Saan KAMI sa Puso MO

State of the Nation Address : Saan KAMI sa Puso MO   (Walong Taon na ang nakalipas “Pagbabalik Sulyap sa SONA ni PGMA”)

Click SONA Icon for the full text.  

SONA 2001

SONA 2001





“Instead of speculating, let us further strengthen the financial sector. We will design innovative policies to develop our capital market. We will set up a secondary housing mortgage market, an asset management company, and a provident  fund for overseas Filipinos”.

“I ask Congress to enact a law giving Overseas Filipinos, who continue to play a critical role in the country’s economic and social stability, giving them the right to vote”.

SONA 2002

SONA 2002




SONA 2003

SONA 2003





“The Filipinos  is now recognized as a truly global worker, both at home and abroad”.

“Eight Million Filipinos live and work abroad, in jobs where they enjoy the unbeatable comparative advantages of an English speaking education, advanced skills and a uniquely caring nature”.

“The Filipino people will work anywhere because he is not afraid, like Manny Pacquiao, given the chance to compete, he will take it and he will win. It was only fitting that because of your work in Congress, Overseas Filipinos were given the overseas voting right”.

SONA 2004

SONA 2004






“Why was Angelo Dela Cruz saved? Because I stuck to my oath. Since I first became President in 2001, my declared foreign policy focus has been to protect the vital interest of the nation, including our eight million overseas Filipinos”.

“Sacrificing Angelo Dela Cruz would have been pointless provocation; it would have put the lives of a million and a half Filipinos in the Middle East at risk, by making them part of the war”.  
SONA 2005

SONA 2005


 N O N E



SONA 2006

SONA 2006





“Sa ating mga OFW, tunay kayong mga bagong bayani. Sa inyong paglilingkod sa pamilya, sa ating bayan at sa Diyos, maraming salamat”.


SONA 2007

SONA 2007


  N O N E





SONA 2008

SONA 2008







“I care for our OFWs, famed for their skill, integrity and untiring labor, who send home their pay as the only way to touch loved ones so far away. Nagpupugay ako ngayon sa kanilang mga karaniwang Pilipino”.



Yesterday, I read an online news at GMANews TV  about “72 Filipinos” rounded up during a concert inside a compound in  eastern Riyadh.  Gays are not prohibited in Saudi Arabia but  display of homosexual behavior is strictly forbidden.  Such offense could suffer imprisonment and lashing for immorality.

Vice President Noli De Castro who is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW Affairs reminded OFWs to abide laws in their respective host country more particularly in Saudi Arabia.

This blogger also reminded fellow kababayan’s in KSA to respect the strict laws of the host country in an entry titled ” Immorality a Serious Offense “.

Just two weeks ago  the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Kingdom raided a Gambling Den (Sabongan) in Buraydah.  A total of 150 gamblers in different nationalities many of them Filipinos  were arrested during the raid.

2Gambling is also strictly prohibited in the Kingdom.  Caught and if found guilty of organizing such gambling arena will be imprisoned for months, lashing and be deported to their respective country of origin and be blacklisted to enter back again in the Kingdom (see related entry “Massive Fingerprinting of Expats Begins“).

Filipinos said “we are smarter than other nationalities when it comes to work, we are not lazy, we are very industrious, we have bigger brains, we can invent things that can make our life more easier and safer”  that is why in every corners of the world there are Filipinos and it is true. Though sad to say that in every part of this world there are also “PASAWAY Filipinos” see more photos below.





Exemplary Filipino

Dr. Rusty Balderian  has been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer with the title of “Doc Shares Blessings with Leyte Youth”  published on November 8, 2008.

Tabon Tabon, Leyte Mayor Rusty Balderian

Tabon Tabon, Leyte Mayor Rusty Balderian

This is a story of a young man from a family which owned a sari sari store in the town of Tabontabon, Leyte who practically supported himself as a working student to become an optometrist and a physician.  He went to the United States and run several successful businesses. 
In 2003 he went back to his hometown and opened a school for nursing.  Out of the initial enrollment of 153 only 60 graduated due to the requirement to maintain an average grade of 2 with no grade in any subject lower than 2.5.  Out
of the 60 graduates only 57 took the nursing licensure examination and out of the 57 who took the nursing licensure examination 52 passed making his school the highest in the number of graduates passing the examination in the region and the ninth in the whole country.

