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Feature Story: Si ELLENE na mas ginto pa…Happy 50th Birthday!

Pagka umabot na sa edad 50, minsan e nakakapa-isip rin. Grabe- kalahati ng sandaang taon! Ano na ba ginawa sa buhay? Laluna kung me pag-aagam-agam sa pag”tanda”. OK ba itong ginagawa ko? Ano ang gagawin sa susunod pang mga taon?

Para sa kanyang 50th birthday, nagtulungan kami ni Joseph ng Patnubay Saudi mangulekta ng samu’t saring pagtingin ng ilang OFWs at ka-network ng CMA. Maaring makatulong sa kanyang paglilimi sa nakaraang 50 taon gayundin sa kanyang pag-aninag sa mga susunod pang mga taon.

Nong unang panahon at UP/YS days nya

Pagkatapos ng “straight” na buhay-mag-aaral at masunuring anak at kapatid sa Mabitac, Laguna, pumasok si Ellene sa UP Diliman bilang Cocofed scholar upang maging inhinyera nong 1978. Nataon sa kumukulong student movement, narecruit siya ni Enteng kumilos sa hanay ng mga estudyante. Sobrang aktibo tuloy kinapos, nawalan ng scholarship dahil sa tawag ng panahon pero nagworking student para maging inhinyera sa ibang eskwelahan.


Nang mag-international work sya

Pasado siya sa civil engineering board licensure exam pero sa halip magtayo ng gusali o tulay o mag-abroad, nag international work nong late 80s hanggang early 90s habang nagtatrabaho kay Sister Sol. Nong early 90s, maige’t nag-gender studies siya kay Mary John sa NURSIA kasama si Luz, mahalagang sangkap ito ng sumunod na isa’t kalahating dekada ng kanyang buhay na adbokasya para sa mga OFWs.

Pero napabilang muna siya sa international research group nong late 80s. Tumulong nong 90s sa pagtatayo ng friendship committees para sa pakikibaka ng mga Palestino, East Timorese, atbp. Seguro para i-contextualize ang kanyang ginagawa, nag-exposure din sa Mindanao. Either di sya nakatakbo nang mabilis o di nakatago dahil sa bigat o sa lapad o baka di nya napigilan mapalakas ang pag-videoke o napaharot ang pagsayaw kayat siya ay nadakip at kinulong noong 1990.

Paglaya , patuloy ang kanyang advocacy para sa East Timor at Burma, hanggang ma-deport mula sa Malaysia dahil sa kanyang East Timor advocacy at makulong, ma-try (sa kangaroo court), ma-deklarang persona non grata at ma-deport mula Burma (Patuloy pa rin siya sa Free Burma Coalition hanggang ngayon.), hanggang

Mid90s nang siya’y nag-migrant work:

Mike Bolos , ex-Saudi: A solid migrant advocate and friend who can be depended upon at all times.

I met Ellene in cyberspace and even before we got the chance to meet each other in person, I was already very comfortable working with her. She had my full trust and confidence in all matters. She is one among the very few people I consider good by my standards, for whom I am willing and glad to state so for the record. She possesses a wealth of practical and technical experiences and a high level of maturity, sincerity and dedication to migrant causes that inspire people like me. Much as I would want to, not enough words or space can do justice in describing Ellene and her abilities. Knowing her and her capabilities, I could only say with a sweeping statement without qualification: she is one of the best persons I have worked with so far.

Mike refers to her advocacy and lobby work, case referral and everything and anything that she does in CMA, MFA and elsewhere kaya laging in demand…

Ronnie Abeto ng UAE: energetic, maliit pero malaki ang puso. Lantay ang kanyang paninindigan para sa transparency at accountability sa 15 taong pagkikilala nila.

Alex Asuncion., Saudi: Ellene is not getting older but getting better – a woman of indomitable spirit at tapang. Laging pinapauna ang interes ng iba,

Chat Basa, Italy: Galing niya sa EU at migration and development

Bong Ramilo, Darwin, Australia: Kasing-ginto o mas mahalaga pa sa ginto ang trabaho nya.

Kahit minsa’y medyo nosebleed ang ilang pinaggagawa at pinagsasabi niya, migration and human rights, Global Forum on migration and development, migration management, overseas absentee voting, joint and solidary liability hanggang ASEAN at kung anu-anong UN at ILO Conventions, multilateral na, me bilateral treaties pa, anti-WTO at GATS MODE IV banggitin pa ang patriarchy…

Pero pinasisinungalingan ang bigat ng mga ito bagamat di ang sinasabi ng weighing scale sapagkat si Ellene ay napakagaan:

Lourdes Madayag, Saudi: di nya malilimutan ang ngiti ni Ellene pagsapit sa bahay nila sa araw na pag-abot lang niya sa Saudi na dumiretso sa Bahay Kalinga, kung saan kinausap ang mga me problemang takas na domestic workers. Nabatid nyang di bumibitaw si Ellene sa mga kasong pang-aapi o pagsasamantala tulad sa kasong ni-refer nya na hanggang makabalik sa Pilipinas e pursigidong hinahabol ang walang-pusong recruiter.

Editha Cetro,  Servant Leader Saudi: Very nice at approachable rin si Ellene.

Friends sa Hope Workers’ Center, Taiwan: Someone who has given much happiness to so many! Your passion and enthusiasm for justice is contagious! We are honored and grateful to have known you.

Chany, Canadian volunteer ng CMA: You light up the room with your laughter and personality. I’m glad to have known you. You are not only an inspiration in your passion for advocacy.

Mike Bolos: Ellene was the one who drew him in to migrant advocacy while he was still in Saudi Arabia. The passage of the OAV Bill was the first issue that they collaborated on and the rest as they say is history. Dee of Brisbane added that all her hard work keeps them in CPCA and SPAN in Australia striving to keep up with her and CMA.

