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Category Archives: International News

Doha: Filipino expat wins MashreqMillionaire

Mescallado with the cheque of QR1mn at the presentation ceremony.

Filipino expat wins MashreqMillionaire

Mashreq Qatar, a leading financial institution in the region, has announced Doha-based healthcare specialist Herminia V Mescallado as the latest winner of QR1mn prize money in its popular savings programme, MashreqMillionaire. Mashreq Qatar head retail banking Niranjan Mendonca handed over the cheque at the bank’s Gold Centre at a ceremony attended by Herminia’s family.

Kuwait: MoH Prepares For Influx Of Workers

By Michelle Fe Santiago
As Posted in  Arab Times

THE Kuwait Ministry of Health (MoH) is performing a system-wide restructuring of public health care delivery services as well as raising the standards of public health care in its various government hospitals to be at par with other global medical institutions.

In line with the country’s move of upgrading the public health care systems, some of the public hospitals are undergoing renovation and expansion. Some new hospitals are being constructed, the biggest of which is the Sheikh Jaber Medical City in South Surra named in honour of the late Amir HH Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah. The Sheikh Jaber Medical City will be the largest medical centre in the State of Kuwait which will include four buildings with a total area of 469,370 square metres.

Kuwait Pinoys celebrate ‘Sinulog’ Festival

Photos by Jeff De Castro

Kuwait Pinoys celebrate ‘Sinulog’ Festival
By Michelle Fe Santiago
First Posted in Arab Times 

The mood was all festive. Everyone was dazzling and dressed for the momentous occasion. “Sinulog Siyagit ug Kusog! Pit Senyor, Pit Senyor,” the crowd chanted as Filipino Catholics trooped to the Holy Family Cathedral to celebrate the ‘Sinulog’ Festival.

Patnubay Leaks: Our Frustration on OUMWA’s unfair response to OFW Ernesto “Jhigz” Nuguid’s request

Image Source:

Updates (July 7, 2013) :

Tumawag si Mr. Omar Pangarungan noong pumunta sya dito last June 27, 2013 kasama ng Nanay ni Carlito “Khalid” Lana. Sinabi ni MR. Omar na yong sulat ni Jhigz para kay Vice President Binay ay naipadala na ng OUMWA at wala pang response si Vice President. I informed Mr. Omar na naipadala na rin namin ang sulat ni Jhigz para kay PNOY kay USEC Yabes. Sinabi ni Mr. Omar na ifollow-up nya pagbalik nya sa Pilipinas sa June 29, 2013.

Last week, nang mag-usap kami ni Jhigs last July 7, 2013; sinabi nya sa akin na nag-usap sila ni Mr. Omar ang kinompirma na nasa DFA OUMWA na ang sulat ni Jhigz para kay PNOY at ito ay kanyang iforward sa Office of the President.

USA: Filipinos everywhere celebrate Calungsod canonization

by Dionesio C. Grava
First posted in

I recall a Sunday afternoon performance by young thespians from Davao City at the regally cavernous Hall of Liberty set at the elevated end of beautiful Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. It was about the Catholic church’s Padre Diego (Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores) and his young assistant Pedro Calungsod spreading the gospel to the Chamorros in 1672 in the Marianas. Their proselytizing greatly enraged a local headman, which led to their persecution and ultimately death.

USA: Filipino teachers vindicated with class suit verdict – FEFL

Filipino Educators Federation of Louisiana (FEFL)
December 19, 2012

Filipino teachers vindicated with class suit verdict

The Filipino Educators Federation of Louisiana (FEFL) are elated on the result of Monday’s decision on the federal class action suit filed more than two years ago against recruitment agency Universal Placement International (UPI) and its owner Lourdes “Lulu” Navarro. “This victory is a product of the continued vigilance and unrelenting efforts of teachers who converted their victimization into a struggle for justice,” declared Ingrid Cruz, the FEFL founding president.

USA: Rep. Erin Tanada: PHL better-off now on human rights

Words and photos by Dionesio C. Grava
First posted in


Under different circumstances she may have preferred to be somewhere else. However, being the face of the administration in this part, Consul General Hellen Barber-De La Vega had to respond in defense of what admittedly is not among her country’s shining moments — the human rights issue — and at the same time be wary of the sensitivities of her hosts. After all it was a commemoration of a heinous episode of our country’s history where many officials in the government had bloodied hands.

