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MAGAZINE

INSIDE:

OFWs bringing Christmas cheers for Lumad kids ..... page 2-5 Health Corner: Eating Fruits ................................... page 6-7 General Guidelines for a Filipino Forum in your Area ..... page 8-9 The Filipino Forum: the FILAM Experience ............ page 10-13 Mga Bagong Bayani – Nagsusumikap ................... page 14-17 The Event that Shook the Nation ............................ page 18-19

Hay .... Buhay Abroad Talaga ................................. page 20-22 Ang Huling Pasko ng magkakaibigan .......................... page 23 Makata si Juan at si Maria ...................................... page 24-25 Proud owners of OFW ako T-shirts ............................. page 26 Community Announcements ........................................ page 27

January 2012

ONLINE Edition Volume 01 Issue 01


OFWs bringing Christmas cheers for Lumad kids

para sa PA M I LYA

by Emmanuel C. Roldan * email (emmanuel.roldan@gmail.com)

born of a virgin Mother which ended in the glorious, albeit tragic death on the cross—the ultimate gift for us sinners.

DAVAO City—Christmas is gift-giving. As children, we are taught in our basic catechesis that Christmas is the birthday of the Lord Jesus who was sent by the Father to redeem the world. He is the biggest gift God has given to the world as beautifully written in the Holy Book, “He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”. As God was the first giver of gift we are told to respond in our little ways. On their part, the three Kings brought along with them distinct gifts which symbolically, as Christian tradition says, represented the three great missions of Christ that are also shared by every Christians: to be a priest, prophet and king. In fact the whole “salvific” mission of Christ is gift-giving, starting from being the little child

But as we grow older, Christmas has a different meaning to us, yet the essence of gift-giving remains the same. Andres Bonifacio’s Christmas is giving one’s life to the “Tinubuang Lupa” as well as those who followed him by taking arms, papers and pens against powerful oppressors. Saints, martyrs and heroes also lived and died in the name of giftgiving. Religious people give their entire life for the service of the church so as with the nine million or so overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and Filipinos in diaspora who, most often than not, braved the Staff Box

OFW ako Magazine ONLINE Edition is published by

OFW ako

61 Kamagong Road, Pilar Village, Las Pinas City +63 949 776 9282 * ofwako.magazine@gmail.com Editor Dennis de Guzman * Contributors Marjorie C. Palma (Kuwait), Mark Shera C. Cruz (USA), Rein Eviota (UAE), Melody Casem (Kuwait), Emmanuel C. Roldan (Philippines) * Layout & Design Dennis de Guzman

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Articles, opinions, letters to the editor should be sent to ofwako.magazine@gmail.com


But all of these did not deter the Worldwide Filipino Alliance (WFA), a small and struggling network of Filipinos abroad and their local warriors from bringing Christmas cheers to Lumad children at Tibitibi Elementary School. The school is located on the hilltop of the Municipality of Talaingod, Davao del Norte, more than two-hour drive from Davao City and one of the two municipalities with very high incidence of malnutrition in the region. WFA volunteers led by its global Executive Vice President Arman Muleem from the Filipino kingdom of Jeddah came with boxes of school supplies, food and computer set in the early morning of December 14 for 425 Ata-Manobo children. This was the second time WFA and its local counterpart, the

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simmering heat of the desert, the cold damp of winter, and creeping loneliness just to be a collective gift to an ailing nation and their poor families. These “modern heroes” by force or by choice epitomize both the nation’s sense of selfless gift-giving and the true state of the nation. The more flights of OFW abroad and more names of Filipinos in the death row waiting their penultimate fate in dark Chinese or Arabian jails mean that something is terribly wrong down here. Many Filipinos who were rescued from the turmoil in different countries of the Middle East have found no work in the homeland and now lining up again in job fairs and recruitment agencies to return.

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OFWs bringing Christmas cheers for Lumad kids ... continued from page 3

Pangdaigdigang Alyansa ng Pilipino Inc. (PAPI) brought gifts to support the education of Lumad children in Tibi-tibi. The first one was in June 2011 where WFA-PAPI brought school backpacks, school books and assorted school supplies. WFA’s strong pillar in Australia Leo Ceniza joined the first gift-giving outreach program who later sent a number of personal computers and laptops to the same school on his own. The group was warmly welcomed by the very amiable principal Ms. Reynaly G. Santos and her equally supportive young teachers, Parents and Teachers Association representatives and of course the horde of smiling school children. Many of these children were proudly displaying their backpacks given earlier by WFA and wearing their best indigenous costumes for the occasion. A short but lively program was prepared by the school. Arman Muleem and Romy Lagahit, PAPI president, handed over the

