elections many OFW groups vying for a seat in Congress, but nobody knows they even exist. First, the lack of awareness campaign of what party list is all about. Second, we don’t know the names of OFW groups wanting to send their members to Congress. That’s the reason most of us usually skip the space in our ballot for the party list representative because we don’t know who they are.

AKO MUNA Party List

AKO MUNA Party List

One of the OFW Party List Group that didn’t make it in Congress was GABAY formed in Saudi Arabia. Even the Migrante Sectoral Party whose membership scattered in other countries didn’t make it too. For our reference the following were OFW groups vying for a seat in Congress in the previous election:

1.Ang Lakas ng Overseas Contract Workers (ANG LAKAS OCW)
 2.Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party (OFW)
 3.Pinoy OCWs and Seafarers Solidarity Party (Pinoy Overseas Party-KAIBIGAN-UFS Coalition)
 4.Visayan Association of the Philippines (BISA)
 5.Bagong Bayani Party
6.Party for Overseas Workers’ Empowerment and Reintegration (POWER)
7.Migrante Sectoral Party
8.Bagong Bayani Organization (Bagong Bayani)
 9.Union of the Filipino Overseas Workers (Unifil), Inc. (OCW-UNIFIL)
 10. Gabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino Party (Gabay OFW Party)
11. Maritime Party
12. GLobal Filipinos

Correct me if I’m wrong but so far in my knowledge these are the only list of the OFW Groups I’ve known. What more to the ordinary absentee voters who are not concern of what is Party List group is.

As of this writing I’ve heard that new OFW groups is going to emerge in Al Khobar and Riyadh adding more lists to the long rolls of OFW party list seeking political mandate for OFW Sector. This could undeniably polarized one common vote for our sector.

OFW Coalition

There must be a coalition or forged alliance between OFW party list groups/OFW organizations and form at least one solid party to be elected in Congress or else we will faced the same embarrassing result and be constantly unrecognized. One solid vote for one particular party can achieve a needed percentage votes in a seat to Congress that will represent us in crafting laws advancing OFW special interests.

OFW Coalition

OFW Coalition

This suggested coalition composed of OFW groups worldwide and local NGO’s or OFW Advocates at home must formed a council within its leadership and create a committees such as: welfare and protection, reintegration, legal assistance and a screening committee that will serve as a panel in the selection of a qualified representative to any governing boards that oversees OFW concerns and among others related to OFW issues.

We should be aware that if we have a seat in Congress, our representative are considered elected Members of the House and as such, entitled to the same deliberative rights, salaries, and emoluments as the regular Members of the House of representatives. They shall serve for a term of three (3) years with a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms. Armed with legislative powers we can acquire funds through legislation that can be used as financial support to our OFW in distress worldwide. We can even have a national headquarters and welfare assistance facilities to our returning OFW in distress.

All of these depend on our OFW leaders to embrace the so-called coalition and set aside personal interest and look deeply for the good and welfare of the OFW Sector.

I still believed the possibility that OFW vote can make a significant difference in the coming election, only if our heart dictates the importance of our constitutional right then we should register and be an Absentee Voter.

Whether we like it or not, WE are part of Philippine Politics.

Just a Personal Glimpse.

By: Bong Amora

Posted at my home blog 1/30/06