USA: Charitable Groups Mobilize, Appeal for Donations for “Pablo” Typhoon Victims

By Dionesio C. Grava, Deputy Managing Editor
First Posted in

Philippine Ambassador to Washington, D.C. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said that individuals and organizations in the US who would like to assist in the relief assistance can send their cash donations to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (; the Department of Social Welfare and Development (; and the Philippine National Red Cross (

USA: Bonifacio Day – Recounting the heinous execution of a hero

By Dionesio C. Grava
First posted in

In her welcome address during a program marking the November 30 birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, Consul General Hellen Barber-De La Vega said: “This observance of Bonifacio Day is important because next year we will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of our hero’s birth. I am, therefore, happy to see among us young Filipino-Americans, because this is also a good opportunity for us to educate them, especially those born and raised in the United States, on the significance of the life and works of Andres Bonifacio in the history of the Filipino people.”

Unfortunately that aspect of history has remained murky more than 115 years after Andres Bonifacio was executed at the height of the Filipino rebellion against the oppressive Spanish colonizers. In an audio-visual presentation during that consulate event, Deputy Congen Daniel R. Espiritu brought into focus that very contentious issue surrounding the death of the Philippine hero.

POEA to vacationing OFWs: Get your exit clearance early

News Release
28 November 2012

POEA to vacationing OFWs: Get your exit clearance early

“Avoid the rush. Avoid the long lines”.

Thus said Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac yesterday as he advised balikmanggagawa or overseas Filipino workers spending the holiday season in the

Philippines to get their overseas employment certificate or exit clearance early and not get caught with the last-minute dash to return to their jobs abroad.

Cacdac said that the POEA, for several weeks now, have been gearing up for the anticipated arrival of thousands of OFWs this December and their subsequent departure after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

“The POEA has been improving its systems and expanding its facilities for the workers’ convenience, but still, we warn our OFWs not to wait for the last day of their vacation to get the exit clearance,” Cacdac said.

Social Media, the rebirth of blogging for Pinoy Expats and OFWs – PEBA 2012

Press Release

Social Media, the rebirth of blogging for Pinoy Expats and OFWs – PEBA 2012

Social Media, the rebirth of blogging for Pinoy Expats and OFWs OFWs clamour for an aginaldo or a Christmas present was realized because of their active presence on the social media particularly on facebook with regards to the issue on Philhealth’s mandatory increase of its members’ contribution. Although it was not the first of the few victories that OFWs has achieved with their online campaign, but for the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards or PEBA it is an affirmation that they are being heard and listened to by the government. It is also a fitting tribute as PEBA celebrates its 5th Annual International Blog and Photo Award.

USA: A repository of FilAm heritage at Echo Park Library

Words and photos by Dionesio C. Grava
First posted in

Architect Greg Villanueva is an old timer who had vivid memories of what it was like generations ago. Ditto with book author Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier who, like Villanueva, is also a long time habitué of what is now Historic Filipinotown. The two were among community leaders who spearheaded the establishment of the Philippine Heritage Collection at the Echo Park public library in Temple St., Los Angeles.

Kuwait: Lawyer denied from talking to Pinay rape victim

Bruises on her face

Lawyer denied from talking to Pinay rape victim
By Maxxy Santiago, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau
First posted in 

MANILA, Philippines – A prominent Kuwaiti human rights lawyer who volunteered to represent a Filipina rape victim has claimed that the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait prevented them from speaking to the Pinay.

Sheikha Fawzia al-Sabah was dismayed after the embassy did not allow them to talk to “Marissa” (not her real name), the Filipina raped and left for dead by a Kuwait traffic police officer in the desert of South Surra last October 1.

POEA launches balik-manggagawa online appointment system

News Release
30 October 2012

Balik-manggagawa or vacationing overseas Filipino workers now have the option to set an appointment with the POEA for the processing of their exit clearance or overseas employment certificate (OEC), Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac announced yesterday.

Italy: Second Anniversary Casa del Quartiere

Second Anniversary Casa del Quartiere
by: Thalyn

ACFIL (Associazione Culturale Filipina Del Piemonte) was honored to join in the celebration of the second anniversary of the opening of Casa Del Quartiere. Since it became our place of aggregation and encounter in our so many activities, we can say that we almost consider it our second home.

USA: FilAms celebrate heritage

FilAms celebrate heritage
Words and photos by Dionesio C. Grava
First posted in

This time of year is Filipino American History Month. Expect a number of activities celebrating “425 years of heritage and culture of Filipino Americans and their achievements, contributions, and the historical presence of Filipinos in the United States Filipino.”