pilipino association of Workers and immigrants
To all our friends and family
please come and join us and bring items to
sell for our community garage sale
all proceeds will go to nafcon
typhoon relief effort
Saturday & Sunday
8am – 4pm
1426 Morril Ave
san jose ca 95132
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, Pacific Island Blood, a coalition of Bay Area Motorcycle Clubs will be hosting a donation drive at James Logan High School (1800 H. Street, Union City, CA 94587). The “rally” will be from 11am – 4pm. There will be food, merch tables, a raffle, as well as performances and martial arts demonstrations. PIB will be hosting a box drive, for which they will be accepting in-kind donations. Blankets, towels, canned foods, water, matches, candles, baby formula, powdered milk, and baby bottles are among the items requested for donation.
JLHS Filipino Heritage Studies and KAISAHAN will also be present to take monetary donations, 100% of which will be donated to NAFCON.
11/22 New York – Gabriela Presents Un-Natural Disasters: 5 Women’s Findings from an International Solidarity Mission in the Philippines.
Bay Area activists and talent come together for this pop-up talent showcase to benefit survivors of the typhoon in the hardest hit areas of the Philippines.
Featuring music performances by Native Elements and End The Suffering. Stand-up comic Kevin Camia. Special guest Freska Griarte of 99.7 NOW and Allan Manalo of Bindlestiff Studios.
Saturday November 23, 2013
1:00pm until 4:00pm
1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco State University
Sponsored by Chi Ro Omicron, Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center of San Mateo County, LBC, ABS-CBN and others.
Special thanks to Oscar Gonzales, Cindy Sacramento-Enriquez, Mary Nite, Andy V Galeon, Jeremy Jocson, Johnathan Ezekiel Winston Siu, Allan S. Manalo, Kevin Camia, Native Elements, Lorenzo BigLarr Santiago, Augustus Tagaro, and YOU!
110% of fund proceeds will be donated to NAFCON and material donations will be shipped via direct distribution to affected areas. $10 only!
Boba and the arts for a cause…
“Hope For Haiyan”
An Open Mic Fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan Victims
Hosted at Hiccups Tea House with Anakbayan Los Angeles, CSULB Pilipino American Coalition, Filipino Migrant Center and NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) folks!
10% of all purchases (food and drinks) will go straight to relief efforts aiding Typhoon Haiyan victims in the affected areas in the Philippines!
Come through! 7:30-9:30PM
If you can’t make it out, please make a donation to www.nafconusa.org to directly support relief efforts in the Philippines.
11/23 San Francisco – P.E.A.C.E. (Pilipinos for Education, Arts, Culture, & Empowerment) “REBUILD PHILIPPINES”
P.E.A.C.E. (Pilipinos for Education, Arts, Culture, & Empowerment) + NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) presents…
Next Saturday, November 23, 2013 | 12-5pm
City College of San Francisco: Student Union
50 Phelan Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112
This event hopes to bring the community together to build stronger bonds, empower our youth/young ones, inform ourselves a midst a media whirlwind and take care of our families across the ocean.
100% of the proceeds from this event will go directly to relief efforts on the ground to the affected communities in the Philippines.
GUEST SPEAKERS x LIVE PERFORMANCES by local hip-hop, r&b and spoken word artists. Local DJs, as well.
(Roster will announced on monday)
We’re encouraging everyone to bring some food to share-POTLUCK Style
This is a family friendly event. Activities for children 10 yrs and under during the event.
ENCOURAGE YOUR LOVED ONES TO COME & SUPPORT.
Artist Collective for Haiyan Relief
7:30pm in EST December 18
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
74A East 4th Street, New York, New York 10003
La Mama e.t.c and Kinding Sindaw present Haiyan Relief
Featuring performances and Artwork auction to benefit the victims of Haiyan/Yolanda.
Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage
Maria Elena Anaya (Flamenco)
Saung Budaya Indonesian Dance group
10tecomai Yosakoi Dance project
(We will be updating the performers list constantly) Please keep checking.
All proceeds will go to NAFCONUSA #HaiyanRelief fund# nafconusa.org
for more info: email@example.com
11/20 New Jersey – Fundraiser for Typhoon Relief with Red Horse, San Miguel, Calamansi Cosmos, and Ube Cheesecake
We are all devastated by the news of the damage done by the typhoon in the Philippines. We will be donating 100% of sales from Red Horse and San Miguel Beers, our Calamansi Cosmo, and Ube Cheesecake from Blackbeard’s Dulceria. We will also be auctioning off a gift certificate for a 9 inch Ube Cheesecake.
Funds will be donated to http://nafconusa.org/
“In this state of calamity, there is an urgent call for support and assistance. In an effort to have a united and
concerted response, we encourage all supporters to coordinate with respective NAFCON chapters throughout the
United States to ensure that our actions are effective, sustainable and empowering of the local communities,
especially those that are the hardest hit, poorest and underserved.
At this time, NAFCON will assist in the direct transfer of MONETARY donations. Your donation will be sent
directly to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots
relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response
NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines.”
5:00pm until 1:00am in EST
140 Newark Ave, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
11/18 New Jersey – A fundraising event for the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines.
A fundraising event for the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines. All proceeds will go to NAFCON who directly helps severe calamity victims.
Location: WPU, Student Center Cafe
7:00pm until 10:00pm in EST
11/20 Brooklyn – benefit show for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. Come show your support for the Filipino People ♥
This is a benefit show for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. Come show your support for the Filipino People ♥
100% of all proceeds will go to BALSA and Lingap GABRIELA, Philippines-based coalitions comprised of volunteer-led church organizations, schools, and disaster relief organizations that work with victims & survivors of calamity in the hardest hit areas by Typhoon Haiyan.
+ Caroline from Chairlift
+ DJ Juan Farrakhan
When: Wednesday, November 20th at 8PM
Where: 285 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
$7 in advance, $10 at the door
11/17 New York – New York University’s International Filipino Association presents Mr. Philippines 2013!
New York University’s International Filipino Association presents Mr. Philippines 2013!
**PROCEEDS from Mr. Philippines 2013 will benefit NAFCON USA’s Bayanihan Relief & Rehabilitation program. Learn more here: http://nafconusa.org/pro
This year, our theme is “Legacy” and we are looking for the timeless Filipino-American man who bridges his cultural roots with having a meaningful influence on the next generation of Filipino-Americans. Contestants are challenged to think about the dichotomy of the two identities and ask themselves: “What is my legacy?”
SUMPA NG KAWAYAN (THE BAMBOO CURSE) — Filipino poem (with translation) for the survivors of Yolanda
SUMPA NG KAWAYAN
Joi Barrios-Leblanc, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Women’s Desk
Matibay ang kawayan.
Iyan ang sumpa.
lumangoy at magpaanod
Pigilin ang hininga
at baka malanghap
ang bangkay na naaagnas.
Tiisin ang gutom ng sikmura
na kahit sa papuri,
ay hungkag na hungkag.
Kalimutan natin ang kasakiman
na sa kabundukan
at nagbabago sa daloy
ng hangin at dagat.
Kalimutan ang pangulo
na mainit ang ulo
at sa sariling pulong
walang pakundangang lumalabas.
Kalimutan ang ayuda
na higit na bumabagal,
sa ating paghihintay.
Yumuyuko at umiindayog
sa hangin ang kawayan.
Ngunit kami ay tao, tao lamang,
Balat at dugo, luha at buto.
Ipagpaumanhin ang galit
at pusong nagpupuyos.
Naghahanap kami ng katarungan
sa gitna ng dalamhati’t pagluluksa,
sa aming di matapos-tapos
na dalamhati’t pagluluksa.
THE BAMBOO CURSE
Resilience is the curse of the bamboo.
Suffer the storm,
swim through the floods.
Bear the stench of corpses
and the hunger
that does not go away
Forgett he greed
that levels mountains
and changes wind and seas.
Forget the president
who walks out,
Forget the aid
that crawls slower
as we wait.
The bamboo bends and sways
with the wind.
We are human, only human,
All flesh and tears and bone and blood.
Forgive us our anger
as we seek for justice
in our grief,
in our inconsolable grief.
 Nakabatayang tula na ito sa tekstong “Resilience is a Dirty Word” na sinulat ng dati kong estudyanteng si Soleil David.
 This poem was inspired by Soleil David’s piece “Resilience is a Dirty Word.”
Help Support Relief Efforts for Typhoon Haiyan
Please join the De Anza community in supporting the people of the Philippines who have been impacted by the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which hit and ravaged numerous provinces in the central Philippines on November 8. Haiyan’s 195 mph winds and huge storm surges killed thousands, displaced nearly 600,000 and affected 9.5 million people across the Philippines, according to the United Nations.
Nearly 4 million of those affected are thought to be children, according to international aid organization Save the Children. Officially, confirmed deaths stood at 2,357 on Thursday morning, Nov. 14, according to the Filipino government.
Make a Monetary Donation through NAFCON
The National Alliance for Fillipino Concerns (NAFCON) has provided an easy way to make a monetary donation online. Donate today.
For information about how the money will be distributed, read the Letter of Appeal from NAFCON Bayanihan Relief & Rehabilitation Program.
NAFCON has a well-respected track record in supporting disaster relief efforts since the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 and has been widely publicized as a top option for donations. NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members are active in 23 cities in the United States. Read about the relief efforts in Northern California.
Volunteer Opportunities on Campus
Also please consider volunteering time for much needed assistance. There will be upcoming events on campus in support of relief efforts. For more information about how to get involved, contact Associate Vice President of Instruction Rowena Tomaneng, a former volunteer with NAFCON USA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408.864.8510.
Donate Support through NAFCON
San Jose – Know Your Roots Apparel Collaborates with NAFCON to Raise Funds for the Typhoon Relief Effort.
Check out the website at www.kyrapparel.com or click the image
ARTWORK by Elaine Villasper-Dizon
During the week of November 18 – 22, multiple school sites within the New Haven Unified School District, in Union City, will be holding a donation drive for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Spearheaded by the students of the Filipino Heritage Studies class at James Logan High School, the drive, entitled PROJECT HAIYAN, will culminate with a benefit event held on Friday, November 22 at Alvarado Elementary School from 7pm – 9pm.
The event will feature performances by local youth and artists, Filipino and mixed martial arts demonstrations, and updates about Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Merchandise and food will be sold with proceeds going towards NAFCON’s relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines.
The event is free and open to all who wish to support the effort. Monetary donations will be accepted in exchange for admission. Filipino Advocates for Justice and PYC will be hosting a booth to take in-kind donations: non-perishable food, bottled water, towels, and blankets are among the list desired items.
Alvarado Elementary School is located at 31100 Fredi St., Union City, California 94587
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/173229059551816/
The community partners helping to host the event are KAISAHAN, PASE, and FAJ/PYC.
Please show your support and love for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Mix, mingle, and have a drink for a good cause!
Event: FBANC and NAFCON Typhoon Haiyan Relief Drive
Location: Drake Bar and Lounge, 508 4th St., San Francisco, CA 94107
Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Time: 6-9PM pm
*FBANC has teamed up with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) (Terry Valen) to host a fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. All donations will go to NAFCON, a volunteer-run Filipino-American alliance in 23 US cities. Since 2009, NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation program has responded to all major typhoons and other calamities that have hit the Philippines. 100% of the proceeds collected for relief go to those most affected and devastated, on the ground in the Philippines.
Well-known community leaders will be attending, including some as guest bartenders!
We look forward to seeing you there!
Queer and allies party to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. THIS Saturday, Nov 16th (10pm-2am).
WE LOVE THE PHILIPPINES AND WE KNOW YOU DO TOO. TOGETHER WE CAN LINK ARMS WITH THE SURVIVORS TO RE-BUILD, FIND HOPE AND EMPOWERMENT IN THE MIDST OF SEVERE DEVASTATION & GOVERNMENT NEGLECT. 100% OF OUR DONATIONS WILL REACH THE PEOPLE. #HaiyanRelief #TaskForceHaiyan #GABRIELAUSA
1924 Franklin Street (3rd Floor), Oakland
$5- 10+ Sliding Scale @ the door.
**PLEASE RSVP – Email or FB private message us if you are attending. You will need a special passcode to get into the building.**
Artwork, Photographs & Essays by Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, Seattle, WA – Contact: email@example.com
11/21 New York – Filipino American Museum Bayanihan Spirit to Raise Funds for Typhoon Relief Efforts
Please join us. Everyone is welcome!
Where: Corner of Powell and Post (Union Square)
Volunteers from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), a member of the broad formation “Bay Area Task Force Haiyan” invites you to a candle light vigil to honor the lives of our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who fell victim to Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda in the Philippines. This week vigils have taken place throughout the bay area.
We are humbled by the overwhelming support and sympathy we’ve received from every day people such as yourself. We would like to take this opportunity to gather together, mourn, pay our respects, and most importantly share how we can continue the long journey ahead and rebuild the lives and areas affected.
10,000 are feared dead in Leyte, and 300 more in Samar. We are still waiting for information from other provinces. Many remain missing, and it is estimated that 4 million people have been affected. We need to provide immediate relief for the families and individuals who have survived.
100% proceeds of the donation will go to the victims. For more information about NAFCON, please visit www.nafconusa.org. We will be collecting donation during the vigil.
Here is a glimpse of NAFCON at work, as we launch Task Force Haiyan.
