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Sep 28th
Home Columns Reinventing the Philippines The EuroFilipinos and the MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration
The EuroFilipinos and the MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Reinventing the Philippines
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Friday, 23 October 2009 06:12

(Part 10 of the "Filipino Psyche" Series)


T he Migration Policy Institute’s Director of Communications Michelle Mittelstadt sent to this writer research papers from its Transatlantic Council on Migration. It is right and even advisable for Filipino-American thinkers to join and participate in the MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration because the Filipino is more European than American.


“Filipinos . . . are the only Latinos in Asia,” as stated in my article, Filipinos Are Indeed the Italians of Asia (Part 8 of the "Filipino Psyche" Series). And here are more reasons why Filipinos should concern themselves with European issues aside from American and Pacific-Rim topics . . .


1.0           The United States – as an anchor of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – has now more-than 4.0 million American citizens of Filipino descent, including ABER Filipinos and contract workers. ABER Filipinos, as I have coined, means the “American-born, -educated and/or –raised Filipinos” and more-often than not, they have Hispanic surnames and they are imbued with a legacy from the Latino countries.


2.0           The Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1565 to 1898 and the Spanish viceroy in Mexico City administered the Philippines for more-than two centuries. Mexico of course is part of the transatlantic community of nations and it is expected to become the world’s fifth biggest economy by 2050. Mexico and the Philippines will celebrate the 450th anniversary of their socioeconomic relations on Feb. 13, 2015.


3.0           European countries now employ more-than a million (and counting) Filipino contract workers – from nannies to nurses and other medical workers to seamen. And at the rate Greek and other European shipping firms are hiring Filipino crew members even for their cruise ships, eventually the Mediterranean will become a quasi-Filipino lake, as these Filipino seamen joke. Here is a write up on the first Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom, A Partial History of Filipino Nurses in Europe (and in Arkansas, too)


4.0           Then there are the “EBER Filipinos,” who are the European-born, -educated and/or –raised Filipinos, who are usually the offspring of biracial marriages between Europeans and Filipinos. The five children of the first Miss Universe, Armi Kuusela, of Finland and her Filipino husband, Virgilio Hilario, are examples of the EBER Filipinos AKA “EuroFilipinos.” The three children of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and his Hispano-Filipino first wife, Isabel Preisier (later changed to Preysler) are also EBER Filipinos. And by the way, many Spanish policy-and-decision makers still consider Spain as the mother country of the Philippines and accordingly treat fondly Filipino citizens, some of whom can apply for Spanish dual citizenship. The Kuusela-Hilario and the Preysler-Iglesias stories started more Euro-Filipino marriages in Finland, Spain and other European countries. In Germany, there is an average of 1,000 Filipino-German marriages per year, as told in this article, How Filipino Brides Are Changing the DNA of Several Nationalities and Also the Filipino

E ditor's Notes: Here is a narrative of one of the earliest marriages in Europe between a Filipino and a European bride. While working in the Ministry of Colonies in Madrid, Spain, Isabelo “Don Belong” de los Reyes fell in love with a charming Madrileña, Senorita Maria Angeles Lopez Montero, daughter of a retired Spanish infantry colonel. He married her in 1898. Eventually they settled in Manila, after Don Belong ended his exile in Spain and returned to the Philippines, which was then already an American colony. To read more of Don Belong’s life, please go to Isabelo de los Reyes, Founder of the Philippine Labor Movement, Among Other Titles


5.0           The coming 500th anniversary of the Spanish expedition led by Fernando de Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan) in 2019-2021 will involve the Philippines. The expedition landed in the Philippine islands of Samar, Leyte and Cebu, where Magellan died in battle. And Magellan’s crew members were said to have come from 18 European countries. The anniversary will reinforce the ties the Philippines has with Europe. This writer has been urging the Philippine government and the Filipino people to prepare for the said 500th anniversary and he has in fact registered the domain name,


6.0           There are other contributions made by European nations in the making of the Filipino heritage, parts of which are related in this essay, How Filipinos Reinvented Christmas


N ow, let us get back to the MPI. According to Ms. Michelle Mittelstadt, the world’s major immigrant-sending regions are expected to fare demographically in the next two decades and this has been a focus of the Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration,

particularly with respect to the implications that demographic change could have for Europe and North America.


