Migrants song & ‘delata various’


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

Commission on Filipinos Overseas launches HiMigrasyon, its first song writing contest to raise public awareness on overseas Filipinos’ lives, issues and challenges and their migration journey.

Sacrifices and contributions of 10 million Filipinos overseas to host country and Philippine development, and during global pandemic must be in an original musical piece to inspire and challenge.

Winners will be recognized during Month of Filipino Overseas Celebration December 2021. Deadline of entries submission is October 31, 2021.

For over a decade, Brunei Filipino Educators Club (BFEC) has been conducting Filipino Language and Cultural Enrichment Program (FLECP) for Philippine Embassy.

“This is the most meaningful program of the embassy for children,” says Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, who initiated program in September 2008.

During 2020 pandemic outbreak, blended learning reached students and volunteer teachers for the first time in oil town Kuala Belait, 120 kilometers from the Brunei capital.

In 2021 partial lock-down, Brunei government ayuda recipients post on Facebook their gratitude for rice, groceries, coffee, potatoes, received by two-week quarantined families.

Different is the feeling when Facebook onlookers themselves receive ayuda from unknown donors in the Brunei capital sent via volunteer delivery arms.

“They heard we were giving to teachers who lost income during the partial lockdown,” social worker Lovelle Depala, president, (BFEC), tells ayuda recipients in Belait town at westernmost part of Brunei, bordering Sarawak, Malaysia.

“Dr. Tess, wife of Dr Joey Castro, and friends from International School of Brunei, asked for the list of displaced (teachers), some of whom are unknown to us,” Depala adds.

A sack of Cambodian rice, ‘delata various’ of fish and meat, a 30 egg-tray, 1 liter cooking oil, noodles, Spanish bread and hot menudo (pork, liver stew) for lunch come from BFEC “for your services to Filipinos in the past years,” says Butch Conda Lotivo, representing Brunei’s largest OFW pro-fessional group.

Brunei is 1,251 kilometers from Manila.

A 101-year-old man is Brunei’s oldest person among 51.9 percent of the population to get one Covid19 vaccine dose. 27.4 percent of residents are fully vaccinated with two-dose regimen.

Virus transmission locally was zero during first 15 months.

Daily infections exceed 100 cases since August 7, with 11 lung infection deaths in second wave month ending Sept. 7, 2021.

With 3,636 cases, Brunei has 850 Covid cases per 100,000 people, sixth highest rate in southeast Asia.

Tired, angry, and tearful 127,332 health care workers (HCW) are exposed to highly transmissible Delta-variant when treating patients. They are waiting for 2021 PHP5,000 special risk allowance missing in Health Department’s PHP2.242 billion 2022 budget.

In country’s losing Covid19 battle, many HCWs are thinking of resigning, according to the Philippines’ largest group of health workers.

Four of 10 Filipino nurses in private hospitals resigned in 2020, according to another private hospitals association.

For dying in the line of Covid19 duty, health care workers are martyrs, not heroes, according to Good Samaritan Mon Tulfo, once upon a time Manila Police beat reporter when MPD officers had “executive abilities.”

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Migrants song & ‘delata various’