Check out the facebook event page here > https://www.facebook.com/events/565684516842903/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
D.C. (area) – Taking the P*ss – Benefit for the Philippines
Marx Cafe has generously agreed to make this a benefit for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Proceeds of the bar will go to GABRIELA Washington, D.C., which has partnered with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) to accept online donations via nafconusa.org.
When: Friday, November 15, 2013
Time: 10:00 pm – 3:00 am
Where: Marx Cafe 3203 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20010-2103
Rise Up! UCD Fil Am Typhoon Relief Efforts On November 8, the Philippines experienced the strongest storm ever to make landfall in history. With an estimated death toll of 10,000+ (in one province alone) and 10 million people directly affected by its path, Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan razed communities to the ground in Central Philippines, many of these towns, cities and provinces have yet to recover from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last month. In solidarity with the Filipino people, the UC Davis Filipino American community (or the Filamily, as we fondly call it) is coordinating a joint effort to raise money for the relief and rehabilitation of those directly affected by this tragedy.
A dollar goes a long way in the Philippines. All monetary donations will be sent through the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns or NAFCON, an organization that works closely with grassroots community organizations in the Philippines. Their Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation Program ensures that monetary donations go directly to the communities in need.
Our goal is currently at $1500 but we will continue to raise it to reflect the amount of support we receive. We shall also be sending our donations in increments to address both immediate and long-term needs. Everything will be documented through photos/videos and social media (follow the hashtag #UCDRiseUpPh).
We will also have a series of fundraising events in collaboration with other groups, so please keep an eye out!
This is a crucial time for our communities to come together to raise awareness of these natural disasters and mobilize relief efforts.
Your generous donations are very much appreciated!
Every penny counts
We are also accepting monetary and material donations at the Student Recruitment & Retention Center located in the Student Community Center.
Suggestions for material donations:
– Non-perishable food that DOES NOT require water, electricity or can openers.
– Basic medicine and first-aid kit supplies for surface wounds.- Bottled water. Currently, there is no drinkable water in affected areas.
– Candles and matches since there is no electricity. – Clothing
– Any other items that may be useful.
*This will be an ongoing effort so we will continue updating this gofundme and our social media pages.*
*This is a collaboration between Project: Bulosan, BRIDGE, FAHC, FILAH, Mga Kapatid, PASE, KPE and XPO.
API club at Tennyson High School in Hayward. They did a fundraiser with the money going to Gabriela USA/NAFCON. It’s actually via Jaynee Ruiz’s instagram. She’s from babae/Gabriela USA, and she’s a teacher here at THS.
PUSO (Pilipinos at UCSF student organization) and VSA (vietnamese student organization) will be hosting a fundraiser next THURSDAY 11/21/13 to raise money for relief efforts that have been going on for Typhoon Haiyan (please follow the link below to order). ALL PROFITS will go to NAFCON (National alliance for filipino concerns). For more information about how NAFCON is helping and about their organization please follow the link: http://nafconusa.org/
Typhoon Haiyan is considered to be the worst calamity and natural disaster that Philippines has ever faced with speeds as high as 195 mph and gust speed up to 235 mph with around 10,000 people are feared to be dead or displaced. Families affected by the storm are in drastic need of basic supplies, medical supplies, food, and clean water. Thus, Our goal is to provide support and relief.
So please come out and support our cause! Any donations are welcome and will definitely make a difference!
WAYS TO HELP:
2. Attend and donate at our fundraiser event on THURSDAY HSW Lobby 11/21/13 at :
**********PLACE YOUR ORDER HERE**********************
WE ARE ACCEPTING ORDERS UNTIL MONDAY 11/18/13 at 9AM.
After filling out the survey, you can pick up your order for your BBQ pork skewer, vegetable lumpia, and/or meat lumpia and drop off your donation on Thursday 11/21/13.
We are asking for recommended donations but you are free to choose what ever you want to donate to the cause!
3. Donate supplies:
Thank you for your support and time. Your donations do make the difference to those out there in need.
Also if you have not heard about what is going currently in regards to the storm please follow the link: http://
In the last few months the world has seen the powerful and devastating destruction that earthquakes and typhoons caused much of the Philippines coastal areas. This effort is not just to only fundraise aid to the people of the P.I. but to also rally ourselves here in the Bay Area to causes abroad and at home. We must remember we are a part of a global community. Neither seperate or alone. But connected by life. Let us give art, support, and love to one another. Let’s pass it around.- DandiggityShowcasing words and songs from a variety of talent from all over the Bay Area.Jason Bayani (Proletariat Bronze/The ReWrite)
Lorenz Dumuk (The ReWrite)
Kristen Sajonas (The ReWrite)
Amy DabalosHosted by: Dandiggity & Ruby VeridianoSounds by DJ Sig-O (Affinity Sounds)
$10 at the door All Ages
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Doors at 7:30pm. Show promptly at 8:30pm.
The Blackbird Tavern Annex
100% of the proceeds go to nafconusa.org
JASON BAYANI is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology, Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology–– Learn Then Burn, and other publications. As a member of 7 National Poetry Slam teams, he’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist and represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. His first book, “Amulet” was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Press and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint. www.jasonbayani.com
RUBY VERIDIANO is a glamour girl off to change the world. A writer, speaker, and media personality, she was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in Sacramento, and has spent time in Italy, France, Atlanta, Oakland, and New York City, shaping her global perspective as an advocate and voice for Asian American women. Ruby is passionate about creating media that bridges entertainment with messages of positive social change, and is the founder of a writing empowerment program called “The Glamourbaby Diaries”.
Since 2002, Ruby has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, presenting her writings, lectures, workshops, and media projects at hundreds of venues including Cornell University, Columbia University, Morehouse College, the United Nations, De La Salle University Manila, and the American University of Paris, France, inspiring tomorrow’s leaders and visionaries. She has reached thousands of youth through her spoken word performance work with iLL-Literacy , an artist collective that she co-founded in 2002. Through her work with iLL-Literacy, she has shared the stage with the likes of Common, Mos Def, Goapele, and Saul Williams. Her movement to empower youth extends to her work with non-profit organizations such as Youthspeaks, Urban Word, LitWorld, and Book-In-A-Day. In 2008, she became a VJ for international music channel, MYX TV North America. In the same year, she published her first book, Miss Universe.
In 2010, she made it as a Top 3 Finalist for Alicia Keys’ head blogger search for her women’s empowerment website venture, “I Am A Superwoman” (IAAS.COM). During this time, Ruby was flown out to London to meet with Alicia Keys and attend the Black Ball, upon which she interviewed celebrities such as Christian Louboutin, Swizz Beatz, and Alicia Keys on the red carpet.
In 2011, she became the first LitCorps Ambassador for Global Literacy Organization LitWorld, where she spearheaded LitWorld’s girls literacy empowerment program in her home country of the Philippines. During the same year, she founded Meeting of the Minds, an initiative to connect the global youth Filipino diaspora to galvanize social change.
Currently, Ruby travels the University circuit to tour her program, Glamourbaby Diaries, and serves as a TV Host/Correspondent for global Filipino channel ABS-CBN.
11/16 Los Angeles – Pray for the Philippines – A Benefit Event for those Affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan
11/20 Daly City – Typhoon Relief Call for Action! Hosted by the Northern San Mateo County Taskforce Haiyan
Hello Northern San Mateo County community members,
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, ravaged central Philippines this past weekend. More than 10,000 people in Leyte alone are estimated dead and thousands more elsewhere are missing. Countless are homeless and hungry throughout the archipelago and are in dire need of water, sanitation, food, and safe shelter.
On Wednesday, November 13th, Bay Area Taskforce Haiyan was launched by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) with different organizations to coordinate typhoon relief efforts in the Bay Area.
As part of this bigger network, we invite organizations and individuals to join the Northern San Mateo County Taskforce Haiyan with LAYA Migrant Youth for Change and Action, Migrante-San Mateo Organizing Committee, Westmoor High School, and NAFCON.
At this event we will discuss what Taskforce Haiyan is all about, how you or your organization can get involved in the relief efforts, and how we can further gather support from the larger community.
Event is open to all groups and individuals — teachers, youth, students, professionals, workers, church groups, unions, or any concerned resident of Northern San Mateo County, Filipino or Non-Filipino alike!
Hope to see you there!
Haiyan Relief Fundraiser
Friday, November 15, 2013
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Tapsilog Bistro, 819 W. Hamilton Ave., Campbell, CA 95008
*Light Appetizers hosted by the Jaurigue Law Group
Donations will be combined for the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief
JLG will donate an additional $10 for every donation received.
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a mass-based women’s organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect the Filipino diaspora to the women’s struggle in the Philippines. We are women of Philippine descent, including those who are migrants, immigrants and US-born. We recognize Filipino women of mixed heritage and adoptees. FiRE is a LGBTIQ-(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) friendly organization that is inclusive of transgender people of Philippine descent. For more information, please visit http://www.firenyc.org.
We are a proud member organization of GABRIELA-USA that is the first overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines. To learn more, please go to http://www.gabusa.org
FiRE is a member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. To learn more about BAYAN, please visit http://bayanusa.org/
We, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) & PSU Kaibigan Alumni Advisory Board, are keeping our hearts and minds with the Filipino people who are experiencing one of the world’s strongest and most devastating typhoons this year. In times of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, Filipinos in Portland and all over the world are all thinking of our loved ones and the millions who will be displaced because of the calamity.
Currently, the Philippines is bracing itself for Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Typhoon Yolanda), a category 5 super typhoon, which is expected to displace more than 25 million Filipinos. Families are packing up anything they can and are making their way to safety. The storm is expected to make landfall over Samar-Leyte area today (11/08/13) and continue until early tomorrow morning. It is expected to go through parts of the Philippines including Leyte, Northern Cebu, Capiz, and Semirara Island. Winds are expected to reach up to 195 mph, gusts of 235 mph and a diameter of 1,150 miles as it moves west over the country. This is one of the highest wind speeds ever recorded in a storm in world history.
This storm will not only affect the Philippines, but also Filipinos across the world as many OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who still have families back home are watching from afar. Even right here in Portland, community members are still trying to contact family and friends back home to check on their safety.
In this state of calamity, there is an urgent call for your support and assistance. Our fellow Filipinos need your prayers and your monetary donations. In the past month, we have been working with grassroots organizations in the parts of the Philippines that will be most impacted. Your donation will be sent directly to the poor and underserved who need our donations the most through organizations such as Visayas Primary Health Care Services (VPHCS), our partner organization on the ground in the Visayan region. We hope that you can join us in supporting our kababayans back home as they go through one of the toughest storms to hit the Philippines. Donations can be made through National Alliance for Filipino Concern’s (NAFCON) Paypal account at http://tinyurl.com/
It is as simple as skipping your morning coffee – that same amount can feed a family of four for at least three days in the Philippines.
Please contact Rossella De Leon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-915-7283 for any questions regarding this relief effort or ways to collaborate.
*** Please let us know by posting on this page if/once you make a donation through the link provided so that we can keep track of the total amount donated from Portland.
Join us as we raise funds for relief efforts in the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan. All proceeds will to go to NAFCON USA where 100% of funds raised will go directly to relief to where it is needed most. NAFCON USA will assist in the direct transfer of monetary donations to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines.
Come and share words and song on the mic. Share your thoughts, your grief, your anger, your inspiration, and your drive to rise up. In the midst of disaster, let’s emerge together in solidarity.
For more information or to sign up on the open mic ahead of time, please contact Megumi Yoshida.
Kilusan Pilipino at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA
If you are interested in donating to the Typhoon Haiyan relief fund, Kilusan Pilipino has a table outside of the DeRosa University Center. We will be here everyday from 11-2pm until December 5. Please stop by and show your support, we accept cash and card. every little bit counts! ❤️
Pictured below left to right Kevin Hernando, Rebecca Liu, Val Taylor, and Maurelle Bagus and photo credit goes to Leah Cruz
San Mateo Medical Center through Ms. Lorda Rumbaua of the Department of Resource Management has endorsed NAFCON
San Mateo Medical Center through Ms. Lorda Rumbaua of the Department of Resource Management has endorsed NAFCON and Careway Health Institute to all its staff for all monetary donations.
Union City – Sari Sari Underground taking in monetary donations to give to NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort
Make sure to check out Sari Sari Underground inside Island Pacific in Union City, they are taking in monetary donations to give to NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort
Sari Sari Underground
4122 Dyer Street
Union City, Ca 94560
November 13, 2013
Contact: Terrence Valen, 415-203-0696
Bay Area Community and Civic Leaders Launch
TASKFORCE HAIYAN to Coordinate Urgent Disaster Relief
San Francisco Supervisors John Avalos and Jane Kim to Co-Chair Collaborative Grassroots Response
San Francisco — In response to the growing and urgent need to step up relief efforts for the victims of
Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, civic leaders, community organizations, businesses, and faith groups
from throughout the Bay Area launch Taskforce Haiyan, to coordinate people-to-people grassroots
response to what is being touted as one of the strongest typhoons in recorded history. This local launch
is part of a US-wide effort led by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) to coordinate and
strengthen community-based relief efforts across the U.S.
WHO: Supervisors John Avalos and Jane Kim
Bay Area Families of Typhoon Haiyan Victims
Filipino and Faith-based Civic Leaders
WHAT: Launch of Bay Area Taskforce Haiyan
WHEN: Wednesday, November 13
TIME: 10:00 am
WHERE: Bayanihan Community Center: 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Typhoon Haiyan, slammed through the Philippines when it made landfall on November 7, 2013. The
destruction caused by the storm quickly claimed over 10,000 lives in one city alone- Tacloban City in
the province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas. Many Bay Area families with families in affected areas are still
waiting to confirm whether their loved ones have survived.
