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.###
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, email@example.com
NAFCON sees our work as not only honoring and upholding the legacy of the anti-fascist People Power movement, from the legacy of Andres Bonifacio, and the fighting legacy of the Filipino farmworkers (whom we celebrated at last year’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the Delano grape strike), to all of the struggles we continue to wage today to fight for our kababayan here and in our homeland.
We see our work today as also advancing that legacy to ensure that an undemocratic dictatorship NEVER emerges again and we make the changes we need to create a Philippines for Filipinos who live with dignity and justice in our homeland and wherever we choose to go. We stand with all peace-loving people to make sure that the Filipino People Power legacy is what is celebrated as heroic, and Marcos is never enshrined in our national history or honored for the insult, injury, and inhumanity he inflicted on the Philippines.
NAFCON is a national alliance of more than 30 organizations in more than 20 cities across the United States that has been fighting for Filipinos here in the US and in our homeland on issues such as wage theft, labor trafficking, the displacement, militarization, and killing of indigenous communities like the Lumad in Mindanao, and for environmental justice and the victims of the intensifying typhoons, sending millions in grassroots relief to our kabayan in the Philippines.
More than 80 people from the US just returned from the Philippines where they visited water projects, communities where we sent grassroots relief donations, and where local communities are organizing themselves and building grassroots power to protect and defend their communities, ancestral domain, and our national patrimony – for Filipinos FIRST!
These communities and the work of grassroots People’s organizations are the hope and change we need for our country, even while we have a President that is pursuing peace and promises change. We invite you to join us as we advance our platform as Kababayan for Change (K4C) to truly establish democracy, independence, and social justice in the Philippines.
It is our vigilance, our organizing, our struggle, and our strength that will create the meaningful change and just and lasting peace that the people are clamoring for. It is the same vigilance, organizing, struggle, and strength that will guarantee:
Never again to martial law! Never again to fascist dictatorship!
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) in the United States denounces in the strongest possible terms the recent inflammatory insult made by Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump at a rally in Portland, Maine last Thursday.
In his consistent fueling of anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia during his entire presidential campaign, Trump labeled Muslim countries in the Middle East and the Philippines as “terrorist nations,” warning that any and all immigration from these countries poses a threat to the security of the U.S. He also slandered immigrants from our homelands as “animals” that the U.S. could not predict or control, so they must be kept out.
NAFCON considers Trump’s statements as a reprehensible attack to the Filipino migrant workers and the entire migrant community in the United States, from Muslim and non-Muslim countries alike. With more than four million Filipinos comprising the second largest Asian American group in the U.S., Filipinos have long been integral to the development of the U.S. since the first migrant workers from the Philippines set foot on the west coast aboard Spanish vessels as early as the 16th century. Along with other migrant communities and the colonial history of the U.S. and the Philippines, countless contributions have been made by Filipino workers and their families to the growth of the U.S. in various fields – agriculture and industry, health and wellness, performance arts and humanities, science and technology, public service and social movements, mass media, and even security and defense.
With all the contributions by the Filipino American community today including the descendants of the first Filipino immigrants, the United States recognizes and now even celebrates Filipino American History Month every October as mandated by U.S. legislature. To imply that immigration from the Philippines and countries alike may pose a threat to the economy and security of the nation is a slap in the face to the rich legacy and importance of Filipinos and all migrant communities in the U.S.
With the remnants of colonial legacies and the impact of globalization, over 6,000 Filipinos are systematically pushed out of the Philippines every single day. Dire poverty and the demand for cheap labor in the first world will continue to force people to migrate to the U.S. Hearing Trump’s pronouncements of myopic nationalism, founded on bigotry, NAFCON believes that he is uninformed about the systemic neoliberal policies that continue to take resources from countries like the Philippines. He only sees immigrants as competitors for jobs in the country when in fact, it is corporate America’s pre-programmed, state-sanctioned exploitation of the countries of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, including the Philippine Islands, that deprives its citizens of their own resources and capability to develop a self-sustaining economy. Our communities and people are drowning in deep poverty and are ultimately forced to seek jobs abroad in a desperate move to survive. Trump clumsily lumps immigrants and terrorism together as threats to his nation’s security, when in fact, it is the U.S.’ corporate greed for oil and other raw materials and their consistent wars of aggression that historically inflame terror attacks and human rights violations in the Middle East and the Third World in collaboration with fascist regimes in those regions. Trump, a known owner of an international conglomerate, together with other U.S. politicians posing as anti-terrorism advocates, is the epitome of imperialist hypocrisy – trying to prevent wars from reaching the U.S. shores by blaming the very ghosts that they themselves created in the homelands of so many other peoples. There is no greater threat to American humanity and the world than the possible rise of the 1%, caricatured in the likes of Trump, to the U.S. presidency.
