Yes Philippines NewsMagazine UK - January 2023

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1 ONLY TRUE LOCAL COVER to COVER FROM Filipino Community Newspaper F R E E C O P Y FRE E C O PY UNITED KINGDOM EDITION JANUARY2023 The
PhotoCredits:Samir Hussein/WireImage
Europe's COOLEST Filipino Present er FB.com / SonnyLaraganOfficial ROMANTIC FRIDAYS and m ost 9:00PM l UNITEDKINGDOM 10:00PM l CENTRALEUROPE (LONDON) (PARIS/ ROME/ BERLIN/ MADRID)

At the beginning of each year, we at ?Yes Philippines? double down on our commitment to bring you the best Filipino news magazine in the UK So, from January onwards, expect to be informed and entertained to the max by our monthly offerings.

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

IT'S t he st art of 2023 and m any of us w ould have begun our New Year Resolut ions in t he past few days

According to a survey, the most popular New Year?s Resolutions for this year are: Exercise more, eat healthier, lose weight, save money, and spend more time with family and friends But isn? t it the same year after year?

Another survey says that nearly half of us give up our goals after just one month Therefore, by February, we will have quit the gym, are back to eating doughnuts, and are free-spending on things we want, but not necessarily need

On the other hand, those of us who persevere with our resolutions are rewarded with, not only a slim, healthy body, but also a robust bank balance Moreover, emotional fulfillment is gained through quality time spent with loved ones

At the beginning of each year, we at ?Yes Philippines?double down on our commitment to bring you the best Filipino news magazine in the UK So, from January onwards, expect to be informed and entertained to the max by our monthly offerings

In this month?s issue, we have a number of news stories and features from the home country - from President Marcos?s trip to China, to the Feast of the Black Nazarene We also have a line-up of local news - from the commemoration of Jose Rizal?s martyrdom, to a Philippine senator?s visit to London Some community groups report on their recent activities

Find out who coined the term ?Juan dela Cruz?(generic reference to us Pinoys) and where he was from, in our Philippine history corner You?ll be surprised!

All these and more can be found in the pages of your favourite news magazine So, start thumbing through your copy and enjoy an excellent read

JANUARY 2023 This Edition is distributed all over theUnited Kingdom (England,
& Northern Ireland)
Wales,Scotland
Publisher MARY SOL PIMENTEL SONNY LARAGAN Associat e Publisher SARAH MAE LARAGAN Managing Edit or MARIA ELLIS Product ion Manager PAULA PEREZ Art Direct or JOHN KNUCKLES Writ ers/ Cont ribut ors VIVA O'FLYNN PEPS VILLANUEVA ROBERT LABAYEN CAMILLE EUSEBIO EDGAR DUAY Advert ising KARLA DUCAY Colum nist LIRA SIMON-CABATBAT Circulat ion FERNAN DOMINGO BIEN EVANGELISTA 4

Significant Events in JANUARY

On 26 January, in a telegram to Washington, MacArthur said:

On 1st January 1906, by virtue of Philippine Commission Act No 1123 of April 1904, English became the official language of the Philippines It was used in court proceedings and no person was eligible for government service who did not know the language

"Mabini-deported:a most active agitator persistentlyand defiantlyrefusingamnestyand maintainingcorrespondence with insurgentsin thefield while livingin Manila, Luzon under protection of the United States;also for offensive statement in regard to recent proclamation enforcingthelawsof war Hisdeportation is absolutelyessential "

15 Ja nua ry 1914, Isa bel Rosa rio CooperM a cArt hur's mist ress a nd rec ipient of t he f irst on- sc reen kiss in Philippine c inema - wa s born in M a nila

Cooper tried to find work as an actress in Hollywood; however, the only roles that she could manage were those of an extra She committed suicide by overdosing on barbiturates in 1960 She was 46 years old

15 Ja nua ry 1973, drug t ra f f ic ker Lim Seng wa s exec ut ed by musket ry

On 22 January 1873, Robert McCulloch Dick, editor and publisher of the weekly magazine Philippines Free Press, who coined the name "Juan de la Cruz" in generic reference to Filipinos, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland

7 Ja nua ry 1901, M a cArt hur ordered t he deport a t ion of lea ders of t he Revolut ion t o Gua m

On 7 January 1901, Major General Arthur MacArthur Jr ordered the deportation to the island of Guam a number of politicians and leaders of the Revolution led by Filipino hero Apolinario Mabini General Arthur MacArthur Jr was the father of General Douglas MacArthur, a five-star general of the USArmy during World War II

Mabini, the "Brains of the Revolution" who served as chief adviser of General Emilio Aguinaldo, was exiled for aiding and supporting the guerrilla war against the Americans and the cause of the Philippine Independence

On 15 January 1914, Isabel Rosario Cooper also known as "Dimples", was born in Manila She was a Filipina film actress known for being the mistress of General Douglas MacArthur and recipient of the first on-screen kiss in Philippine cinema

Two of Cooper?s films were Miracles of Love (1925) and Ang Tatlong Hambog (1926) In the latter film, Cooper made Philippine film history with Luis Tuason when they performed the very first kissing scene in a Philippine film

In 1930, at the age of 16, Cooper met the American General Douglas MacArthur then commander of all U S troops in the Philippines MacArthur's marriage had ended a year earlier Cooper became his mistress in Manila

Five months after they first met, MacArthur returned to the United States; while he intended to bring her to Washington, he could not risk scandal by traveling with her, so he bought her a ticket on a ship to arrive after him She arrived in Washington and ended up ensconced in an apartment in Georgetown Washington DC

Dimples lived a life of luxury, although everything was kept in secret Since she was not expected to go out, Dimples spent most of her time inside the apartment with only a pet poodle as her companion The boredom soon took its toll on Dimples so she began traveling around the city in style and had affairs with several prominent men Or so the story goes

On 15 January 1973, Lim Seng, convicted drug trafficker, was executed by firing squad at 6 in the morning His execution sent a stern warning to drug syndicates in the country and resulted in terminating the illicit drug business in the country during that period

Lim Seng was sentenced to death by a military commission, after some P3-million worth of heroin was seized from his nine laboratories in Caloocan City and other parts of Metro Manila on September 1972, days after Martial Law was declared, by elements of the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) along with other representatives of the United States Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs

Several high-powered firearms were also seized from Lim Seng, who was tagged as responsible for the proliferation of high-grade heroin in Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines

Lim Seng used his business enterprises that included a printing press, factories and restaurants, as fronts for his heroin trade Based on the estimates of the then Philippine Constabulary, the drug problem of the country, affected some 350,000 people during that period