The Transatlantic Council commissioned research from distinguished academics and researchers around the world to inform its work, and we are now pleased to make those papers public. They are:



Michael J. White and Inku Subedi of Brown University map the two countries’ differing age structures and demographic trajectories through 2030, examining the working-age populations of China and India, particularly in the age group most likely to migrate. The paper is available at



Graeme Hugo of the University of Adelaide explores how Asia’s exponential growth of recent decades will not be sustained in the medium to long term amid declining fertility rates – and how Asian destination countries increasingly will be competing with OECD countries for skilled migrants from
Asia and the Pacific. The paper is available at


Elena Zúñiga of the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Unidad de Estudios
del Desarrollo and independent consultant Miguel Molina examine the growing flow of Mexican professionals heading to the United States – and how projections suggest the demand in Mexico for professionals could outstrip supply after 2025. The paper is available at



Philippe Fargues of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence examines the demographic future for the Middle East and North Africa through 2030 – and notes that the MENA region’s growing supply of young, educated workers is occurring against the backdrop of Europe’s aging population and below-replacement fertility. The paper is available at



T he paper by Wolfgang Lutz, Warren Sanderson, Sergei Scherbov, and Samir K.C. of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria examines the world’s two most demographically extreme regions: Sub-Saharan African and Eastern Europe, which are experiencing the fastest rate of growth and most rapid population decline respectively. The paper is available at:

The demographic papers, also available at the Transatlantic Council website:,

comprise the first half of the latest Council volume, Talent, Competitiveness and Migration.




The book, published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, maps how profound demographic change is likely to affect the size and character of global migration flows; and how governments can shape immigration policy in a world increasingly attuned to the hunt for talent. For more information on the book, please visit here.





Migration Policy Institute
Stay up to date on MPI's events and newest publications.



MPI Data Hub
Find the latest immigration statistics, maps, and numbers for the
United States and other countries.



Migration Information Source
Read a unique, online journal that provides fresh thought and global analysis of international migration and refugee trends.


URL: # # #



Last Updated on Saturday, 24 October 2009 05:39
Comments (9)
1 Friday, 23 October 2009 07:38
Thanks for the info.
Sir Richard
---- Envoyé avec BlackBerry® d'Orange ----


From: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 11:17:53 EDT
To: rizal.ln.victoria@>; christoph_eberle@
Subject: RE: Article on EuroFilipinos (EBER Filipinos)

Dear Brothers Sir Lazir, Sir Christoph and Fellow Rizalists, especially in Europe:

It may interest you to know that I have written an article about EuroFilipinos (AKA EBER Filipinos), the details of which you can read in this link,
The EuroFilipinos and the MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration


Happy reading and have a happier weekend,


Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
2 Friday, 23 October 2009 16:03
Hi Bobby,

Like I always do, I read the content of what you've written and it's really very informative and yes, it's always reflective of its journalistic excellence. Until I read your article, it didn't occur to me that March 16, 2021, would mark the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan. Of course, we don't even know if we'll still be around by that time. And I know, by that time, you and Dr. Tom would, probably, be in your 80's or 90's.

And now, I'm thinking: Would the Philippines and Spain have a grand celebration come 2021?

3 Friday, 23 October 2009 16:16
Dear Don:

Thank you for your comments, which we posted after the article.

1.0 The 500th Anniversary of the Magallanes-led Expedition. The celebration actually starts in September 2019, as the voyage commenced from Seville, Spain, in the same month of September 1519. It is less-than 10 years from today. Time flies fast.

1.1 I will only be 75 by May 1, 2021. I will still be around, God willing, by then -- unless I develop a major health problem, die in an accident or get martyred. I intend to be on the galleon replica that we plan to sail from Cebu to Seville -- to complete Magellan's unfinished expedition.

2.0 RE: Grand Celebration. We are organizing now the Filipino Committee for Magellan2021 Movement (tentative name). If you want to join us, please let me know. Joseph Lariosa heads the PR and Media Relations of that Committee. We have grand plans but it is of course easier said than done. If you join us, I will send to you some of the basic information about our vision and proposed plans and programs.


Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
4 Saturday, 24 October 2009 06:05
KUDOS to you for the depth of your postings!

Thank you for educating your readers with the wealth of info you've been sharing.

I will forward them to most on my mailing list. Will forward you any feedback received.

I had long tried to trace my family genealogy. The original Bonzons from Portugal were processed in Ellis island immigration`center.