NAFCON, a volunteer-run Filipino-American alliance in 23 US cities, calls on organizations, communities,
and residents of the Bay Area to join in the grassroots relief efforts. Since 2009, NAFCON’s Bayanihan
Relief and Rehabilitation program has responded to all major typhoons and other calamities that have hit
the Philippines. 100% of the proceeds collected for relief go to those most affected and devastated, on
the ground in the Philippines.
“These last few days have been very difficult for Filipino-Americans with loved ones back home. Haiyan is
the fourth major typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, and by far the most destructive. The devastation
of poverty-stricken communities is simply beyond our collective imagination,” states Terry Valen,
NAFCON President. “There is a need to increase our efforts. That’s why we are happy to join hands with
community, labor, business, and church groups across the Bay Area and the nation to form Taskforce
Haiyan, to increase and better coordinate the aid and relief to the most devastated areas in the country.”
Anakbayan Seattle extends our deepest gratitude to everyone that supported us yesterday as we sang and played music in the heart of downtown Seattle’s Westlake Center in effort to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. Without your help, we would not have been able to raise nearly *$500 for the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns’ (NAFCON) Bayanihan Relief & Rehabilitation Program.
It was inspiring and uplifting to have been able to turn this idea around so quickly in less than 24 hours and mobilize the large group we had. A big thank you to the organizations of Filipino American Student Association of the University of Washington (UW FASA), the Pacific Islands Club of the University of Washington, and Pinay sa Seattle for joining the efforts.
Please stay tuned for local upcoming relief effort events and opportunities in Seattle or donate now at NAFCON USA. To learn more you can visit the website Disaster by Design | How the Natural Disasters in the Philippines are Worsened.
Our Chairperson, Jenilee Policarpio, also recorded a small message to share with the community.
Please join Anakbayan Seattle in coming together as a community to send love and healing to typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda survivors in the Philippines.
***NOVEMBER 13, 2013 AT 6:00PM @ RED SQUARE***
If you are not able to physically be at the vigil, please continue to keep the Philippines in your hearts as this will be a continuous relief process.
***For more information about why these natural disasters occur/how the Philippine government contributes
to worsening the immense damage the Philippines
has to endure please visit —> http://
***If you are interested in donating to fund disaster relief in the Philippines please visit: http://nafconusa.org/
***100% OF ALL FUNDS THAT ARE DONATED THROUGH NAFCON WILL GO TO DISASTER RELIEF***
Please share this event!
November 13th, 2013 is a call for International Solidarity with the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Please join us in a candlelight vigil honoring the lives lost and the people struggling to survive in wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
Meet up at Malcolm X Plaza at 5:30pm. The vigil will being promptly at 5:45.
Folks will be collecting donations to send to NAFCON: www.nafconusa.org
Let us gather as a community in solidarity. ISULONG!
San Mateo – Careway Health Institute Taking in Monetary Donations for the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief effort
San Mateo – Careway Health Institute Taking in Monetary Donations for the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief effort
Please Contact Rico Foz
1528 South El Camino Real, Suite 308, San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 627-4685 or email@example.com
Home Elements Supply & Consulting 200 Serra Way Ste #34 Milpitas, CA 95035
Jocelyn Deona de Leon
monetary donations can be made now through 11/16 and continue from 12/3 to 12/14. call or visit for most current operating hours.
Proud to announce that proceeds of this event will go to NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief campaign to help victims of Philippine Calamities. See http://nafconusa.org/ for more info
You can check out their facebook event page here https://www.facebook.com/events/1379367855641676/?source=1
With the lack of government investment into Visayan livelihood, built environment and safety protocols, impoverished Filipino women have had to subsist at an atrocious level of poverty. Filipino women, at the helm of family structures, were not able to work and find the money to evacuate their families into safety or save up for emergencies such as these.
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and Fellowship for Filipino Migrants had a fundraiser at Allegretti’s Pizzaria. It was a successful event and we thank the owner (a family of ours) for opening their doors to have the venue at their restaurant. They also donated the food and drinks for the fundraising! Thanks to everyone who came and donated! And we are still accepting donations!
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD
For folks in Chicago area who wants to donate:
Address cheques to: Fellowship for Filipino Migrants or FFM
Drop off cash/cheques at: Allegretti’s Pizzeria, 933 E. Oakton St. Des Plaines
Mail your cheques to: 113 Washington Rd. Glenview, IL 60025
For material donations please contact:
For online donations go to: http://tinyurl.com/
Tselogs in Daly City Supports NAFCON Relief Efforts
NAFCON thanks Tselogs for supporting our relief efforts for typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines!
The images of the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan are heart wrenching. They are the gaping wounds of a Philippines that has been beaten again and again by natural and not-so-natural disasters. This time the world cannot turn away. It cannot deny the suffering of the Filipino people. We are moved and compelled to open our hearts and give, but time and time again we are faced with the dilemma of which organizations or groups to support.
For me, the answer to that question is clear. I will not give my money to giant NGOs with huge overhead costs, other foreign organizations, or militaries that swoop in on these communities for a week or a month or two and then leave. When I look at images on my computer screen or my television, my eyes focus and linger on the faces of people who are hungry, homeless, and hurt because of these calamities. I do not see the faces of transnational organizations or their CEOs.
My heart is with the people. I would like my money to go there aswell. This is why I will give my time, energy, and financial support to organizations like NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) in the US that donates to BALSA (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan- Peoples Cooperation for the People) in the Philippines. These relief efforts are led and conducted by all volunteer grass roots and community organizations–organizations that are committed not only to the immediate needsof the people for relief, but the much more difficult task of rebuilding,rehabilitating, and restoring these communities with dignity and compassion. These are peoples organizations thatare built by the people in the communities in which they live. They know the conditions, the struggles, and the aspirations of people in these communities because they are therewith them.
Participating in the International Solidarity Mission in Mindanao this summer, I was surprised to see so many people in communities devastated by Typhoon Pablo still living in tents or crumblingstructures with only a piece of tarpaulin to protect them from the elementseight months after the typhoon. It was shocking to see these tents and piecesof tarp emblazoned with the names of international relief organizations likethe Red Cross and UNICEF. It washard to accept that with the millions of dollars donated by people all over theworld, that these organizations along with many other transnational NGOs wereonly able to erect tent cities and distribute plastic coverings for homes andcalled it “relief.” They are no longer there in these communities. They have wiped their hands clean. They believe they have done their jobs. Hand in hand with the broken-ness of the Philippine government’s ability to respond to the needs of the people, these organizations failed to serve the people ofthe Philippines.
Thankfully, I was able to witness peoples organizations in action. I saw their rebuilding efforts in parts of Mindanao devastated by Typhoon Pablo.Their efforts were conducted quietly and humbly; they were ongoing eight months after the disaster. They were there for the long haul. One afternoon I was able to visit an evacuation center where people sought shelter because of militarization of their villages. The center was buzzing with activity as volunteers from peoples organizations were hard at work. I did not have to stay long to see the comprehensiveness of their work–from the cooking crew to the medical team to the psychosocial team for the children. The volunteers were tireless in their efforts to not only meet the immediate needs of the people,but to also find a way for them to return to their homes and live their lives peacefully once again.
These peoples organizations know that every child, woman, and man deserves to be fed, housed, and given medical care as soon as possible. But the difference is that they also know that the relief work only feeds, houses, and treats a person for that day or a few weeks. Their work cannot and will not stop there. They work for rehabilitation and rebuilding of communities. They will take a hammer and nails and wood to create new homes, hospitals, and schools, but they will also work at building a better system–one that responds to the needs of the people, one that fights for environmental justice, one that brings hope and courage for people to fight for what they need and deserve in the face of injustice.
Our people deserve more than pieces of tarp emblazoned with the names of international relief organizations or tent cities that are supposed to replace sturdy, livable homes. They deserve more than spoiled rice after it was withheld from them by the Philippine military. They deserve more than empty promises and poor governance.
And you–people from all over the globe with big hearts who donated for a whatever reason–maybe you have family members in Tacloban or you simply turned on the television and were moved by the images you saw, you deserve more than that, too. You deserve to know that the support you offer will be delivered to the people you so care for. You deserve to know that you have not only given someone a chance to fill their bellies with a healthy meal and sleep under a roof, but in supporting peoples organizations, you have also given people a chance to participate in the (re)building of a better, brighter community and world and the hope that they may thrive again.
Donate to support Typhoon Haiyan victims at http://nafconusa.org and support peoples organizations working for typhoon relief!
Written by Theresa De Leon Jaranilla – Chairperson for Anakbayan Los Angeles
Anakbayan USA is helping to fundraise for NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort.
Link to donate http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort
Also check out their website, beautifully designed http://relief.anakbayan.net/
Come join Anakbayan Silicon Valley (ABSV) as we commemorate the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) this Wednesday, which has been designated as the International Day of Solidarity for Victims of Typhoon Yolanda. It was possibly the strongest storm to ever make landfall, and the estimated death count to date is over 12,000, with over 4 million families affected.
The event will take place in front of MLK Library on the corner of E San Fernando St. and 4th St. in downtown San Jose, right by City Hall and San Jose State University campus.
We will have speakers and cultural performances, and will be fundraising during the event as well. 100% of funds donated will course through the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns‘s Bayanihan Relief efforts. For more information, please visit http://nafconusa.org/. If you are unable to attend, but would still like to donate, please visit http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort.
ABSV is a comprehensive youth organization that seeks to unite all youth in the struggle for genuine social change and liberation of the Philippines. By educating, organizing, and mobilizing the youth in Silicon Valley, ABSV fights for the rights of Filipinos in America and advances the Philippine struggle for national democracy. ABSV is a member organization of NAFCON.
Anakbayan stands in solidarity with those affected by the typhoon. We also realize that our work does not stop with relief efforts alone. While natural disasters are inevitable for the Philippines, systemic corruption in Philippine politics has exacerbated the effects of natural disasters. We believe that in addition to raising much-needed funds for our kababayan back home, we must also link arms and fight against such injustice. For more information, please visit http://
Also check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/219523028225100/?source=1
Taskforce Haiyan Northeast
Light a Candle with Us and Uphold the Bayanihan Spirit
When: Wednesday, November 13
Where: Bayanihan Community Center
40-21 69th Street
Woodside, NY 11377
You can donate online at nafconusa.org (click Help Victims of Philippine Calamities Donate button), and also donate by cash or check. Please make check payable to “NAFCON” and write “5K Run for Relief” in the memo.
For any questions or comments, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for your support!
One of the biggest hip hop artists this year tweeted: “Over 10,000 people died as a result of the typhoon in the Philippians… If you want to help those affected go to nafconusa.org”. He then added later, “*Philippines…Points finger at auto correct and 6th grade teacher.”
NAFCON SoCal held a press conference for their fundraising efforts for the Typhoon Haiyan victims with major news stations – ABS-CBN, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, KCAL, KTLA, LA Times, and Press Telegram.
Please encourage your friends and family to donate to NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief at http://nafconusa.org/
Beautiful and kind hearted San Francisco tourists, visitors, employees and residents reaching out to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and donated to Nafcon Us.
Tomorrow, Monday November 11, a group of us will be at Powell and Market 11:30am until 3pm.
We will be singing Filipino songs and sharing the current situation. If you or someone you know will be in the area please feel free to stop by and donate. A dollar goes a long way! www.nafconusa.org
PAWIS – Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants, ABSV – Anakabyan Silicon Valley and PASU – Pilipino American Student Union posted up in front of the new Island Pacific in San Jose to outreach and raise funds for the NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief Effort. We were able to take in cash donations and talk to people about the Bayanihan Relief Effort and how 100% of the donations will go to a trusted partner organizations in the Philippines.
PAWIS – Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants – http://www.pawissv.wordpress.com
ABSV – Anakbayan Silicon Valley – http://www.anakbayansv.com
PASU – Pilipino American Student Union – http://pasu.stanford.edu
Please donate to the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort
For Immediate Release
November 8, 2013
Contact: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President
NAFCON Ramps Up Relief Campaign as Super Typhoon Yolanda Ravages Central Philippines
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is appealing for increased donations for its Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation Campaign to assist communities in the Philippines affected by super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name “Haiyan”). On November 8th, one of the strongest typhoons in recent history pounded over provinces in the central part of the Philippines resulting in massive devastation of crops and homes and loss of electricity and communication lines. Around 10 million people who live in the central Philippine islands were most at risk of a direct hit of the super typhoon. Yolanda also lashed communities in Cebu and Bohol, two cities that have yet to recover from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last month.
“I was just in the Philippines this summer when another storm hit and caused a lot of damage and I’m really not sure if my family was prepared for something even stronger and more destructive. We are hoping that they are okay, but we haven’t heard from them since electricity and phone posts were toppled by typhoon winds and powerful stormwater surges,” says Julian Jaravata of Anakbayan Silicon Valley, member organization of NAFCON. Julian has relatives in Romblon, one of the islands in central Philippines hit by super typhoon Yolanda.
NAFCON is collecting monetary donations, ensuring the fastest way of getting aid to the Philippines for what is needed most. Donations can be made through NAFCON’s Paypal account at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort. Checks can be made payable to “St. George Fontana,” and on the memo line, write: “NAFCON Bayanihan Relief” to clearly allocate it for this purpose.