At the age of 19, he emigrated to the United States where he first made his way doing odd jobs

He secured a job in a weekly newspaper in New York When he learned from an American journalist that English-speaking newsmen were needed in the Philippines, he persuaded the manager of a British shipping company to advance him a ticket and set sail for Manila

Shortly after his arrival, in October 1900, Dick found employment as a reporter on the Cablenews-American, one of the pioneer American-owned papers in the Philippines In 1902, he transferred to the then American-owned Manila Times as a court reporter On this assignment he coined the name "Juan de la Cruz" in generic reference to Filipinos; quickly accepted, it is still in common usage

Looking around for opportunities, he heard of an English-language magazine, the Philippines Free Press that had closed down after a few issues A sale was made; Dick bought the name, goodwill and subscription list for one peso

Acknowledging his contributions to the Republic, Robert McCullouch Dick was awarded the Philippine Legion of Honour, rank of Commander, by the Philippine Government on 7 August 1958 He was also given the first Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism and Literature in 1958 at the age of 85 He died in 1961

He wrote the True Decalogue when Filipino-American war broke out which inspired the Filipinos to fight and die for freedom

Mabini and 31 others sailed for Guam on 16 January among them were Pablo Ocampo, Julian Gerona, General Artemio Ricarte,

In 1933, when the secret affair threatened to become public, MacArthur brought it to an end reportedly giving her $15 000 and a ticket back to the Philippines, the money and ticket allegedly delivered by his aide, Dwight Eisenhower

Isabel did not use the ticket and never returned to the Philippines

Lim Seng succumbed to seven caliber 30 bullets from M-1 rifles pumped into his chest

PHILIPPINE HISTORY CORNER 6
JANUARY 2023
(Jues Cambon theFrenchAmbassador otheUni edSta es s gnng hememorandumo rat f cationonbehaf of Spain) FIRST Ja nua ry 1906, English bec a me t he of f ic ia l la ngua ge of t he Philippines Maximino Hizon, Pio del Pilar and Mariano Llanera 22 Ja nua ry 1873, Robert M c Culloc h Dic k wa s born in Edinburgh, Sc ot la nd General Art hur MacArt hur, Jr Douglas MacArthur in 1943 or 1944 and Isabel Rosario Cooper in 1940 The sentencing of drug traff cer Lim Seng Robert McCulloch Dick
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! WISHINGYOU AND YOURFAMILIES A PROSPEROUSAND WONDERFUL NEW YEAR! GOD BLESS, P O O T E N FORWARDINGINTERNATIONAL CONTACT US: 0208-520-6435 | 0208-509-1434 | 0777-072-7486 WWW.POOTENFORWARDINGINTERNATIONAL.COM

Nino

TORIES abound at t est ing t o t he m iraculous pow ers of t he Senor St o Nino in Cebu, and am ong t hem is t he personal ?encount er ? of a dow nheart ed Dipolog priest w hose spirit s w ere ?lift ed out from darkness and brought int o t he light ?

Fr Leonilo Dagpin, Jr shared his encounter with the Senor Sto Nino in his homily recently as he presided over the 10 a m second-day Concelebrated Novena Mass at the Basilica Minore del Sto Nino de Cebu Pilgrim Centre

Fr Jun, now the administrator of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Barangay Sta Filomena, Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte province, said the Sto Nino, appeared to him while he was lying on a bed inside a small room at the Patria de Cebu recuperating from major bone fractures, damage on his face and right eye caused by a freak accident in Dipolog City, five years ago

He narrated that on 26 March 2017, he was in a hurry for another Mass at another chapel in Dipolog when the motorcycle he was driving flipped over after hitting an uneven surface due to ongoing asphalting at that time

?You know what, I was so depressed In a hospital in Dipolog, I already questioned God why the accident happened I said to the Lord, ?Why me who had just said a Holy Mass??The Mass was for you I am your priest I asked the Lord why did he allow it, seeing the damage,?said Fr Jun in a mix of English and Cebuano

Encount er w it h a ?lit t le boy w it h curly hair asking for w at er ?

Fr Jun said he was transported to Cebu via a sea vessel and was confined in hospital for several months, and thanks to his siblings and other benefactors he was able to secure

money

for his hospitalization

?But deep in my heart, the PHP500,000 that was raised for my hospitalization did not give the peace that I wanted, because, during that time, I was very depressed,?he said

His depression worsened when the hospital administration asked him to find another place, suggesting that extending his stay would only pile up his medical bills

The advice of the hospital administration forced his family to rent a room at the Patria de Cebu, an inn owned and managed by the Archdiocese of Cebu, where priests could get big discounts

?One day, while inside my room, I was lying on my bed because I can? t even tilt my body to the side because both of my arms were cemented, and I can? t see a thing because my eyeglasses got broken during the accident

My parents were there when we heard someone knocking on the door When my mother opened the door, I saw a little boy with curly hair and a radiant face who asked for water,?Fr Jun narrated

He recalled that his mother asked the boy why he was asking for water, wondering why a young vagrant would ask neither for money nor food, but something to drink

?The boy replied to my Mama: ? I asked for water, but they did not give me?,?the priest said, recalling how the boy?s words, which was stated in an innocent voice, struck him and gave him goosebumps

After his mother gave him a bottle of water, the little boy went away Fr Jun said his mother started to follow him, but went back to close the door, and in just five seconds, the boy disappeared from their sight

The priest?s father went to the chapel to pray because of the encounter

When the priest?s mother went to the chapel to see her husband and asked if he saw where the boy was, the priest?s father said he did not see the boy

been doing for five years now ? about his close encounter with the ?little boy with curly hair asking for water?

?According

my father, the boy was transmitting a kind of energy a power a strength while staring at me lying in my bed,? Fr Jun said

When the mother who was sobbing in tears asked him: ?Jun, who was he??He replied: ?Ma, it was the Sto Nino! The Holy Child Jesus visited me while I am on the verge of my suffering because of my condition after the accident ?

Fr Jun said the encounter lifted his spirits, and moved him to utter: ?Thank you, Lord Thank you, Sto Nino for visiting me at this time in my life when I needed you most!?

