Roots & Wings | Autumn 2016

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dear kababayans, Welcome to the Autumn 2016 issue of Roots&Wings which is also our 7th year anniversary issue. It has been seven years of enriching encounters with EuroPinoys from all over Europe, seven years of forging friendships, seven years of fun making Roots&Wings, which we consider an apt name for our magazine. Because when all is said and done, we will seek and find our roots and then fly away in the wings of love and adventure. The world that unfolds before us continues to be filled with wonder, surprises, promises, great expectations. How good or how bad the look of things are, is entirely dependent on our personal perspective. Take heart, the history of mankind has shown that in the end, good always triumphs over evil. As one wise man said “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” In this issue, we are delighted to share with you the magnificent artworks of Jojo Austria, who recently had another great exhibition in Germany. Our artists continue to gain awe and admiration wherever they go. Something we should be very proud and be supportive of.

ENFiD (The European Network of Filipino Diaspora) recently held its annual general assembly in Prague, with the theme, “The Filipino Community in Europe, Facing the Challenges while Maximizing the Potential in the Spirit of Inclusiveness”. Unforgettable meeting in an unforgettable city, great memories. Read about all these on page 40! True, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But there is a kind of beauty that are awarded titles and are crowned with glitters and glams. Like Cloie Syquia Skarne, Miss Earth Sweden and Sophia Sanchez Bergehed, Miss Teen Europe, both half Filipinas, both down-to-earth and simply irresistible. At the recently concluded beauty pageant held in Stockholm, Sweden, they stunned the audience with their cool and regale bearing, wit and composure. Read about their fantastic journey on pages 24 and 26. We wish you an awesome autumn, enjoy its vibrant colors, its intoxicating air, its bountiful harvests. Autumn is a good time to visit museums, to go to concerts, to explore and to continue doing all the good that we can. Mabuhay at Maraming Salamat. Rachel Hansen Founder/Editor


the team Rachel Hansen Editor & Founder Aina Bauer Copy Editor Luz Bergersen Associate Editor, Oslo, Norway MARTHY ANGUE Associate Editor, Philippines DONNA MANIO Lifestyle Editor, Philippines Liza De Vera-Preiczer Bureau Editor, Vienna, Austria Lyndy Bagares Web Editor, Fornebu, Norway Arianne Faye Calvero Web Support MaFLOR SVENDIS Bureau Editor, Iceland Elizabeth “Betsy” Von Atzigen Bureau Editor, Switzerland Isabel Lerma Bureau Editor, Paris, France Miles Viernes Bureau Editor, Oslo, Norway McKlein Onoya Web Master, Oslo, Norway Sathiel Ramos Travel Editor, Philippines

contents FEATURED ARTIST A chat with Julio Jojo Austria, pg. 4 INTERVIEWS Ms. Earth Sweden , Cloie Syquia Skarne, pg. 12 | Ms. Teen Universe Sweden, Sophia Emilia Sanchez Bergehed, pg. 18 CULTURE After Beyond the Block, pg.20 INSPIRATION A Surprise Visit, pg. 24 | The Constant Volunteer, pg. 26 TRANSFORMATION Filipino Leadership in Europe, pg. 28 | Teaching Filipino in Italy, pg. 30 | SOS Children’s Village, pg 32 NEWS Oslo Peace Talks, pg. 34 | ASEAN Cultural Night, pg. 36 | European Couples for Christ Conference in Stockholm, pg 38 SPECIAL REPORT European Network of Filipino Diaspora Annual General Meeting, Prague 2016

Roots & Wings is published by Rachel Publishing Co from its head office in Stockholm, Sweden. Email: ©2009-2015 | Roots&Wings Filipino Magazine in Europe

Jonathan Arevalo Coo Culture Editor, Philippines 3

“Side Effects,” Jojo Austria 4

so spoke the city /a chat with julio “jojo� austria. Ms. Rachel Hansen catches a few words with wandering artist Jojo Austria, discussing his process, his background, and the elements that figure into his distinctively urbane work.

“A Composer’s Residence,” Jojo Austria 6


“We May Have Our Own Directions But All of us Has Something in Common,” Jojo Austria You recently had an Exhibition in Hanau, Germany. Was it your first European exhibit? How did it go? How did the German/ European audience reacted to your artwork? Not my first time. I was in Europe in 2009 for a traveling show entitled “Young Art Philippines”. It was held at Essen, Vienna, London and Berlin. My recent solo shows in Germany went very well. I paint the environment where I am and I exactly portrayed the local sensibilities in my shows which the local audience appreciate and relate on each works that I present during the opening night and talk.

Please explain your art. My works mainly focused on journey, migration and urbanity which provides a visual portrayal of my life experiences and narration based on my observations and absorption of the place where I am. My works demonstrate how form generates meaning, and how formalism – abstraction – social realism divides have indeed been rendered untenable of how color, texture and stroke become analogous to layered existence of the weary urbanite while still indulging my art is passionate proclivity to the paring down afforded by degrees of non-representation.


What do you think is an artist role in our society?

Do you have other jobs aside from being an artist?

Artist sees what not common people do, so it’s a responsibility for us to deliver a message.

Yes, doing it on the side. I work in a company in New York City that holds an estate of an old art collector of vintage drawings, etchings and lithographs. We put it on an auction and I am the one who is doing the preparation like condition reports, estimates and research.

Artist should not just focus on physical work but the content, story and meaning that we can contribute to our society and history.

“What Lies Beneath,� Jojo Austria 8

“Foot Soldier’s Creed,” Jojo Austria 9

“Vantage Point,” Jojo Austria 10


What challenges are there for a young artist like you?

locally or international, that is where I get my inspirations and ideas.

The challenge of uncertain life and taking risk. No matter what struggles and frustrations facing, you still hold your ground and stay in the passion of living with your art.