NAFCON Bayanihan Disaster Relief Regional Coordinators can collect your donations or mail it to our local nonprofit partner, c/o Naida Castro at 17895 San Bernardino Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335-6155. Please, include your return address with your donation. For qualifying tax- deductible donations, please, email email@example.com for the necessary documentation. “Every year, NAFCON stays alert and ready to respond, knowing that calamities frequently threaten the livelihood of our kababayans (countrymen). The alliance knows overseas community support is important to relief efforts due to the Philippine government’s consistent inability to effectively assist victims and its culpability in contributing to the environmental injustices plaguing our country,” said Terrence Valen, NAFCON President.
For more information on regional collection centers and fundraising activities in your area, please contact NAFCON Bayanihan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation regional coordinators nearest you or go to our website at www.nafconusa.org.
Northwest: Freedom Siyam; firstname.lastname@example.org; (206) 659–1896
Northeast: Michelle Saulon email@example.com (650) 808-5043
Midwest: Nerissa Allegretti firstname.lastname@example.org (224) 381-6888
Norcal: Ryan Leano email@example.com (626) 534-4971
Socal: Alex Montances firstname.lastname@example.org (253) 381-7444
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 06, 2012
Contact: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President
Typhoon Pablo Survivors Deserve Relief, Not Repression
Filipinos Demands Justice in response to recent killing of Cristina Morales Jose
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) demands for immediate investigation and subsequent prosecution of those responsible for the murder of Cristina Morales Jose, leader of a Typhoon Pablo survivors group Barug Katawhan, a councilor in her local town Baganga, and also a member of the progressive partylist Bayan Muna.
Jose was killed on March 4 in Davao Oriental, Philippines. According to human rights organization Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, she was killed by a motorcycle riding assassin as she was on her way home from a Barangay Council session.
According to Jose’s text message to fellow Barug Katawhan leaders, military and other local state forces threatened residents who joined the barricade that they will not be rationed food. The typhoon survivors were subjected to threat and intimidation by members of the Philippine Army. Before she was killed, Jose intended to travel to Davao City to file a complaint about the blacklisting of those who joined the protest and barricade of typhoon survivors.
“The Philippine government and its military is again the prime suspect in the gross violation of human rights. Typhoon Pablo survivors deserve compassion and support as they rebuild their livelihood not repression,” states NAFCON Midwest Coordinator Nerissa Allegretti, who visited Pablo-stricken communities early this year. “The demands of Barug Katawhan are legitimate. They have the right to food, shelter, and humanitarian aid. We condemn the repression of the typhoon survivors as they fight for these basic rights.”
In January, Jose was among those who exposed the food blockade and militarization of relief efforts by members of the Philippine Army in her town. In February, she joined more than 4,000 typhoon survivors in a 3-day barricade of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and demanded the release of 10,000 sacks of rice that was earlier promised to typhoon survivors. DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman threatened to press legal charges against leaders of various organizations involved in the barricade.
Since Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao in December last year, NAFCON has coordinated relief in the United States to support our fellow sisters and brothers in Pablo-ravaged areas, raising relief donations and educating our local communities.
“We are not only disgusted by the Philippine government’s ineptness in preparing for these disasters and failure to distribute much-needed relief goods to affected communities. We are equally outraged that this spate of extra-judicial killings has intensified and directed not only towards the typhoon survivors but also progressive Party List members who exposed the government’s criminal neglect of its own people,” declares NAFCON President Terrence Valen.
“The hard-earned money we send back home must not be used for human rights violations, especially against those who are merely defending their basic right to land and life. We call on the Philippine government to immediately provide much-needed relief to typhoon survivors, pull out the military forces from the affected communities and stop large-scale mining by foreign and large corporations which aggravates the effects of environmental disasters,” ends Valen.###
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2016
CONTACT: Alex Montances, NAFCON Southern California
(562) 438-9515; email@example.com
Walk-a-thon Fundraiser with Filipino Indigenous Leaders Held on Earth Day
On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and community organizations from across Southern California hosted a walk-a-thon fundraiser called “Lakad 5k for the Lumad” at La Cañada United Methodist Church in La Cañada-Flintridge, California. Held in celebration of Earth Day, Lakad (Tagalog for “Walk”) raised $6,500 to build a sustainable water system for the Lumad indigenous community of Talaingod, Mindanao, Philippines. The event gathered over 200 participants and featured several Lumad leaders currently on the “Lakbay Lumad USA” nationwide speaking tour to advocate for indigenous rights and environmental justice in the Philippines.
Last year on Earth Day, NAFCON launched the “Adopt A Community” Program which supports communities in the Philippines by strengthening their capacity to survive and develop in the face of environmental challenges. This year, NAFCON’s goal is to raise $10,000 to rebuild a water system for Lumad Indigenous people in Dulyan, Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. The current project will provide a sufficient and sustainable water supply for the entire community and greatly improve health conditions for the people there.
“As the current project of NAFCON’s ‘Adopt A Community’ program, this water system will bring clean water to 300 members of the Talaingod-Manobo tribe who have very little access to water and are struggling to protect their ancestral land from militarization and multinational logging and mining companies. It’s great to see so many families, students, churches, and community members supportive of the cause,” stated Ryan Leano, NAFCON Southern California Coordinating Staff Member.
NAFCON joined millions of people around the world to commemorate “Earth Day” which is traditionally held on April 22. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and today, 46 years later, the environmental justice movement carries that legacy forward with grassroots organizing against the discriminatory environmental impacts of pollution, fossil fuel consumption, and the destruction of forests and natural ecosystems. NAFCON joined in solidarity with frontline communities most harmed by the climate crisis, including those in the Philippines. Together they are working to solve problems on the ground as well as demand systemic change and investment in true alternatives from those most responsible for the climate crisis–First World governments and multinational corporations.
The Philippines is not new to environmental calamities, both natural and man-made. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan was estimated to have killed up to 10,000 Filipinos, left thousands homeless, and destroyed billions of pesos in agriculture and local infrastructure. The lack of preparation and slow response by the Philippine government, coupled with political corruption and hoarding of relief supplies, only worsened the situation of communities affected by the storm.
Since 2009, NAFCON has raised over $1 million to provide relief for victims of calamities in the Philippines such as Typhoon Ondoy, Pablo, Sendong, and Yolanda (Haiyan). Even though providing direct grassroots relief after calamities is critical, NAFCON believes it is equally important to be proactive and address the underlying issues that greatly increase the vulnerability of communities to typhoons such as poverty, lack of infrastructure, and corporate pollution and environmental destabilization.
On April 1, 2016, on the verge of starvation due to months of drought caused by El Niño, nearly 6,000 farmers and their supporters in Cotabato, Philippines demanded emergency food assistance from the Philippine government. Desperate to feed their families, they barricaded a major highway and vowed to stay there until the government released 15,000 sacks of rice and calamity assistance. Instead, the Philippine National Police (PNP) violently dispersed the thousands of farmers by indiscriminately firing at them leaving at least 2 dead, 87 missing, and 116 injured. Thus, the greatest calamities and threat to the Philippine environment and to the Filipino people are not “natural” but are man-made.
The Philippines is facing unprecedented destruction and pollution of its natural environment. Less than one million hectares of tropical rain forests in the Philippines remain, compared to 30 million hectares in 1950. At least one billion cubic meters of prime topsoil are eroded every year. Thirty percent of the rivers have died. The effects of large typhoons and flooding has massively worsened in the past 20 years. The natural barriers that once buffered communities from storms have been destroyed by inhumane government policies catering to profit-driven corporations, such as the Mining Act of 1995, which opened the country to large-scale foreign mining corporations.
“Lakad: 5K for the Lumad” was one of many events in the Lumad leaders’ nationwide tour “Lakbay Lumad USA,” which is raising awareness about their courageous struggle against political violence, destruction of their ancestral land, large-scale extraction of natural resources, forced displacement, and how this repression is linked to U.S. foreign policy and multinational corporate interests in the region. NAFCON will continue to stand for human rights and environmental justice around the world.
For more information on NAFCON’s stand on environmental justice and its “Adopt A Community” Program, visit nafconusa.org.
NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States. For information, visit nafconusa.org.
Lakad 5k Walkathon was held at La Cañada United Methodist Church
The Lumad are protecting their ancestral land from militarization, logging, and mining.
Over 200 participated in the Lakad 5k for the Lumad.
April 5, 2016
Contact: Ryan Leano, NAFCON SC Staff (415) 779-5994, s firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 23, 2016, Filipino community leaders and supporters will host a “LAKAD 5K” walkathon featuring Lumad leaders at La Cañada United Methodist Church to celebrate Earth Day and raise funds to build a water system for indigenous communities in Mindanao, Philippines. The event will be hosted by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) Southern California, Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN), and the C aliforniaPacific United Methodist Church Task Force on the Philippines.
NAFCON launched the AdoptACommunity campaign last year to support the basic needs of the Talaingod Manobo tribes in Davao del Norte. The Talaingod Manobo are one of the 18 remaining Lumad indigenous groups in Mindanao. “They usually have to walk long distances or rely on rainfall just to get water. With sanitation systems not in place, the lack of water affects the overall health and wellness of the community,” Alex Montances, Southern California Regional Coordinator of NAFCON.
The proposed water system will be built in collaboration with the Lumad community. “The community members will be trained on how to manage and maintain the water system. There will also be education programs that range from climate change, health and nutrition, and sanitation that is based on their culture and lifestyle,” Montances continued.
This event is part of the Lumad leaders’ nationwide tour across the United States to raise awareness about their community’s culture and struggles in Mindanao, Philippines.
“It is very rare that we get to meet and hear the Lumad speak. We usually just read about them in books, see their pictures, or know them for their traditional dances and vibrant clothing. It is a great opportunity to actually hear from them about their culture and their everyday conditions,” said Jewelle De La Cruz, Southern California Regional Coordinator of Kabit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN), a network of Filipino youth organizations that host typhoon relief and rebuilding mission trips each summer to indigenous communities in the Philippines.
NAFCONSoCal invites all allies, friends, families, and members of the Filipino community to help fundraise and participate in LAKAD: 5K Walkathon for the Lumad, which will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016, 9:00AM12:00PM, at L a Canada United Methodist Church (104 Berkshire Pl, La Cañada, Flintridge, CA 91011).
For more information, visit www.bit.ly/RegLakad4Lumad or email s email@example.com. For more information about NAFCON’s AdoptaCommunity campaign, visit www.nafconusa.org/adopt.
NAFCON is a national multiissue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States. For information, visit nafconusa.org.
On April 1st, in the face of hunger and starvation due to drought caused by El Nino, nearly five thousand farmers and their supporters in Cotabato Southern Philippines demanded assistance from the government. Instead of support, the Philippine National Police (PNP) indiscriminately opened fire at the large crowd of people leaving at least 3 dead, 87 missing, and 116 injured.
They suffered through months of having no crops to harvest and no support from their government. Desperate to feed their families and communities, they barricaded a major highway and vowed to stay there until North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Tilino-Mendoza responded to their demand for 15,000 sacks of rice and calamity assistance. Instead she ordered the PNP to violently disperse the thousands of farmers that included women and children.
“It was already inhumane for the government to withhold assistance to the thousands of its citizens demanding help, but there truly are no words to explain the vile nature of these officials who think it is OK to shoot and kill innocent people desperately seeking assistance from their representatives,” said Terrence Valen, President of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).
Despite global outrage regarding what is now known as the “Kidapawan Massacre,” Gov. Mendoza has attempted to justify the killings saying, “The first shot came from the protesters.” Although many say Mendoza’s claim is fabricated, NAFCON believes it is wrong to frame the issue around who shot first. Rather, NAFCON highlights the responsibility of the government to serve the needs of more than 5,000 of its people starving in the face of several months of drought.
“At the heart of the issue are two things: First and foremost is the Philippine government’s continuous failure to prioritize and act on the most basic needs of its people. Second, and even more disturbing, is its long-standing practice of not only ignoring its responsibility, but also engaging in the practice of violently suppressing the cries of it’s people who are demanding what is only fair and just by beating and killing the starving and hungry,” continued Valen.
NAFCON believes the Kidapawan massacre exemplifies why it is so important for all good and peace-loving people to take action and protest the pervasive trend of corruption and greed synonymous with Philippine governance.
“Even I, a Filipino who lives in America, have personally met during visits to the Philippines too many leaders of communities who were harassed, kidnapped, tortured, or have even now been killed in the government’s attempt to instill fear and ‘maintain order’ among those who dare to speak the truth and point at a government that every day steals tax dollars and public resources to get rich at the detriment of the common good,” said Jun Cruz, NAFCON Communications Officer.
“To me, all of us who care about being Filipino and the Philippines, all of us who believe in the teachings of Jesus to help the poor, and all of us who just believe in what is right, have to join in the effort to support the victims of the Kidapawan massacre and work to build something better for the Philippines,” continued Cruz.
NAFCON encourages the community in the U.S to do whatever it can to respond to this tragedy. In the wake of the massacre NAFCON invites all concerned to join in efforts to reach out to local Philippine consulates to voice their concerns and organize or join actions in various public venues to educate the public about the issue. NAFCON also encourages people to do simple things like monitor news updates, share social media posts, and talk about the struggle of these farmers with their family and friends.
NAFCON also holds Philippine President Aquino responsible who has said nothing about the massacre. NAFCON has long pointed at him for his role in condoning and perpetuating corruption and political suppression, including his role in numerous scandals such as “Pork Barrel”, “Hacienda Luisita”, and Mamasapano, as well as his failure to adequately support Typhoon Haiyan victims.