At present there are 648 students and all are 100% scholars with free use of the dormitory. This is what makes the school unique. Parents are required to work in the school for 8 hours a day. The other requirement is for graduates to pass the Philippine board examination and the NFLEX and work in the U.S. When they start working they are required to send $1000.00 a month to their parents. This amount, Dr. Balderian believes, will be spent in the community by building better homes which in turn will provide jobs for local people and multiplier effect on the local economy of the town.
What makes Dr. Balderian so exemplary? 
1. His own passion to secure education and be successful in business

2. His desire to help his community by sharing his success and offering scholarship to the youth of his town

3. His vision, creativeness and innovativeness in creating a unique school that will improve the economy of his town and help the poor while encouraging the youth to seek higher education that will qualify them to work abroad.

4. His superb administrative ability to manage a school and run a town as mayor with passion for progress and help his town as the driving force that can only end up in success.

5. His ambitiousness and courage to start something that has never been done before (school of nursing offering full scholarship to each student)

6. Despite his successful business in the U.S.A. he still went back to the homeland to start helping his town and its people. 

This is why I am anxious to share this information that he may serve as a model and inspiration for all of us.  We need more people like him.

By: Bart Saucelo

Ang Tunay na OFW

Hindi mayaman ang OFW – We have this notion na ‘pag OFW o nasa abroad ay mayaman na. Hindi totoo yun. A regular OFW might earn from P50K-P300K per month depende sa lokasyon. Yung mga taga-Saudi or US siguro ay mas malaki ang sweldo, but to say that they’re rich is a fallacy (amen!).

Malaki ang pangangailangan kaya karamihan ay nag-a-abroad. Maraming bunganga ang kailangang pakainin kaya umaalis ang mga pipol sa Philippines . Madalas, 3/4 o kalahati ng sweldo ay napupunta sa tuition ng anak at gastusin ng pamilya.

Mahirap maging OFW – Kailangan magtipid hangga’t kaya. Oo, masarap ang pagkain sa abroad pero madalas na paksiw o adobo at itlog lang tinitira para makaipon. Pagdating ng kinsenas o katapusan, ang unang tinitingnan eh ang conversion ng peso sa dollar o rial o euro. Mas okay na magtiis sa konti kaysa gutumin ang pamilya. Kapag umuuwi, kailangan may baon kahit konti kasi maraming kamag-anak ang sumusundo sa airport o naghihintay sa probinsya. Alam mo naman ‘pag Pinoy, yung tsismis na OFW ka eh surely attracts a lot of kin.

Kapag hindi mo nabigyan ng pasalubong eh magtatampo na yun at sisiraan ka na. Well, hindi naman lahat pero I’m sure sa mga OFW dito eh may mga pangyayaring ganun. Magtatrabaho ka sa bansang iba ang tingin sa mga Pinoy. Malamang marami ang naka-experience ng gulang o discrimination to their various workplaces. Sige lang, tiis lang, iniiyak na lang kasi kawawa naman pamilya ‘pag umuwi.

Besides, wala ka naman talagang maasahang trabaho sa Philippines ngayon. Mahal ang bigas, ang gatas, ang sardinas, ang upa sa apartment. Tiis lang kahit maraming kupal sa trabaho, kahit may sakit at walang nag-aalaga, kahit hindi masarap ang tsibog, kahit pangit ang working conditions, kahit delikado, kahit mahirap. Kapag nakapadala ka na, okay na, tawag lang, “hello! kumusta na kayo?”.

Hindi bato ang OFW – Tao rin ang OFW, hindi money o cash machine. Napapagod rin, nalulungkot (madalas), nagkakasakit, nag-iisip at nagugutom. Kailangan din ang suporta, kundi man physically, emotionally o spiritually man lang.