Do you have any favorite place to do your work?

Where do you get your ideas, inspirations? I normally get my ideas through the environment where I am. I try to learn and explore each culture and people. I’m a wanderer by nature and I always travel either

Yes. In my studio in Brooklyn or any place in the world that I never been. What is goal/dreams as an artist? To always become different and make it into the art world. R+W

“A Composer’s Residence,” Jojo Austria 11

Sweden’s Queen of Green As Interviewed by Rachel Hansen

Last August 29, 2016 Cloie Syquia Skarne was crowned Miss Earth Sweden in a very tough and exciting competition in Stockholm. Cloie will now represent Sweden in the Miss Earth Beauty Pageant 2016 to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila this coming October 29, 2016. Roots&Wings is very proud and honored to be granted this exclusive, intimate and light-hearted interview with Cloie in Stockholm. Our most heartfelt congratulations for winning this coveted title. Tell us, how does it feel to be Miss Earth Sweden and to represent this country in the Miss Earth Pageant? It feels great. Being able to raise awareness of how to help the environment on such a large platform is a blessing. Coming from Sweden I have so much to share when it comes to environmentally friendly choices and solutions. I am so proud of Sweden and the environmental philosophy we have here and the forward thinking practices of our government.




I want to inspire others to help our planet. We all need to work together and always be aware of our actions so that we leave behind a better planet for the future generations. What do you want to achieve in joining this pageant? I want to inspire others to help our planet. We all need to work together and always be aware of our actions so that we leave behind a better planet for the future generations. To achieve this we need to decrease climate change. In what ways do you think beauty pageants can help women? Beauty pageants can help women in many ways. Pageants often give women a chance to reach out to a larger crowd and share their advocacies. We have the opportunity to let many people know what is in our hearts and it gives us the possibility to make our dreams come true. Who is the most influential person in your life? My mother is the most influential person in my life. She has taught me many important and valuable lessons in life that I will forever cherish. I look up to her in many ways and love her very much. If you have a magic wand, what would you ask for? I would ask for the power to grant wishes, because then I could give immediate help to parts of the world and people that need it. However, 14

without a magic wand we can all contribute and change things, even if it means just one step at a time. My platform for Miss Earth is combatting greenhouse gases. We can all make immediate steps towards this, as well as all make steps towards stopping climate change, by following the five Rs of rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, and respect. The number one contributor to greenhouse gases, larger than all transportation methods combined, is the meat industry. If we simply make the healthy choice for our planet and our bodies to eat less meat and more vegetables, fruits and grains, we are making an immediate difference! What do you value most in life? Love. I value the relationships I have most. The friends and family I have in my life are what makes my life special. The memories I have with them are unforgettable and I can’t imagine how life would be without them. To me, the relationships I have with the people I love are the most valuable thing in life. How would you describe your own personality? I would say I’m honest and that I am mostly calm. I like to show the people in my life how much I appreciate them. Every day I try



Cloie Syquia Skarne, decked in traditional Swedish clothing and colors.



Cloie Syquia Skarne with Ms. Teen Universe Sweden Sophia Emilia Sanchez Bergehed to treat others the way I would like to be treated and I think that’s a great way to approach many situations in life.

change we will no longer have a beautiful earth to live on. By working together we can make the right choices for mother nature’s future.

If you win the Miss Earth 2016 title, what will be the first thing you will do?

What is the most important lesson your mother has taught you?

The first thing I would do is thank everyone who has helped me get here. I would want to share the happiness of being Miss Earth with many. Without their love and support I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I am forever grateful.

The most important lesson my mother has taught me has been how to love. I often think of one time when she told me ‘Emotions in life are what make it beautiful.’ And this is something I completely agree on. Love is something the world can never have too much of.

If you can change something on Earth, what would it be? There are many things that could be changed on Earth. Right now I believe that the most important thing is that we must take climate change seriously. If we don’t stop climate

Thank you so much Cloie for sharing your precious thoughts and time with us. We wish you all the very best of luck, happiness and fulfillment. May all your dreams come true.


AVision Beauty


As Interviewed by Ivee Hidvegi

Sophia Emilia Sanchez Bergehed was crowned Miss Teen Universe Sweden last August 28 at Cafe Opera in Stockholm. Her win created a massive buzz in the Filipino community, both in the Philippines and Sweden. She will be the youngest contestant competing for the title of Miss Teenager Universe 2017 in Mexico on July 29th. Sophia was born in Saudi Arabia on December 2002 to parents Dimple Sanchez Sien and Per Bergehed. At 2 months of age, she was already a model of Great Image photo studio in the Philippines. Her family then settled in Sweden that same year. This stunning beauty first joined the charity event of Adicon Foundation, 18

Little Miss Philippines Sweden 2014 in which she was the first runner up. She became a model of Elite Model Stockholm and graced some fashion shows of Ditta Sandico, Joel Bagon, Bessie Besana, Hobbs and Blaze of Sweden to name a few. On July of 2016, she was crowned Miss Teen Filipina Europe in Vienna, Austria. This vivacious teen impressed the panel of judges in the Filipiniana Gown competition, evening gown competition and interview. “I enjoyed competing in pageants and I’m proud being half Filipino and half Swedish. I realized that joining this beauty pageant was a great way to build confidence, gain communication skills and


make friends along the way,” said Sophia. When I asked her which of the two worlds she enjoys more, she quickly answered, “Being in a pageant is more interesting for me than just modelling. Fashion modelling requires a certain edge and skill that not many pageant girls possess and its about promoting the clothes you are wearing while in beauty pageants, the intelligence and personality are also factors to be considered when they interview the contestants.” Joakim Granberg, the President and National Director of Miss Universe Sweden who saw a potential in Sophia, asked her to become a protégé in his modelling school. H e waited for the right time and age so she can compete for Miss Teenager Universe representing Sweden. “I need a little more practice on some aspects of the competition but I’m confident that I can be at par with the other contestants on the day itself and I’m ready for the new responsibilities and exciting opportunities that will come if I win the title,” said the 13-year-old beauty.