Currently, NAFCON is engaged in the “Adopt A Community” program, which aims to support communities suffering from the effects of climate change, like the victims of the Kidapawan massacre. In addition to helping build sustainable water systems in Mindanao, the Adopt a Community program supports the international “Stop Lumad Killings” campaign to hold the Philippine government accountable for numerous killings of Lumad (indigenous) community leaders under the government’s suppression efforts. Many victims of the Kidapawan Massacre are also Lumad. We encourage everyone to learn more about the program and consider donating.
NAFCON is an alliance of more than 23 organizations throughout the United States. If anyone would like to join NAFCON’s efforts to support building a better Philippines or if you would like more information you can go to www.nafconusa.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.333.6267.
REGISTER FOR LAKAD TODAY: bit.ly/RegLakad4Lumad
On April 23, 2016 the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) Southern California will be hosting a 5k Walk-a-thon fundraiser called, “Lakad: 5k for the Lumad.” NAFCON is a network of Filipino American organizations and individuals committed to protecting the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the United States and around the world.
Lakad (Tagalog for “Walk”) will raise funds for NAFCON’s “Adopt a Community” Project. The national goal is to raise $10,000 to build a sustainable water system for the Lumad indigenous community of Talaingod, Mindanao, Philippines. The Lumad of Talaingod are struggling to protect their ancestral lands and forests from the Philippine government and large multi-national logging and mining companies. The water system would provide 300 Lumad and their families with potable water for drinking, cooking, washing, and their daily needs. Above all, the water system would improve the overall health and welfare of the Lumad and help them further protect the environment and their ancestral lands.
The event will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016 9:00AM-12:00PM at La Cañada United Methodist Church (104 Berkshire Pl, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011). Collectively, the goal for this local 5K event is to raise a minimum of $2,500 through the efforts of the participants and sponsors.
REGISTER FOR LAKAD TODAY: bit.ly/RegLakad4Lumad
DONATE TO “LAKAD” ON OUR WEBSITE: bit.ly/Lakad4Lumad
Join us as we “Lakad” to protect the environment and support indigenous people in the Philippines!
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NAFCON Southern California at email@example.com. Thank you! Maraming Salamat!
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2016
Laura Emily E. Austria, Vice-Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
Melanie Dulfo, NAFCON Northeast Regional Coordinator
Remembering Flor Contemplacion: Protect the Rights and Welfare of OFWs!
On March 17th, 2016, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) remembers Flor Contemplacion. An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Singapore, she was hung on March 17th, 1995 after being wrongly accused and convicted of killing Delia Maga, a fellow Filipino domestic worker, and Nicholas Huang, the son of Maga’s employer. Contemplacion confessed to the murders but later admitted that she confessed under duress. Two other Filipina workers vouched for Contemplacion’s innocence. Despite this, she was executed. Even though Contemplacion was sentenced in 1993 — two years before she was executed, then-President Fidel Ramos did not take action until January 1995. He wrote a letter to Singapore’s then-President Ong Teng Cheong to ask him to bestow clemency on Contemplacion, but it was not granted. Not enough was done to save the life of Flor Contemplacion until it was too late.
OFWs still face similar conditions today as they are forced to leave the Philippines to help their families to survive, as exemplified by the current case of Mary Jane Veloso. Veloso worked in Dubai as a domestic worker before she had to flee because her employer attempted to sexually assault her. She returned home, but because she was the sole breadwinner, Veloso was forced to go abroad once more. In 2010, Veloso was recruited to work in Malaysia; she was trafficked into Indonesia, with heroin unwittingly sewn into Veloso’s suitcase. She was arrested at Yogyakarta airport for drug smuggling charge, now facing unjust execution in Indonesia. Two decades after Contemplacion’s execution, Filipino migrant workers still face unjust arrest, wage theft, and trafficking, just for trying to make a better life for their children.
In order to raise awareness of the conditions that overseas Filipino workers, and other migrant workers face, including widespread trafficking, NAFCON Northeast will be co-sponsoring the Second Summit on Human Trafficking: Communities Mobilizing Against Modern-day Slavery on May 7th, 2016 at St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst, Queens with Asiamerica Mission to End Modern Slavery (AMEMS). During this summit, survivors will share their stories; gain the skills to empower themselves as leaders in their struggle for their rights and dignity as workers; and become part of a community-based support network with AMEMS, contributing as partners and advocates of this network. Through this summit, NAFCON supports the empowerment of trafficking survivors, by creating a platform for survivors to share their stories, assert their rights and inspire other migrant workers. RSVP to the summit and become part of this initiative.
The lack of sufficient assistance from the Philippine government for Filipino migrant workers who have been trafficked and those who face other kinds of abuse in the workplace is indicative of the absence of the Filipino migrant voice on the governmental level. This year, Filipinos around the world — including 1.3 million registered voters outside the Philippines — will have the opportunity to elect leaders on the national level. NAFCON encourages all Filipino voters to participate, to study the platforms of candidates and political parties, and to support an agenda that will protect and advance the rights and welfare of Filipino overseas workers and our families. We need a pro-people government that prioritizes services and support for the migrant sector.
As we remember Flor Contemplacion and her story every March 17th, we ask our friends, family, and OFWs to take a stand for Filipino migrants and people. Join us in the summit on human trafficking this May and support candidates that stand for Filipino migrants in the upcoming 2016 national elections!
For Immediate Release
March 10, 2016
Reference: AV David, NAFCON Secretary General, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAFCON Raises Concern Over New Requirement for Overseas Voting in the Philippine Elections
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) raises serious concern about a new requirement from the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) that would require Filipinos in the US to request their ballot by mail to be able to participate in the upcoming 2016 national Philippine elections.
Historically, voters in the US automatically received their ballots in the mail. Last December 2015 the COMELEC decided that 30 voting posts outside the Philippines will be implementing the automated election system (AES), and this past February approved a resolution that requires voters in 8 countries, including those registered in the 6 voting posts in the United States, to request for their ballot by April 22nd, otherwise they will not receive any by mail and will be expected to vote in person.
“There were no consultations made with voters regarding these changes. As we reach out to community members, we find out that many Filipinos have not heard about this new requirement regarding postal voting. The challenge now is to notify all 170,000 registered voters in the US and make sure they know about the new requirement and the different methods to vote,” says AV David, NAFCON Secretary General.
NAFCON urges the COMELEC and their local counterparts in the US to come up with a comprehensive plan to notify registered voters to ensure their participation in the elections. “Personal voting is a good option for those who can make it to their local Consulate, however, the jurisdiction of one Consulate encompasses several states. We cannot expect someone from Alaska or Washington State to fly to the nearest Consulate in San Francisco just to vote — this is why postal voting is important. But with this new requirement, tens of thousands of voters could potentially not know that they will not be automatically receiving their ballots in the mail and in the process would be disenfranchised,” continues David.
“Filipinos in the US contributed almost 40% of the $26.9 B in remittances to the Philippines in 2014, the largest among all countries that remitted to the Philippines. Voting allows Filipinos overseas to have a say in their own lives and the future of their families in the Philippines. Let’s inform our fellow Filipinos about this new voting requirement, and not allow this requirement to be a bureaucratic hurdle that will effectively silence the basic democratic voice of tens of thousands of overseas voters,” adds Terrence Valen, NAFCON President.
We enjoin all Filipino groups and institutions in the United States to share this important information. We support the campaign of the U.S. Chapter of Migrante Partylist to inform Filipinos of this new requirement and we urge others to disseminate their educational materials.
On March 12, NAFCON will participate via live stream in the worldwide Miting De Avance of Migrante Partylist that will be hosted by its Hong Kong Chapter and that will feature Senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and Migrante Partylist nominees. During this activity Filipinos around the world will voice their concerns and aspirations, the issues their sector faces, and the vision of a better Philippines that they want for themselves and their families. For more information, please contact Migrante Partylist-USA at 415-890-4526 or email@example.com.
March 1, 2016
One of the most notable moments from the Oscars occurred when Leonardo DiCaprio, upon receiving his first ever Oscar award, closed his acceptance speech to shine light on the issue of climate change. DiCaprio affirmed to the millions watching throughout the world, “[Climate change] is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) congratulates Mr. DiCaprio, not only for winning best actor, but also for using his famed moment to encourage the world into action. Over the last several years, the need to combat climate change has become very clear to the Filipino people. Warmer temperatures and rising sea levels associated with climate change have devastating effects to less developed countries such as the Philippines, which in the past years has been repeatedly rocked by more deadly and destructive typhoons, killing several hundred in 2009 (Typhoon Ketsana) to several thousand in 2013 (Typhoon Haiyan).
“NAFCON agrees with Mr. DiCaprio. We all have to take action to change the undeniable trend of worsening climate-related phenomena from super-typhoons in the Philippines to droughts in California,” says NAFCON Information Officer Jun Cruz.
“Sea levels this century are rising at its fastest rate in 2800 years because the modern world has become so dependent on fossil fuels and environmental destruction. We have to work together to find better alternatives that are healthier for our environment and our future. It is in the interest of not just Filipinos but the whole world to change things. It is just more pressing for countries like the Philippines because there are many communities including many indigenous peoples whose entire livelihood is already being taken away by worsening flooding, landslides, typhoons and other climate related catastrophes,” continues Cruz.
NAFCON also appreciates that Mr. DiCaprio emphasized that it is people in less developed nations, like the Philippines, who bare the bigger burden from climate change. In his speech DiCaprio continued, “We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this.”
Currently, NAFCON is engaged in an effort to support indigenous communities in the Philippines who are struggling to combat the effects of big polluters and Climate Change. Sadly, Philippine President Aquino has long supported corporations that prioritize profits over people and the environment. NAFCON launched the Adopt a Community Program last year to help communities develop infrastructure and thrive in their education in the face of large scale environmental destruction.
Through our Adopt A Community Program, NAFCON not only works to build things such as water systems in partnership with indigenous communities but also campaigns for their defense against government and military harassment, detention, and displacement.
“Last November I met Lumad children, indigenous people from the southern part of the Philippines, as they camped out in the capital city of Manila to bring their demands to the Aquino government. I realized that the government’s loyalty for corporate destruction of the environment is reinforced by its active suppression of the indigenous people who are standing up for the survival of their families and their right to education. The Lumad children recounted how they have been forced to evacuate from their communities as the Philippine military burn down their schools, illegally arrest their community leaders, and use intimidation to dissuade any forms of resistance,” remarks NAFCON Alliance Secretary AV David.
NAFCON echoes this open letter to Mr. DiCaprio from one of our community partners in the Philippines that draws attention to human rights violations experienced by the indigenous people and their determination to protect the environment and their lives.
“If by chance, Mr. DiCaprio would be interested in visiting the Philippines to see firsthand the effects of climate change on indigenous communities there, NAFCON extends an open invitation to this year’s Oscar’s Best Actor as well as anyone who might wish to go on our annual educational and solidarity trips to the archipelago,” concludes David.
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2016
Contact: Anne Beryl C. Naguit, NAFCON Vice President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Filipinos in the US Urge Pacman Not to Perpetuate Hate
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is a US-wide alliance that proudly includes LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, Queer), gender non-conforming members. We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community on our ongoing fight for human rights, dignity and respect.
Manny Pacquiao, a world-renowned Filipino boxer and an elected official in the Philippines, made a statement against same sex marriage that triggered outrage and critical discussions related to the rights of the LGBTQ, gender non-conforming community.
NAFCON encourages all individuals, organizations and even Pacquiao to learn more about issues that pertain to the LGBTQ community. These are concerns that NAFCON tackles because they are deeply intertwined with the concerns of migrants, workers, women, youth, religious people and all other sectors of society who are united to fight against violence, deportations, harassment, discrimination, dehumanization, criminalization and all forms of repression. We must be vigilant in upholding basic human rights, proactive in creating venues for discussion, and unafraid of taking principled collective actions to attain a better society. Let us learn from each other and create profound points of unity that will bind us even stronger so we can claim and celebrate more victories for all.
What is perilous, is that there are people who share Pacquiao’s sentiments and uses religion and culture of patriarchy to justify oppression of fellow human beings. We must be vigilant and resist against grandiloquence that perpetuates inequality, violence, discrimination and marginalization of the LGBTQ and all human beings.
An example is the murder of a Filipina trans-woman Jennifer Laude on October 2014 by a US Marine Joseph Pemberton in which homophobia and trans-panic was used as a defense in court to justify Pemberton’s killing of Laude which convicted Pemberton of homicide instead of murder. Until today, we struggle to end transphobia and hate crimes against LGBTQ around the world. In 2015, in the United States alone, there were around 15 transgender people murdered for their gender expression.
Many religious people, celebrities and public figures, people’s organizations proclaimed and affirmed their stance in support of the LGBTQ concerns. We salute initiatives such as that of Aries Dela Cruz, a migrant Philippine Forum member from New York, who started a petition that exposed the impact of Pacquiao’s rhetoric to himself, to corporations and to the general public and encouraged community members to take action. Alongside the community, he continues to fight despite backlash from others who share Pacquiao’s views.
We shine the spotlight to the growing solidarity of various organizations inclusive of the LGBTQ community that fuel a vibrant movement that assert human rights for all.
Last year, NAFCON cheered “Victory of Love!” in celebration of the historic ruling of the US Supreme Court that declared unconstitutional the attempts to ban same sex marriage hence legalizing same sex marriage across the United States. We remind all that such victories can be achieved through unity and collective action.