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gifts to Ms. Santos on behalf of WFA donors like Atty. Lolita Farmer, Leo Ceniza and friends in Australia, Jeddah Knights and company in KSA, the indefatigable WFA primemover Prof. Cesar Torres and friends in the US and those other nameless supporters of WFA and the phoenix reborn. The gift-giving activity was witnessed by DepEd District Supervisor Noli T. Felipe who thanked the donor for selecting Tibi-tibi Elementary School as recipient community for its outreach program. He said the department was too poor to look into all the needs of far-flung schools like Tibi-tibi. Municipal Administrator Sandro Tocmo also read the message of Mayor Basilio Libayao which cited with pride, among other things, Tibi-tibi Elementary School for producing academically successful graduates and for garnering prizes in the latest provincial culture and

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A sumptuous meal, prepared by teachers and parents was later shared by about 700 children, guests, teachers and parents. Words are not enough to describe the cheers reflected in the eyes of children who have not celebrated their Christmas party that way. Children’s laughter and indigenous chants of “Maopya Salamat Kanyo Tibo” still linger happily in the air as WFA volunteers started to move back home. Oh, what a day to remember. -endAbout The Author Emmanuel Roldan is a Filipino, development worker, human rights defender, researcher and journalist. He worked with various non-government organizations helping the poor, deprived and oppressed Filipinos in the homeland in the field of organizational development, projects management, advocacy and communications. He is a columnist of two daily newspapers in Mindanao and vice president of Pangdaigdigang Alyansa ng Pilipino, Inc. (PAPI)-an affiliate of the Worldwide Filipino Alliance (WFA).

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arts competition. Despite its lack of musical instruments, the cultural troupe of Tibi-tibi won first prize in the said competition. Surely moved by the potentials of the children’s cultural group, Mr. Muleem went up the stage again and announced that WFA would commit two “agongs” for the school to the delight of the crowd.

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HEALTH Corner

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Eating Fruits

We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It’s not so easy as you think. It’s important to know how and when to eat. What is the correct way of eating fruits? • IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUITS AFTER YOUR MEALS! • FRUITS SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities. FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD. Let’s say you eat two slices of bread and then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so. In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

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So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining every time I eat water-melon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats

up, when I eat banana I feel like running to the toilet etc-actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat! Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the eyes all these will not happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach. There is no such thing as some fruits like orange and lemon are acidic because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did a research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weight. When you need to drink fruit juice - drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don’t even drink juice that has been heated up. Don’t eat cooked fruits because you don’t get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste.


Cooking destroys all the vitamins. But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look! KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange. APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke. STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vesselsclogging free radicals. ORANGE : Sweetest medicine. Taking 2 -4 oranges

a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer. WATERMELON: Coolest Thirst Quencher Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are Vitamin C & Potassium.

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Articles in this column are not a substitute for professional advice. For specific information of any illness and treatment you must consult a qualified medical professional in your area.

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for Vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high Vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes. -end-

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General Guidelines for a Filipino Forum in your Area

para sa PA M I LYA

by Saturnino Z. Respicio, Jr. & P.A. Escalante

1. The Filipino Forum (FilForum) is not a formal organization or association. It is designed to allow participants from diverse backgrounds to meet with other Filipinos, other nationalities and friends, eat a Filipino style breakfast and to discuss issues that concern the Filipino community in a certain

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area or to touch on topics that are important to the Philippines. 2. To stimulate and promote the growth of Filipino restaurant ownership or management in the area, the venues chosen should have Filipino affinity. Even if the FilForum is an informal gathering, holding meetings at Filipino restaurants cans serve as word-of-mouth advertisement. 3. Early Saturday mornings is ideal for a Filipino Forum. It should not exceed two hours so it leaves Saturday afternoons and evenings free for other activities. Limiting the duration of the Forum focuses it and prevents the meeting from taking too long. The first and the third Saturday of any month might be a good start. 4. The first half hour is usually devoted for breakfast. Collecting the fees for breakfast beforehand could facilitate the continuous flow of the Forum without having to worry about the payment for the meals during and after the meeting. However, there should also be provisions for walk-in participants. 5. At the start of the second half of the hour, the Moderator may open the Forum. The moderator introduces herself/himself and afterwards the participants introduce themselves (i.e., profession, career, interests in community and place of residence).


If there is a guest speaker s/he is introduced last. 6. Moderators are encouraged to host both sessions in a month. They also have the choice of topics/concerns for the discussion. 7. It should be highlighted that the Forum is not an organization or a club of elitist Filipinos. Anybody who wishes to participate in the discussions is welcome. To broaden the network of participants, an attendance sheet should be filled in with the participants’ name and contact details such as telephone numbers, e-mail or postal addresses. 8. The Forum should be publicized well ahead of the scheduled time to ensure maximum participation. ---o0o--The Filipino Forum is a venue for free-wheeling discussions of issues and concerns of a Filipino community preferably held in Filipino owned and/or managed restaurants in proximity of the participants’ residences, held on early Saturday mornings.