Tumatanda rin ang OFW – Sa mga nakausap at nakita ko, marami ang panot at kalbo na. Most of them have signs and symptoms of hypertension, coronary artery disease and arthritis. Yet, they continue to work thinking about the family they left behind. Marami ang nasa abroad, 20-30 years na, pero wala pa ring ipon. Kahit anong pakahirap, sablay pa rin. Masakit pa kung olats rin ang sinusuportahang pamilya – ang anak adik o nabuntis; ang asawa may kabit. Naalala ko tuloy ang sikat na kanta dati, “NAPAKASAKIT KUYA EDDIE!”

Bayani ang OFW – Totoo yun! Ngayon ko lang na na-realize na bayani ang OFW sa maraming bagay. Hindi bayani na tulad ni Nora Aunor o Flor Contemplacion. Bayani in the truest sense of the word. Hindi katulad ni Rizal o Bonifacio. Mas higit pa dun, mas maraming giyera at gulo ang pinapasok ng OFW para lang mabuhay. Mas maraming pulitika ang kailangang suungin para lang tumagal sa trabaho lalo na’t kupal ang mga kasama sa trabaho. Mas mahaba ang pasensya kaysa sa mga ordinaryong kongresista o senador sa Philippines dahil sa takot na mawalan ng sweldo.

Matindi ang OFW – Matindi ang pinoy. Matindi pa sa daga, o cockroaches which survived the cataclysmic evolution. Maraming sakripisyo pero walang makitang tangible solutions or consequences.

Malas ng OFW, swerte ng pulitiko – Hindi umuupo ang OFW para magbigay ng autograph o interbyuhin ng media (unless nakidnap!). Madalas nasa sidelines lang ang OFW. Kapag umaalis, malungkot and on the verge of tears. Kapag dumadating, swerte ‘pag may sundo( madalas meron). Kapag naubos na ang ipon, wala ng kamag-anak.

Sana sikat ang OFW para may boses sa Kamara. Ang swerte ng mga politiko nakaupo sila at ginagastusan ng pera ng Filipino. Hindi nga sila naiinitan o napapaso ng langis, o napagagalitan ng amo, o kumakain ng paksiw para makatipid, o nakatira sa compound with conditions less than favorable, o nakikisama sa ibang lahi para mabuhay. Ang swerte, sobrang swerte nila.

Matatag ang OFW – Matatag ang OFW, mas matatag pa sa sundalo o kung ano pang grupo na alam nyo. Magaling sa reverse psychology, negotiations at counter-attacks. Tatagal ba ang OFW? Tatagal pa kasi hindi pa natin alam kailan magbabago ang Philippines , kailan nga kaya? o may tsansa pa ba?

Masarap isipin na kasama mo ang pamilya mo araw-araw. Nakikita mo mga anak mong lumalaki at naaalagaan ng maayos. Masarap kumain ng sitaw, ng bagoong, lechon, inihaw na isda, taba ng talangka. Masarap manood ng pelikulang Pinoy, luma man o bago. Iba pa rin ang pakiramdam kung kilala mo ang kapitbahay mo. Iba pa rin sa Philippines, iba pa rin kapag Pinoy ang kasama mo (except ‘pag kupal at utak-talangka), iba pa rin ‘pag nagkukwento ka at naiintindihan ng iba ang sinasabi mo. Iba pa rin ang tunog ng “mahal kita!”, “day, ginahigugma tika.” “Mingaw na ko nimo ba, kalagot!”, ” Inday, diin ka na subong haw? ganahan guid ko simo ba”. Iba pa rin talaga.

Sige lang, tiis lang, saan ba’t darating din ang pag-asa.


The Paintings of Gene Loyola

“Realisms  not only a detailed of drawing and composition or form of  colors, temperature warmness, cool define and abstract of element that we feel and see in our naked eye  but this is the concrete essence of  Truth  that conquered  the wholeness of reality”

Gene Villaflor de Loyola

"Nena" Artist : Gene Villaflor de Loyola



Gene Villaflor de Loyola born on September 10, 1956 in Naga City, Camarines Sur, and Philippines.He is the second of eight children of a World War II Veteran Osmundo B. de Loyola Sr. and Leonida V. Villaflor. Married to Teresita A. Dequina of Roxas City. They have four lovely daughters who are all inclined to arts. The eldest Racquel, second is Maan, third is Soraya and the youngest is Clarissa.