NAFCON remains committed to working for a society that fully recognizes respect and dignity, protects the rights and welfare, and upholds truth and justice for all people. In the Northeast, NAFCON members and allies will hold a public forum to continue to educate the community on this issue. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
January 11, 2015
Contact: Melanie Dulfo, NAFCON Northeast Coordinator
NAFCON Condemns ICE Raids on Migrant Families and Children
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) strongly condemns the Obama administration for its recent raids that have targeted Central American families who fled violence in their home countries. Implementing the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) established in November 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have reportedly detained over 120 individuals for deportation as of January 4th. As a member of the International Migrants Alliance, and along with many other immigrant advocates, legislators, and community organizations across the US, NAFCON demands that ICE and DHS cease the raids and deportations.
Inhumane raids and deportations will not stop parents and children from desperately leaving horrific conditions in underdeveloped countries. Migrants and refugees are forced to leave due to poverty, violence, and joblessness in their home countries so these are the issues that must be addressed. These underdeveloped nations have had their economies ravaged by unequal trade policies, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and now, with policies such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) led by the US that target the Asia Pacific region. It is only with building a sustainable economy that meets people’s basic needs and allows them to live with dignity, free from plunder and displacement by multinational corporations and the unequal trade agreements imposed by more powerful countries, that forced migration from underdeveloped countries will cease.
The exploitation of im/migrant workers is a pattern throughout the history of the US, from the time Mexican laborers were brought to the US via the Bracero program to the current labor trafficking of Filipino workers. While conservatives have painted im/migrants as a horde invading the United States, taking away jobs and using up benefits, NAFCON believes that it has been im/migrants who are victimized many times over. The resources of their home countries are used for corporate profits and not for the needs of the people. Their labor is then exploited in host countries as “cheap labor”, and then they face discrimination and criminalization just for wanting to provide for their families and to live a life with dignity. The true culprit of forced migration has been corporate greed, collaborating with elitist and oppressive state governments.
Statements that rejoice in the violation of human rights, such as the one that Donald Trump has made regarding the raids, are unconscionable. It is a human right to work, to have an adequate standard of living, physical and mental health, and safety and security. To promote a personal political agenda in this election year by trivializing the collective trauma of thousands of mothers and children fleeing violence is not just irresponsible. It’s contemptible.
It has only been through the hopeful perseverance of community organizing that im/migrants have been able to win victories, from the time of the failed anti-immigrant Sensenbrenner Bill in 2006, to the present momentum that moved President Obama to take decisive action in the 2012 executive action that gave some undocumented immigrants temporary reprieve from deportations and allowed them to work.
As a member of the grassroots migrant movement under the banner of the International Migrants Alliance, NAFCON calls on the Filipino community to stand in solidarity with other immigrant and refugee communities. We demand that the Obama administration ends its Priority Enforcement Program and stops the raids and deportation of Central American families.
End the Raids! End Criminalization of Migrants!
Stop the Deportations! Keep Families Together!
Justice and Dignity for Migrants! Legalization for All!
Defend the Rights of Filipino Migrants Amidst Worsening Exploitation
More than six thousand Filipinos are forced to leave the Philippines every day to search for work abroad to support themselves and their families. This number is a 50% increase from four years ago. Filipinos spend several thousand dollars for airfare, government fees, and placement fees to recruitment agencies who promise to provide assistance in finding work, training and obtaining the appropriate legal documentation.
Those who leave the Philippines and arrive in the U.S. consider themselves lucky to have the opportunity to achieve the “American Dream.” Yet stories of Filipinos encountering terrifying experiences chasing this “American Dream” surface, highlighting the exploitation faced by migrants.
One example is the story of the 11 L’Amande Filipino Bakery workers. In 2012, Ana and Goncal Moitinho de Almeida, the former owners of L’Amande French Bakeries, recruited and hired 11 Filipino immigrant workers from the Philippines to work in their bakery shops in Beverly Hills and Torrance, California. The Almeidas forced the Filipino workers to work 17-hour days with few rest breaks, paid them below minimum wage (about $2-3 per hour), and gave no overtime pay. For a time, the workers were made to sleep on the laundry room floor of the owners’ house and clean and paint their rental properties, a violation of the workers’ contracts. It wasn’t until a 2013 investigation by the CA Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement that the conditions of the 11 workers was uncovered and the Almeidas were charged with labor exploitation, human trafficking, and retaliation. Today, the 11 Filipino Bakery workers seek justice from their traffickers and are supported by their legal team and numerous community organizations like Migrante Southern California, NAFCON Socal, and the Filipino Migrant Center.
This past year, the case of drug trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso is also a prime example of how Filipino workers endure being away from families just to face discrimination, abuse, and lack of protection from its own government. We also remember Julieta Yang, another Filipina domestic worker who filed a complaint against her employers, top executives of tech companies Uber and Airbnb, for alleged wage theft and sexual harassment. As long as Filipino migrants are abused but remain neglected, NAFCON will wage campaigns and activities to stand with them and seek justice. We will continue to mobilize our community to defend the rights and welfare of fellow Filipinos.
Address the Root Causes of Forced Migration of Filipinos
We also know we have to make the Philippines a place where Filipinos can live decently and prosper.
At the root of the problem is the Philippine government’s failure to create sustainable jobs and provide basic services for its people. Instead, it continues its Labor Export Program (LEP), encouraging Filipinos to use their skills and education to work abroad. Even the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), a department under the Philippine government, has a track record of allowing recruitment agencies to actively participate in trafficking Filipinos.
For example, many of the agencies and traffickers of the cases that NAFCON has worked on throughout the years were government-registered and authorized recruitment entities. There are the cases of the hundreds of trafficked teachers in the Washington DC area as well the trafficked oil rig workers employed by the Grand Isle Shipyard in Louisiana. One obvious motive for government officials to look the other way or act in collusion is of course the profitability and payback of providing low cost and easily exploitable labor to U.S. based businesses. Other Philippine government scandals have arisen in the past year including inspection and increased taxation of “Balikbayan” boxes and the “Tanim Bala” issue wherein bullets are planted in the luggages of Filipino workers and travelers for extortion by customs and government officials and crime syndicates.
With the over $25 billion of annual remittances sent back by Filipinos worldwide to the Philippines, migrants should have a say in how the Philippines is run. Filipino migrants around the world are fed up with a Philippine government that benefits from their migration but offers little in terms of protection or support during times of need. This is why in the upcoming 2016 national elections, Filipinos in the US will be supporting Migrante Partylist to bring the migrants voice in the Philippine Congress.
In addition to our call for a clean and honest elections, we support Migrante Partylist’s platform that aims to scrap the Labor Export Policy (LEP) and instead focus on creating jobs at home through land reform and national industrialization by harnessing the vast abundance of natural resources of the Philippines. Together with Migrante Partylist, we will work for a Philippines that has a government that truly serves the interests of the common people.
Strengthen Solidarity Among All Migrants and Refugees
NAFCON also stands in solidarity with all migrants of the world who face discrimination and criminalization and have been forced out of their country due to worsening economic conditions, war and state aggression.
In the United States, there have been numerous attacks on immigrants and migrants including illegal detentions and unjust deportations of women, children, and other refugees from Central and Latin America and Southeast Asia, the sexual assault and abuse of Undocumented Transgender and LGBT folks in detention centers, and the labeling of Mexican migrants, Muslim Americans, and other immigrants as criminals, drug dealers, or “Terrorists.”
Meanwhile, conservative state judges and legislatures are implementing anti-immigrant policies nationwide such as blocking DACA/DAPA programs and refusing to welcome Syrian refugees. Most of these attacks have been fueled by GOP candidates, right wing conservatives, and even armed hate-groups whose racist, xenophobic, homophobic/transphobic, and Islamophobic rhetoric are reminiscent of Japanese internment during World War II and Islamophobia after 9/11 which harmed thousands of innocent people.
The U.S. should stop investing its efforts in breaking up families and criminalizing migrants. Instead it should focus its attention on stopping the real criminals, both in migrant sending countries and in the U.S., who participate in human trafficking and workers exploitation.
On the global stage, leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), an organization of 21 countries that control 50% of world trade and produce 60% of the world’s GDP, met just last November in the Philippines with the theme of “Building Inclusive Economies, Building A Better World.” For im/migrants, this only connotes planning and coordination in utilizing the material and human resources of the planet for bigger profits for corporations. The policies of APEC has privatized social services, deregulated prices of goods, and opened up the economies of countries for exploitation, which has only exacerbated the export of migrant workers, worsened anti-im/migrant policies and laws, and decreased government protection and social services. Left undocumented, unemployed, indebted and desperately seeking ways to support their families back home, migrants end up suffocating more as exploitation runs wild like an open fire. The “trade in human labor” has become a lucrative business transaction between the sending and host countries.
Migrants are not just standing by. We are rising up. At the same time as the APEC meeting, over 100 delegates of migrants organizations from around the world were also in the Philippines for the Assembly of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), with the theme “Strengthen Solidarity and Advance our Struggles! Resist Neoliberal Attacks on Migrants and Peoples of the World!” We shared and discussed not only stories of the worsening conditions of exploitation and abuse, but also strategies to strengthening a migrants movement worldwide that will truly change the system that breeds forced migration, poverty, and oppression. We will remain united.
As a member of IMA, NAFCON vows to strengthen its relationships with other migrant groups in the US, be at the forefront of migrant rights struggles, and build international solidarity. We affirm our commitment to struggle with all migrants in building a world where no families will be torn apart just for the need to survive and to escape wars and violence.
For more information on NAFCON please go to www.nafconusa.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 415.333.6267.
Days before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was to start in Paris, Filipinos in the Northern California representing the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns joined the NorCal Climate mobilization “DEFEND THE EARTH: Stand Up Show Up” as part of the Global Climate March to call for genuine environmental justice.
NAFCON Northern California asserted that environmental justice cannot be achieved without addressing the root causes of people’s suffering, like poverty, landlessness, government corruption, and state repression.
For example, in recent years the Philippines has repeatedly faced some of the deadliest and most destructive typhoons in its history. Yet the government has not only failed to take proactive action to protect its people, it has knowingly taken actions against them.
After Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines two years ago, the president lied about how many people died to make it seem as if the government were more prepared than it actually was. Politicians pocketed money set aside for disaster preparedness. Even up to now, two years after the disaster, only 500 permanent housing units have been built by the national government.
The greed of multinational corporations and the richest few in the Philippines and powerful nations like the U.S. have increased the frequency of disasters and exacerbated their effects. The cutting down of vast tracts of forest by logging corporations decimates natural barriers to typhoons, and massive extractive mining weakens the soil, leading to landslides. The Philippine military and paramilitaries continue to abduct, torture, and kill environmental activists and indigenous community leaders resisting land grabbing and displacement.
Just a few weeks ago, the Philippines hosted the summit of APEC, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which has paved the way for more multinational corporations to enter third-world countries and exploit their natural resources. The U.S. and other countries with interests in the Asia-Pacific have been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which–aside from facilitating the further exploitation of poor countries’ labor and natural resources–would give corporations the extraordinary ability to sue local governments that enact health and environmental regulations if it threatens those corporations’ bottom lines.
But NAFCON remains steadfast in our mission to build a brighter future. After the Super Typhoon, NAFCON raised over $1 million through grassroots fundraising. NAFCON continues to lead solidarity missions to disaster-stricken areas of the Philippines and is working to build a sustainable water system for an indigenous school and community. We work with typhoon survivors typhoon who have organized themselves to demand sufficient response from the government, and an end to corporate land grabbing and the incursion of mining corporations.
NAFCON stands with all peoples in calling for system change instead of climate change! We must take a stand against the greed of multinational corporations and their counterparts in the Philippines. We must stand against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Together, we must fight for a world in which the rights of indigenous peoples, women, peasants, workers, and migrants are respected; a world in which military and police are not used as tools to repress the people in their calls for social and environmental justice; and a world in which all people have access to decent livelihoods, food, and clean air and water.
To support the building of a sustainable water system for an indigenous community in Southern Philippines facing militarization and displacement from their ancestral lands by multinational mining corporations, please consider donating to the Adopt A Community Program.
Haiyan a natural and man-made calamity
Two years ago on November 8, Typhoon Haiyan completely devastated the central Philippines. On the second anniversary of this calamity, NAFCON encourages the community to remember this massive tragedy and pay our respects to the innumerable victims who deserved a better chance at survival.
Dr. Efleda Bautista, Chairperson of People Surge, an organization of thousands of Haiyan survivors, remembered her experience in the aftermath of the calamity, “1.2 million houses were destroyed… [there were] dead bodies everywhere. They were together, cadavers of human beings, of children, dogs, and cats scattered in the streets. It took weeks for them to be taken out. The stink of Tacloban was sticking to your body and inside your lungs, you can smell the stink of dead bodies.”
Speaking at the International Peoples’ Tribunal, Dr. Bautista testified on the criminal negligence of the Aquino government in relation to the Typhoon Haiyan tragedy. (A video of her testimony is available on Youtube.) One of her most shocking points illustrated the complete void of government preparedness in response to Haiyan. She explained how the residents of her city treated Haiyan as just a normal storm. No one expected the deluge. She explained many people looked forward to the day after, where offices are closed and time could be spent with the family.