Marvels of t he St o Nino

In September 2022, the holy image of the Sto Nino visited the Diocese of Dipolog

He said he was ?honoured and privileged?to celebrate a Holy Mass in his parish where the Sto Nino was enthroned and became emotional when he shared -- which he has

Fr Jun pledged to the thousands of devotees who attended the Holy Mass he was presiding along with dozens of concelebrants to continue preaching the ?marvels of the Sto Nino?, even as he said that there are many old stories about the locals having an experience with the Holy Child

Cebuanos regard the Sto Nino as miraculous Many downtrodden individuals would always associate their encounter with an unknown ?boy with curly hair?as the miraculous Child, viewing it as a blessing

The image of the Sto Nino now enshrined at the 457-year-old Basilica named after him, is the oldest Christian artifact in the Philippines It was originally a gift from Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon and his wife, Reyna Humamay, on account of their Christian baptism in 1521 or 502 years ago

(PNA)

8 JANUARY 2023
SPECIAL FEATURE
The priest?s mother went back to the room in tears to
From
to
encounter with the Sto.
(Screengrab from the Basilica Minore del Sto Nino de Cebu video)
darkness
light: A Priest?s
May 2023 be an extraordinary year! Wishing you many happy memories in 2023! Let this new year bring new aspirations, friendships, and love. Best wishes to you and your family!
S
9 JANUARY 2023 NOW PLAYING ORIGINAL PINOY M USIC 24.7 T h e G r eat est O PM Songs C ollect ion w w w.pinoyra diouk.c om

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY IN LONDON CONDUCTS COMMUNITY CO-CURATION WORKSHOP WITH THE TANNER VINTAGE FILIPINIANA COLLECTION

The collection, consisting of indigenous costumes and objects mostly from the Cordillera Autonomous Region and Mindanao was acquired by Mr David Tanner a British national who worked for a multinational corporation in Manila from 1975 to 1980, and his family, particularly his mother, during their travels around the Philippines Rachel and Clare are Mr Tanner and wife Jackie?s Philippines-born daughters

The community co-curation workshop, in collaboration with the Philippine Studies programme at SOAS University of London, was moderated by its Project Head, Dr Maria Cristina Juan Members of the Filipino community in London belonging to the two (2) Igorot organizations - the Igorot Charity UK and the Igorot Organisation UK ? as well as the Philippine Muslim Association (PMA) eagerly participated in the workshop Mr Tanner, whose family owns the collection, was likewise present, and spoke about his interest and fascination with Philippine indigenous cultures The son of an anthropologist he said he recognizes the historical and cultural significance of the collection, hence, his wish, together with his family, to donate the items to the Philippines

In her opening remarks Chargé d?Affaires a i Rhenita B Rodriguez extolled the idea of community groups coming together to share their stories and recollections in order to paint a picture of their communities? history and heritage CDA Rodriguez also expressed her gratitude to Mr Tanner for loaning his family?s collection of vintage Filipiniana items to the Embassy for the workshop which is in preparation for an exhibit of the collection at Sentro Rizal London in 2023

In her presentation before the workshop proper, Dr Juan discussed the main ideas and steps of community co-curation, which involves the source communities and is aimed at reconnecting the items with the cultural bearers

The activity was an opportunity for the participants to view, touch and assess the significance of the collection They were very enthusiastic in sharing snippets of lore about the items, such as being told as young children by their parents that if they are naughty, men wearing an Ifugao hat (one of the items in the Tanner collection) will take them away and they will never see their parents again A Tausug participant shared that one of the headscarves in the collection is mostly worn by warriors The participants also tossed around ideas on how they want their respective cultures to be represented in an exhibit of the collection

10 NEWS FROM HOME EMBASSY NEWS FB.com / Pinoy Rad ioUK w w w .p inoy rad iouk .com +4 4 (0 ) 7 8 5 0 7 4 0 5 5 3 JANUARY 2023
co-curat
w it
HE Philippine Em bassy in London recent ly conduct ed a com m unit y
Tion w orkshop, ?Well-w orn Belongings ? A Source Com m unit y Co-curat ion Workshop
h t he Rachel and Clare Tanner Collect ion? of vint age Philippine clot hing and ot her it em s at Sent ro Rizal London

advert

What is a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)?

*

requested

AApplying for a BRPfrom within the UK

If your limited eave s about to expire, regardless of whether you are app ying for indefinite leave to remain (also known as settlement), or simply seeking to further extend your visa you wil need to make a further appl cat on to the Home Office before your visa exp res In the course of this process, you will also be required to enrol your biometric information

Once your application for extension of your visa is granted, you will rece ve your BRP This will be posted to you or your lega representative

BRPexpiry on 31 December 2024

If you have recently been granted extension of your visa of a further 2 5 years or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) you wil have noticed that your BRP card has an expiry date of 31 December 2024, clearly short of the visa you have been granted This is not a mistake but part of changes the Home Office wil be imp ementing on the 1st of January 2025

The first thing to remember is that the actual ength of your visa will be noted on the Home Office?s letter granting your further visa It is important that you keep this safe, and I would recommend tak ng a photo of this and your BRPso that you have a digital copy of both

*

Given the purpose of a BRP, it is important to know the process for obtaining a BRP This differs depending on whether you are applying from outside or with n the UK

Applying for a BRPfrom abroad

Once your appl cat on for entry visa (also referred to as vignette) into the UK is granted, and it is one that is for more than six months (so not a visit visa) your vignette is stamped on your passport Th s is usually for no more than one month You must enter the UK within the validity of your visa

When you collect your passport back or receive this by courier this will be accompanied by a letter stat ng the address of the Post Off ce where you will collect your BRP If you have been granted a Skilled Worker Visa (previously Tier 2 or Work Permit) or you are entering the UK to study you may have been given an ?Alternative Collection Location (ACL)? code by your sponsor This will mean you must collect your biometric residence permit from your sponsor

If you are collecting from the post office beware that you must collect your BRPwithin the 30-day vignette expiry date or within 10 days of arrival in the UK, whichever is later Clearly, not a lot of t me is provided so you should prioritise your BRPs collection

Wherever you are collecting your BRPyou must bring your passport as this will be required to prove your identity It is also advisable that you bring your Home Office decision letter in case this is

The government?s plan s that all visa information w ll be available online after the 31st of December 2024 Some, me included, have expressed scepticism about the practicality of this plan given the already difficult process travellers face when they do not have their BRPwhen travelling back to the UK My experience is that whilst the information may be readi y accessib e once you are before an immigration officer in the UK you need to travel beforehand Airline staff are required to ensure that passengers must have valid leave to enter the UK, and this is presently done by your product on of your BRP W thout this and after the 31st of December 2024, airline staff will be required to carry out the relevant mmigrat on check On a practical basis, I fear that will result in delay but more importantly, it is unc ear what secur ty measures the government will introduce to ensure that BRPinformation is secure They have s ightly shy of two years to ensure that a practical, efficient, and secure system is in place; I hope they can