Through The Looking Glass

Sophia describes herself as “reserved” and believes that education is the foundation for anything you wish to accomplish in life. She has a strong work ethic that helped her stay focused academically while she is preparing for the Miss Teen Universe contest. She wants to be a psychologist in the future.

Having quite the opposite palate of an average teenager, Sophia likes keeping a healthy lifestyle as a vegetarian but sometimes eats fish and pasta. The 174 cm tall beauty likes indie pop music and light pink is her favorite color. Her sport is archery and she loves to play the piano. Sophia is interested in reading Dystopian novels. She likes to be surrounded by people who are trustworthy, understanding and fun to be with. She hates people who are hypocrites, negative, arrogant and bullies others because of how they look. Sophia’s advocacy is to help the poor children and give them a better life. “Ambassador Domingo, my mom and I work together to promote these causes through the Diplomatic Leadership Academy and Corps of Diplomatic Volunteers.” She travelled to the Philippines as an advocate for organizations such as The Rotary Club Manila and Aetas Indigenous children in Dinalupihan, Bataan. Mr. Ola Almgren, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Philippines , met with Sophia and they agreed to work together to promote the causes of the UN. When I asked her what she wants to tell all the young girls who has the same goals as hers, she answered, “Use your energy for the good of others, fight for what you believe in and dream. If you have enough determination and persistence, you can be successful in any field you desire. Dreams do come true and it can be achieved.” 19

As Interviewed by Luz Bergersen | Norway “BEYOND THE BLOCK” – a successful documentary movie about street dance by Ricky Carranza, Filipino/Finnish world class street dance specialist, choreographer, and filmmaker, has been screened to enthusiastic movie audiences in several major cities and had received major awards as foreign film. “Roots and Wings” follows up the progress of the screenings of this movie, and is very proud to share updates below from producer Ricky Carranza:



Please tell us what has been happening since you launched the movie - “BEYOND THE BLOCK”. - How are you, your family – your talented wife, and children? I am very grateful for everything – To God first, for all these development, success and new doors of opportunities that are being opened to us. Then, my family next. Of course, they share the same sentiments and more. Obviously, this is not a work of a lone man, but an enormous task through collaborative efforts from a community of dedicated and passionate people that includes my family. My wife is the backbone of all these. She is a worker behind the scene. She is overwhelmed with appreciation and optimism as well. Somehow she imagines the good things that are potentially coming. And then, Of course, I am still and perpetually grateful to all the people behind the movie. (Too long list to mention now). It’s been a crazy ride, indeed. And it goes on! We are very grateful – very, very grateful, hopeful and excited for what’s coming ahead. The kids, specially, are very excited. I can’t help, but feel elated every time they ask me, “Daddy, can we buy a really big house in Los Angeles when you become very, very famous?!” That’s the atmosphere, intensity of enthusiasm and ambitious imagination that the whole family feels at the moment concerning the present development. What’s going on with the movie? In what cities have the movie been shown, so far? As implied, it’s going really well. So far, it’s been shown exclusively in Manila and Helsinki, and featured in two film festivals: Hiphop Film Festival in New York and Long Beach International Indie Film Festival in Long Beach, California. On October 2, it will be featured in New York again at the International Film Festival Manhattan.


How was the movie received? Critics/ reviews? The movie is very well received in the film festivals. It has been nominated for “Best documentary film” at the Long Beach International Indie Film Festival” and a “Finalist” for “Best Director” and “Best Documentary” at the Hiphop Film Festival in New York. What humbles and amazes me so much is the fact that I was lined up among the best directors (including the one who won the “Best Feature film”) at the Hiphop Film Festival. I am deeply appreciative of that. I feel that my voice is finally being heard now by the world. You have gained some major awards for the movie? Please share/update our readers. Yes, multiple nominations abroad and a special “Educator Award” from the La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. I haven’t won the ultimate “BEST” yet, but, getting there, I think. We are still showing it in different film festivals around the world.



What are your main experiences in showing the movie. Was easy,

With actress Sarah Williams, the stunning host of Long Beach International Indie Film Festival. difficult, etc. It’s been an interesting and challenging experience to show this film abroad for obvious reasons: it is particularly more appealing to Filipinos even though the movie talks about a universal subject (dance), and people don’t know how rich and highly professional the film’s content and quality is. People don’t know me yet as a film director. Most know me as a dancer or choreographer. I know, though, that it is just a question of time. As more people around the world including non-Filipinos see and review the film, it will eventually garner more attention and following. In what other places are you scheduled or planned to show the movie? Manhattan, New York will be the next screening,


From Top Left to Bottom Right: with producer Christine Ramos & Amtec owner Jay Ramos, actor Michael Chambers, a.k.a. Turbo, Long Beach International Film Festival director Dr. Daniel Walker, and his family. in mid October. San Diego, California in January 2017 is next. I am still waiting for the confirmation of other dates in between and later. You can see updates of screenings and development through our website: and Any financial breakthrough? Ricky: Yes, gradually more and more doors are being opened and our network expands. Any on-going projects now? Yes, I am finishing another exciting documentary. And we are also preparing to film the muchawaited feature narrative movie I have been working on for ages. I am also about to publish the script of ‘Beyond

the Block’. It contains the pictures of everyone who participated in the film plus several other rare photos which have never been seen of those who helped lay out the foundation of Filipino street dance culture. Please share photos from your many film screenings in major cities. Yes, my pleasure. Thank you, Roots &Wings for all the support and kindness. In behalf of my family and the production behind me, we thank you deeply. Thank you so much Ricky! It is indeed a pleasure and and honour to have you again. We wish you more luck and blessings that you certainly deserve. 23