Migrant communities must continue to challenge the immigration system that serves and follows the needs and dictates of the 1%. The inconsistent and piecemeal immigration reforms we’ve experienced have time and again treated Filipino migrant workers as mere tools who can be readily used, disposed, and deported after extracting maximum profits from their blood, sweat and tears. Even under the current administration that promised to push for comprehensive, pro-worker, and pro-family immigration policies, Filipino migrant workers still suffer from abuses such as inhumane working conditions, wage theft, trafficking, and threats of deportation, not to mention racial discrimination and indefinite separation from families, especially among the undocumented. Consistent with his track record of having deported over 2.5 million immigrants, more than any of his predecessors, Barack Obama’s final year as President has begun with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency launching indiscriminate raids and the detentions and orders of deportation of over 120 individuals, mostly from Hispanic communities on the east coast. This is contradictory to his own promise of a just pathway for legalization of undocumented immigrants who have sacrificed their lives and families to keep the economy of the country afloat for years. With Trump’s promotion of hate and fear against immigrants, and being one step closer to becoming the chief executive of the land, we fear that the vulnerability, exploitation, and oppression of Filipino and all migrants in the U.S. will reach a whole new level if he gets elected.
The history of the immigrant workers’ movement in the U.S. is a testament to the fact that immigrants can not depend on the promise of reforms by politicians who are backed by anti-immigrant corporations, let alone politicians who are corporate exploiters themselves. With the general elections nearing, it should be recalled that our protection and rights are never solely won through battles in congress or the legislature – it is imperative that we build our formidable strength as a united immigrant community to resist attacks that belittle and oppress us. NAFCON calls on the Filipino American community to link arms with fellow immigrants and people from across different communities and show the nation that the political power to achieve pro-people reforms are in the hands of nobody but the people. Only through collective action and unity amid diversity can we make America – a nation of native people, immigrants, genders, races, and creeds – truly great.
By Aurora Victoria David, Fr. Esteban DeLeon, Janet Basilan Gardose, Wayne Jopanda
With his no-nonsense style and salt of the earth demeanor, Rodrigo Duterte captured the hearts, minds, and votes of 39% of the 55 million Filipino people —including 72% of around 432,000 overseas Filipinos voters — who participated in the May 2016 election. Duterte represented a fresh break in the tired, elitist, and corrupt politics of past governments. He built his campaign around the progressive social ordinances and crackdown on drugs he implemented as Mayor of Davao City and promised “Change” on the national scale.
The Filipino people have not pinned their hopes for change on President Duterte alone. A budding movement seeks to unite Filipinos in the homeland and in the global diaspora to act to eradicate poverty, create genuine economic opportunities and development, and achieve the lasting change that we desire.
The Philippine Migrant Worker Community
Filipinos overseas, including those in the United States are no strangers to the toxic effects of the fundamental problems that plague the Philippines. Crushing poverty and a lack of viable opportunities in the Philippines forces Filipino workers to migrate and be separated from their families. The development of the Philippine economy remains sluggish and tied to the dictates of First World countries through lopsided and unfair “Free Trade Agreements.” Job lay-offs, outsourcing, decreased security, and contractualization are experienced by the majority while a wealthy few become richer. The Labor Export Policy (LEP), designed during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship, systematically exports Filipinos to foreign countries for low-paying jobs with little to no benefits or socio-economic security. After four decades of the LEP, more than 10.2 million Filipinos reside overseas and an estimated 6,000 leave the Philippines every day in search of better work opportunities (POEA/Migrante).
Duterte’s First 100 Days
The first 100 days of a new president’s administration is crucial. It can set the tone and pace for the rest of the term. For Duterte, it should be no different.