Beware:

* You shou d not travel without your BRP Leaving the UK without your BRPmay not be an issue but you wi l like y not be permitted to board to return w thout one

* Your BRPis no onger good proof of your right to rent or work in the UK For proof you will need to provide your prospective employer or landlord with a ?share code?, this can be obtained via the Home Office website by inputting your information Your landlord or employer will then input this into the Home Office checking serv ce That website will in turn confirm whether you have the right to work or rent Employers and landlords are legally ob iged to make these checks

* If you lose your BRPyou must report this immediately This is done through the Home Office website (see link be ow) Failure to do so can result to a £1000 fine

https://www biometric-residence-permit ser vice gov uk/lost-stolen/where?hof-cookiecheck

12 IMMIGRATION CORNER Biom et ric Residence Perm it (BRP) s a card, t he size of a credit card w it h various nform at ion relat ing t o your im m igrat ion It can be noted that your BRPwi l show: * your name, date and place of birth * your fingerprints and your photo * your immigration status and any conditions of your stay * whether you can access public funds, for example benefits and health services The Home Office provides a useful description of its use: ?A biometr c residence permit
can be used to confirm your: * identity * right to study * right to any public services or benefits you?re entitled to You cannot use your BRPto confirm your right to work or rent You?ll need to prove your right to work online or prove your right to rent online nstead ?
you:
(BRP)
The Home Office goes on to say that a BRPwill be issued f
?apply to come to the UK for longer than 6 months * extend your visa to onger than 6 months * apply to settle in the UK
* transfer your visa to a new passport * apply for certain Home Office travel documents?
You can apply for a replacement BRPfor a fee of £154 00
If you already have settlement status in the UK and this is only endorsed on your passport, I advise
you st ll apply for a BRPespecially when
as you may find that many may view your
your travel JANUARY 2023
that
travelling
?stamp?with some suspicion causing delay to
NEWS FROM HOME 6 RAF- Recruitment Campaign for Multicultural Audiences 115 Earls Court , London SW5 9RL (in Sult an Hair, Beaut y & Laser Clinic) Monday t o Sunday 10 am t o 7 pm Phone: 020 7244 8652 Mobile: 07730 813 821 PHILIP DE VERA HAIR SALON

SENATOR GRACE POE HOLDS AN OPEN FORUM WITH THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY IN THE UK

During the meeting, the Senator expressed her commitment to improving the lives of the vulnerable members of society, especially children and the indigent The Senator

briefed the Filipino community leaders on developments in the Philippines

Senator Poe acknowledged the importance of an efficient transportation system and noted the correlation of transportation to the quality of life and financial well-being of commuters The Senator also cited the importance of a reliable internet and broadband infrastructure, especially in view of the Philippines?

position as one of the top BPO providers worldwide The Senator also discussed salient provisions of Republic Act (RA) No 11659 which amends the Public Service Act

During the open forum, among the matters discussed were the condition of Filipino healthcare workers in the United Kingdom, as well as healthcare benefits for OFWs wishing to retire in the Philippines

Senator Poe expressed her appreciation to the attendees and to the Embassy and reiterated her thanks to the thousands of OFWs especially healthcare workers, working abroad and contributing to the growth of the Philippine economy

14 EMBASSY NEWS JANUARY 2023
SENATOR Grace Poe m et w it h around 30 leaders of t he Filipino com m unit y in t he UK during her recent visit t o London also
15 DECEMBER 2021
St at ion Road
E12 5BT
40B
Manor Park, London

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY IN LONDON COMMENCES OVERSEAS VOTING REGISTRATION

The Embassy?s first registrant is Ms Jemayma Maronitis, a carer from Gloucestershire, England Ms Maronitis expressed her excitement at the prospect of being an overseas voter for the first time She also conveyed her appreciation for the quick and simple registration process

The Philippine Embassy in London reminds Filipinos in the UK and Ireland that previously registered voters who failed to vote in two consecutive elections are required to apply for the reactivation of their voter record Likewise, those who wish to move their voter record from another Foreign Service Post to London PE will need to register this transfer Changes in address and correction of voter registration entries can also be processed at the Embassy Applicants may register at the Embassy from 9:30AM5:00PM, Monday to Friday (except on Philippine and UK Bank Holidays)

Registration period is from 09 December 2022 to 30 September 2024

Greetings from,

NEWS FROM HOMECOMMUNITY NEWS EMBASSY NEWS 16 JANUARY 2023
THE Philippine Em bassy in London com m enced overseas vot ing regist rat ion for t he 2025 Nat ional Elect ions on 09 Decem ber 2022 Ms JemaymaMaronitis (left)is LondonPE's first applicant duringthis overseas voter registration period Inthephotowithher is Voeter RegistrationMachine(VRM)Operator Mr AllanFernandez
HOMECOMMUNITY NEWS SPECIAL FEATURE 17 JANUARY 2023
NEWS FROM
Pope Em erit us Benedict XVI laid t o rest The Vatican Media has taken and released this handout photograph showing officials preparing the casket of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at St Peter's Basilica in The Vatican Cardinals, dignitaries and thousands of priests and nuns from around the world had gathered to say goodbye to the German theologian Pope Benedict stunned the Catholic church in 2013 by becoming the first pontiff in six centuries to resign Source: ABS-CBN New s Handout, Vatican Media/AFP
Europe's COOLEST Filipino Present er FB.com / SonnyLaraganOfficial ROMANTIC FRIDAYS and m ost 9:00PM l UNITEDKINGDOM 10:00PM l CENTRALEUROPE (LONDON) (PARIS/ ROME/ BERLIN/ MADRID)

Budgeting skills, Kadiwa sites

hike

IGH prices of basic goods, including onion, a key cooking ingredient in every household

and food est ablishm ent , w elcom ed Filipinos during t he long Christ m as holiday and New Year break

Currently, the prevailing price of red onions is still perched high between PHP400 to PHP 700 per kilogram while local white onions are set at PHP550/kg to PHP680/kg, according to the Department of Agriculture BantayPresyo (price watch)

These prices prevail in the markets

despite the government setting the suggested retail price for onion at PHP250 per kilo But some families have found ways to cope up with the skyrocketing prices to provide the family a sumptuous meal on their table

In an interview, Raffy Bartolome, 31, a father of two, said he had to make some adjustments to his culinary strategies ?Sa sibuyas, need ko nanghatiin para sa next na lulutuin ko na ulam Mabigat talaga angpresyo ngayon kesa dati. Nag-doublena, hindi nga, nag-triple pa (For onions, I?m cutting it in half for our next dish It?s really expensive now than before Its price has doubled, and even tripled),?he told the Philippine News Agency