A Surprise Visit by Elija Paul Villanueva photo | Ian Queron

It’s been too long since I have been back home, the smell of home cooked “ginataang alimango” cooked by my favourite chef who holds the one and only title of being my “Nanay / Mother”, the fun spontaneous nights of driving our motorcycle “Pasada” around Metro Manila with “`Tatay / Father”, and the awesome “MORE spontaneous” getaways with my best buddies. Living abroad is such a great opportunity to be out of your comfort zone… I would say that I made it, from the stories of different Pinoys working abroad, YES! It is true, YES, it’s hard; nonetheless, YES, It’s worth the wait if you strive hard to reach your goals. Years of being a working student abroad while at the same time, helping your family back home while maintaining your high grades in one of the Universities in London and on top of that, trying to sustain your financial needs and daily expenses in England, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how I was able to do it! 24

Now you might be thinking, how this tropical fish survived in this unpredictable London climate? I only have one answer, and that is because of your support and encouragement in boosting Pepe’s faith and determination to reach his dreams, Pepe was able to do it. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You gave light to the journey that Pepe is taking. During the 4 years of treatment in aid of my sister’s battle against Cancer, you have always been there through ups and downs. Me and my family was actually given two years of life expectancy for my dearest sister… but my dear friends, with your help and undying support, she is way past that two years and she is doing very well and soon she will be graduating with flying colours. We are almost there, a few more tests and she would completely rid herself of those pesky cancer cells! I dedicated my SURPRISE visit in the


Philippines to those people and sponsors who became the backbone of my journey. Pepe’s mentors, supporters, and of course, my family who became my inspiration in this very special chapter of my saga. Indeed, it is not about how long you live, but it’s about what you do while you’re living. Thank you for making this journey a great experience that will last forever. We only live once, make the most out of it. The couple of days I had in my home country with my family and friends was worth a thousand years of happiness.

my mother’s loving kisses were compressed in this very moment… not to mention my younger brother who I have not seen since birth and my dearest sister who I have been fighting for ever since. While they were watching the trailer of the movie, a technical problem in the performance of the Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance happened. There was a sudden loss of electricity in the location and from the darkness, emerged Pepe. The son who grew up in a different land but eager to become a boy once more. PEPE is already in front of them… and at that very moment, tears of joy flooded the venue.

Now, imagine this… My family was invited to watch an indie film regarding my life in UK.

Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient and the best things come to those who Don’t Give up.

But the real scenario, was that I was already itching to hug them from backstage. The seven years of yearning for my father’s firm hug and 25


Constant I have BEEN volunteering intentionally or not, for good or not so good causes depending on your perspective, for as long as I can remember.

by Amelia “Aimee” Alado | United Kingdom

My entire educational life in the Philippines, from elementary through to degree level, was spent at an exclusive private school for girls run by catholic nuns. It was the equivalent of the British (ironically named) public school. One of the values that this education instilled in me is to always help whoever I can, whenever and however possible. Whilst at BPP Law School, I volunteered at Citizens Advice Bureau and “Own-it”, an organisation funded by the University of the Arts London (UAL) that provides free intellectual property (IP) advice to those in the creative sector who need it most. The most exciting and fun volunteering experience I’ve had was at the London 2012 Olympics. I was lucky enough to be assigned to fencing, a sport I participated in at the time, but what made it



Volunteer really special was around the world’s top fencers and former Olympians. I had to give up three weeks of my time but it was definitely worth it. And to think, if it wasn’t for the generous support of the Government Legal Department and their volunteering policy I wouldn’t have been able to have this amazing experience.

In 2013, I started volunteering for ENFiD (European Network of Filipino Diaspora). I’m one of its founders and was instrumental in its formative years. ENFiD is a non-profit organisation that serves as a platform for Filipino Diasporas where they can interact and get integration advice helping them to thrive ‘glocally’ (globally and locally). The most challenging volunteering experience I’ve ever had was when typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013. I pushed myself to domore knowing how desperate the situation was and how close to home it was. I helped form the WELL Trust (Work Environment & Lifelong Learning) to help

my hometown, which was badly affected, and was humbled by the generosity of friends and strangers across the world. So why do people volunteer? Well, it can be quite addictive. Some experts even say it’s good for your health and makes you feel younger. Some question the altruism of volunteering arguing that volunteers get something in return, however intangible. My motives are complex. Of course, the thank you letters David Cameron and Lord Coe, or being recognised as being one of the “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World” by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), another admirable non-profit professional organisation, are gratifying. But what really drives me to keep volunteering is the happiness I get from knowing that I’ve made a positive difference to other people’s lives.


Transformational Leadership among Filipinos in Europe by Betsy von Atzigen | Switzerland



Betsy von Atzigen, ENFiD-Europe Member of the Board for Learning and Educational Development with recent graduates of her leadership training course. Filipino community-building or organizational strengthening stands strong on trained leaders. A survey on effective leadership among Filipinos point to a list of valued qualities: listening to others’ feedback and opinions, strong will after consultation and decision-making processes, sincere concern for individual, family and community welfare, keeping good on promises and commitments, effective communicator who sends information as well as gives/gathers feedback, has integrity and track record and may I add an ingredient that paves the way to transformational leadership - servant leadership. Here lies the foundation of transforming people and communities inside out.

foresight, awareness, self-healing and rebuilding where conflict once or often resides. Servant leaders are good communicators, able to withdraw and reorient themselves as the situation necessitates. ‘A servant’s heart is a fundamental characteristic of a servant-leader. It is not about being servile; it is about wanting to help others. It is about identifying and meeting the needs of colleagues and communities.’