In the weeks after his electoral victory and leading up to his inauguration, President Duterte made a pronouncement that working abroad should become “optional and not a necessity”. Trafficked Filipino workers, many of whom are now living in the shadows as undocumented immigrants in the United State, know all too well the significance of making Duterte’s pronouncement a tangible reality.
#Kababayan4Change was launched in the US with Filipino migrants presenting their aspirations for change, embodied in the People’s Agenda, to representatives of the Philippine Embassy in DC. #Kababayan4Change is overseas Filipinos rising for increased involvement, voice and representation in the politics and policies of the homeland.
#Kababayan4Change is a wide-reaching platform that seeks concrete, decisive actions towards comprehensive reforms during the first 100 days of the Duterte Government. Initiated by Migrante International, the platform calls for implementation of a national industrialization program and genuine land reform to end the current and unsustainable import-dependent and export-oriented economy of the Philippines. Having homegrown business owned and operated in the Philippines creates more job opportunity and reverses the trend of Filipinos having to leave the comfort and safety of the homeland for better economic prospects.
Through #Kababayan4Change, overseas Filipinos are joining with progressive organizations, sectoral groups, indigenous peoples and the struggling majority in demanding an economic transformation that makes it unnecessary for Filipinos to seek work abroad to survive. The movement calls on us to collectively and completely address the socio-economic roots of armed conflicts, social injustices and forced migrations for a just and lasting peace in the homeland.
Priorities for Change: The People’s Agenda
#Kababayan4Change supports and promotes “The People’s Agenda,” an actionable plan for change that was the outcome of a series of multi-sectoral consultations, primary data gathering, and regional conferences. The People’s Agenda 15-point Program for Nationalist and Progressive Change contains recommendations in five key areas: economics, social policy, national sovereignty and foreign policy, peace and human rights, government and corruption. The People’s Agenda was personally delivered by leaders from progressive organizations to the Presidential Palace, and received by President Duterte himself hours after his inauguration into office.
The Agenda implores President Duterte to uphold and prioritize the following policy recommendations:
1. Uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity
2. Respect human rights and give full play to democracy
3. Reassert the economic sovereignty and conserve the national patrimony.
4. Carry out national industrialization as the lead factor of economic development and as the key to solving unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment.
5. Implement land reform as a matter democratic right and social justice, as the foundation of economic development and as a method of liberating the landless tillers, releasing capital, promoting rural development and creating a domestic market.
6. Improve the wage and living conditions of the workers, protect and promote all possible means of livelihood and raise the people’s standard of living.
7. Expand social services, especially in education, health and housing, and improve the public utilities.
8. Stop plunder and all forms of graft and corruption and punish the perpetrators; end the pork barrel system and channel government funds to economic development, infrastructure development and expansion of social services.
9. Reduce military expenditures and channel the savings to economic development and social services.
10. Promote a patriotic, democratic, scientific and progressive system of education and culture.
11. Uphold gender equality in all fields of social activity and combat gender/sexual discrimination.
12. Ensure wise utilization of natural resources and protection of the environment.
13. Respect the rights of national minorities to self-determination and development.
14. Resume GPH peace negotiations with the NDFP and complete those with the MILF.
15. Pursue an independent policy and develop closest cooperation with all neighboring countries for the purpose of international solidarity, peace and development.
Join the Movement for Change!
For genuine and lasting change to occur, the Filipino people in the Philippines, United States and the world must demand that the People’s Agenda becomes a reality. Genuine change for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), migrant workers and their families will only be achieved if the Duterte administration ends the Labor Export Policy and radically changes the socioeconomic context of the Filipino People. Our goal is to keep families intact and not break them apart. Together, we can collectively advocate to make migration from the Philippines a true choice and not the only choice for a better life.
Together, we can build this growing movement for true justice and lasting change.
We invite you to join the #Kababayan4Change movement!
Aurora Victoria David is the Secretary General of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. Fr. Esteban DeLeon is the Pastor of Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Virginia Beach. Janet Basilan Gardose is the Vice-Chairperson of GABRIELA USA. Wayne Jopanda is the Chairperson of Migrante Washington D.C. As leaders in the Filipino American community, the Co-Authors have tirelessly worked to address poverty and injustice in the Philippines and called for Filipinos in the U.S. to advocate for genuine change in the Philippines.