?Para sa mga padrede pamilya na

gaya ko, kontinghigpit pa sa bulsa Iwasmuna sa mga bisyo kasi sa bandanghuli, pamilya rin natin ang mahihirapan lalo na sa panahon ngayon (The head of the family, like me, needs to tighten the belt a bit more Avoid vices because in the end, it is our family which will suffer especially nowadays)

Bartolome also called on authorities to continue making the rounds in markets to ensure nobody takes advantage of the situation

P200 spices for 15 days

Like Bartolome, budgeting skills are a must for Michael Neil Guevarra 29, a government worker Guevarra said he has found the exact place that still sells the ingredients that he needs priced within their

budget

?Kungmatalinongmamimili ka ng Pilipinas, hindi ka aaraysa taasng bilihin? Sa Litexangsolusyon, tag-bebentelangangbinibili namin (If you?re a wise buyer in the Philippines, you would not need to complain about the high prices The solution is in Litex market in Quezon City We?re only buying as much as PHP20),?he said, referring to one or two pieces of onion Efficient Kadiw a sit es

Jennifer Neilsen Casulla, a news desk editor and a mother experienced in budgeting, finds Kadiwa sites favourable for families

?In a way they are efficient? In fairness, pricing of the basic goods like eggs, rice, onions, and sugar is okay,?she told the Philippine News

Agency She was able to purchase local white onions at PHP170/kg, way cheaper than the prevailing market prices in Metro Manila

As an alternative to Kadiwa sites, Casulla also urged consumers to find their favourite or usual sellers who offer loyal buyers special discounts But Kadiwa sites are not only helpful for families looking for affordable meal ingredients These sites even benefit those who own small eateries

Aries Reyes 39 owner of Chicha Food Haus in Angat town, Bulacan province, shared how helpful the DA?s Kadiwa site has been Reyes said they can even purchase affordable onions online via Facebook messenger, which is attended by a DA staff

19 NEWS FROM HOME JANUARY 2023
o credit : sort edfood com
Phot
price
come in handy amid food
H
LIKE AND FOLLOW US ON OUR fac ebook account s!
Phot o Couret sy: Raffy Bart olom e

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY IN LONDON

THE Philippine Em bassy in London joined t he ent ire nat ion in com m em orat ing t he 126t h anniversary of t he m art yrdom of Dr Jose Rizal at Sent ro Rizal London on 29 Decem ber 2022, t oget her w it h t he officers and m em bers of t he Knight s of Rizal (KOR) Area of Unit ed Kingdom and Ireland, Kababaihang Rizalist a, Inc (KRI)? London, and som e m em bers of t he Filipino com m unit y

The program commenced with the singing of the National Anthem followed by the wreath-laying ceremony at the bust of Dr Rizal by Chargé d'Affaires, a i , Rhenita B Rodriguez and Protocol Officer Michael John Angeles Flowers were also offered by the officers and members of the KORand KRI

In her opening remarks, CDA Rodriguez remembered Dr Rizal?s sacrifices and patriotism, and said that the Embassy found it fitting to pay tribute to our national hero through a reading of his seminal work ?Huling Paalam,?one of his last writings before his execution by firing squad on 30 December 1896

Thus, one of the highlights of the event was the recitation of ?Huling Paalam,?with KORand KRI officers and members as well as Embassy personnel reading a stanza each of Dr Rizal?s poem

A salo-salo of Filipino food capped the event

COMMUNITY NEWS 20 JANUARY 2023
COMMEMORATES THE 126TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARTYRDOM OF DR.
JOSE RIZAL

RE you a new m om / st ay-at -hom e m om raising babies/ t oddlers? A single m ot her, a st epm om or a w idow ?

A m om w ho has just arrived in t he UK or perhaps a m om m y w it h a grow n-up child or children? Working/ Work -from -hom e m om or even a m om -t o-be?

Homesickness, isolation and the consequent loneliness they bring are what many Filipino women face as new mothers in the UK Without their family or friends nearby to help with childcare or household chores, they long for a space to connect with fellow Pinoy mums to get advice, or just to have a laugh Thanks to Filipino Mothers UK (FMUK), Pinoy moms now have this space

The Facebook group was created by Wales-based Filipino mom, Catherine Wigley, 42, to offer a safe platform of support and advice for all Filipino mothers or mothers-to-be ?as well as grandmothers ? currently in the UK or coming to the UK The group will celebrate their Second (2nd) Year Anniversary on 25th March, coinciding with celebrations of Mother?s Day and Women?s Month

The group has grown rapidly in a short span of time From 639 members in July 2021, the group now has surpassed 4,500 members in 2023 Backed by a strong core of ten (10) administrators: Ailema Banks, Brenda Pearson, Cherrybell Latorre Igarta, Ethyl Destura Jo Montejo Jones Lyn Goodwin Melissa Grace ?Mel?Dizon, Nerissa Paramio Wooding, Paula Braiden, Beberly Foods All from various professions located in different areas including Scotland

To join this group, visit: FILIPINO MOTHERS UK and all questions must be answered prior to membership approval https://www facebook com/groups/136160 2870864548

Moreover, every week, they have regular Coffee Mornings first initiated by Oxfordshire-based Mom, Brenda Person via Zoom As participants and audience grew, volunteer-member moms have also been hosting other similar activities and interests

To cater to mothers with different schedules, FMUK Administrator, Mommy Mel Dizon created @TalkingngInamo, a talk show featuring real conversations among Filipino women about real issues, concerns, parenting, beauty, business, love, finance and more

This Holiday season, the group celebrated their Christmas Catch-Up Filipino Mothers UK (Founder Mommy Cat Mosquera-Wigley) last December 23 Games and prizes for all live audiences were given, bringing everyone good cheer

or Tails) - Mommy Sam Galang £20 Amazon voucher from Mommy Cherry L Igarta-Allison for AirBNB

2 The Wackiest Christmas Family Photo Contest - Mommy Diana Rose Vinluan Valdez Amazon voucher Prize from our Founder Mommy Cat Mosquera-Wigley

3 Merriest Dancing Mom - Mommy Zen Miranda Grand Prize winner - Dinner for 2 pax from RAPSA@Archway: 141 Junction Rd, Archway, London N19 5PXand Special Prize from KPO Architecture £20 Amazon Voucher (2 winners)

4 Talentadong Ina Mo - Mommy Sam Galang POOTEN Standard Box worth £80 collection from London/Southeast Area only or £20 Amazon Gift Voucher