Gene started drawing at a tender age of four. When he was six years old, he was introduced by his Father to Mr. Broulio Roman Dayao, who happened to be their neighbor in Frisco, Quezon City. Mr. Dayao, is a graduate of UP Fine arts, He is a very good artist doing landscape and portraiture. De Loyola was so impressed with the maestro that almost everyday from school, he would proceeds to the studio of Mr. Dayao to watch him paint. He was so impressed with the paintings that one day he requested the maestro to teach him, and the artist was more than willing share his knowledge of the arts. He was tough first how to use watercolors and other mediums. At age 7 the first oil painting that he did was copy of Russian scientist of a known Russian master, which belongs to a collection of Hermitage Leningrad Museum.

To read more about the artist click link : “The Paintings of Gene Loyola”  @ Anita’s Kitchen

Global Bisayan Entrepreneur (GLOBE) Multi Purpose Cooperative


I was invited last Friday by William R. Jao, a fellow Boholano from Tubigon in a get together meeting of Global Bisayan Entrepreneur (GLOBE) Multi Purpose Cooperative.  GLOBE is a group of OFW’s hails from Visayas and Mindanao who collectively tightened the bonds of helping each other forming  a Cooperative that could ensure promising prospect when they decide to go home for good. They start the “banana” project where they market “Golden Saba” here in the Kingdom.    

The Primary objectives for which this Cooperative is formed are:   

a.   To encourage thrift and savings mobilization among the members for capital formation;

b.   To create funds in order to grant loans for productive and providential purposes to its members; 

c.   To encourage among members systematic production and planning;

d.   To provide goods and services and other requirements of the members;

e.   To develop business expertise and skills among its members;

f.   To engage in all forms of general and allied services needed to promote, protect and pursue the social and economic upliftment of its members; 

g.  To insure against losses of the members;

h.  To promote and advance the economic, social and economic educational status of the members; 

i.   To establish, own, lease or operate cooperative banks, cooperative wholesale and retail complexes, insurance and agricultural/industrial processing enterprises, and public markets;

j.  To coordinate and facilitate the activities of the cooperatives, and to undertake any and all other activities for the effective and efficient implementation of the provisions of Cooperative Code of The Philippines (RA 6938); 


GLOBE MEmbership Meeting

GLOBE MEmbership Meeting


During the meeting proper, we discussed the pros and cons of cooperativism where many OFW Cooperative groups formed by our fellow OFWs in the Kingdom fails to pursue the long term success of the Cooperative.  

It is important to identify the keys towards the success of its operation and understanding the causes of cooperative failures. 

It was also discussed during the meeting the importance how changes in various means of finance can affect member control and influence in their cooperative owned businesses in the near future.   

The Global Bisayan Entrepreneur (GLOBE) Multi Purpose Cooperative is duly registered with Cooperative Development Authority and all their members attended the Pre-Education Membership Seminar (PMES) conducted by the Overseas Filipino Workers Cooperative Council.  OFWCC is an umbrella organization of Cooperative based in Jeddah, KSA whose members are accredited CDA lecturer.  

To: William Jao, Romy Cometa, Rino Punay and to those I forgot the names, THANK You so much and see you this coming Friday. Mabuhay ang GLOBE!

A new political party is born

A new political party is born
FilExpat News

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2 May 2008 – The Overseas Filipino Workers community leaders from various Filipino organizations in Riyadh gathered at Al Mutlaq Hotel in the observance of International Worker’s Day, also known us Labor Day.

In many countries, May 1 is commemorated as economic and social achievements of workers. Being part of the labor force outside the Philippine soil, OFW community leaders celebrate the occasion.

Overseas Filipinos dubbed by the Philippine Government as “Bagong Bayani” or “New Hero” and “Unsung Heroes” because of its remittances uplifting economic downturn in the country. But most OFWs complain that nothing much has been done for the so called “New Heroes.”

Working away from home, the progress they seek is too elusive, comfort they long, yet comfort is a myth.

Many OFWs says “they leave the country honored, they come home betrayed.” An easy prey for illegal recruiters; the sad story and the untold stories of maltreatment and abuse in their country’s destination.

