PBSN Chair Engr Esper Derpo among 2008 Banaag Awardee

November 7, 2008

PBSN Chair Esper Derpo

There is a saying that goes, “The best man for the job is a woman.”

We are pleased to inform all kababayans that our Barangay Chairperson, Engr (Mrs) Esper Derpo has been chosen by the Presidential Commission on Filipinos Overseas as one of the recipients of the Banaag Award for the Year 2008 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas.

The Banaag Award is given to Filipinos and foreign individuals or associations for advancing the cause of Filipino communities overseas or for supporting specific sectors or communities in the Philippines.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will personally hand-out the awards in a special ceremony tentatively set on 09 December 2008 at the Malacanang Palace.

Barangay Chair Ate Esper is now on her 4th consecutive year of leading the Philippine Community in Lagos, Nigeria.

Throughout her leadership, Chairman Esper (as she is fondly called here) has rallied the Filipinos in Lagos (living, vacationing, or just passing by Lagos to come together and build a strong community in Nigeria. Todate, PBSN Filipino community is one of those only vibrant and cohesive community of expatriates in Nigeria.

Chairman Esper has ushered a new type of Filipino community, a more close-knit and more active community. The PBSN clubhouse is the meeting place of Naija Pinoys every Sunday, and the place to-be every first sunday of the month for the Family Day gatherings. The ‘Family Day’ was a brainchild of Chairman Esper to strengthen the ties, not only among Filipinos, but also to other nationalities as well.

The PBSN, in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy, was founded in 1973 to formalize an already existing organization of Filipinos residing in Nigeria. Its foundations lay on the ideals of uniting Filipinos all over the country in the spirit of nationalism and friendship, while fulfilling a social responsibility to the host nation, Nigeria.

Charity Projects

In 2005, the Filipino communities in Ikeja, Victoria Island/Ikoyi, and Apapa hosted three separate fund-raising evebts for the Dept of Labor and Employment (DOLE)/Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA)’s project: “Classroom Galing sa Mamayang Pilipino sa Abroad (CGMA). Its proceeds helped put up more classrooms in remote areas of the Philippines.

PBSN also donated the proceeds of its 2006 Independence Day celebration to mudslide survivors in  Leyte.

To acknowledge the graciousness of the host country, PBSN has organized as its pet charity project the KiriKiri Initiative. It adopted a primary school in KiriKiri, Apap, Lagos area and provided financial and educational support to the pupils. The PBSN is represented by Mrs Veronica Bernas-Snoxell on this project.

Philippine Representative

2008 Small World Event, Lagos, Nigeria

2008 Small World Event, Lagos, Nigeria

For three consecutive years since 2006, the PBSN has been warmly welcomed in the Small World Event, the biggest fund-raising event in Lagos organized by an international community of Lagos Joint Women’s Groups. Philippines/PBSN is among the 27 countries featured in this annual event.

The PBSN also serves as an envoy of the Filipino community of Nigeria to visiting Philippine officials. It has received Esteban Conejos, Under-Secretaryfor Migrant Workers Affairs in his 2007 visit. Recently, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes and his team, who were invited by the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for the Lagos Economic Summit, were also received by PBSN officers and members.

Last 2007, the Philippine Embassy through HE Ambassador Masaranga Umpa awarded the organization for its cause-oriented projects and active role in the betterment of Filipino communities in Nigeria.  It has, likewise, recognized the remarkable leadership that PBSN Chairperson Esperanza Derpo has exhibited in the organization’s various endeavours.

Welfare to Members/Kababayans

PBSN Clubhouse at Caverton Helicopter compound

PBSN Clubhouse at Caverton Helicopter compound

Coordination with the Philippine Embassy for consular matters or for assistance to some distressed OFWs, is a service the organization offers, not only to its members, but to all OFWs who sought its aid. Throughout the years, the members are rendered aid for the death of an immediate family member. At times of financial need, a ‘soft loan’ may also be acquired by a registered member.