5 The Singing Mom - Mommy Alyssa Jesha Sumalinog On the spot singing contest maximum 5 mothers (Grand Prize winner£35 Cash Prize from Mommy Mae Nepo Ellis for JSPFoods & Party)

6 Ma, Show Me! Our own version of Bring Me Sponsored by Pasabay Express with Mommy Tri Cia - Two (2) winners of One4All Gift Card worth £10 for Mommy Robelen and £20 for Mommy Charmie

7 Best Dressed Mom - Mommy Cherry L Igarta-Allison £20 Amazon Voucher - from Interns Online

Winners of Mommy Cherry?s Kiddie Christmas Craft Competition were judged by Mommy Karla Magpayo-Ramos:

£25 cash from Mommy Cherry: Ava, 3 years old and Faith 18 months old £20 cash from Mommy Nora: Georginna, 9 years old

One (1) Kiddie Hamper worth £15 from Beberly Foods: Joshua, 4 years old One (1) Kiddie Hamper worth £15 from Beberly Foods: Liam, 4 years old £10

21 COMMUNITY NEWS JANUARY 2023
1 Head O' Shoulders (our version of Heads
The announcement was immediately followed by a talk
on inspirational strategies against anxiety and depression Watch it and
the discussion! This is open to everyone, every Friday, 10AM to 12NN via MS-Teams Meeting: Meeting ID: 313
101 141 Passcode: guv44s Calendar of Activities: 13 January - How to Win in Challenging Relationships 20 & 27 January- OPEN FORUM 03 February ? Transmuting Sexual Energy to Your Advantage 10 February ?Valentine?s Day Special 17 February ?Understanding Your Love Language 24 February ?How to Heal a Broken Heart Life in the UK Quiz Bee by Mommy Brenda Pearson ? Coming Soon This is an initiative from MelTOURtainment led by Mel Dizon,
mompreneur/TV presenter for Globetrotter TV/ Founder
Interns Online and the Business Development Manager for Martello Building Consultancy and KPO Architecture This is in collaboration with the Administrators and Moderators
Mothers UK,
FILIPINO MOTHERS UK & TALKING NG INA MO COLLABORATION: A Aforumfor friendship,adviceandfunfor Filipinas
cash from FMUK: Trish, 9 years old
from Mommy Beberly
be part of
399
a
of
of the Filipino
the

President Marcos brought home fruits of various deals from China visit

BYALICESICAT

CARRYING a series of bilat eral agreem ent s, President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr has recent ly com e hom e from his t hree-day st at e visit t o t he People?s Republic of China, his first t rip out side t he count ry t his year

During the state visit President Marcos met with China?s top legislator Li Zhanshu in a bid to strengthen the relationship between Manila and Beijing, particularly as the world transitions to the new normal following the coronavirus pandemic

He also met with Chinese Premier Li Kequiang on Wednesday where he underscored the importance of forging partnerships not only between the two countries but also with other partners to

build economies and transform societies amid current challenges

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed his commitment to work with President Ferdinand R Marcos Jr to strengthen Manila-Beijing relations vowing to extend assistance to the Philippines in various areas such as in agriculture, energy and infrastructure

The Chinese leader and the President met at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday

The President also mentioned the continuing negotiation for the joint exploration between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, which he said is very important to the Philippines

The two leaders affirmed to establish a ?direct communication mechanism?to prevent possible miscommunication in the

West Philippine Sea (WPS) This communication line would be opened between the Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office of the Philippines?Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China

Moreover, 14 bilateral agreements were signed including deals on agriculture infrastructure, development cooperation, maritime security, and tourism, among others

One of these is a protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh durians from the Philippines to China between the Department of Agriculture and China?s General Administration of Customs

?It has been a very wide-ranging discussion? the meeting ran very long, and that?s why I?m actually very optimistic because President Xi

seemed to be genuinely interested in all of these issues and finding a way to move forward to again strengthen the relationship between China and the Philippines I?m quite gratified that we had made a good start,? President Marcos said in an interview

The diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China dates back 47 years ago

President Marcos was joined in the trip by First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy other members of the Cabinet and members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc (PIA-NCR)

22 NEWS FROM HOME Watch our programLEGAL ADVICECORNER Every................. TUESDAY 6:00 PM UK Time To watch it LIVE, visit: FILIPINO TV EUROPE JANUARY 2023
DECEMBER 2021 23

the tune of Feliz Navidad by Thalia

The Association prepared an assortment of fun and games for adult and children alike with plenty of prizes given away Father Christmas was in attendance and visited the delighted children and their parents by bringing joy and presents A huge thank you to the Third Secretary and Vice Consul Emilio Lopue for taking part Guests were treated to a delicious spread of food The party ended with everyone on the dance floor

The successful party was hosted by Atty Crystal Dias of Dias Solicitors who did a great job as the Christmas Fairy godmother

FWA-UK is an organisation established to project and bring together a balanced view of Filipino women, their diverse occupations as well as emphasising their importance and contribution to society by promoting friendship and understanding between the UK and the Philippines

To be a member or to learn more about FWA-UK, please visit their website: https://fwa-uk com/

24 EMBASSY NEWS JANUARY 2023
Women's Association
BYATTY.CRYSTALDIAS&VIVAANDRADAO'FLYNN CASH DONATION 1 Touch Spa 2 Gold Rush 3 Celia Herrera and Family 4 Bing Cabatic 5 Ira Lehmann 6 Raquel Scrivens 7 Crystal Dias 8 Nieves Bates 9 Marina Castillo SPECIAL PRIZE FOR MOST FESTIVE ATTIRE Pat Shah PHOTOGRAGHER 1 Andrea Santoni 2 Viva Andrada O?Flynn
F?Holly
Sat urday, 17t h
2022
Filipino
UK Holly and Jolly Shimmer Shine Christmas Party
ILIPINO Wom en?s Associat ion UK (FWA-UK) celebrat ed a Christ m as part y ent it led
and Jolly Shim m er and Shine? at Copt horne Tara Hot el in Kensingt on on
Decem ber
It was well attended by some 100 guests of all ages
Madam Chair Dulia Prado gave a welcome speech highlighting the work of the Association to date specially mentioning the scholarship programme in place in the Philippines and the current project for the senior citizens on IT training in Newham London, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund Acting Ambassador Rhenita Rodriguez conveyed her well wishes and congratulations to the FWA-UK The programme featured the marvellous Mervic Monocillo who showcased her soprano voice with an array of classical English and rock Filipino music enrapturing the audience at large The FWA-UK Fabulous Four Dancers: Pat Shah Rina Grosser, Celia Herrera and Chelo Valencia also showcased their zumba skills to
FWA-UK would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the following: RAFFLE TICKETS PRIZES DONATIONS 1 Celia Herrera 2 Wilma Lone 3 Clarita Richardson 4 Manila Supermarket 5 Coco Lounge 6 Imee Pinto 7 Pat Shah 8 Zanie Del Mundo 9 Chelo Valencia 10 Lorilie Rirao 11 Nancy Nacion 12 Linda Challis DOOR RAFFLE PRIZES DONATIONS 1 Chelo Valencia 2 Linda Challis CHILDREN GIFTS DONATIONS 1 Elsie De Jesus 2 Pat Shah GAMES PRIZES DONATIONS 1 Chelo Valencia 2 Pat Shah 3 Linda Challis

