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Home Community General Community United OFW Celebrates 5th Anniversary
United OFW Celebrates 5th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 20 July 2008 03:51

The biggest organization of Overseas-Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Middle East recently celebrated its 5th founding anniversary at the Philippine Embassy compound in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

 

With “Unity is our ultimate Strength” as their theme for this year’s celebration, the members of the 7,000-strong United OFW Association participated in fun games, sports, and cultural presentations that highlighted the whole-day affair

But the main highlight of the celebration was the election of the 15-man board of trustees.  The election, which was conducted peacefully under the supervision of COMELEC Chairman Joey Badong, was participated by hundreds of members.  Those who assisted in the orderly conduct of the election were Ed Estrada as Vice-Chair and Commissioners Tess Javier and Berna Degamo. Canvassing of votes was completed at 7:00 in the evening, after which the 15 winning candidates were announced.

The elected trustees are Frank Naval, chairman; Francis Oca, vice chairman; Soledad Bahaynon, board secretary; Alex Bello, Jun L. Nacion,  Manuel “Bong” Amora, Doming D. De Palma, Ding J. Manalo, Ping C. Gabriel, Dennis J. Porlares, Herman M. Honrado, Mohammad Eli Mua, Dante M. Guina, Gob Dimalotang, and Habib Batua.   

From among the elected trustees, the following executive officers were appointed: Mohammad Eli Mua, national chairman; Jun L. Nacion, national vice chairman; Ding J. Manalo, finance officer; Dennis J. Porlares, administrative officer; Manuel “Bong” Amora, information officer; Gob Dimalotang, public relations officer; Doming D. De Palma, logistic officer; Herman M. Honrado, business manager; Habib Batua, auditor; and Joey Badong, the only non-trustee officer, is campaign manager.

 

The elected trustees and officers were immediately inducted after being proclaimed.Consul Romulo Victor Israel, Jr.,  during his keynote address took note of the transformation  of this socio-economic organization which was founded in Riyadh on July 10, 2003, not only in terms of numbers but more so in the quality of its members, leaders and programs.


Also present during the induction ceremonies was Labor Attaché Rustico SM dela Fuente, who graced the occasion by awarding the Certificates of Appreciation to the guests, outgoing officers, and members of the organizing committees.

In his hand over speech, outgoing National Chairman Engr. Frank Naval, expressed his thanks and appreciation to all the members and officers for their full support and participation in the activities and programs of the organization during the last five years.  He said that the unification efforts has resulted in the unprecedented growth of the organization which now boost of a 7,000 registered members. He also thanked the prominent community leaders who attended the celebrations like Virgilio “Boggs” Bolor, president of PGBI; Cesar Gervacio,  president of Royal Guardians; Flor Coronado former president of MKB; Ritchie Civil, president of ALCA; Danny Bendoy, president of Dabao; Engr. Faizal Sharque, founding president of the Filipino Retirees Overseas Movement; Engr. Ronnie Ulip, founder and advisor of GBI;  Vouchard Arzadon, founder of Guardians Brotherhood Inc. in Al Hasa, 400 kilometers east of Riyadh; and Mario Ben of Kapitiran sa Gitnang Silangan.

In response, National Chairman-elect Engr. Mohammad Eli Mua said there are three tasks the group should aim for: these are “strategic partnership  with all groups and agencies concerned with the plight of OFWs; a  stronger and productive partnership with our Philippine Embassy;  and  greater involvement in improving the economic-and-cultural relations  between Saudi Arabia and Philippines.  He also lauded the members who stayed till nine o’clock in the evening to witness the induction.  “Without your true involvement, the affair could not have been historic—yes, "historic" because it showed how thousand of OFW can be "united" for a cause with joy” Mua said.

Dr. Carlito Astillero, the 1990 Most-Outstanding Filipino in Saudi Arabia and 1992 Bagong Bayani awardee, the group’s adviser also congratulated the elected trustees and officers. “We all pray that United OFW will continue to inspire and unite all Filipinos in Diaspora . . .” he said in his congratulatory speech.

Intermission numbers in the form of songs and cultural presentations were provided by student performing artists from Elite International School and Millennium International School, under the direction of Ritchie Civil of the Artists' League for Culture and Arts (ALCA).  During the afternoon and early evening several contests, under the Fiesta Sports headed by Herman Honrado and Jean Del Carmen, were held. The singing contest was topped by Grace Closa; arm wrestling by Rodelio Arzadon; and dama by Arnel Mina. Engr. Ronnie Ulip, one of the main donors, awarded the trophies to the winners.

An overview of the “Search for Miss United OFW World 2009” was also presented. The search will be one of the United OFW’s main social events that are going to be held in Manila next year. It will be participated by the prettiest among lady Overseas-Filipino Workers Worldwide.  

Engr. Elmer Aquino, the seasoned United OFW emcee, acknowledged the sponsors, donors, patrons and support groups, some of which are the Philippine Embassy, Philippine Overseas Labor Office, Nadec, Dajen Restaurant, The Filipino Channel, Arab News, Abante Middle East Edition, Snacks-pack, Batterjee and Bros. Co., General Philippine International School, Royal Guardians, PGBI-GBHFI, ALCA, MIS, EIS, Partido Pandaigdigang Pilipino, Mr. Sonny Bello, Engr. Faizal Sharque, Engr. Ronnie Ulip, Nilda Ballesteros and the Filipina nurses from  King Abdullah Medical Complex. The celebrations lasted up to 10:00 p.m. # # #




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Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2008 03:55
 

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