Transformational because Filipino leaders recognize the need for self-improvement as well as in the bigger community, create a shared vision and implement the change alongside committed members. In so doing, personal motivation, excitement and morale are enhanced while difficulties are overcome in lieu of goals.

Amidst the beautiful and diverse cultural settings of Europe, we Filipino leaders seriously take into account the practices and traditions of the local community where we are nestled. It’s natural to say then that we strengthen our Filipinism when we blend with our host countries’ attributes of respect in word and deed, punctuality and emotional intelligence which most often overlaps with the concept of management. We continue to be fair, truthful, receptive, generous to family and stay morally upright, further the spirit of volunteerism and faith while recognizing, utilizing and expressing gratitude for others’ talents, time and resources.

Servant leadership because there is this desire among Filipinos to serve through listening, understanding and acceptance despite differences, empathy or being able to put the self in the shoes of another,

Community leaders in Switzerland are benefitting from leadership learning and development and are intent on making strides in becoming the transformational servant leaders of today. 29

Teaching Filipino in Italy

Dr. Ernesto Carandang

Migrant Filipino parents in Italy keep the desire to teach their children the Filipino language and culture. The DLSU Filipino Department thus established the Manunggul Jar Project, a three-year agreement with the Filipino Italian community of Venice, Treviso, and Terraferma. On a tour in Italy over a year ago, De La Salle University Filipino Department Chair Dr. Ernesto Carandang, together with his church choir members, met Filipino migrants whose children could not communicate with them in the Filipino vernacular. He decided right then to provide them an orientation on basic Filipino. The parents, who shared their desire to teach their children about the Philippine language, said that given their demanding work life, it has been a challenge for them to introduce Filipino language and culture to their children. 30

As a result of this experience, Carandang conceptualized the establishment of the Manunggul Jar Project. In May 2015, the DLSU Filipino Department launched the project, a three-year agreement with the Filipino Italian community of Venice, Treviso, and Terraferma. With the support of the offices of the Vice Chancellor for Lasallian Mission and the External Relations and Internationalization Office, Carandang and fellow Filipino Department faculty member Dr. Rowell Madula were sent to Italy to teach a onemonth intensive session for children ages 6-12 and 13-19.


by AA dela Cruz| the Philippines This story was first published in Involved Magazine, a special publication of DLSU, Manila. The first class focused on the Filipino alphabet and basic concepts such as colors, shapes, and numbers in Filipino. On the other hand, the second class dealt with understanding the Filipino teenage culture and appreciation of Filipino culture through music and dance. Succeeding classes are currently being conducted online. Classroom sessions will resume at the end of the academic year. According to Carandang, they are fortunate that parents in Italy supported their endeavor and have made other families, particularly those in Rome, Milan, and Padova, interested in the project as well.

They are now arranging another Memorandum of Agreement with the Filipino communities in these areas. These parents also find it important for the next generation of Filipinos to learn the language and culture so the Filipino identity will continue even in a foreign country. Carandang shares his joy to find the children and their parents giving value to Filipino language and culture, and learning the Lasallian way. “This project is actually a sort of a service, a community engagement that would follow the charism of St. John Baptist de La Salle.� 31

#SOSDonateToEducate Raises Funds for Abandoned & Neglected Filipino Children

by Desiree Munoz | The Philippines The Story of SOS Child Sharmaine Sharmaine joined SOS Children’s Villages Philippines nine years ago when she lost her father, while her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was 13 years old then. In SOS, she found a new home – a sense of belongingness. She calls it “a form of deliverance because at that point I thought it was the end of me”. In the Village, she was constantly reminded that she’s not alone, and that education is her best weapon to succeed. She narrates: “SOS saw my passion, my dedication, my resilience. I graduated salutatorian in high school from Colegio de la Immaculada Concepcion and Cum 32

Laude at University of San Carlos with a degree in BS Management Accounting. Earlier this year, I fulfilled my dream of becoming a Certified Public Accountant. I turned 23 this September 24th, and is now working and living independently. Thanks to my SOS family, and to everyone who continue to support and believe in the mission of SOS Children’s Villages Philippines.” #SOSDonateToEducate To help us raise funds to support the education of orphaned, abandoned, neglected but hopeful and bright Filipino children like Sharmaine, you can contribute right now by visiting


Hermann Gmeiner’s (1919-1986) vision has grown steadily over six decades. Today, SOS is located in 134 countries and territories around the world, and home to approximately 86,000 children and young adults with more than 467,000 people participating in our family strengthening programs.

SOS Children’s Villages Philippines SOS Children’s Villages is a non-political, nondenominational organization that provides longterm family-based care to Filipino children in need. With the support of our friends and partners, we work to ensure that each child will grow up in a loving home. In 1949, Hermann Gmeiner founded the first SOS Children’s Village in Tyrol, Austria. He was a child welfare worker, and he saw how children suffered and were left orphaned as a result of World War II. He pioneered the family-based approach to helping children who have lost parental care.

In the Philippines, the first SOS Children’s Village was founded on May 1, 1967 in the province of Batangas. Now we have 8 villages across the country, and there are almost 1,200 children and young adults who live in our family-based care program. In the communities, we give support and intervention to approximately 2,100 families. SOS Children’s Villages Philippines is a duly recognized Non-Government Organization by the Department of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD-SB RL-00037-2010) and the Philippine Council for NGO (002-2015), with SEC Registration No. A199601777 and TIN No. 005-145-488-000. You can email us for a visit or volunteer inquiries at and/or drop us a message on 33


GRP,NDFP sign joint statement on the resumption of Peace Talks by Miles F. Viernes | Norway

On August 26, the negotiating panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) signed a joint statement on the resumption of formal peace talks after failed attempts by past presidents which began in 1986 by former president Corazon Aquino. This concluded the first round of formal talks between the government and the communists which started on August 22 at the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel. The historic event was preceded by the unprecedented release of a number of political prisoners and the indefinite unilateral ceasefire by both sides. This marks the end of almost four decades of insurgency, one of the longest in Asia.



