The Filipino Overseas Workers Welfare Association is an organization in Haifa Israel that provides many services to the Filipino Community. The group is active in organizing different cultural activities, sports activities, fund raising, support for the sick and needy kababayan in and out of Israel. The group also conducts various outreach programs like medical mission, renewal of OWWA ID, registration of OAV and many more. The newly elected President, Ms. Nilda Ramos is a good friend of mine. I believe that with all her abilities, her knowledge and humble character; she will be a good leader and example to FOWWA officers and members. I believe that her capabilities will help realize and achieve the goals of FOWWA.
Last February 25 2012, FOWWA teamed up with the Philippine Embassy Officials who visited the Haifa region for the Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) registration campaign.
It was also on that same day when FOWWA inducted their newly elected officers. I was chosen to be the host of that program. I am used to emceeing jobs in my college years but I admit that I felt nervous in that FOWWA event. I am humbled and honored to do that job which gave me the opportunity to meet many FOWWA members and Miss Thess Reyes, the Cultural Attache’ of the Philippine Embassy in Israel.
Maam Thess, as we fondly call her looked so gorgeous that night with her usual beautiful smile, a true reflection of her good personality. I just shook her hand and I started to feel comfortable. She is a down-to-earth woman that one can open a conversation with her without any hesitation. Her approachable personality is what we, the OFWs want every diplomat must possess.
Ma’am Thess’ speech was great, she assured that the Philippine Embassy will always be ready to lend a helping hand to the OFWs in Israel. She also promised to find ways to improve their services to continue their good programs to safeguard the Overseas Filipino Workers in Israel.
The event was successful. There were some friends and representatives from other Filipino organizations who came and showed their support. The Samahang Ilokano danced to the tune of Hagibis’ “Katawan”, that made everyone to have fun. The AKRHO also had their share, Jason Hernaes sang a number of requested songs from the audience. Oh Jason made us feel so young by his love songs. He has a very good voice!
The Ifugao group also rendered their native dances wearing their traditional costumes. It was awesome because they made us feel that as Filipinos, we must be proud of our own arts, traditions and cultures.
After the performances of various groups, the much awaited Induction of Officers followed and all the newly elected officers were sworn. Three beautiful ladies showed their talent in dancing as an intermission. Certificates of recognition were then given to the people who had shown support and help for the organization.
After the event, a dinner was served while the others were busy taking pictures with Ma’am Thess.
Everybody went home with a smile on their faces. I am so happy to be part of that wonderful occasion and one of the pleasant and memorable evenings I had in Israel. I was able to meet people who are committed to serve our fellow Filipinos. It was a new experience and a good memory as well. A night with FOWWA, is an event that I will always cherish as I continue my journey to another country.