Asked what the government could had done better, Dr. Bautista replied, “Had the government warned the people…there would have not been that much casualties. You have a national government with battalions, with armored cars, and all these trucks, they could have come before, and they could have rescued during…But where was the president? He came later with the cameras and said ‘You should be happy you are alive.’ That is the president that we remember when he came to Tacloban City.” Dr. Bautista points clearly at President Aquino for the lack of not only public readiness but also awareness because the Philippine government provided absolutely no warning.
For the 2nd anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, NAFCON asks the community to honor the at least 6,700 lives lost and the millions impacted by the catastrophe. We encourage people to do this by remembering and renewing our commitment to the families and communities affected by the tragedy. NAFCON asks us to serve as their sounding board and amplify the call for true government accountability in this natural occurrence turned man-made disaster.
A wake up call for collective action and accountability
Terrence Valen, NAFCON President shares on this anniversary, “Haiyan is a wake up call. For decades the staple of corruption and neglect in the Philippine government, from local mayors all the way up to the President has been so widely accepted as just the way things are in the country. Typhoon Haiyan marks a time in history where things have gone too far and we have to do something.”
In the months after Haiyan, millions of people throughout the world answered the wake up call. Individuals, organizations, businesses, schools, and governments began sending aid in a truly amazing response to the calamity. For those who donated to NAFCON and even for those who supported through other channels, so many wanted to ensure their donations did not go to the government. During this time where countless survivors were reaching out for help, people woke up, not only to the need for assistance, but also the reality that the government could not be a part of the solution because it was a big part of the problem. NAFCON, one of the government’s loudest critics in the U.S., gathered more than $1 million from 49 states in the U.S. and over 30 countries worldwide. Our alliance is proud to share a video report of our efforts effect available here in HD.
Father Arsie Almodiel, an individual member of NAFCON and of the Philippine Independent Church commented, “Yolanda’s incident reveals how we are towards one another. A revelation of the true spirit of being Filipino: solidarity, helping hand and unity for a common purpose and for each other. It is also a revelation of an evolving culture different from the Filipino spirit. The slow response and intervention to the victims, the deceased and those who have lost their homes while discourse over big amounts of money and the pork barrel scandal are happening at the same time. The misuse of big sums of money donated by other nations and the spoilage of food that has not been properly distributed to those who needed to receive it.”
Fr. Arsie who serves as a leader in the workers movement in Las Vegas continued, “The new culture of greed, self-centered, with no consideration for other people. Numbness and oppression, with no consideration, no spirit of unity for a common good purpose for those oppressed are not Filipino qualities who are pro-people and fears the Lord.”
Continuing the spirit of unity
Today, NAFCON encourages our community to combat the new culture of greed mentioned by Fr. Arsie and continue the spirit of unity and support sparked in the wake of Haiyan. The alliance asks the public to renew its commitment to the survivors of the storm. Two years later we hope people will act with a similar sense of urgency and join us in NAFCON’s Adopt A Community Program. The program, developed in response to Haiyan, is currently working to build a sustainable water system for an indigenous school and community in Davao Del Norte, Mindanao. The program also includes projects in several other regions of the Philippines. (Those interested in more information on the Adopt A Community Program please go to nafconusa.org/ADOPT.)
Jun Cruz, NAFCON’s Communications Officer and enthusiastic advocate for the program shared his thoughts, “Adopt A Community is about more than a water system in the same way that Haiyan is about more than typhoons. It is about planting seeds amidst so much destruction, strengthening our ties to Filipinos thousands of miles away, and working to build a better Philippines one community at a time.”
The Adopt A Community program is currently working with members of the Manobo tribe in the Talaingod area of Davao Del Norte, Mindanao. Together NAFCON and its partner organizations on the ground are not only helping develop a water system but also assisting in strengthening their capacity for addressing environmental problems highlighted by Haiyan such as lack of decent infrastructure and the effects of the long-standing neglect of the government.”
The Great Tragedy After the Storm
Two years after Haiyan, one of the greatest tragedies that Dr. Bautista helps us realize is that the Philippine does have billions in dollars, tanks, battalions, and trucks and yet it did not prioritize it for the preservation of innocent life. Rather it continually spends it on corruption and on suppressing the voices of leaders who are fighting against that corruption.
NAFCON Southern California Regional Coordinator Alex Montances who recently spent some time in the Philippines with members of the Manobo community shared, “One of the biggest issues in the Philippines is government suppression of those who speak out and work for justice and peace in the Philippines. In September 2015, a few weeks after I came back from visiting Manobo tribes in Mindanao- dozens of indigenous school teachers and tribal leaders were killed, harassed, or displaced by Philippine military and paramilitary. All because they are resisting and defending their ancestral land from the Philippine government who want to sell it to big logging, mining, and agribusinesses!”
Alex who has been appearing at various events throughout Southern California sharing his experiences continued “I was also able to visit the Pulangihon Manobo Tribe of Bukidnon, Northern Mindanao. These indigenous people have been living on and caring for their ancestral land for generations. In recent years they have been forcibly and violently displaced by big ranchers and affiliates of agribusiness like Del Monte Pineapple. These powerful businesses and governments are destroying the forested land and converting it into big plantations and grazing lands. Mindanao is one of the last forested and green areas left in the Philippines.”
Stop Lumad Killings
Although NAFCON started the Adopt A Community Program gathering funds for the proposed water system, its Executive Board recently added a goal to assist in responding to the recent spate of Lumad killings. Lumad is a broader term that encompasses 18 indigenous groups throughout Mindanao. The Manobos who NAFCON is partnering with through the Adopt A Community Program are 1 of these 18 groups. Currently there is an international effort to Stop Lumad Killings because these indigenous groups of Mindanao have suffered a recent surge in violent activity at the hands of the Philippine military through the government’s counter-insurgency operations.
Cruz, who currently resides in Cerritos, Ca explained, “My parents raised me to believe that in the Philippines it doesn’t matter what is right and what is wrong, if you speak loud enough, and if enough people hear you, then someone from the government might get you and for many, that price is too much to pay, even for what’s right. However, when I visited the country a few years ago I met so many people living in extreme poverty, similar to the millions affected by Haiyan, who reached a point where they had nothing to lose. It did not matter that they had to risk being harassed, kidnapped, tortured, or even killed because something had to be done, someone had to stand up to make things right. It is these kind of people, everyday Filipinos, who fell to desperation, like the many I met and the many who have disappeared or been killed that are the real targets of the government’s counterinsurgency program.”
NAFCON affirms too many innocent people, including Manabos, Lumads, and decent Filipinos throughout the country have disappeared or been killed by Oplan Bayanihan the name for the Philippine government’s current counterinsurgency program. We ask the community to support the Adopt A Community Program by taking a stand to Stop Lumad Killings. We ask you to participate in the International Coalition for Human Rights (ICHRP) coordinated action against Oplan Bayanihan. More information on ICHRP and what you can do to participate in the Stop Lumad Killings effort is available here.
NAFCON also asks for you to donate to the Adopt A Community Program which can be done for as simple as $2.00. Right now the public can DOWNLOAD and share the “River Song” by Diskarte Namin which highlights the struggles of indigenous communities to survive in the face of governmental and corporate land grabbing such as the Manobo and Lumad peoples.
For more information on NAFCON go to www.nafconusa.org. If you would like to reach out to members of our alliance or share a comment you can email us at email@example.com or call us at our main office 415.333.6267.
October 18, 2015
AV David, Secretary of Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-491-4561
NAFCON Calls for Donations for Typhoon Koppu Victims
As Typhoon Koppu (local name Lando) lashes through the northern Philippines, NAFCON calls for donations for affected communities through our ongoing Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation program.
In provinces where Typhoon Koppu has made landfall, flash floods, toppled posts causing loss of electricity, torn roofs, overflowing rivers and submerged villages were reported. Although latest reports state that Typhoon Koppu has slightly weakened, it will take a few more days to completely pass through the northern island of Luzon, which could result to even greater floods, storm surges, and landslides. Over 20,000 people have been displaced as several provinces are still placed on storm alert and heavy rains are expected until Wednesday.
Given the history of inadequate response to disasters from the Philippine government, it is important that we act in this time of need and that we donate to organizations with a proven, trusted, and positive track record of genuinely helping disaster-affected communities. NAFCON is one of those organizations. We raised over $1 million in response to Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in November 2013 and reported how 100% of the proceeds went towards helping survivors. Our relief efforts is part of our Environmental Justice for the Philippines (EJ for PH) campaign, and we have been consistent in delivering timely monetary relief to victims of Haiyan, Hagupit, and now Koppu.
NAFCON is collecting exclusively monetary relief (not material goods) and we ensure that your donations will go quickly and directly to the communities adversely affected by the typhoon. Donations will be coursed through Sagip Migrante, a relief project of our partner organization Migrante Partylist whose members are on the ground in Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.
More information on how to donate can be found at http://nafconusa.org/typhoon-relief-info/.
Filipinos in the US to Philippine government: We are not your milking cows! Do your job and protect Filipinos overseas!
August 25, 2015
Aurora Victoria David, NAFCON Alliance Secretary
Filipinos in the United States vow to remain vigilant against any actions of the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) to open Balikbayan boxes sent by overseas Filipinos for inspection and taxation in an attempt to fulfill a P600-million target revenue from balikbayan boxes set by the Philippine government. The recent retraction of BOC of its original proposal to mandatorily open Balikbayan boxes is due to the outrage expressed by Filipinos worldwide and our families.
However, the BOC still plans to increase clearing fees for all containers entering Philippines ports to as much as P100,000 to P120,000, which would translate to an additional $7 per balikbayan box. According to Migrante Partylist, the first increase of P40,000 per container was imposed last July 27, while another wave of increase is reportedly scheduled to take effect on October 1. Filipino workers abroad, freight forwarders, and stakeholders were not consulted in this process.
Given the government’s long history of raising fees paid by Filipino migrants who then receive no services or support in return, NAFCON considers all of these actions to be money-making schemes intent on milking Filipino workers abroad of their hard-earned money for the personal interests of government officials.
Not only is this issue insulting to migrant workers abroad who try to fill these boxes with items worth months of wages to express their love and fulfill their longing for their families back home, but at the same time it is also infuriating that our tears and sweat are being translated into money for corrupt government officials and agencies.
Initially defending the BOC, President Aquino himself stated that the BOC was just “doing its job.” Is that the same reasoning the President uses when he maintains his agencies’ budgets for his P1 trillion worth of pork barrel funds? Were Aquino’s agencies also “doing their job” when they neglected Mary Jane Veloso and countless victims of human trafficking abroad? By “doing its job,” does Aquino refer to his administration’s labor export policy that continues to force more than 6,000 Filipinos abroad daily in search of livelihood?
The statements of Aquino and his cohorts in the BOC reflect their ignorance and callousness to the plight of Filipinos worldwide. But the latest outrage on and off social media from various parts of the world has also reminded this government that organized, Filipino immigrants and migrants are powerful. We are 15 million strong, with almost half of the Philippine population being remittance-receiving families. The resounding demand of Filipinos is clear: Protect migrant workers instead of squeezing more money from us! Aquino can start by finding and jailing trafficker Isidro Rodriguez for tricking hundreds of Filipino teachers, coming to the aid of workers who are victims of wage theft and labor trafficking such as the Filipino bakery workers in LA, and re-investigating the death of Romina Ignacio in Kansas which was deemed suicide despite autopsy results in the Philippines revealing stab wounds. He should also ensure the retraction of the P600-million target revenue from Balikbayan boxes.
For the 4 million of Filipinos here in the US, let us unite with others worldwide to make sure our concerns are addressed and our rights protected, our hard-earned money goes to our families and not to corrupt politicians, and our home country is led by a government that does not turn our love for family into a profit-making business.
We enjoin Filipinos worldwide to participate in Zero Remittance Day on August 28 to call on the Aquino administration to retract the P600-million target revenue from balikbayan boxes.
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns – Southern California Region: JUSTICE FOR L’AMANDE 11! WORKERS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
For Immediate Release
August 17, 2015
For reference: Alex Montances, Southern California Regional Coordinator, NAFCON
Ryan Leano, Southern California Staff Member, (415) 779-5994, email@example.com
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns – Southern California Region
JUSTICE FOR L’AMANDE 11!
WORKERS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns – Southern California Region (NAFCON Southern CA) expresses its staunch support for the L’Amande 11 bakery workers who are courageously standing up for their rights as workers and victims of labor trafficking and wage theft, as they continue to seek justice through an ongoing lawsuit against L’Amande Bakery owners.
The L’Amande 11 Bakery Workers’ battle began in 2012 when the 11 workers migrated from the Philippines to California in search of economic opportunity to provide for their families back home. They were hired by Analiza and Goncal Moitinho de Almeida, owners of L’Amande Bakery who abused the E-2 visa process by bringing the workers to the United States to work for substandard wages and working conditions. The E-2 visa allows for wealthy foreign nationals who have invested a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business to bring foreign workers to the U.S. because they will be engaged in duties of an executive or supervisory character or because the possess “specialized” skills that are “essential” to the company’s operation. However, due to the lack of accountability of both the Philippines and the United States, there is no way to ensure that these foreign companies are in compliance with these particular visa requirements. Thus, workers become vulnerable to abuses such as wage theft, exploitation, and retaliation.
Hopes, dreams, and opportunities were crushed as Ana and Goncal Moitinho de Almeida presented nothing but broken promises when the workers arrived. Under the E-2 visa, these workers were expected to be hired and make around $2,000 a month, but instead they were paid as low as $360 a month on top of working long hours without breaks, without overtime, and without days off. When workers complained about this abusive treatment, the owners of L’Amande Bakery responded by telling the workers they had no choice but to continue working, or else the workers would have to pay the Almeidas an unaffordable monetary penalty.