UR lives change because of New Year ?s Day

It?s actually just another day Just another year But marking that day between two twelvemonth periods makes a gigantic difference in our lives We take advantage of the symbolism of New Year?s Day to give psychological energy to our decision to make things better

Last week, we had this topic in our prayer group Some members admitted they didn? t spend enough time having heart to heart talks with their children Others were unable (again) to start their dream projects Many confessed they neglected their weight control or their total health programme

Many people don? t do resolutions anymore after having reneged in previous years They have lost faith in their own willpower and discipline In the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don? t Do, clinical social worker and psychotherapist Amy Morin observed that giving up early or failure to get instant gratification is one of the main reasons why people don? t achieve their full potential

The beginning of the year reminds me of how God gives a second chance to those who took

a misstep in life Peter felt defeated after having denied Jesus But when the Lord rose from the dead and appeared to him, Jesus asked Peter to feed his sheep and to take care of the flock Saul of Tarsus was a terrible persecutor of Christians before God halted him with blinding light on his way to Damascus After his conversion, Paul the Apostle became the most prolific messenger of Jesus?teachings

The amazing thing that God does is that he initiates the reconciliation Every time he healed the sick, he would heal them first before saying ?Go and sin no more ?

Zaccheus was a sinful man A dishonest tax collector When Jesus came to their town, he climbed up a tree to get a better view of the Lord It was Jesus who called him out ?Zaccheus,?Jesus said ?Come here I will stay at your place tonight ?Before Zaccheus even asked for it, Jesus already forgave him and honoured him in front of the people who didn? t even respect him In response, Zaccheus said he will return the money he has stolen from the taxpayers

God is a God of second chances Such promise is clear in Lamentations 3:22-23: ?The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness ?

But there are some of us who can get stuck in a life that lacks joy when we can choose to make each day a brand-new day

Amy Morin, the author of the bestseller mentioned earlier, had a promising career as a psychotherapist when she got married But within a few years, her young husband died

of a heart attack She became her most challenging patient She remarried and was happy again But within a few years, her new father-in-law, whom she loved, died of cancer This time of her life compelled her to write the book that advises people to break away from the cycle of negativity and self-pity

She noted in the book that many people allow their past to sabotage their present and their future They dwell too much on their mistakes instead of having the courage to face change They also give other people the power to make them feel bad, or inferior

So, she counsels us to dispose of thoughts that do not contribute to our well-being We must make a list of our values and goals and write our own definition of success She said that after having made peace with our past, after processing the lessons we have learned, we can start living our lives in the present and we can proceed to a future that we desire

Every new year can be our chance to become a better person with a life better suited to our own ideal of success and happiness

(Amy Morin is considered to be a pioneer in the subject of mental strength Her book has been read by over 50 million people}

25 HEALTH & WELL-BEING JANUARY 2023
second chance is a better chance
The
O ?Wemust makealist of our values and goals andwriteour owndefinitionof success Everynew year canbeour chancetobecomea better personwitha lifebetter suitedtoour ownideal of success andhappiness ? FB.com / YesPhilip p p inesNew sM ag UK w w w .y esp hilnew sm ag .com

Feast of Black Nazarene Mass draws 92K devotees

OME 92,000 devot ees at t ended t he Fiest a Mass of t he Black Nazarene at t he Quirino Grandst and in Manila early Monday

SFr Earl Valdez, Quiapo Church spokesperson, said the celebration went smoothly

?Generally, we were able to hold it very well, executed well, our Mass is organized Our devotees are well organized So, we can say that this third leg is successful,? Valdez said in a media interview

The Eucharistic celebration at the Quirino Grandstand which was celebrated by Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula marked the first time since the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) struck in March 2020

In his homily, Advincula urged the devotees to show their devotion through acts of compassion and charity ?Let?s empathize with our neighbours and care for each other Let?s reach out to our brothers and sisters especially those who are struggling right now,?said Advincula, the head of the Archdiocese of Manila

Aside from the Fiesta Mass, two other activities were held at the Grandstand -- the ?pagpupugay?(giving tribute) and the Walk of Faith

The "pagpupugay" started on Saturday and will run until Monday, where devotees are allowed to touch and wipe with their towels and handkerchiefs the image of the Black Nazarene Meanwhile, the Walk of Faith procession where some 88,000 people walked from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church on Quezon Boulevard, where the image is enshrined on Jan 8 The major difference between the procession and the traditional Traslacion, which was last held in 2020, was the absence of the life-size statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross

At Quiapo Church, fiesta Masses are also being held every hour since midnight on Monday The last Mass will be at 11 p m The Quiapo Church Command Center said as of 2:30

p m , around 246,250 devotees have visited the church to pray and pay homage to the Black Nazarene Security

The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, said its units in Metro Manila have been on alert since Saturday to help the local police in ensuring public order and safety during the observance

?So far the activities are peaceful I believe the people are aware of the protocols that need to observe as the pandemic lingers We also call on those who have bad plans, especially pickpockets to spare the activity from their evil deeds They

should fear God's wrath,?PNPchief Gen Rodolfo Azurin Jr said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City

In coordination with the Manila city government, Azurin said the police will implement the closure of some streets along and surrounding the areas of engagement, airspaces of which are also declared a no-fly zone for unauthorized aircraft including unmanned aerial vehicles or drones

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said it has validated reports that two persons were injured in activities related to the annual religious observance (w it h Lloyd Caliw an and Priam Nepom uceno/ PNA)

26 NEWS FROM HOME JANUARY 2023
Vatican News Photo Courtesy: Avito Dalan
27 JANUARY 2023

Filipino Association of Gloucestershire Christmas Dinner and Dance

FILIPINO Associat ion of Gloucest ershire celebrat ed t heir annual Christ m as Dinner and Dance at Churchdow n Com m unit y Cent re, Gloucest er, on Sat urday, 10t h Decem ber 2022

After two years of celebrating online due to the pandemic, Gloucestershire Filipino Community enjoyed getting together in person It was a night to honour and celebrate the NHSWorkforce for all their efforts and hard work Gloucestershire Filipino Chairman and President Cllr Raymond Padilla gave tribute to the NHSand welcomed Ms Sue Macklin (Director of Nursing) In his speech he mentioned, ?thank you for always celebrating and supporting Filipino workforce and also ahead of the planned recruitment of hundreds more nurses and possibly senior carers from the Philippines next January ?