OFWs or Overseas Filipinos probably the biggest sector outside Philippine society yet neglected and unrepresented in Government policy making bodies, even in the Philippine Hall of Congress.

Thus in the same day in commemoration of the Labor Day, an OFW led Political Party is born. They named it “Partidong Pandaigdigang Pilipino” the worldwide OFW-led national political party for the Overseas Filipinos, Overseas Filipino Workers and the Filipino People.

PPP offers itself as the instrument of the people to sweep away abuses, injustice, graft and corruption, to build a new and nobler Philippine republic. Overseas Filipinos today are estimated eight to ten million in diaspora with more than 20 million dependents in the homeland.

A year ago, an e-group was created as a discussion forum for the purpose of uniting Filipino community leaders and OFW advocates worldwide. After tedious and usual negative setbacks normal to any organizations in its formative stage, the long time dream come true. Exhausting all possible efforts to unite Filipinos worldwide was a great success.

OFWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the leading proponent of the party’s birth decided to draft the “Partidong Pandaigdigang Pilipino” Constitution and By-laws. Crafted by brilliant minds in the party chapter Committee on Rules and Resolutions headed by Joey Badong together with long time OFW advocates like Francis Oca, Alex Veloso Bello and the Party President Dr. Lito Astillero presented to the chapter members the party’s draft Consitution and By-Laws. After long intense deliberations the said charter and by-laws was approved. The party members agreed that the “working draft” will be presented in the coming Global Filipino Leaders meeting next week in Manila. If ratified by the founding members, it will be soon registered to COMELEC as the new national political party in the country, the first ever in the history of Philippine politics.

Ramon Ignacio, who support the idea in the formation of an OFW led political party in his proposed party platform outline said “The conscience of the people, in this time of grave national problems, has called into being a new party – the Partidong Pandaigdigang Pilipino, born of the Filipinos’ sense of nationalism, social and economic justice, quest for progress and demand for effective governance in the Motherland. We of the Partidong Pandaigdigang Pilipino dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of the dreams and aspirations espoused by our heroes and forefathers to stand with the Filipino pride, and in today’s reality – wherever we are.”

“The PPP will be like a national political party, much like the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party where only one part of it will be devoted to elections. The rest will have other concerns like getting OF representation in related government agencies like the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration” said Francisco “Jun” Aguilar one of PPP prime movers.

Jun Aguilar now based at home is a former technical analyst in Saudi Arabia for 13 years and presently a successful “OFW entrepreneur”. He is actively running businesses in the country along with other Filipino expatriates who belong to the Filipino Migrant Workers Group or the FMW Group.

Aguilar added that “this party will open up more slots and positions to willing, capable and qualified PPP members who want to serve the sector. It will create a tremendous clout in any administration which could result in better consultation and cooperation to lead to the improvement of the sector and to good governance.” He further added that “the Partidong Pandaigdigang Pilipino or PPP will be a party for overseas Filipinos regardless of his or her status in his or her respective host country as well as those who have come home and the families of overseas Filipinos.”

In Jun Aguilar’s concept paper, it is stated that “the basic reason why PPP is born is that overseas Filipinos, despite their large number has never maximized its potential to address its numerous concerns. It has failed to garner a seat in Congress despite several tries by OFW Party Lists. Moreover, the sector has never been consulted on any State policies, regulations and major appointments that would greatly affect its concerns.”

Bong Amora, one of the movers clarified that “the PPP Constitution and By-Laws could not be perfected at this time but if ratified and approve by the Global Leaders in Manila, a General Membership Assembly will be called maybe this year or next year for amendments and election of the party’s National Executive Council.”

He added that “PPP’s participation this coming 2010 election once recognized by COMELEC, will start by forming its political machineries at Barangay or grassroots level and probably support a certain candidate identified as an OFW advocate or to those who are concerns in the plight of the Overseas Filipino Workers.”

Roger Bantiles, one of the founding members based in the National Capital Region also said “the Philippines has more than 42,000 barangays, I doubt if we can claim influence over even 1% of total, or 420 and yet, this is where the votes are first counted and protected. And the barangay people are the ones who will go all the way to the municipal and provincial Comelec offices to protect the votes. PPP, which is global or pandaigdigan, will have to go “barriotic” or “baranganic”, literally “thinking global, but acting local.”