In addition to being victims of wage theft, the L’Amande 11 also became victims of labor trafficking. They were forced to become the domestic servants for the Almedas and to maintain their $2.375 million dollar apartment complex including, cleaning, painting, yard work, landscaping, flooring, repair, and construction work. Ana Almeida blackmailed the workers when they complained about the working conditions by telling them that each and everyone of them would have to pay $11,000 for all their visa and airfare expenses. She also stated that she would forgive these expenses if they worked for her for 3 more years, forcing the bakery workers to think that staying there would be the only way to break free from the abusive treatment.
Last week, Ana and Goncal Moitinho de Almeida suddenly shut down their two bakery locations in Torrance and Beverly Hills, along with firing the rest of its workers in a frantic effort to avoid responsibility of their crimes committed against the L’Amande 11. There have been direct threats to the workers’ family members in the Philippines as well as several instances of online harassment on Facebook portraying the workers in a negative light.
NAFCON Southern CA recognizes the stories of the L’Amande 11 bakery workers, because it is connected to the stories of over 6,000 Filipinos who leave their families everyday in search for opportunities abroad to meet the basic needs of their loved ones. The lack of economic stability in the Philippines have created deplorable living conditions that many citizens seek opportunity everywhere else but within their own country. The aspirations for many of the L’Amande 11 when deciding to come to the United States was to be able provide their children with the opportunity to obtain an education and leaving was one of the most viable options. The L’Amande 11, also share the experiences of the 8 out of 10 workers across Los Angeles County that experience wage theft every week. According a report by the UCLA Labor Center, workers in Los Angeles County lose $26.2 million dollars every week because of wage theft violations, while owners like the Almeidas continue to make profit under such exploitative conditions.
NAFCON Southern CA stands with the L’Amande 11 in advocating and defending their rights as workers. NAFCON believes in the dignity and respect of all workers and will advocate alongside the L’Amande 11 until justice is served.
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The Real State of the Philippines: NAFCON highlights intensifying political repression and corruption under President Aquino
July 26, 2015
Today, in the Philippines, President Noynoy Aquino gives the final State of the Nation Address (SONA) of his six-year term where he will once again present to Congress and the world the accomplishments and challenges under his administration.
However, Aquino, like most presidents before him, will mainly highlight his so-called accomplishments versus the reality of increasing poverty, corruption, and repression in the country. He will identify and likely concoct various examples that demonstrate the state of the nation is improving, when in fact conditions continue to worsen for the poor majority.
Sadly, any picture Aquino presents to show the nation is better off under his leadership is a lie. During his term as president, Aquino in numerous instances acted with clear neglect if not outright criminality during some of the most critical moments of his six-year regime. Examples of these moments include the Pork Barrel Scandal, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the US-led Mamasapano fiasco, the Kentex Factory fire, and many more. (See more in “Aquino’s 10 Crimes” by NAFCON)
NAFCON does what Aquino will not — state the truth and work for the welfare of the majority. We do this to hold the leaders of the country accountable. We highlight the conditions of the ordinary people as a reminder that there is a lot of work left to do to better the Philippines and our communities forced abroad. The country needs a government that serves the interests of the majority at its core.
“The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that it even exists. Aquino throughout his administration has continually denied or remained silent on his own role in contributing to the major challenges our country faces such as the growing number of human rights violations at the hands of Philippine state agents,” says Terrence Valen, NAFCON President from San Francisco, who recently returned from the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) held in Washington D.C. NAFCON returned to the capitol for the IPT after a previous trip with NEFFCON successfully lobbied for the withholding of US military aid to the Philippines contingent on improved human rights conditions in the country.
Hundreds of leaders from all over the world attended the IPT to hear testimony from numerous victims of human rights violations (HRVs) in the Philippines and try Aquino for his crimes against the people . The three-day assembly culminated with the first verdict proclaiming Aquino “GUILTY of gross human rights violations involving the civil and political rights of the Filipino people, for committing extrajudicial killings, disappearances, massacres, torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions as well as other vicious, brutal and systematic abuses and attacks on the basic democratic rights of the people.”
Anne Beryl Corotan Naguit, NAFCON Vice President from New York, who also attended the IPT explains the reasoning behind the numerous HRVs, “The human rights violations are tactics that aim to pacify and silence the people and sow fear, to prevent us from holding accountable those who have committed crimes against the people such as President Aquino.”
In recent months numerous cases of harassment and intimidation of leaders of progressive organizations by suspected state agents in the Philippines have been documented. Targets of these horrendous acts include public sector unionists, human rights advocates, and even faith-based and migrant group leaders with whom NAFCON has directly coordinated on the issue of trafficking of Filipinos to the US.
Many HRV victims served marginalized communities and regularly speak out against programs of the Philippine government that fail to uplift the lives of the poor. Like many NAFCON members in the US, they assert the basic human rights of the people and advocate for lasting peace in the Philippines.
“Despite these tactics we are not afraid. Our strength is our fearless unities. We will continue to strengthen our unity and forge solidarity to achieve a just, peaceful, and humane society. We demand respect for our fundamental freedoms in compliance with all the provisions of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We demand an end to the threats, discrimination, harassment, and intimidation of human rights advocates in the Philippines,” continues Naguit.
AV David, NAFCON Alliance Secretary, also declares, “NAFCON stands with Filipinos worldwide in demanding an end to this political repression. Freedom of expression and association are civil rights that activists do not lose when we choose to defend the rights and uphold the dignity of our communities. We call on the Filipino community in the U.S. to sign petitions and take action to pressure the Philippine government to stop its repressive acts.”
In addition to the worsening human rights situation, environmental degradation that has led to unnecessary loss of lives during typhoons and other disasters is also among the many crimes under Aquino that NAFCON brings to attention. In the coming months, NAFCON will emphasize the need for environmental justice as it carries out its Adopt A Community program. This effort supports poor communities in their efforts to protect their natural resources and live humanely in the face of environmental devastation through various projects such as building water systems, educating community members on climate change, and others.
As we work together to support our community in the Philippines, we encourage our kababayan to engage with us. Support the movement to hold Aquino accountable, join our “Adopt a Community” Program and our environmental justice campaign, and strengthen our work to protect immigrants here in the U.S. Also, please feel free to join NAFCON in conversation by posting on our Facebook page or sending us a comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on NAFCON go to www.nafconusa.org. ###
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2015
On this celebratory and victorious Pride weekend, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) stands in solidarity and applauds the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, Queer), gender non-conforming community and allies who have been hard at work to see this day finally become a reality.
Same-sex marriage is now legal across the United States after a historic Supreme Court ruling that declared unconstitutional the attempts by conservative states to ban them. The ruling, in which Justice Anthony Kennedy cast the deciding vote, means the number of states where gay marriage is legal will rise from 37 to 50.
“When I heard the announcement yesterday morning, my heart beat shot up!” says Annie Sayo, NAFCON Treasurer and longtime queer activist. She continues, “I was so happy, and goosebumps overwhelmed me. My first thought was now some of my friends and family can petition their partners to the U.S. But I know for many more people the equality factor that impacts many of our families and communities is not over. Deportation of LBGTQ immigrants still continues, so the fight is far from over for many of us.”
Today also reminds us of other, significant historical laws passed that preceded and impacted the struggle for LGBTQ rights in this country like anti-miscegenation laws, which institutionalized racial segregation at the level of marriage and relationships and sometimes even prohibiting sex between members of different races by making these practices criminal.
Although anti-miscegenation, Jim Crow, and other anti-immigrant laws have been overcome, remnants of racism, anti-im/migrant sentiment, and homophobia have continued decades and even centuries later. This reminder was clearly demonstrated by President Barack Obama’s response to undocumented trans activist, Jennicet Gutierrez, who bravely spoke out at the White House for the abuse of undocumented trans women in immigration detention centers. On this immigrant//LGBTQ issue, progress is far from sight. LGBTQ, im/migrant, people of color, and working class communities still need to continue the struggle for human rights beyond marriage equality.
Last October 2014 Filipina trans woman Jennifer Laude was allegedly murdered by US Navyman Joseph Pemberton while US soldiers were in Olongapo, Philippines for military exercises. To this day Laude’s family continues to seek justice as Pemberton is tried in Philippine court. “While we celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in the US, NAFCON remains committed to working for a society that fully recognizes the dignity of the trans community and does not target them with violence, deportation, harassment, and workplace discrimination. Today’s victory will be a source of inspiration for even stronger and more vibrant community organizing towards social justice in the US and worldwide,” adds Sayo.
We stand in solidarity with all of the people who made today a reality. We stand for all the LGBTQ activists who came before us and paved our way – Audre Lorde, StacyAnn Chin, Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Janet Mock, Angelica Ross, Harvey Milk, Monica Roberts, Imani Evans, Silvya Rivera, Shirley Tan, Jay Mercado, and many more, named and unnamed. We also would like to remember all who stood up during the Stonewall rebellion of 1969 and the countless victims who passed away due to violent homophobic and racist crimes. It was their lives that shed a brighter light on these issues so that the rest of us could struggle in unity together, celebrate our victories, and reach this step further in our journey to an even brighter future.
Under the Aquino administration there has been blatant disregard for people’s welfare. Throughout his term, we see consistent examples of negligence–from his failed response to Typhoon Haiyan, Pork Barrel Scandal and the Mamasapano fiasco cover-ups, as well as an absence of meaningful action during the imminent execution of Mary Jane Veloso and the Kentex Factory Fire.
Sadly, 5,000 Filipinos still leave the Philippines everyday with no support from Aquino’s government. Each year we see many instances of Filipinos all over the world crying for justice from exploitation and human trafficking. Even here in the U.S. we see these struggles including the Grand Isle Shipyard workers, the Florida 15, and others.
Aquino’s failures should not go unnoticed or covered up by his image as the son of Cory. As a Filipino community comprised of many backgrounds and experiences we should all take great concern for Aquino’s role in worsening the situation of families and communities wrought in poverty and struggling to make it.
Below you can click 10 links to deeper examples of Aquino’s 10 Crimes Against the People. Please click each one to learn more about the challenges of his administration and find out how together we can be a part of creating solutions.
We Demand Truth! We Demand Accountability! We Demand Justice!
Join us at the
For Immediate Release
May 21, 2015
Last week the Philippines suffered another major tragedy. On May 13th, at least 72 Filipino workers (as of May 18th) died in the worst factory fire in the nation’s history. The fire, which lasted 7 hours, took place at the Kentex slipper factory in Valenzuela, Metro Manila.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), along with its more than 30 member organizations throughout the United States, mourns with the families and communities of the Kentex factory workers who died in the fire.
Alongside our mourning, we are also appalled and saddened that 72 lives were lost due to negligence by the Kentex factory owners. In an independent fact-finding mission conducted shortly after the fire, it was discovered that the company violated many safety regulations: There were no fire exits from the building and no fire drills conducted. All windows had permanent steel bars. Highly flammable chemicals were stored unsafely and were not marked properly.
These safety regulation violations left the 72 workers inside the factory trapped with no way to get out. Once the fire started, the only two exits in the building were blocked by the fire. 69 of the workers went to the second floor to try to escape, but the steel bars prevented them from exiting. The inappropriate storage of flammable chemicals may have fueled the fire, if not serve as the source.
Equally disturbing is that the Kentex factory passed a Philippine Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) occupational health and safety inspection in September 2014. In addition, the Bureau of Fire Protection reportedly also gave the factory a fire safety inspection certification.
NAFCON, along with millions around the world, is calling for support for the Kentex factory workers. We are asking our community here in the U.S. to express its sympathy for the families of the workers as well as its outrage toward the factory owners for their negligence and the unsafe working conditions. We ask that we demand criminal prosecution of the factory owners in our blogs, social media posts, and addresses during public activities.
NAFCON also highlights the government’s role in this tragedy. Although we are disturbed, we are unfortunately not surprised that a factory that was clearly not safe for workers would pass two government safety inspections.
Under the Aquino administration, as with previous Philippine presidents, there has been blatant disregard for people’s welfare. Throughout Aquino’s term, we have consistently seen examples of his negligence–from his failed response to Typhoon Haiyan, to his cover-ups during the Pork Barrel Scandal and the Mamasapano massacre, to his absence of meaningful action during the imminent execution of Mary Jane Veloso.
In addition to NAFCON’s commitment to support the Kentex Factory workers, we are equally committed to holding President Aquino accountable for his failures. We realize that the tragedy in Valenzuela, Metro Manila is only a symptom of a much larger system of neglect for the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the Philippines and around the world. As with Haiyan, Pork Barrel, Mamasapano, and Mary Jane Veloso, in each instance it was the vibrant movement and action of our international united community that has uplifted the voices and hopes of those suffering under Aquino.
We ask all those who value a better future for the Philippines and our world to not only mourn together, but also call and work for justice together. In a simple way, we can show our support by liking the Justice for Kentex Factory Workers Facebook page or using the hashtag #JusticeforKentexWorkers.
We can also join the movement to hold President Aquino accountable by attending or supporting the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) to be held in Washington D.C. July 16 – 18. This gathering will raise awareness about the grave human rights situation in the Philippines today and strengthen the movement to bring justice to the Filipino people.
For more information on NAFCON or the IPT, go to www.nafconusa.org, email email@example.com, or call (415) 333-6267.