Filipino Migrants’ Agenda for Empowerment, Sustainability, and Peace
Prepared by NAFCON USA, June 2016
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) USA formally congratulates Philippine President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte on his recent victory in the May 2016 Philippine elections. With vigilant groups like NAFCON closely watching every step of the process, no amount of corruption, cheating or electoral fraud by the Philippine political elite or wealthy oligarchs can ever again stop the Filipino people from exercising their democratic rights to choose their own leaders and government. Filipino Americans look forward to a new day for the Philippines, hopefully starting with the administration of Rodrigo Duterte, where there can be positive changes and new opportunities for everyday Filipinos to thrive and improve their quality of life. Filipino American groups like NAFCON understand that it is not only the role of one new President to change Philippine society; it is also the role of every Filipino, no matter where they are, to work for peace, justice, and equity at home and abroad.
Formed in 2003, NAFCON is a multi-issue alliance that serves to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos in America, the Philippines, and around the world by fighting for social and economic justice, freedom and democracy. For nearly 13 years, NAFCON has successfully waged numerous campaigns for the Philippines to be a true democracy, sovereign and free from foreign influence, for an accountable government, and for justice for victims of exploitation, trafficking, neglect, and human rights violations.
The Filipino people elected Duterte because of his track record of pro-people policies and actions during his time as the Mayor of Davao. Some of those actions include protecting the environment from large scale mining and logging, advancing indigenous peoples’ rights to life and ancestral land, and engaging in diplomatic relations with sovereignty movements and movements for self-determination, like CPP-NDF, MILF, and MNLF. NAFCON will continue to advocate so that President Duterte can continue implementing pro-people policies with the support of the majority of Filipinos, who are fed up with the corrupt and elite rule of landlord and corporate families in the Philippines. Based on over a decade of impactful work with tens of thousands of Filipinos and supporters of the Filipino community across the U.S., NAFCON offers this document, “Filipino Migrants’ Agenda for Empowerment, Sustainability, and Peace” as our platform of the main issues and priorities that many Filipino immigrants, migrants, workers and families in America are tackling and which need the attention of the new administration and its consular offices abroad.
Support Filipino Workers and Their Families in the Philippines and Abroad:
Despite the importance of overseas Filipinos’ remittances to the Philippine economy and the exorbitant fees they pay to work abroad, overseas Filipinos who face abuse and exploitation can not access sufficient, timely legal and social services from their government. The Philippine government should protect the rights of its citizens abroad by combatting and repealing anti-migrant laws and policies, and enacting a genuine and pro-migrant Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Charter that would expand benefits and services for migrant workers and families. Philippine Consulate/Embassy posts (particularly labor attaches, OWWA reps and other migration-related positions) should be assigned to pro-migrant advocates and these assignments should be done in consultation with local organizations of Filipino migrants to ensure that migrants’ welfare is of the utmost priority for those serving in these overseas posts.
Eliminate Human Trafficking and the Labor Export Policy:
With 6,000+ Filipinos forced to leave the Philippines every day due to joblessness, landlessness, and government corruption in their home country, the next administration should establish a sustainable job generation and reintegration program based on national industrialization. It should stop all forms of illegal recruitment and human trafficking, and pursue justice and indemnification for victims of human and labor rights violations, especially women and minors.
Eradicate Government Corruption and the Pork Barrel System:
In the wake of the Pork Barrel scandal, it is essential that the new administration vigilantly bring to light the serious epidemic of graft and corruption in Philippine government at all levels, including the misuse of funds intended for overseas Filipino workers. It should convict political officials and co-conspirators for plundering the Filipino people and perpetuating their poverty.
Provide Effective Education and Health Services:
Scrap the K-12 system that forces families into deeper debt to pay for the increased cost of education. Due to the lack of job development and national industrialization in the Philippines, current technical courses only train Filipinos to take employment abroad. The new administration should steer away from the privatization of social services, so that the needs of the poor majority of the people with regard to education and health services will be addressed.
Implement Genuine Agrarian Reform:
Rather than maintaining the current agricultural economy dependent on export, the new administration should protect Filipino peasants and farmers from being forced off the land they till, which provides livelihood for themselves and their families.