The PPP Constitution and By-Laws dubbed as “The Working Draft” approved by the PPP-Riyadh Chapter during its intense deliberation, OFW Congress Riyadh President and Board Chairman of PPP Riyadh Board of Trustees, in the person of Mr. Alex Veleso Bello will present the “draft” to the PPP Global Leaders in Manila this coming May 8 to 11, 2008. The PPP Global leaders are among the participants coming from all over the world to attend the “Global Filipino Nation International Conference” at the University of Makati.

In the said GFN conference PPP Riyadh will also present in the Political Module the proposed OFW empowerment which is the creation of an OFW led political party as a means for a change in the shattered image of Philippine politics. Mr. Alex Veloso Bello stresses a point during the meeting that it is about time that Overseas Filipinos and dependents at home are represented and be actively involved in Philippine governance.

The goal of the GFN conference would bring all overseas Filipinos who share a common goal of effective governance in the Homeland, anchored on grassroots economic empowerment and resolution of issues facing migrant workers and their families, and with raised consciousness of a nation ready to march as one. The event is an assembly of overseas Filipinos leaders, members of their families, their friends onshore who share the same governance vision, collaborative global business partners and investors, grassroots entrepreneurs, new nationwide potential political leaders.

A job fair will also be held simultaneously at the University of Makati campus.

Article 3, Section 6 of PPPs Charter is as follows:

SECTION 6 – Advocate and/or legislate such programs for the welfare of Overseas Filipinos, like:

6.1. Advocate for the safety and well being of the OFs.
6.2. Promote civic, social and economic programs designed for the upliftment of OFs.
6.3. Advocate for the implementation of a social security systems designed to meet the needs and requirements of OFs.

6.4. Advocate for the national Policy and program for crisis intervention on the plight of OFs in distress in various parts of the world.

6.5. Advocate for the national policy and program for the re-integration of OFs into the mainstream of Philippine economy and society;

6.6. Legislate laws to safeguard OFWs from illegal and exploitative recruitment practices, and enact a law that will provide stiff punishment;

6.7. Legislate laws that will provide stiff punishment to proven corrupt officials in the POEA, OWWA, DOLE and other government agencies mandated to take care of the plight of the OFWs.

6.8. Advocate for upholding the Human Rights of OFs all over the world, and urge the Philippine Government to exert more efforts through diplomatic channels to provide relief to OFs who have fallen victim to human rights abuses.

April 13, 2007

This is probably a first in the history of mankind.

More than 10% of Philippine population of 89.5 million are in Diaspora. We are working in various capacities all over the world. We have remitted US$15 billion to the homeland in 2005, according to the London-based Economist, an amount which is equivalent to 15.2% of Philippine Domestic Product for that year. Two-thirds of our people rely on us. Obviously, under normal circumstances, we should be given a little importance.

The powerful people in the Philippines cannot just consign us to a position as a lucrative and dependable source of Philippine foreign exchange to help stabilize our economy.

As a matter of fairness and in the national interest, we have to be represented in the affairs of government. When there is massive and legitimate dissatisfaction with the quality of national leadership and system of governance, our people can no longer continue to mass by the millions on a major street in Metro Manila like what happened in 1986 and 2001, in EDSA I and EDSA II, to demand that presidents depart from Malacañang. Resorting to “direct democracy” through mass actions can no longer guarantee a peaceful change in power. The potential risks have become deadly.

Consequently, less dramatic and less potentially dangerous was the enactment of two legislations by the Philippine Congress affecting overseas Filipinos. In 2003 a law allowing “Dual Citizenship”, Republic Act 9225, was passed. It allowed natural-born Filipino citizens who may have lost their Philippine citizenship due to naturalization as citizens of a foreign country to re-acquire their Philippine citizenship. As of January 2007, the Bureau of Immigration had approved the application for dual citizenship of more than 24,000 former Filipinos.

In the same year, the Overseas Absentee Voting Law (OAVL) was also enacted. This law allows qualified Filipinos outside of the homeland to exercise their right of suffrage.

The latest figure from the Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Department of Foreign Affairs indicate that some 504,000 Filipinos have registered as Overseas Absentee Voters.

