National spirit flickers among Filipino diaspora

Written by Jeremaiah Opiniano on . Posted in 2007-News-Packet-Vol-06-05-06

STRASSEN, Luxembourg – BLADES of scissors meet, snips the head, and severs it from other people in the photograph. It’s the head of the 200th undocumented Filipino who Remie Becker has helped settle down here.

“There,” Becker, pushing fifty, whispers as she glues the raggedly-cut head shot on a collage of similarly unevenly-scissored photographs –some cut from the neck, some from the waist– of Filipinos who have sought her help since they began arriving here from the eighties.

She leans back on a hand-carved oak chair and stares at the framed collage. Crow marks appear on her face for a wistful smile.

Coercion of victim, not movement, key in human trafficking – US gov’t report

Written by Isagani de la Paz and Patricia Marcelo on . Posted in 2007-News-Packet-Vol-06-05-06

Editor’s note: On September 24, 2007, the Philippines will host a regional forum on child abuse and neglect. Child trafficking would be one of the many issues expected to be tackled in this three-day conference.

MANILA — RUBY, 17, felt her heart bob with the ferry boat taking her and three other girls to Manila as she overheard their male escort described how “fresh and young” they were to another male passenger.

Then there were also the cursory glances toward her body –not my face, nor my eyes, she told herself as odd. She hugged herself tightly to bolster a belief her decision to work as a household help would raise her family from poverty in General Santos City.

Migrants’ family lights up rural Philippine village life

Written by Candice Y. Cerezo on . Posted in 2007-News-Packet-Vol-06-05-06

PAMPANGA — EVERY YEAR for two days, a village in a third class municipality of the Philippine province of Pampanga lights up like a nuclear reactor fall-out.

Smack in the center of a dark night sky over rice farms hundreds of kilometers away from the provincial highway, Sta. Maria village glows and beams out light in a two-day party because of one family’s devotion to one woman.

That woman is Catholic Church icon Mary, the devotion to whom the Sunga family of migrant Filipinos has kept alive in this village for six generations.

Labor execs stick to skills as OFW protector

Written by Patricia Marcelo on . Posted in 2007-News-Packet-Vol-06-05-06

MANDALUYONG CITY — THE light-brown beef stew simmering on a pot in a makeshift kitchen here may save Jennifer Dul-loog’s life as a household service worker in Spain. So the 29-year-old prospective overseas Filipino worker and government officials hope.

Dul-loog, who would leave for work abroad for the first time, is one of thousands of applicants for domestic work overseas that underwent training on housekeeping and must prove to government overseas employment workers she’s acquired required skills.

According to Philippine Overseas Employment Administration head Rosalinda Baldoz possession of such skills by Filipino workers abroad is their best protection from any abuse or maltreatment.

Pinoys in the US mull ‘hero’ tag

Written by Jeremaiah Opiniano on . Posted in 2007-News-Packet-Vol-06-05-06

BAY FAIR, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. – OUTSIDE THE five-car intercity train streaks of images rush as white as Rodrigo’s streaks of hair, the flecks of paint on his denim, rubber shoes, and fingers, and the future awaiting undocumented migrant Filipinos like him here.

“I’m getting homesick! Let them know I’m a ‘TNT’,” he blurts out in Tagalog, his native tongue. TNT is migrant-speak for undocumented foreigners hiding from immigration authorities.

A few eyes darted his way but went easily back to the images outside the train of the Bay Area Rapid transport system.