The joint statement was signed by Secretary Jesus G. Dureza, GRP Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Professor Jose Maria C. Sison, Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP, Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, Chairperson of the GRP Negotiating Panel, and Luis Jalandoni, Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel. The peace talks were facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) under the able direction of Special Envoy to the Philippine Peace Process Ambassador Elisabeth Slattum and Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende. With the joint statement, both sides expressed their commitment to resume the formal talks aimed at resolving the armed conflict by addressing its root causes. They

agreed to accelerate the peace process and set the timeline for the completion of the remaining substantive agenda for the talks. These will involve a discussion of socio-economic reforms; political and constitutional reforms; and end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The parties will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte an amnesty for all political prisoners with the concurrence of Congress. This will include the list of the NDFP and those who have been charged , arrested or imprisoned for alleged acts or omissions in violation of the Revised Penal Code or other special laws. The next meeting will be held in Oslo, Norway on October 8-12, 2016.

With the joint statement, both sides expressed their commitment to resume the formal talks aimed at resolving the armed conflict by addressing its root causes. 35


ASEAN Cultural Night in Oslo

by Miles F. Viernes | Norway Photos | Miles F. Viernes, Ms. Charmaine Aviquivil, Loeri Riolada

The ASEAN Cultural Night 2016 , jointly organized by the ASEAN Committee in Oslo (ACO), was held on August 18 at the Gamle Logen, the old Freemasons Lodge which is a festivities venue in Oslo. The yearly event is held to promote and raise awareness of the ASEAN community in Norway. ASEAN was established in 1967 aimed at accelerating economic growth, social progress and development in the region and promoting regional peace and stability. It now consists of 10 member states. Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have resident embassies in Norway. These comprise the ACO. The Cultural Night has been held annually since 2013. This year it marked the 49th Founding Anniversary of ASEAN. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Jukr Boon Long of Thailand, current ACO Chairman, cited the new role of Norway as the first Asean Sectoral Dialogue partner. He said that this attests to the active role of Norway in fostering cooperation and exchange of expertise with ASEAN in various fields such as



trade and investment, energy and maritime security, among others. The following heads of posts graced the event: Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia Mr. Yuwono Agus Putranto, Ambassador of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Ms. Maw Maw, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand Mr. Jukr Boon-Long, Charge d’affaires of the Republic of the Philippines Ms. Charmaine Rowena Aviquivil, and the Charge d’affaires of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Minister Counsellor Dr. Le Thanh Binh. Before the presentations, the guests were treated to a buffet of native dishes and delicacies from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam. The presentations Mr. Junel Liwanag from the Philippines was the first to perform, with his rendition of “Kay Ganda” (How beautiful), a popular Filipino song. He followed this up with a song from the musical Jekyll

and Hyde, “This is the Moment”. Thailand awed the audience with Serng Pong Lang, a typical Thai Northeastern dance featuring brisk and active moves accompanied by the sound of Pong Land, a Northeastern xylophone. This was followed by a Northeastern folk dance called Mak Gaep Dance. This dance showcases the life style of female villagers after finishing their chores. The dance combines the use of “Mak Gap Gaep,” northeastern percussions with folk culture and performing arts. Indonesia’s musical performance featured the Angklung, a musical instrument which is popular throughout Southeast Asia but originated in what is now West Java and Banten provinces in Indonesia. The angklung consists of two to four bamboo tubes suspended in a bamboo frame, bound with rattan cords. The tubes are carefully whitted and cut to produce certain

notes when the bamboo frame is shaken or tapped. Vietnam presented Ly hoai xuan and Ly tinh tang, two folk songs with the Dan Tranh, a traditional Vietnamese instrument. These folk songs are from the middle of Vietnam or Mien Trung and depict sadness and love. This was followed by “Mua Tay Nguyen”, a group dance of South Western Highlands which depicts the life of the people. The dance is usually performed during funerals, weddings and blessings. Myanmar capped the presentations with Bagan dance, which originated from the time of the Pyu kingdoms (5th-10th century). A small number of crude musical instruments were used and the dance style is slow and sedate. The dancers from the Myanmar embassy wore colorful and beautiful costumes.





Couples for Christ holds European Conference in Stockholm

As Interviewed by Sylvia Bondoc

Stockholm, Sweden was the host of the 19th Couples for Christ Foundation for Family Life (CFC FFL) Euro Conference. The conference which took place from August 12-14, 2016 at Scandic Infra City Hotel was attended by almost 700 participants from different parts of Europe. The CFC FFL Euro Conference theme, Rich in Mercy (Ephesians 2:4), supports the Jubilee of Mercy declared by Pope Francis in April 2015. Inspirational talks were delivered by several speakers from Philippines and the USA. CFC FFL founder, Frank Padilla, Jr. delivered the main message of the conference. God’s mercy is exemplified through our actions of sharing, forgiving and genuine concern for our brothers and sisters in the family, community and the greater society. Living God’s mercy brings about peace and unity which are what our world needs most now. Bro. Bernard and Sis. Nadia Faraj also testified how they have experienced God’s mercy in their lives as one of them was saved from the bombing of a church and how they fled out of their country. The conference is highlighted with several special activities. A gastronomic experience enlivens

the spirit of the opening. Each of the countries prepared and shared the delectable flavors and delicacies that would greatly satisfy the palettes of the super excited participants. A parade of banners followed. Each delegation brought their self-made banners to the front and gave short presentations of song and dance in praise for God’s work in our lives. The banners are made in the theme, Rich in Mercy. Apart from showcasing our God-given talent for ARTS, this was also an opportunity to show how God has touched our lives in different sectors of the society thru short skits with dances and songs. CFCFFL Sweden being the host presented several of its previous praise song and dance numbers. Most importantly, the conference was grace and blessed by Bishop Anders Arborelius thru a concelebrated mass with all visiting priests from the Philippines and the different EU countries. It was indeed an experience of fun, fellowship and faith. See you all in Berlin for the next CFCFFL Euro Conference 2017.