It is noteworthy that based on the available data, in North and South America as of January 19, 2007, the Consulate General in San Francisco tops the list of the number of registered absentee voters at 4,800 out of a total of 13,083. For the same period, Los Angeles recorded 154 and Honolulu 20. Needless to say, the figures in these two cities are dismal, considering the great number of Filipinos in those places.

The San Francisco Consulate General also accounts for some 6,500 Dual Citizens out of the 24,000 or so all over the world. This is more than 27% of the total world wide. In fact, about 50 Filipino-Americans are sworn in as Filipino citizens every week.

Participation in Philippine governance by exercising the right of suffrage is one way of being involved more closely in the affairs of the homeland. The Overseas Absentee Voters and the Dual Citizens who have registered to vote can help in the selection of the more qualified and competent legislators. It is unfortunate, however, that the right of suffrage is confined to voting for President, Vice President, Senators, and Party List representatives. Overseas Absentee Voters would prefer to vote for their congressmen and governors because they have a direct impact on their hometowns and communities more than senators and Party List representatives.

Aside from participating in the election of their Senators, Party List Congressmen, Presidents and Vice Presidents, there is now an intensifying clamor among the 10 million Filipinos all over the world that they should have the right to be voted on as candidates for political offices without renouncing their other citizenship. It is argued that the right to vote implies the corresponding right to be voted on. If one is a dual citizen of, say, the United States and the Philippines, and US laws do not prohibit Philippine citizenship while retaining American citizenship, Global Filipino Nation advocates such as Dr. Jose V. Abueva, Victor Barrios, Lito Gutierrez, Carmen Colet, Evelio Flores, Aida Barrios, Morgan Benedicto, University of San Francisco Professor Jun Jun Villegas of the Global Filipinos Coalition, UP lawyers Johannes Ignacio and May Ann Teodoro, journalists such as Greg Makabenta and Perry Diaz in the United States, and other concerned civic Filipino leaders all over the world such as Bong Amora, Sultan Rudy Dianalan, Bong Karno, Gerry Cuares in the Middle East, and Jun Aguilar and Leo Santiago whose network extend to sailors and Filipino workers all over the world, passionately argue that dual citizens should have the right to be candidates for political office or to be appointed to public offices in the Philippines.

This advocacy is now being hotly contested in the Philippines. Theodore Makabulos Aquino or Kuya Ted, a nephew of the assassinated martyr Ninoy Aquino, who is both a Filipino and an American citizen has filed his certificate of candidacy as an independent candidate for Senator this May 14, 2007 election. A graduate of the University of the Philippines, president of the UP Alumni Association of America, a volunteer in the Transfer of Knowledge and Technology program to the Philippines of the United Nations Development Program, an engineering and environmental consultant in America, the Comelec has disqualified his candidacy because he has not renounced his American citizenship. A request for reconsideration has been submitted. As we go to press, a decision is now being awaited. If the decision is adverse, then off to the Philippine Supreme Court it will be. It is imperative that the highest court in the land should rule on this critical issue.

In these critical times when mankind is faced with the deadly challenges of terrorism, global warming, globalization, intensifying poverty, environmental degradation, revolutionary movements, and hunger in the Philippines, our leaders cannot continue to lean on traditional and hackneyed ideas of citizenship and political participation. In California, the eight largest economy in the world, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger is not only a dual citizen. He is a Triple Citizen. He is American, Austrian, and European Union Citizen. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a dual citizen. He is American and Mexican. The Philippines needs to take this “New Reality”, in the words of Mr. Robert Ceralvo, an outstanding Filipino and IT engineer, into consideration.

In addition to the foregoing types of representation, the Philippines can learn from the system in Italy. Italians who are outside of Italy, those in what are known as “Foreign Constituencies”, are represented in the Italian legislature. Six senators and twelve deputies represent these “Foreign Constituencies” in the Italian legislature.