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This article was originally published in the KAKKAMPI Newsletter in 2005. Still relevant in todays setting, we are now reprinting this article for the 1st issue of the Online Edition of OFW ako Magazine. -the editor

A breakfast, or brunch, precedes the discussion time, which usually centers around a pre-chosen topic or concern designated by the Moderator. Breakfast or brunch, the Forum included, is limited to two hours. As the Filipino Forum is issue- and concern-oriented, items that focus on social or business interests should be avoided during the course of the Forum. However, after a session is adjourned, those who would like to market or announce the availability of their services are encouraged to do so. If there are five Saturdays in a month, the first or last Saturday can be an orientation session for new participants or a fellowship of sorts for veteran participants. -end-

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How The Filipino Forum came about: the FILAM Experience

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by Saturnino Z. Respicio, Jr.

December 1985 – the FilipinoAmerican Community in San Diego County, California was under siege from bad publicity in the American mainstream press, due to some financial hocus focus by a certain individual(s) of a then Executive Director of the Council of PilipinoAmerican Organizations of San Diego County; a group of four mulled over how to overcome the situation. The four: Cecilio Remotigue of Cebu, Oscar Benoya of Cavite, Pat Ambrosio of Sampaloc, Manila, and “Sam” Respicio of Singalong, Manila and Baguio City.

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We decided we would have a Breakfast Forum at a Filipino turoturo restaurant in the vicinity of the Miramar Air Station of the US Navy (USN), within the boundaries of the city of San Diego. We set about informing only Filipino menfolk throughout San Diego County which had about 150,000 Filipinos, documented and otherwise. We invited those we knew, just like ourselves, were conscious of the bad light the Filipinos were cast in in San Diego.

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Remotigue was a retired Water Works Engineer from NAWASA in Manila; Benoya was a non-commissioned USN veteran and had an insurance business. Ambrosio was a Warrant Officer retiree from the USN and run/ owned Tropical Hut Bakery, where pan de sal were made in USN surplus molds; “Sam” is me, an American Consulting Engineer of Mines of Philippine birth and heritage, just returned from the Philippines doing consulting work under the aegis of the Balik-Scientist Program, and having no mining jobs, was selling luxury cars like Lincolns, Mercurys, Buicks, Cadillacs and Benzes, moving from dealership to dealership to survive until landing a job in Geotechnical Engineering. We set February 8, 1986, Constitution Day in the days of Commonwealth yore, a rainy Saturday morning for the first meeting. At 7 a.m., ten of us were at the doors of Jose’s Turoturo Restaurant on Miramar Road. Before we disbanded that morning, we were a total of 17 men, agreeing to have breakfast again, at the same venue, two weeks after, on February 22. I was requested to moderate on both events. After February 22, EDSA I soon commenced in Metro Manila.

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This article was originally published in the KAKKAMPI Newsletter in 2005. Still relevant in todays setting, we are now reprinting this article for the 1st issue of the Online Edition of OFW ako Magazine. -the editor

Among the first participants was Ernesto Flores, Jr., a newsman back in the Philippines. He was at one time embedded in the Philippine Air Force as well as the Department of Trade and Industry, as assigned by Malacanang, I believe under Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Romualdez. An informant told me that he was sent to the USA to report on anti-Marcos folks and activity, became a reporter for The Phoenix Sun of Arizona, whose editor-in-chief then, Frederick Marquardt, was an ex-Manilan American, born in Leyte of “USS Thomas” educator parents, with the defunct Manila Tribune prior to WWII and Manila Times after the Liberation. [The Roces Publications group decided that Manila Tribune be history, for it was used by the Japanese Occupiers as a propaganda broadsheet.] After Phoenix, Flores moved to San Diego, where he could be closer to family relations and to satiate his desire to have fresh ocean fish for lunch and dinner.

To the late Ernie Flores, Jr., we can attribute our title as The Filipino Forum, a contraction of his original Filipino Men’s Forum when all of us breakfasted on fortnightly Saturday mornings at 7 a.m., while our spouses lingered comfy in bed.