Ano pa kaya ang mas aangkop na pagtatapos nito kundi paabot ni Joseph ng Patnubay sa Saudi: “Kung wala si ate Ellene at CMA, walang OFW SOS. Kung walang OFW SOS, walang Patnubay” (Plug na rin ng CMA kung saan kasama si Vic Barrazona, Bong Ramilo, Bobby Soriano at ang case officer ng CMA na si Anna, iba pa sa CMA na si Chat, Marlon, Boyet, Mike, Noel, 2 Rene at Hazel. Kahit si Ellene e seguradong payag i-plug yan…)

Courtesy of Al Jazeera

Kaya’t para kay Ellene, magician who shuffles her hats – speaker to facilitator to case worker/counsellor lobbyist mula sa Tawi-tawi hanggang sa United Nations, trainor to organizer to media personality dito hanggang sa Al Jazeera at emcee, ang no. 4 ng Akbayan, ka-text ni DOLE Sec. Baldoz, POEA Admin Cacdac, OWWA Admin Dimzon pati na si Usec Rafael Seguis at Conejos, ka-facebook ng mga ambassador at consul.

Bong Ramilo: ang me gintong puntong-Laguna ayon kay Bong na taga Darwin, Australia pero tubong San Pablo, persevering at loyal advocate, consistent user at champion ng Free and Open Source Software, tinawag siyang geek kahit panay ang SOS kapag nagkakaproblema sa Ubuntu.

Roland Blanco, Balitang Middle East: “the most eligible bachelorette in town”

Annelyn, Bangkok: one of the staunch Burma supporters and, most of all, the famous (or notorious?) dancing partner and videoke buddy in the region ayon kay Anelyn ng Bangkok.
Pero di lang siya pang-videoke – pwede rin mag-gitarang simple o electric guitar, piano at organ. Pati drums – pinatulan! Tinipid ang maliit na sweldo at binili yong drum set ni Budit! Sa pag-awit e hindi lang sa Trimona, abot kung saan-saang probinsya,iba-ibang bansa. Mapa-kasal, fund-raising, sa simbahan hanggang punerarya at sementeryo! Quitessential at di lang sa musika…

 

Let me quote Mike again for the rest of us sa CMA…Ellene, we wish you all the best in your golden birthday and we pray for many more birthdays to come because we really need you and people like you in our endeavors. In short, multiply!

Ay may mga humabol pa para sa kanilang mensahe

Mabs Licmoan: Late na ba to? nahirapan ako gumawa e…di ako magaling magsulat ng mga ganito e…

Si Ms. Ellene ay isa sa mga multi-talented na taong nakilala ko. Magaling at masipag na tagataguyod ng karapatang pantao at paggawa, magaling sumayaw, kumanta at tumugtog ng music instruments, magaling makisama at makipag-kapwa tao, mabait at mapagmahal na anak at kaibigan. Sa maikling panahon na nakatrabaho ko si Ms. Ellene, isa sya sa mga patuloy na nagbigay ng lakas ng loob at inspirasyon para ipagpatuloy ang pakikipaglaban para sa karapatan ng mga migranteng manggagawa. Para sa 50th birthday mo, hangad ko na sana’y patuloy kang mabiyayaan ng magandang kalusugan, mapagmahal na pamilya at maunawain na mga kaibigan! Miss u, Ms. Ellene!

Anski Navarro : kami (tita ellene and me) ang version ng batman and robin ng nagsisimila pa lang ang cma. mabait, iyakin, and a very generous person. generous in a sense na talagang all d way sya sa pagtulong sa family, friends, co-workers nya. When it comes to singing and dancing to d maximum level ang energy nyan. She doesn’t mind kahit anong genre pa yan, basta siya go lang ng go.

Just keep up the good work tita e. wishing you good health always and god bless.. love you. mwah mwah tsup tsup. labs, anski

Marissa de Guzman: Si inang ellene ay una kong tinawag na energizer bunny dahil todo sa pagka bibo at todo sa effort basta oras ng trabaho, pero kahit pagkatapos ng isang buong araw ng trabaho, todo kembot at indak din sa saliw ng anumang tugtugin.

Ngayong ako ay isang ofw muli, damang dama ko ang kawalan ng ina saking tabi. bukod sa totoo kong nanay, si inang ellene ang hinahanap hanap ko dahil siya lang ang may ‘hablas ng ina’ na humuhupa sa anumang bugso ng damdamin ng kanyang ‘bunso.’ maligayang bati, ina! Humayo ka at umindak sa musika ng makulay mong buhay… love you, ina!

Daphne Ceniza: Dear Ellene, CMA had been a part of my life story and I am thankful to you for inviting me to be in the board.

You have invested most of your life on the cause of migrants not only in the Philippines but in other parts of the world.

As you approach your halftime, it is my wish that God will be at the center of your advocacy and may your intimacy with Him grow deeper.

“1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12.

Have a great birthday celebration and happy birthday!

Love,
Daphne

Ang Inyong Lingkod : Ellene Sana

Ellene A. Sana (born January 23, 1962)  is the Executive Director of the Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines (CMA). CMA-Phils is an independent policy advocacy group promoting the rights and development of overseas Filipinos. It works for a world that is just, equitable and gender-fair by campaigning on behalf of migrants, conducting research, networking and providing direct assistance to the most distressed.

Ellene A. Sana is also the secretary of the Philippine Migrants’ Rights Watch (PMRW), a network of non-government organizations that was established in 1995 to encourage recognition, protection and fulfillment of Filipino migrants’ rights – both in the Philippines and abroad during the entire migration process.

Ellene Sana was inducted to Anginyonglingkod last 2007