After the election on May 14, it is more or less certain that the issue of Charter Change will be addressed again. We are not familiar with all the details of the draft Philippine Constitution that the House of Representatives wanted to impose on the Filipino people. Whatever it is, the 10 million Filipinos can no longer be regarded as just brutalized and maligned domestic helpers and exploited Filipinos. They have every right to participate in shaping the kind of society that their fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, relatives, and fellow Filipinos are hoping for – the dream of a progressive, peaceful, respectable, and just Philippine society. They are paying with their lives, with their misery, with their pain for this dream.

[Published in the April 2007 issue of The Filipino Insider, a monthly supplement of the San Francisco Chronicle. The author was a former faculty member of the University of the Philippines Department of Political Science. He can be reached at]

Dear All,

We have now successfully launched ANITA’S KITCHEN under all you have to do is google search – NITZKITCHEN.COM

Bong Amora and I proudly present to the whole world, THE GLOBAL KITCHEN that will cater to all ages, creeds and religion, all people of colors without discrimination. Please feel at home, and enjoy the Filipino-American hospitality. As usual, as in most Filipino Homes, we invite you to take your shoes off, sleepers are provided, go to the reception room for a cup of delicious Tea with Ginger, Lemongrass and Honey. Listen to the music, the sultry, bedroom voice of Charmaine Clamor, she breaths life into the song, and relax and your friendly hostess will lead you to the DINING ROOM.

While in the KITCHEN, join Anita by going to our HOME PAGE and learn about your HOSTESS, and go to ABOUT US and read the introductions of two very dear civic minded friends of mine, who support the advocacies of Anita. We , of course feature recipes from the country, but will also answer to all your requests for food extraordinaire. We are open for any discussions and if you enjoy the visit please sign our COFFEE TABLE BOOK.

Please feel at home at ANITA’S KITCHEN.

Deliciously yours with the smell of Filipino Cuisine,

Anita Sese-Schon
State of Washington
Serving Filipinos Worldwide through Strategic Alliances


New Political Party is Born By Joe Avancena Saudi Gazette

Filipino community leaders in Riyadh drafted the constitution and by-laws of a new political party earlier this month.

The party is envisioned to represent the over eight million overseas Filipino workers around the world in the Philippine congress and government.
Called the Partidong Pandaigdigang Pilipino (PPP-Worldwide Political party for the Overseas Filipinos), the draft was presented for ratification during the four-day Global Filipino Nation International Conference on May 8-11 held at the University of Makati, Metro Manila.

The conference was attended by an estimated 10,000 clusters of overseas Filipino leaders from all over the world.

Alex Veloso Bello, president of the OFW Congress and board chairman of the PPP Riyadh board of trustees, presented the working draft of the new political party during the conference.

Thirty five community leaders from Riyadh, Jeddah and Eastern Province attended the conference.

After the ratification of its constitutions and by-laws, PPP will be registered with the Philippine Commission on Election.

The PPP will be like the existing national political parties in the Philippines that participate in elections.

It will also focus its mandate for proper representation of OFWs in government agencies like the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

The PPP is expected to participate in the 2010 Philippine national election and will be fielding its candidates from local to the national level of political positions.

The PPP was born out of frustration of OFWs who had been long denied of representation in the Philippine congress and in the general body politics in the Philippines.

The over eight million OFWs and their estimated 20 million families and dependents are considered strong voting blocs.

The draft of the PPP constitution and by-laws were penned and approved by the following PPP-Riyadh Chapter members, namely, Dr. Carlito Astillero, Alex Veloso Bello, Francis Oca, Manuel Amora, Joey Badong, Francisco Naval, Bioux Manilum, Abdullah Ronnie Ulip, Abdulaziz Virgula, Dante Villaflores, Ed Estrada, Pete Vicuna, Macario Escober, Cayetano Aloboyog, Roberto Barreto, Madid Alonto, Faizal Sarque, Manuel Morden, Abdulgaafar Dimalotang, Cenon Sagadal, Jr., Romeo Sinamban, Robert Ramos, Ricardo Roda, Jun Nacion, Engr. Allan Macabangkit, Saleh Ampaso Bucay, Dante Pangcoga, Mohd. Elias Mua, Rene Esperanzate, and Michael Dimalotang.

The drafted constitution and by-laws of the PPP provided wide-ranging support programs for OFWs, such as their representation in legislative branch of the government, promotion of their civil, social and economic, and safety in their jobsites.