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How The Filipino Forum came about: the FILAM Experience ... continued from page 11

Ernie Flores was editor of Mabuhay Times, a Filipino monthly paper then, and worked at the United States International University in San Diego with their publications group. He eventually founded The Filipino Press, which transposed from a monthly periodical to a weekly, full size paper, and concentrated on Citizen Journalism, rather than the paste-up journalism that so called “Fil-Am Media” in North America, till the present, practice vociferously. Together with several others, we initiated the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of San Diego County. Militant and opinionated Filipinas insisted that they, too, must come to the Filipino Men’s Forum can be on time at 7 a.m. but knowing women, The Filipino Forum backslid to 8 a.m., thence to Brunch and from being a fortnightly event, to a monthly occurence.

And the Filipino American Community of San Diego regained its stature in the mainstream press, but once more, it dived down, to our chagrin. Leadership of the umbrella Council of Pilipino-American Organizations of San Diego County (COPAO) were elevated from real and able ‘Leaders’ to ill-equipped ‘Lidders’. Once more wranglings plagued COPAO. It even parrotted having bought a two story community center right smack center of National City, CA, the Navy Town where most Filipino immigrant family dependents of Philippine recruited Navy men first stay. The Filipino Forum, by then, was the non-organization to reckon with. The immigration of Aurora SorianoCudal, a professor of Sociology from Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila to San Diego, in the 90s to join her daughter’s who were US Navy men spouses, changed all that. She joined or founded a sectarian social work group of her denomination, and soon

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became embedded with the ‘lidders’ of once again totterring COPAO, as “Executive Director”. She began to make it to the FilForum breakfasts. Then in the mid 90s,she run for COPAO’s Chairmanship* and won, of course, with women delegates vote carrying her. I was granted the title “Godfather” of FilForum because it was I that nurtured it through ups and downs during the 15 years of its existence in Greater San Diego. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999. FilForum came to Northern California in October 2, 2004, and on October 30 that same year, on a fifth Saturday, Consul General Maria Rowena Mendoza Sanchez of San Francisco’s Philippine Consulate hosted the Philippine American Town Hall event of The Filipino Forum at the Consulate premises ---o0o--* Two other Filipinas have lead COPAO: Grace Pena-Blaszkowski and Rita Buencamino-Andrews. As SorianoCudal is, all three are alumna of the University of the Philippines at Diliman, QC. Buencamino-Andrews is the current Chair.

S. Z.Respicio, Jr. is a Consulting Engineer of Mines, who moonlit as a Small Business Consultant while peddling used and new luxury cars, and join the FilipinoAmerican Chamber of Commerce in San Diego County. He created the TOBY Awards of FACC, The Outstanding Business of the Year of FACC-SDC recognizing leaders in the Filipino American business, whether members to non-members of FACC-SDC.

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About The Author

-end-

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Mga Bagong Bayani – “Nagsusumikap para sa sariling pamilya at upang makatulon g sa kapwa.”

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ni Marjorie C. Palma

Pangunahin sa ating mga layunin kaya nag-aabroad ay upang matustusan ang pangangailangan ng ating mga sariling pamilya na naiwan sa Pilipinas. Ang ilan ay nagsisimula sa mababang sahod at mahirap na trabaho. Pinipilit malampasan ang anumang unos para lamang maisalba ang naghihirap na pamilya. Nagtatrabaho ng higit pa sa 8 oras, ang ilan naman ay nagpa-part time pa kahit pa ito ay ipinagbabawal ng batas sa ilang lugar, katulad na lang dito sa Kuwait. May mga nakausap akong guro at accountant na naging “kasambahay” o “kadama”. Marami nang naisulat tungkol dito. Lahat ay may kanya-kanyang istorya. Nakakalungkot pero kung mapapansin ay puno ng pag-asa. May mga simpleng indibidwal na bukod sa pagtataguyod sa sariling pamilya ay tumutulong sa kapwa kahit sa maliit na bagay lang at madalas ay hindi naghahangad ng anumang kapalit. Maliit na bagay sa simula na kung sasamahan ng dedikasyon ay unti-unting nakikilala at lumalago. Si Alene Cabaron Valencia ay isa lamang sa mga katulad ng nabanggit ko.

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Taong 2004 nang sya ay unang tumuntong sa Kuwait sa tulong ng nakatatanda nyang kapatid na si ate Annabelle. Makalipas ang 3 taon ay sumunod naman ang kanyang kabiyak at magkatuwang nilang hinarap ang buhayabroad. Sa unang 4 na taon ni Alene dito ay maraming hirap ang kanyang nalampasan. May mga panahong kinailangan nyang magtrabaho ng 18 oras bawat araw dahil sa baba ng sahod at dahil sa ilang mapagsamantalang amo. Mekaniko, pintor, karpintero, waiter, at pagmamaneho, ilan lamang ito sa kanyang pinasok na trabaho. Nagkaroon sya ng pagkakataon na makapasok sa isang flower shop bilang “flower arranger” at “eventually” sya ay naging Supervisor, dahil sa kanyang angking galing sa pakikipag-usap, nahawakan ni Alene ang ilan sa malalaking palitan ng produksyon at orders sa buong Kuwait at maging sa labas ng bansa. Subalit ninais nyang lumipat ng kumpanyang pinapasukan. Isang desisyong nagtulak sa kanya sa maraming oportunidad, pero bago pa ito nangyari, ay muling sinubukan


