Adamson University played host to a foreign-based Filipino foundation’s workshop that focused on bringing more aid and development to marginalized sectors in the country.
The Integrated Community Extension Services (ICES) teamed up with the Bayanihan Foundation Worldwide (BFW) to conduct Pagbabalik: Coming Home 2011, the US-Philippines Diaspora Partnership Workshop at the OZ Audio-Visual Room last January 22. BFW is the brainchild of Dale Asis, a Chicago-based Filipino expat who has been active in leading causes for immigrants in the United States. Asis had co-founded the Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European, Latino Immigrants of Illinois (CAAAELII), one of the largest immigrant-led coalitions in the US. His trip to Bicol, his mother’s birthplace, while on a fellowship years ago spurred him to act on issues relating to the growing Filipino diaspora “to improve the economic situation in the Philippines in substantive and sustainable ways.”
Assisting Asis at the workshop was Myrla Baldonado, BFW Organizing Director. Asis also led the panel discussions with Ding Bagasao, President of Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos; Erwin Puhawan of Kanlungan Center Foundation; and Jeremiah Opiniano, Executive Director of the Institute for Migration and Development Issues. Dr. August Salonga, Training Director from Tarlac State University, served as facilitator for the workshop.
On ICES’s behalf, Dr. Teresita Malabuyo of the Psychology Department opened the program with the ecumenical prayer while University President Fr. Gregg Bañaga Jr., C.M. gave the welcoming remarks. ICES Director Fr. Nonong Fajardo, C.M. introduced the office to the participants by giving a presentation on the work undertaken by the office.
More than ten non-government organizations from all parts of the country were represented in the workshop. Dr. Belinda Conde, Prof. Emily Vicencio, and Dr. Malabuyo represented Adamson’s Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility.