by Lolita Farmer OAM
(left) Essay contest winners with Loida Nicolas Lewis, Secretary Imelda Nicolas and Lolita Farmer OAM
About 600 overseas Filipinos from the seven continents of the globe gathered at Manila Hotel for 3 days 25-27 February 2015, in what can be described as an empowering gathering. Organised by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) under the able leadership of secretary Nicolas, the Global Summit was a summit in deed.
Inspiring stories and service to the people and the country were in focus ae each region addresses the theme “Vision and Action for the Filipino Diaspora for 2015 and Beyond”.In her welcome message Secretary Nicolas mentioned there are now 10.5 million Filipinos in diaspora.Secreatry Nicolas was pleased to see new faces from Oceania and Asia and also an increase of numers.
Oceania who for the first time ever was addressed as a region received a warm support from states delegates who the Commission on Filipinos Overseas tallied as 44 inspirational and motivated leaders were in attendance.
At the Oceania workshop 2 topics were addressed: Arts and Culture, Balik- Turo and Global legal Assistance and Advocacy taken from the diaspora to Development initiatives. Sout Australia Norma Hennessey who has attended previous Global Summit tackled Arts and Culture, Queensland Myrla Praines who from the first Global Summit was always in attendance selected their ‘Balik-Turo’and yours truly did the Global legal Assistance Advocacy and OAV topics.
Facilitators were selected by CFO and Dr. Sabsy Palanca before the workshop session explained Appreciative Inquiry or the Appreciative Method on dealing in the workshop.
It dawned to me that there is an enlightened awakening of Australian Filipinos on Global issues and a start of a responsive connections with overseas Filipinos and the Philippine government and civil bodies.
It was also the first time that an Australian Ambassador was invited to such event. The Austral;ian Ambassador was well received by the audience especially those coming from Australia.
Oceania Workshop Output:
VISON: Institutionalization of Free Legal Services to Filipino Migrants in Oceania
•To create a directory of practicing Filipino lawyers inOceania.
•To provide Overseas Filipinos with accessible legal services.
VISION: Accountable and Transparent Philanthropy founded on Collaboration, Partnerships and Informative Sharing
• Support development programs in the Philippines such as calamity relief, response missions, scholarships, among others.
•Sustainability and self-sufficiency in providing support to the Philippine communities
• Strengthen partnerships amongst civil societies, CFO, local government and relevant national agencies
VISION: Step-up/expand the “Balik Turo” Program in the Philippines
•To implement the program in Mindanao in 2017
•To provide capacity building and training for Filipino teachers in the Philippines
•To conduct professional development for teaching and learning strategies for Filipino teachers
VISION: “Pamana ng Lahi” Preservation and Promotion of Filipino Culture
•To establish a government-recognised organisation to preserve and promote Filipino culture in the mainstream
•To include Filipino culture and language literacy program in the curriculum of schools in Australia
•To establish “Sentro Rizal” branches in Oceania (in partnership with NCCA and CFO)
Billed as “pagbabalik ng mga bayani” the 3GS started with a Balik- Bayan tour to Malacanag Museum National Museum and other museums full of history to Filipinos.
This is not the last of the Global Summit for it will continue even if there is a new leader elected in 2016.
Australian Filipinos group photo with Ambassador Bill Tweddell at the 3rd Global Summit.
Seated: (l-r) Lolita Farmer OAM, Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell, Loida Nicolas Lewis, and Secretary Imelda Nicolas.
Evelyn dela Pena and Pearly van Hulten at the Balik-Bayan tour Malacanang.
Jossie Alegre gets a yellow ribbon from Australia Honeylet Agorto.
Chris Pilao, Jessie Icao, Bobby Lasrtica and Lolita Farmer OAM at the 3GS.
At the Gala Night Lolita Farmer OAM with her angels Marilou Montes, Honeylet Agorto and Pearly van Hulten