According to Cllr Padilla, the Christmas Dinner and Dance was aimed at raising funds ?so that we can help our ?kababayans?(fellow Filipinos) in most need and continue to promote our cherished Filipino culture in this part of the world,?he said Cllr Padilla organised a successful Filipino Heritage Day last July and promised an even bigger event in 2023

During the fun evening, there was food,

raffle, games, and entertainment Delicious Filipino Food was catered by L JCatering Event hosts were: Mae Paddock and Viva O?Flynn They had exciting games and prizes for the guests Entertainment was provided by Rockabilly Babes who gave sizzling dance numbers

Filipino Association of Gloucestershire would like to thank their sponsors:

World Remit

Ocho Ocho Asian Goods

Saladmaster

Naven Forwarder

Pyesta Filipino Restaurant

Love Viva Cakes and Crafts

The Filipino Association of Gloucestershire, also known as Gloucestershire Pinoys has been in existence for well over 30 years, seeking to bring together the Filipino Community and to generate and foster a real sense of Community spirit Being so far from home it is all the more important that we preserve amongst our Community, and specially amongst our Children attending British schools, all that is best of our Philippine values and culture, and that we can come together on occasion to celebrate our 'Philippine-ness'

To know more about Gloucestershire Pinoys, visit: ht t ps:/ / w w w facebook com / filipinoassocia t ionofgloucest ershire

28 COMMUNITY NEWS JANUARY 2023
EN J OY
G!
R EA DI N
29 COMMUNITY NEWS JANUARY 2023 DABAWENYO UK & PHILS LTD YEAR END PARTY 2022 27December 2022|AbbotsburyRoadHollandpark
PhotoCourtesy:MidzDagamac
30 JANUARY 2022 Watch our programIM M IGRATION CORNER Every............... THURSDAY 7:30 PM UK Time To watch it LIVE, visit: FILIPINO TV EUROPE

DOT, DMW launch newest incentivized tourism promotions campaign

THE Depart m ent of Tourism (DOT) officially launched an incent ive program m e in Decem ber t o ent ice Filipinos t o t ake an act ive role in t he prom ot ion of Philippine t ourist dest inat ions

In cooperation with the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and private sector partners including SM Supermalls, the DOT unveiled the Bisita, Be My Guest (BBMG) Programme, a promotional campaign which seeks to incentivize Filipinos, especially Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Overseas Filipinos (OFs) who invite foreigners to visit the Philippines, with raffle tickets and chances to win holiday tour packages from select local destinations

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said that through this project, the DOTseeks to inspire all Filipinos by making them ambassadors of Philippine tourism, and, for OFWs and OFs offer them a platform where they can reconnect with their families, at the same time, help the country earn economic gains through increased tourist arrivals

?By combining the aspects of rebuilding trust and confidence in travelling to the country; working hand in hand with our stakeholders, adapting products and services as well as the shift to digital, we are empowering fellow Filipinos to become part of nation-building by inviting visitors to visit the country through our online referral programme,?Frasco said in her address during the campaign launching at SM MOA Music Hall in December

?We envision the Bisita, Be My Guest Programme as the Filipinos?way of showing their love for the country as we invite visitors to our homes, show them the beauty of our landscapes and beaches, our culture and heritage, and let them experience world-class Filipino hospitality,?she added

Also present at the launch event was DMW Secretary Susan ?Toots?Ople, who emphasized the BBMG?s significance in empowering OFWs to help the country, particularly, its tourism industry

?All of them [OFWs] are so eager to help our country and to help our President succeed I mean that?s the common denominator Saan man kami pumunta, our OFWs are saying, ?Ano maitutulong namin???Paano kami makakatulong??And so, this [Bisita, Be My Guest] programme gives them a vehicle to do just that,?said Secretary Ople

?[In] behalf of the Department of Migrant

Workers, [in] behalf of the OFWs that we represent and the families that they belong to, I just want to say, let?s make this work Let this be a pambansang effort to bring as many guests as possible and to make every OFW feel special as Philippine tourism ambassadors,?she added

Incent ives and excit ing prizes

The BBMG programme shall have three components: a raffle promo, BBMG passport, and a BBMG privilege card (BBMG PC) which participants can use to avail of discounts, special rates, and packages

Participants of the programme could either be a Sponsor or an Invitee A Sponsor is an individual who shall be inviting a non-Filipino guest/visitor to travel to the Philippines during the campaign period while an Invitee is an individual invited by a Sponsor who travelled in the Philippines

Overseas Filipino Workers, Filipinos with dual citizenship living in the Philippines or living abroad as residents, and all Filipinos of legal age may qualify as Sponsors

On the other hand, Invitees must be: a Foreign passport holder (non-Filipino) of legal age, and has travelled to the Philippines during the promo period (January 1, 2023 ? April 30, 2024); or any Filipino holding dual citizenship living abroad for a minimum of six (6) months prior to the campaign, of legal

age, and has travelled to the Philippines during the said period

The complete promo mechanics as well as registration information for Sponsors and Invitees can be found on the official BBMG website: http://bbmg philippines travel

Posit ive t raject ory for PH t ourism

As of December 15, 2022, the country?s tourism industry has already breached the two million guest arrivals, with the official count at 2,397,919 air visitors Most visitors came from the United States with 447 278 visitors, followed by South Korea at 374,097, then Australia (118,228), Canada (109,041) and the United Kingdom (90,196)

Frasco noted that the easing of travel restrictions and some health policies also contributed to the yielding of high tourism revenues amounting to Php 130 billion as of November 16, 2022

Through the BBMG campaign, the DOT aims to reintroduce the Philippines to the world amid life-changing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

?Now as travel restrictions have eased, we look forward to inviting our foreign friends and guests to visit our country and to offer a wide range of culturally rich experiences along with all types of outdoor recreational activities on water and on land,?Frasco said

NEWS FROM HOME 31 JANUARY 2023
Phot o Court esy: Depart m ent of Tourism
32 ISSUE 6