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SAAK Marshalls with Father Ben Barrameda at the Catholic Cathedral Kuwait

ang kanyang tatag. Nawala si Alene ng halos 27 oras na walang nakaalam kung paano, at kung saan sya napadpad. Hinanap sa halos lahat ng stasyon ng Pulisya pero hindi sya agad natagpuan. Aming napag-alaman na sya pala ay pinadukot ng kanyang amo at nais na lihim na ipa-deport. Sa anong dahilan? Ayaw sya nitong pakawalan. Bago pa man sila magtagumpay, natagpuan si Alene sa tulong ng sariling pamilya at ilang malalapit na kaibigan.

magkakasunod na buwan. Nanatili sya rito sa loob ng 2 taon. Taong 2010 naman ay nalipat sa Metlife Alico bilang Insurance & Financial Consultant. Bilang agent ay nakamtan niya ang isa sa pinakamataas na pagkilala sa mga bagong Insurance Consultant, ang Agent Career Path. At nito lamang nakaraang buwan, tinanggap ni Alene ang alok ng Eton Properties Philippines Inc. na maging International Marketing Representative ng Kuwait kung saan ay nakamtan nya sa loob lamang ng 2 linggo ang pagiging Elite International Marketing Representative. Ito ay isang mataas na karangalan na ipinagkakaloob sa mga Real Estate Broker.

Ang pangyayaring iyon ang nagtulak sa kanya upang lalong magsikap. Naging Outdoor Sales Representative sya sa Petronet at sa kanyang pagpupursige ay naging “top seller” sa loob ng 5

Sa kabila ng mga pagsubok at sa mga panahon ng tagumpay, sinimulan ni Alene ang kanyang adhikain na makatulong sa kapwa ilang taon na rin ang nakalipas. Nagsimula sa 8 magkakapatid sa “kapatiran ng AKP”

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Mga Bagong Bayani – Nagsusumikap ... ... continued from page 15

ay itinatag sa kanyang pangunguna ang Skeptron Alumni Association Kuwait. Layunin ng kanilang grupo na makatulong sa kapwa kahit sa maliliit na bagay lang. Naging aktibo ang grupo, dumagsa ang kanilang mga kaalyado at nakilala noong 2008 dahil na rin sa sunod-sunod nilang naging proyekto ng pagtulong. Sa kasalukuyan, si Alene kasama ang kanyang grupo ay aktibo pa rin sa

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pagtulong. Ang simbahan kung saan ay pangunahin sa kanilang layunin ang nagiging sentro ng kanilang aktibidad. Sila ang tumatayong marshalls sa panahon na may okasyon dito, kaisa sa bawat fund raising activities na kung saan ang proceeds ay napupunta sa Calamity Fund, at ang pinakahuling proyekto ay ang pagbibigay ng cash at relief goods kasama ng ilan pang

Ilan sa mga proyekto na isinagawa sa tulong ni Alene Cabaron Valencia: 2008 - Relief Goods Operation sa Bajao Community (Davao) - Pamaskong Handog sa mga Bata sa Lanao – sila ay namahagi ng regalo sa may 73 kabataan sa kinder 1 & 2 sa Saavedra Elementary School 2009 - 2010 - Lapis at Papel (Luzon, Visayas at Maindanao) - Feeding Programs (Luzon, Visayas at Maindanao) - Literacy Programs (Luzon, Visayas at Maindanao) - School Fencing at School Classroom Painting – Sta. Cruz Davao - School Chair Donation - Mindoro 2010 – 2011 - Pamaskong Handog para sa Distressed OFW – pinangunahan ni Alene ang proyektong ito upang makapagbigay ng regalo sa mga kababayan nating takas na sa kasalukuyan ay nakabase sa Embahada ng Pilipinas Kuwait


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Chairs Donated by SAAK sa Mindoro

Mga batang recepient ng Lapis at Papel Project

kababayan na nagtulong-tulong upang makalikom para sa nasalanta ng Bagyong Sendong sa Cagayan at ILIGAN. At bukod pa sa lahat ng ito, kanya ring pinagyayaman ang sarili sa pagkuha ng kursong Bachelor of Science in Business Administration via “online study” sa ICSA (International Institute of Computer Science & Administration) Kuwait.

