Induction of PBSN Officers

July 16, 2009

The induction for the new set of officers of the Philippine Barangay Society in Nigeria (PBSN) was held last July 12, 2009 at Caverton Headquarters.

Newly Inducted set of officers of the PBSN. With Con-gen Alex Lamadrid.

Newly Inducted set of officers of the PBSN. With Con-gen Alex Lamadrid.

The event commenced with a Mass celebrated by our beloved Filipino priest, Fr. Doury. The Inducting Officer was none other than our Embassy’s Charge d’ Affaires, Consul General Alex Lamadrid.  He was assisted by Engr. Esperanza Derpo, who was elevated as the Chairman of the PBSN Board of Trustees.

The event was a blending of the old and the new, of the past and the present as we see familiar faces of long ago sharing the spotlight with Filipinos who had just arrived in Lagos.

Even in her turnover speech, Chairman Esper said that it is not so much for us to count where we are going but what is more important is that we recognized where we started and that the naijapinoys are still together doing their share in helping not just the Philippines but also our adopted country Nigeria through the various charities we sponsor and participated in.

Newly elected Chairman Tito Villaruel echoed this sentiment in his inaugural speech as he said that he hoped Filipinos in Nigeria could find more common ground, more reasons to unite and perhaps it is through adding sporting events in the usual family day that we could achieve this.

PBSN newly elected officers

PBSN newly elected officers

In a way, that day also doubled as a recognition day as past officers and other Filipinos and a Nigerian national were recognized for their outstanding contribution in promoting the Bayanihan spirit.

It is another way of thanking them for the support they have shown to the whole community. The immediate past officers were given the Community Service Award while Engr. Esperanza Derpo, Manny Figueroa and Gabby Dimude received Certificate of Appreciation from the Philippine Embassy.

The new barangay officers to hold office from 2009-2011 are:

Chairman: Tito Villaruel
1st Vice-Chair: Noel Salvador
2nd Vice-Chair: Rommel Montana
Secretary: Maricar Tajo
Asst. Secretary: Teza Liceralde
Treasurer: Rose Urgel
Asst. Treasurer: Marjorie Padilla
Auditor: Pros Naoe,
Asst. Auditor: Myleen Baylon
P.R.O.: Arnel Bondoc
Asst PRO: Rudyard (DJ) Liceralde

Executive Committee Members

1.  Rudy Alejo
2. Gilbert Allarey
3. Ben Basalo
4. Alexie Jhoy Baylon
5. Danilo (Dexter) Briones
6. Pedro (Boy) Capinpin
7. Redentor ( Red) Cordenete
8. Ester Cueto
9. Capt. Ricardo (Ric) Decena
10. Giovannie Garcia
11. Marlo Roxas
12. Edwin Salazar
13. Ricardo Samoranos
14. Marvin delos Santos

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Aside from Iraq, team to study lifting of deployment ban in Lebanon, Nigeria

February 23, 2009

DFA Sec. Alberto Romulo pays Lebanon President Bashar Al Assad02/06/2009 | 04:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The assessment team which will look into the possibility of lifting the deployment ban to Iraq will also study the possible resumption of the deployment of Filipino workers to Lebanon and Nigeria.

Vice President Noli De Castro – who is also the concurrent presidential adviser on OFWs – said the security of Filipino workers who will be deployed to these countries will be the main consideration for the assessment team led by special envoy to the Middle East Roy Cimatu.

The team will leave for Iraq, Lebanon and Nigeria next week.

“We seek to lift the deployment bans on these countries in order to widen our overseas employment market in the light of the global economic crisis besetting us… But of course, the safety and welfare of our OFWs far outweigh the economic effects. That’s why the decision of lifting the ban will be exhaustively and carefully studied,” De Castro said.

The government has decided to review its deployment policy in the three countries after receiving reports that security situation there have normalized, De Castro said.

But he said Manila will maintain its deployment ban in Jordan and Afghanistan as these countries are still considered “high-risk zone” for Filipino workers.

Manila imposed a ban on Iraq following the kidnapping of two Filipino truck drivers in 2004 and 2005.

