Tribute to teachers


BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro

By royal consent, His Majesty Brunei Sultan certified Narciancina Galarido-Ward as recipient of Teachers Excellence Award in the Field of Leadership in September 2018 Teachers Day Celebration.

Teacher-composer Abraham Leotivo composes “Teachers Theme” with notes and instruments as greetings on 31st Teachers Day.

He trains children with the Philippine Embassy Rondalla group. Leotivo teaches music and art in Embassy’s Filipino Language and Cultural Enrichment program.

BFEC volunteers from Brunei’s largest Filipino professional group conduct this Embassy program during school breaks, says Lovelle Depala, president, Brunei Filipino Educators Club. Program continues online to reach OFW children 120 kilometres from capital.

A homesick worker’s Brunei love story moved Leotivo to compose some melody lines around “Nasa’n Ka Man Sinta,” because “wherever she is, she’s still the one I love.”

Leotivo at 17 composed songs in his music book. Some melodies are stuck in his head, some untranscribed in music app.

With over 60 percent of Brunei residents partially vaccinated, home wedding solemnization during pandemic are banned following reports of staggered wedding arrival times at home or other venues.

New daily cases dropped after last week’s highest 326 daily tally.

Indonesia’s Filipino community engages and coordinates with Philippine Embassy on Covid19 regulations through its official website, email, and social media platforms WhatsApp and Viber, says Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Lee Hiong Wee.

As of September 23, 2021, there were three Filipino active cases among 82 Covid cases (22 in 2020) and 12 deaths (three in 2020) in Indonesia, says Embassy.

“Most concerns of Filipinos in Indonesia are on consular matters, and the availability of direct flights to Manila. The Embassy coordinates with PAL and the Department of Foreign Affairs on facilitating these flights when necessary,” says Attache Jei Marielle De Los Angeles.


President Duterte and the late Indonesian Ambassador Dr Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, when both were municipal chief executives in Davao and Bitong, enjoyed close personal friendship way back to the establishment of sister city relations.

Ambassador Wee recently presented the Order of Sikatuna (Grand Cross (rank of datu) with Gold Distinction) to the widow of the late Indonesian Ambassador Sarundajang in recognition of his achievements in strengthening Philippines-Indonesia bilateral relations.

Two bululs are the 7th cultural artwork presented by the Philippines to the new ASEAN Secretariat in South Jakarta, which has accredited 93 ambas-sadors. The US$37 million building was inaugurated on the 52nd ASEAN anniversary.

Presented recently to the ASEAN Secretariat Gallery, bululs are thought to give power and wealth from the presence of the ancestral spirit, Ambassador Wee says. The Philippines’ Ifugao tribe carved these highly stylised wooden representations, Wee’s personal gift.

In Indonesia, Filipino educators fill the roles of school administration and teachers are limited to international schools and English-speaking schools, says Rodolfo “Rudy” Balmater, vice chairman of Philippine Business Club Indonesia.

“In the 1990s, Indonesia allowed opening of national schools with English language offering and provided opportunities for thousand of Filipino teachers to help in running the Indonesian school curriculum,” Balmater says.

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