Isa lamang si Alene Cabaron Valencia sa mga Bagong Bayani ng ating panahon. Isang bayaning may matatag na paninindigan, puno ng sipag, pangarap at pagmamahal sa kapwa. Isang bayaning naghahayag ng kanyang tungkulin bilang Pilipino kahit nasaang sulok man ng mundo.

“Stick to fight to the hardest hit so when things got worst - I must not quit “ --Alene -end-

Christmas gift giving 2010 @ Kuwait Catholic Cathedral

About The Author

Marjorie C. Palma is an OFW based in Kuwait. She hailed from the province of Bohol and was born on February 5, 1976. She studied Bachelor in Political Science International Relations Major. She is now currently working as a Receptionist at the DAR AL SHIFA HOSPITAL. She is also a member of the OFW ako Community of Distributors (COD) in Kuwait.

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The Event that Shook the Nation

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Mark Shera Cruz, USA

Ten days after the great flood that claimed the lives of almost a-thousand residents of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City many are still searching for their relatives and loved ones having high hopes to be reunited with them. The moment I saw the pictures on the internet I felt I was stabbed on my heart and broke out into tears as if I lost my loved ones too. A death caused by an illness or a terminal disease might be easier to accept, but a death which could have been prevented is more painful and hard to accept. Seeing your loved ones being washed away by the turbulent flood is a morbid situation. I was moved when I saw that most who have died were children, infants and pregnant women who were helpless and defenseless. After the flood has subsided you would see the arms of children sticking out of the mud, a sign indicating that they struggled during the last second of their lives. Families buried under the thick pile of mud

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and when they were recovered they were on each other’s arms. What is more agonizing in this situation is the fact that it happened during the time of the year when everybody is in high spirit because of the Christmas season. This event has made its indelible mark on our history as a nation and will always be remembered. The one good thing that this tragedy has taught us was to re-live the Filipino spirit called “Bayanihan”. I am amazed with the immediate response of our “kababayans” locally

PHOTO TAKEN from: http://kreformed.wordpress. com/2011/12/20/help-us-help-flood-victims/


Also, I greatly admire the strength and courage that the victims are showing as they pick up themselves and start facing a new beginning. They still manage to smile and greet everybody “Merry Christmas” despite of what happened to them. I know with this positive attitude that they have they can easily move on from this nightmare.

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DAILY BREAD – Families displaced by Tropical Storm “Sendong” line up for their daily food ration at Iligan Institute of Technology in Iligan City. EDWIN BACASMAS ( Photo taken from: http://talakayanatkalusugan.com/2011/12/23/ poor-show-again-they-are-quick-to-give-than-rich/

and overseas to help the victims of typhoon Sendong. Even social media like Tweeter and Facebook were flooded by messages and appeal to help the victims.

deepest condolences to families who lost their loved ones. Prayers up for Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. God Bless the Philippines. About The Author Mark Shera C. Cruz is a native of Montalban, Rizal where he also served as a public school teacher until he left for USA in 2008, to join the Filipinos working overseas. Currently, he is a physics instructor at Garden City Sesnior High School, Kansas, USA and has been working for the district for three years e-mail: mark_admu@yahoo.com

Finally, let us put politics aside and let us not point fingers to anyone. What we need right now is an immediate solution to the problems left by typhoon Sendong. Also, on behalf of all the OFWs here in Kansas I would like to extend our PHOTO TAKEN from: http://kreformed.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/help-ushelp-flood-victims/

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Hay .... Buhay Abroad Talaga

para sa PA M I LYA

An OFW going by the name “Maeng Ni” expressed his views about life of an OFW abroad.

Akala ng mga tao na nasa Pilipinas kapag nasa DUBAI ka akala nila madami ka ng pera ng langis. Ang totoo, madami kang utang, dahil credit card lahat ang gamit mo sa pagbili mo ng mga gamit mo. Kailangan mo gumamit ng credit card Kasi naubus na ang cash pinadala sa pinas, kase pag hindi ka nagpadala, iisipin nila nakalimutan mo na sila. Akala nila mayaman ka at marami kang pera kasi buwan-buwan libolibo padala mo walang palya at kapag pumalya iisipin nila baka nagbisyo ka na o may sinusustentuhang iba. Hindi nila alam food allowance na lang ang natitira sayo at pag kinulang pa umuutang pa at lista muna sa malapit na bakala.