Before the ban, around 6,000 Filipinos are working in Iraq and confined inside US military camps due to the volatile security condition in the country. But the figure, according to Iraq’s embassy in Manila, has swelled to 15,000, most of them working for foreign companies in Iraq’s northern region.

There is no way to monitor the exit and entry of Filipino workers in Iraq after the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad was temporarily relocated to Amman, Jordan in January 2005 because of the worsening security condition in the Middle East state.

The government likewise imposed a ban on Lebanon in 2006 after violence erupted between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli forces. Around 6,000 of them have been repatriated to the Philippines during the war, while the rest opted to stay for fear of losing their jobs. Manila also stopped the deployment of workers to Nigeria following a spate of kidnappings involving Filipino workers. – GMANews.TV


Independence Day celebration in Lagos, Nigeria

May 21, 2008

Philippines and Filipinos will soon mark its 110th Independence Day celebration in June 12.

Different folks have different ways of commemorating this day in our nation’s history.

For Moros and NPAs, there wasn’t any independence, as we are still tied to the yoke of colonial mentality, western interventions and internal oppression.

For the classical nationalists, it’s a realization of the struggle of our patriotic politicians to gain for us an independence from direct foreign control, and into the arms of lady Liberty — dressed in tattered robes, barefoot, hungry, and living in squalor in the slum areas of our nationhood, because that it was what they wanted – a nation run like hell by the people, and for the people. We just got handed down from one foreign master to a domestic master – our politicians.

But for most of us, it doesn’t matter what was the outcome, long after the cries and shouts for independence has died down. The idea of being an independent nation is one that gives us pride as citizens, no matter what. It is the moment. It is the feeling. It is the sense of having overcome a three and a quarter of century of foreign domination that thrills most of us into celebrating Independence day, regardless of our social circumstances.

We celebrate Indepence Day because it is not only our duty as citizens of the Republic, but it is our identity – what makes us Pinoys and Pinays.

And we carry this sense of pride wherever we go, even overseas.

And so here in Nigeria, we join the entire Filipino nation and with Filipinos around the world in celebrating the 110th anniversary of our nation’s declaration of independence from foreign subjugation.

It is always the year’s highlight in our stay in this gracious host nation of Nigeria.

We are the Naija (Nigeria) Pinoys and Pinays.

Our presence here is a testament to the global professional excellence of Filipino workforce, as most of us are here in Nigeria because of our skills and professions. And we have come to love working and staying in this country that has provided us well with amenities and friendships.

Some of us have brought our families here. Some of us have our children born and raised in Nigeria. And still some of us married Nigerians (or is it the Nigerians who got married to Filipinos/nas?) and are proud of it.

Despite the occassional job hazard to life and limb, working and living in Nigeria is like a vacation. We are never far from home in most aspects. And we are proud and happy being Naija OFWs.

Heroes of the millenium.

It is a nice catchy phrase. But everytime we hear it, we can only smirk and chuckle about what it really means to us — nothing.

The fact that the Philippines continue to impose an employment ban against Nigeria is something of an irony to the government’s paean to OFWs. After the spate of kidnappings directed towards expatriates in the oil fields in Southeast Nigeria has dissipated long time ago, the government continues to implement the ban because it wanted to avoid hassles and embarassment, like what happened to Lebanon and Iraq OFWs. They lined up Nigeria with Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. But we beg to disagree. Nigeria is a far better country, and relatively peaceful than the others.

But yes, we are heroes. In the sense that we braved to work in foreign lands, risking our life and limbs, in order to help our family and the national economy through our remittances,

For our families left back home, we are heroes, indeed..

For our government and politicians, we are just 0.01 percent of the remittance. No heroes. Just a problem everytime a Naija OFW is distressed.

We continue to hope and pray that the Philippine government will soon lift any ban to Nigeria, and consider this nation a mutual friend and ally.

We will celebrate our independence in Nigeria, with the usual pride and pomp.

Proud to be Naija OFWs. Proud to be a Filipino.

Mabuhay !