It is under Ate Esper’s leadership that the Filipino community in Lagos acquired it’s permanent clubhouse, hosted at Caverton Helicopter Staff House in Ikeja, Lagos. Gracious OFWs donated billiard tables, dart boards and sing-along equipment.

Mabuhay ang mga Naija Pinoys.

More than 20 years have passed, the PBSN has grown in numbers, and evolved in a hybrid of Nigerized Pinoys.  Each year, it meets a widening scope of social responsibility unfazed.  Despite the changing of the times, it has upheld the ideals it has been founded on.

text taken from 2007 Independence Day souvenir magazine. Thanks to Maricar Derpo

Kami ang mga Naija (Nigeria) Pinoys (Filipinos).

The Philippine Barangay Society in Nigeria (PBSN), serving Nigeria OFWs since 1970’s.

2007-2008 PBSN Officers.

2007-2008 PBSN Officers. From left-to-right: Ka Ely Liceralde (seated), Engr. Tito Villaruel, Mr. Pros Naoe, Dr. Myrna Obiakor, Engr Jun Manalo, Engr Esper Derpo, Ms Mae Abcede. Not in photo: Mrs. Veronica Snoxell, Ms Rose Urgel.



Linkapil Awardees                                              Endorsing Post

Association of Philippine Physicians of America                   PCG New York
Enverga, Tobias Jr.                                                             PCG Toronto
Filipino Women’s Association United Kingdom                   PE London
Stichting Kapatiran                                                             PE The Hague

Kaanib ng Bayan Awardees

Catholic Medical Mission Board                                           PCG New York
Children’s Chance CT                                                          PCG New York
Heetens Helpgood Center Philippines                                   PE The Hague
Ligier, Laurence                                                                   PE Paris

Banaag Awardees

Asuncion, Alexander                                                            PE Riyadh
Berberabe, Patricia                                                              PCG New York
Carandang, Angeles                                                             PCG Chicago
Casambre, Sr. Mary Aida                                                    PCG Hongkong
Derpo, Esperanza                                                PE Abuja
Filipino Korean Spouses Association                                    PE Seoul
Garcia, Lamberto                                                                 PCG New York
Ho, Eleanor                                                                         MECO Taiwan
Magdalena, Joseph                                                              PE Riyadh
Muzones, Santiago Jr.                                                          PCG New York
Noblejas, Dr. Antonio                                                          PE Wellington
Overs, Lilian                                                                         PCG Toronto
Philippine Community Council of New South Wales              PCG Sydney
Philippine Nurses Association of America                             PCG New York
Philipsen, Adelina                                                                 PE The Hague
United Filipino Council of Hawaii                                          PCG Honolulu

Pamana ng Pilipino

Besa, Amelita and Dorotan, Romeo                                       PCG New York
De Leon, Bayani                                                                   PCG New York
Esguerra, Carlos                                                                   PCG New York
Hizon, Federico                                                                    PE Singapore
Pelayo, Libertito                                                                   PCG New York
Ramos, Dr. Teresita                                                             PCG Honolulu
Villarin, Engr. Nilo                                                                PE Washington

Source: http://www.cfo.gov.ph/presidentialawards.htm


Congratulations to Barangay Nigeria Chair, Engr Esper Derpo

November 7, 2008

pbsn-chair-esper1Good tidings to all Nigeria OFWS… Naija Pinoys….

We are pleased to inform all kababayans that our Barangay Chairperson, Engr (Mrs) Esper Derpo has been chosen by the Presidential Commission on Filipinos Overseas as one of the recipients of the Banaag Award for the Year 2008 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas.

The Banaag Award is given to Filipinos and foreign individuals or associations for advancing the cause of Filipino communities overseas or for supporting specific sectors or communities in the Philippines.

Tentative date of the awarding ceremony will be on 09 December 2008 at Malacanan Palace.

Mabuhay ang mga Naija Pinoys.

Greetings From: The Philippine Barangay Society in NIgeria (PBSN), serving Nigeria OFWs since 1970’s.

2007-2008 PBSN Officers

2007-2008 PBSN Officers

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 !