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Pag may okasyon sa pinas birthday, fiesta, anniversary, pasko, new year, at iba pa, padala ka agad panghanda sarap ng kainan nila, di nila alam ikaw tiyaga sa budget meal, kapsa, noodles o de lata at itlog na nakakabutlig na ng balat, hay naku! Akala ni Tatay, Nanay, Ate, Kuya, anak, mga pamangkin at iba pa namumulot ka ng pera sa Dubai kada may problema text kaagad, kumusta sa una sa bandang huli kelangan ng ng pera! Hay naku…nakaka-alergic na ang text sa roaming puro gastos… minsan padala ka pa ng load! Load mo nga utang pa Pana! Hay naku bakit ba nauso pa yan dagdag gastos lang talaga at pag di ka pa reply aawayin ka pa!


Akala nila masarap sa DUBAI di nila alam di ka na nga makauwi kasi roundtrip tiket kina-cash pa mapadala lang at ibayad sa utang. Akala nila sosyal ka na kulay ng buhok mo uso pa at naka-highlight pa, di nila alam buhok mo namumuti na sa stress at problema at pag minalas pa nalalagas pa! Akala nila masarap sa DUBAI kasi pag-uwi mo mestiso ka, maputi at mamula-mula ang balat mo, di nila alam babad ka sa opisina at kulong sa bahay mo dahil no choice ka, mga kapit bahay mo di mo kaano-ano, walang paki-alaman at kung lalabas ka sunog ang balat mo, init ng araw sobra! Akala nila mayaman ka na kase may kotse ka na. Di nila alam hulugan pa ito!

para sa PILIPINAS

Akala nila masarap maging OFW at tinatawag na bagong bayani‌.naku mas masarap pa yong nasa pinas na sa katas ni bagong bayani ay syang umaani! Utang sa DUBAI lalong dumarami.

Ang totoo, kapag hindi ka bumili ng kotse sa dubai maglalakad ka ng milya-milya sa ilalim ng init ng araw o kaya sa winter na kasama ang asawa mo dito sa dubai.. O kaya naman tiyaga kang mag –abang ng RTA Bus or Coaster na ubod ng babaho ng mga pasahero at pagbaba mo amoy putok ka na rin, grabe! Walang jeepney, tricycle o padyak sa dubai .. madami mga indianao, Bangladesh na driver na ubod ng baho. Pag minalas ka paskitani na taxi driver na rapist pa! Akala nila masaya ka kase nagpadala ka ng picture mo sa Burj Al Arab, Desert Safari, mall of emirates, Atlantis, Al Mamzar Beach, at iba pang attractions. Ang totoo, kailangan mo ngumiti kase minsan minsan ka lang makakapicture para mapadala mo sa mga mahal mo sa buhay.

Akala nila malaki na ang kinikita mo kase dirham na sweldo mo. Ang totoo, medyo malaki pagpinalit mo ng peso, pero dirham din ang gastos mo sa dubai. Ibig sabihin ang dirham

continued to next page ...

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para sa PA M I LYA

Hay .... Buhay Abroad Talaga ... continued from page 21

mong kinita sa presyong dirham mo din gagastusin. Ang P15.00 na sardinas sa Pilipinas AED3.00 sa Dubai, ang isang pakete ng sigarilyo sa pilipinas P40.00, sa Dubai AED 6.50, alangan namang puro cafeteria food ang kakainin mo aba mamatay ka sa highblood o hepa nyan kasi nga umaapaw na sa mantika madumi pa! Mga kadiri , kaya lang pag naubusan ka ng pera no choice you have to take the risk . Akala nila buhay milyonaryo ka na kase ang ganda ng bahay at kotse mo.nag pa-lypo kay calayan at nagparetoke kay vicky belo, Ang totoo nag loan ka lang sa Mashreq, HSBC o CITIbank na huhulugan mo ng limang taon. Ibig sabihin, alipin ka ng bahay at kotse mo at ng luho mo at ng bansang ito !!kasi nga magloan ba naman dahil sa luho bwahahaha! Madaming naghahangad na makarating sa Dubai. Lalo na mga nurses at mga medsec at eto pa pati cleaners, mahirap maging normal na manggagawa sa Pilipinas.

Madalas pagod ka sa trabaho. Pag dating ng sweldo mo, kulang pa sa pagkain mo. Pero ganun din sa ibang bansa katulad lalo na kaya sa Dubai madaming outlet ng stress mo !kasi walang bawal!!!. Hindi ibig sabihin dirham na ang sweldo mo, yayaman ka na, kailangan mo ding magbanat ng buto para mabuhay ka sa ibang bansa. Isang malaking sakripisyo ang pag alis mo sa bansang pinagsilangan at malungkot iwanan ang mga mahal mo sa buhay. Hindi pinupulot ang pera dito o pinipitas o iniigib. Hindi ako naninira ng pangarap, gusto ko lang buksan ang bintana ng katotohanan. Mahirap mangibang bayan‌ sino ba ang may kasalanan na iwan sariling bayan? Manilbihan sa dayuhan at malayo sa pamilya ay may kahirapan. Hangga’t may pinay DH na nangingibang bayan na simbolo ng ating kahirapan, kawawang bayan ni Juan patuloy na mapag-iiwanan. Kaya Juan iwan ka ng pera para sayo, para sa kinabukasan mo! -end-