With the Theme, “The Filipino Community in Europe, facing the challenges, while maximizing the potential in the spirit of inclusiveness” – The European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD) held its 4th Annual General Assembly in the grand city of Prague. More than 100 community leaders and members representing Filipino organizations and federations from the Filipino communities around Europe, public and private agencies and non-Filipino NGO’s involved in migration issues were in attendance, and also business establishments with overseas Filipino clients. The general objectives of the AGM were: “To jointly re-examine the challenges of the past year, look on to the opportunities ahead, reinforce the ties of cooperation among Filipinos throughout Europe”; and the specific objectives were: “To review the current migration crises and the rise of nationalist movements across Europe, changes in the Philippine government and reflect on implications to the lives of Eurobased Filipinos”;

Day 1 was the Joint Meeting of the ENFiD BoD and country representatives at the Philippine Embassy in Prague. H.E. Ambassador Victoriano Lecaros graciously welcomed the delegates. ENFiD Chairman Gene Alcantara also welcomed the delegates and delivered the opening speech; ENFiD Executive Director Rohlee de Guzman spoke on “The Role and Added-Value of ENFiD”, Marison Rodriguez, 41

ENFiD Board Secretary, made a presentation of the Membership; and ENFiD Treasurer Renee Ikdal made her report. The meeting included discussions on membership; and

Czech cuisine. The evening was highlighted with the delegates attending a film at the Asian Film Fest at Kino Lucerna.

motions and amendments on the ENFiD Constitution and By-Laws.

Days 2 and 3, The venue of the Annual General Assembly was the hall of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies (SCVTS), by the Novotneho Lavka.

The delegates proceeded to discuss the ‘Dream Plan’ – How Do We Envision ENFiD in 2,5, 10 years from now”. They also reviewed and assessed the organizational structure, Constitution and By-Laws, how to introduce improvements wherein applicable. Also, for ENFiD members to share best practices and updates and strengthen synergies of initiatives and activities. Tackled on this day were the issues of personal and organizational memberships. The Philippine Embassy in Prague were gracious hosts for lunch, with traditional 42

Again, H.E. Ambassador Victoriano Lecaros welcomed the delegates, followed by the opening speech of ENFiD Chairperson, Gene Alcantara. Ms Rohlee de Guzman, ENFiD Executive Director made a presentation about, “ENFiD-Four Years After”, mapping out the progress of ENFiD since it was started four years ago. Notable speakers from the Philippines, were Ms. REGINA GALIAS, OIC of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), who spoke on current and future CFO programs dealing with


overseas Filipinos/Overseas Filipino Workers. Ms. MAI AÑONUEVO, Executive Director of ATIKHA, spoke on how potential contributions of Euro-Pinoys in all fields can be maximized. And on how the engagements of OFs and OFW’s can be enhanced and structuralized, so that these will lead to improvement of the lives of Euro-Pinoys and also help the Philippines. Dr. LUCIE SLADKOVA of the International Organization for Migration (IOM Prague), spoke on “What is Gender and Development” – Why is gender sensitivity important for migrant communities in Europe”? Ms PIA GONZALES ABUCAY, Country Representative of ENFiD Italy, made a presentation of the “Paaralan Project” – a successful joint project of ENFiD Italy and the PhilAmLife Foundation. Workshops: The delegates were divided into four workshop groups, each tackling the following subjects: (1) “Future Generation Euro-PinoysHow to involve second and future generation Euro-Pinoys”, Facilitator: Lenny Bugayong with Noi-P of Switzerland; (2) “Our Environment, Ourselves”- How OFs in Europe can be EnvironmentResponsive”

Facilitator: Diana Halmans, Country Rep ENFiD Netherlands. (3) “ Do You See What I See - How to Promote Philippine Art and Culture in Europe, within our own Community and Beyond”. Facilitator: Ver Cuison, Curator and ENFiD Board member, Kunsthuas and Alaeh Germany. (4) “ Let’s get Smarter- Areas wherein we want to be more knowledgeable, and the Skills we want to develop” – Facilitator, Betsy von Atzigen, ENFiD Committee Head on Learning and Educational Development. The day culminated with a dinner concert- featuring Ms. STEPHANIE REESE, ENFiD Ambassador of Goodwill. The evening also featured the oath-taking of ENFiD Country Representatives, and the Grand Raffle Draw. On 2nd day, 18th September, ENFiD Country Reports were made. Country groups were : ‘Sampaguita Group’: Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Israel and France; ‘Adobo group’, UK, Turkey, Norway, Iceland, Czech Republic; ‘Kalabaw Group’: Switzerland, Romania, Germany, Greece, Italy; ‘Palayok Group’, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Malta, Sweden. The four ‘Workshop groups’ presented their ‘forward looking plans’, action plans and feasibility reports. Election for the vacant ENFiD Board positions and election of new board members. Elected to the five vacant positions were: Renee Ikdal (ENFiD Norway), Dennis 43

Mana-ay (ENFiD France), Oggie Maristela (ENFiD Germany), Ric Gacayan (ENFiD UK) and Rosalud de la Rosa (ENFiD Italy). The new board members took their oath of office in the evening.

OGGIE MARISTELA (ENFiD Germany) were the able moderators of the AGM. Special to Ms MARISON RODRIGUEZ, ENFiD Board Secretary, and her team of generous and capable supporters who lent a helping hand.

The conference was closed with an evaluation, distribution of special awards, certificates and words of thanks.

See you next year!

RACHEL HANSEN, Vice-Chair of ENFiD Europe presided over the special closing ceremony. The delegates formed a large circle, everyone announcing a special word to describe the conference. Reverberating words like: “Awesome, wonderful, powerful, magical, inspiring, uplifting, freedom, learning, friendship, and many more, closed the two days AGM. The evening was highlighted with a river cruise with dinner and entertainment along the Prague River. The art exhibition, ‘FILIPINISM”, featuring works of noted Filipino artists and curated by Ver Cuison, were on display during the twodays Assembly. BETSY VON ATZIGEN (ENFiD Switzerland), CHERYL SEVEGAN (ENFiD Israel) and


Background : ENFiD was created after a European Conference in Rome in 2012. ENFiD is a networking association of Filipino groups in Europe. It is registered in Malta and the EU Transparency Registry, with a 20-country members of federated Filipino organizations and an institutional partner of the Commission on Filipinos Oversas (CFO) and the PhilAm Life Foundation. There are close to 900,000 Flipinos in Europe: the biggest groups are - 200,000 in Italy; 300,000 in UK, 60,000 in Spain, 60,000 in Germany. Other countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. as reported by Luz Bergersen | Norway Photos | Tessie Wilms


FILIPINISM ON DISPLAY IN PRAGUE as reported by Vanda Brady | Ireland

The European Network of Filipino Diaspora presented a uniquely Filipino art exhibition at its General Assembly on 17-18 September 2016 in Prague, The Czech Republic. Spearheaded by ENFiD Board Director and art curator Ver Cuizon, the ”Filipinism”-themed exhibit displayed a special selection of pieces created by renowned Filipino artists. Apart from showcasing the craft of emerging Filipino painters, the networking organisation run a raffle draw featuring some of the artwork plus items from various ENFiD members and reputable donors. THE THEME - Filipinism: What Makes Art Filipino Filipinism is not a new movement in the art scene. It is a way of showing the real identity of the artist into their works as a Filipino. It is the aesthetic conceptualisation on how the Filipino artist’s ideas, heart and soul is injected in every piece. Filipinism in the art world began during the Impressionism period wherein two Filipino visual artists won at the Exposicion National Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain. In 1881 Juan Luna, the first recognized Philippine artist garnered Silver in painting for a piece titled La Muerta de Cleopatra. In 1884, his more popular work Spoliarium won the 1st Gold medal in the same competition while Felix Resureccion Hidalgo’s artwork titled Las Vigenes Cristianas al Populacho got the silver medal. Many noted Filipino artists won international acclaim in the field of visual art like Rene Robles and Rafael Cusi to name a few. The latest who is called “The Juan Luna of our

generation” is Max Balatbat who won Silver in the prestigious competition Lorenzo Il Magnifico Award during the 7th Florence Biennale in Florence, Italy in 2009 besting around 3,000 entries from 80 countries.

FEATURED ARTISTS Rene Robles Assertionism, an art movement with the underlying principle of having the power to assert, transform and transcend, was pioneered by Rene whose work highlights challenging visual perspectives that suggest a sense of reminiscence, melancholy and displacement. His collectors are King Carlos of Spain, Bill Clinton, King Bhumibol of Thailand. One of his brilliant art works worth €1500 will be donated as a grand prize in a raffle draw at the general assembly. 45

Ernesto Bagtas Jr. Considered the genius of his generation in the Philippines, Ernesto or ”Aris” uses motifs and compositions that are more attuned to Philippine cultural sensibilities. His works are distinctively Filipino which inspire to create a country where family values, traits and traditions are not forgotten. Aris is donating a painting worth €1000 as a grand prize for General Assembly Raffle Draw.

Sherwin Paul Gonzales Celebrated Filipino artist Sherwin is the originator of ”Tareptepism” from the old Tagalog word tareptep, which means “ripple of water”. It outlines the Filipino art style which aims to convert the ripple of Filipino art into waves in the national and global art scene. Sherwin has won 3 consecutive national and international competitions in 2015.

Vincent Christopher Gonzales Self-taught visual artist Vincent, like his brother Sherwin, are advocates of truly indigenous Filipino art style. Vincent hypothesised that the illusion of motion is what gives worthy paintings impact and created with Sherwin ”Tareptepism” based on this principle.

Emmanuel Nim Emmanuel Nim is a prolific artist whose portraiture echoes his love for the human figure and deep 46

concerns for Mother Nature. He is also known for his portraits, human figurative and landscape paintings that usually carries a message that humans are the stewards of mother earth.

Ronna Manansala Ronna picks female themes of mother and child, grieving Virgin Mary, and gossiping women and stayed close to the intentional breaking down of subject into near abstract form. She uses subjects of ordinary rural Filipino folks in various activities and projects the raw and pure character of a strong woman, depicting her grandma, mother and herself.

Fred Ramirez Hardcore abstractionist and feel-good artist Fred Ramirez uses internal landscapes to evoke mental states and emotions. Applying bright splashes of paint and even generous impasto on his canvas, with occasional contrasting blobs for accent - the gifted Leyte-born artist emerges strongly, even defiantly - from the group of realists and surrealists.

Anna Yacat Bader Anna Yacat Bader is a Filipina living in Vienna whose profession is an art painter. A self-taught gifted artist, she renders using acrylic or watercolor and is inspired by the beautiful sceneries in Austria such as fields, the alps and old buildings. Anna’s work is very much appreciated in Austria and internationally. She started sharing her fascinating work since she moved to Austria over a year ago.

Prague, Czech Republic, September 16-18, 2016



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