I had met the very nice family of Christian Bonzon of Paris, France, 3 years ago. I arranged a National Park Service tour of the nation's monuments and memorials for them. Christian, a purser for Air France, wife Chantal and daughter Jessica all speak English fluently. They now reside in Biarritz, France. Christian has traced his long family genealogy -which was how we got connected.

Keep up the good work.


5 Saturday, 24 October 2009 06:18
Thanks, Bob!

Am sorry na hindi ako sociable in the past few weeks, even months. Am up to my neck with work.....for the Diaspora Forum for Development. We are organizing 6 debates and papalapit na ang International Migrants Day...

6 Saturday, 24 October 2009 12:35
Thanks for the article Lolo Bob. Musta na po kayo diyan?

Susie Barbieri
see my blog

see my blog:

see my blog

pls. help my OSYs project in Urdaneta:

pls. support our community livelihood program
7 Sunday, 25 October 2009 06:03
Subj: Re: Fwd: EuroFilipinos AKA EBER Filipinos (2)
Date: 10/24/2009 3:38:01 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
From: maxfabella
To: tedbonzon
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Is there really a point in the grand celebration considering the effects of Catholicism in the Philippines?
8 Sunday, 25 October 2009 06:05
RE: Is there really a point in the grand celebration considering the effects of Catholicism in the Philippines? -- Max Fabella

With due respect to you, Manong Max, here are the reasons for my advocating since 1994 the participation of Filipinos and Overseas Filipinos in the coming 500th anniversary of the Spanish expedition, as commanded by Fernando de Magallanes:

1.0 Even stripped of religious reasons, i.e., Catholicism, that resulted into the conversion of majority of Filipinos to the Catholic faith, the 1521 expedition is the historical event of this 21st century. The expedition named the Pacific Ocean, the Rio de Janeiro Bay in Brazil, the Magellanic Cloud (in astronomy) and the Magellan Strait (between Argentina and Chile).

2.0 From the viewpoints of tourism, the Philippines should be able to take advantage of the three-year period -- from 2019 to 2021 -- as the voyage started in Seville, Spain, in September 1519, and the fact that Magellan died in Cebu. With the proper promotions, millions of tourists from the Hispanic World and Europe (as Magellan's crew came from 18 countries, mostly found in Europe), after all, one-sixth of the world is Latino. This will be the opportune time to promote the Philippines as "the only Hispanic archipelago in Asia."

2.1 The 500th anniversary can result into a major boost for the Philippine economy -- from building replicas of the galleons used by Magellan in a revived Spanish shipyard in Magallanes, Sorsogon, to the retrofitting and restoration of Spanish-built churches in the Philippines, all of which may be done with the assistance of Spanish grants and the support of corporate sponsors.

2.2 The three-year celebration requires lots of memorabilia and souvenir products -- from coffee mugs to banners and medals, commemorative coins, etc., and etc. -- that can be produced by cottage-industry entrepreneurs.

3.0 The anniversary can be used to highlight the progress of the Filipino people for the past 500 years and rekindle the efforts of some national heroes of the Philippines like my grandfather-in-law, Don Belong de los Reyes, in reforming the Catholic Church of the Philippines.

3.1 The anniversary can be the best period in time to make the Filipinos look good, feel good, proud of their multiethnic heritage and prouder of their positive contributions to the world economy and international law and order.

4.0 It will afford young Filipinos and Overseas-Filipino scions (including the ABER and the EBER Filipinos) to rediscover the world by manning the galleon replicas that will sail back to Seville and "complete" the voyage that Magellan failed to accomplish. This will also be the achievement of a lifetime for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to join the anniversary and build in them a real sense of Filipino history and the knowledge of the positive contributions of several countries in the making of the Filipino heritage.

I rest my case . . .


Lolo Bobby M. Reyes
Prime Mover,
9 Sunday, 25 October 2009 17:25
The name of that gentleman, Max Fabella rings a bell. I think he is someone who is prominent. I'm not really sure about the point he's driving at with the question he raised. It seems "loaded' to me.

Of course, I' grateful that we were discovered by Spain. Even though they tyrannized us for almost four centuries, they made us Christians who believe in God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. And I'll say this straight from the shoulder:" I'd rather be a Christian than a Muslim."

Also, unlike the Dutch, the Spaniards gave us the opportunity to be educated. They allowed most of our noble heroes like Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena and others to go to Spain and other European countries to further their schooling.

If there's something that has gone wrong in the Catholic church, it was on account of some of those priests who are humans, like us. and are subject to frailties and not because of the Catholic teachings.


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