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Ang Huling Pasko ng Magkakaibigan ‘08

‘07. july ng dumating ako ng kuwait. 1st time ako @ sobrang homesick dahil malayo sa pamilya. mahirap ang trabaho @ mababa ang sahod. dahil me day off ako me mga nakikilala akong mga kaibigan, mga kapwa ko dh na katulong ng kapatid ng amo ko. sa dios, anak, pamilya @ kaibigan ako kumukuha ng lakas sa araw araw. masaya akong nakakatulong @ ganun din sila sa akin. marami akong naging kaibigan iba’t ibang lahi. marami akong natutunan mula sa kanila @ binabahagi ko rin sa kanila ang mga kaalaman ko katulad ng salita natin, sa pgluluto at kung anu anu pa. masuwerte ako dahil s loob ng pnahon n naging mgkakaibigan kami wlang nagkasiraan sa amin. nagtatawagan kami, nagtetex madalas, balitaan ng aming buhay ofw. ang magkakaibigan wala sa tagal o sa dalas ng pagkikita o sa dami ng naitutulong. marami silang iniwan na magaganda @ masasayang alala sa akin.

para sa PILIPINAS

ni Melody Casem

Sa ngaun dalawa n lng kaming bumalik d2 sa kuwait pero ang isang kaibigan ko kinukulong sya ng amu s bhay kaya text @ tawag lng ang k0munikasy0n nmin. ang iba umuwi na sa kanilang bansa @ ang isa nsa hk na. nakakapag kamustahan pa rin kami sa pamamagitang ng celphone @ internet. Maraming Salamat sa dalawang taon ng pagkakaibigan dito sa kuwait @ hanggang ngaun kahit magkakahiwalay na kami, magkakaibigan pa rin. -end-

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para sa PA M I LYA

Buhay OFW

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Sa Bawat pangarap andyan ang sikap Kayod dito,kayod doon madapa ma’y pilit paring babangon Masarap isiping OFW ka sa iba’y ligaya sayo nama’y dusa Pwera nalang kung pera mong padala ay bigyang halaga para kalungkutang dala ay mawawala Subalit minsa’y may pangyayaring di kaaya-aya sa lugar na inakalang magbibigay sagana yon pala ang maghatak patungong pagdurusa Pero ang iba nama’y,masuwerte lang talaga datapwat, kung Pinoy kang tunay lahat ng yan ay kayang-kaya Sapagkat tayo’y likas na masipag at matiyaga san man lugar makarating OFW parin ang magaling para sa mga mithiing di maihahambing. -Rein Eviota


Bagong Taon ni Juan Bagong taon na naman pero sa bansang banyaga may pagbabago ba naman? Kay Juan patuloy parin ang laban kahit daw sya’y mahirapan basta’t pamilya nya’y busog naman Bakit ba palagi nating iniisip ang pamilyang naiwan at dito nama’y pagdurusa’y nakamtan Di ba’t sadyang di makatarungan padala mong Dirhams kung ilustay piso lang Sana nama’y kanilang maramdaman na puting buhok ni Juan ay di na mabilang-bilang Pero lahat nang yan ay kakayanin sapagkat ngiti nilang sukli kay Juan Dolyar na ang kasiyahan Sana lang buhay ni Juan ay mabago at ikot ng mundo’y tumagilid man lang kahit papano para kaunting sarap ay makamtan sa bagong taong inasam.

para sa PILIPINAS

Makata si Juan at si Maria

-Rein Eviota

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para sa PA M I LYA

Proud Owners of OFW ako T-shirts

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We are OFWs and proud of it. We are based in different countries around the world and we are Proud Owners of OFW ako T-shirts.


Community Directory

Community Announcement(s)

To All OFW Groups & Associations: If your group or association want to post announcements or schedule of activities here Contact us: ofwako.magazine@gmail.com Announcement(s)

Announcement(s)

para sa PILIPINAS

The Community Directory is a community service of OFW ako Magazine. If you wish to be listed, contact us: via email ofwako.magazine@gmail.com

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para sa PA M I LYA

OFW ako Magazine ONLINE Edition Issue 001  

INSIDE: • OFWs bringing Christmas cheers for Lumad kids by Emmanuel C. Roldan p2-p5 • Health Corner: Eating Fruits p6-p7 • General Guideli...

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