Pursue Justice for Victims of Environmental Calamities:
Given the government’s historical insufficient and inhumane response to Typhoon Haiyan and other calamities, the new administration must provide immediate relief and long-term rehabilitation to communities impacted by environmental disaster. It should hold corrupt government officials accountable for failing to provide timely financial and material aid (including money and goods donated from around the world) to victims.
Protect the Environment and End Exploitation of Our Natural Resources:
The destruction of the environment and climate change have been exacerbated by the greed of foreign and local businesses that extract the trillions of dollars’ worth of natural resources in the Philippines. The new administration must stand against the incursion of multinational mining corporations and the foreign ownership of national industries. Scrapping the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 would be a positive first step.
Hold the Aquino Administration Accountable for the Kidapawan Massacre, Mamasapano Carnage, and other Crimes Against the People:
Under the Aquino Administration and its policies which favored neoliberal economic policies and U.S. military interests over national sovereignty, communities in the Philippines, especially indigenous communities, have become increasingly militarized. The new administration must hold government entities and personnel accountable for crimes against the Filipino people.
Stand Against State-Sponsored Human Rights Violations and Impunity:
Filipino citizens have been criminalized, harassed and even murdered for exercising their democratic rights. There must be government accountability and justice for the Filipino people, and an end to the culture of impunity with which the military and paramilitary forces operate.
Resume the Peace Process:
Peace negotiations have been delayed and unilaterally terminated by previous administrations, preventing the genuine resolution of the ongoing civil war in the Philippines. We applaud the efforts of the incoming administration to begin preliminary discussions with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that lay the groundwork for renewed peace negotiations between the GPH and NDFP. The new administration must resume the peace process and ensure that international human rights laws and previous agreements signed by both parties are observed and implemented. We support the release of political prisoners by the Duterte administration as a gesture of goodwill and stand against wrongful convictions under prior regimes.
Uphold the Rights of National Minorities:
Local and foreign corporations, supported by Philippine domestic policies, have depleted the natural resources and destroyed the culture of the indigenous peoples and the Bangsamoro people. The new administration must stand true to its promise to defend them against big mining companies and paramilitary forces, support their safe return to the communities they were forced to evacuate from, and ultimately respect their rights to their ancestral land and for self-determination.
Stand for National Sovereignty:
We support the new administration’s pronouncement to uphold an independent foreign policy meant “not to please anybody but the Filipino interest.” A good start would be to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which have given the U.S. military access to our land, water, people and resources, resulting in the deaths of Filipinos like Jennifer Laude. We also welcome the diplomacy President-Elect Duterte vowed to utilize to resolve the West Philippine Sea conflict with China.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is hopeful that the Philippine government under President-Elect Duterte can move forward a Progressive and Pro-people agenda that allows for genuine socio-economic and political reforms benefitting the majority of the Filipino people. Filipino American communities and NAFCON will continue to be at the forefront of protecting the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the Philippines, the United States and around the world, by engaging the Philippine government and holding it accountable to our platform of progressive measures for Filipino migrants around the world. In the end, the Filipino people will continue to push for genuine social change, peace, justice and progress in their homeland, wherever we may be.
Download this document: NAFCON Filipino Migrants Agenda for Empowerment Sustainability and Peace.
June 20, 2016
Contact: Annie Sayo, email@example.com
Bridging Solidarity, Ending Hate
It is with deep sorrow and sadness that the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) delivers this statement. We send our condolences to the families, loved ones, friends and communities of all the 49 human beings in Orlando, FL whose lives were stolen on June 12, 2016. NAFCON gives unwavering support and stands in staunch solidarity with the people and communities of Orlando.
On June 12, 2016, an attack that killed 49 LGBTQ (Including: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, Queer and Gender Non-Conforming) people of color, many from the Latina/o and black communities in one of the largest mass shootings in the U.S. We are profoundly disheartened as we remember that exactly one year ago, the nation celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling which granted same-sex marriage throughout the country. Members of the LGBTQ working class and people of color community believe the struggle for genuine liberation is far from over as we are now seeing. It is a significant time to humanize conversations and take action on LGBTQ issues to also counter the US culture of hatred, violent massacres, and dehumanizing foreign policy.
“As we pause to reflect, we must remember that violence is propagated not just in the execution of hate crimes, such as the one in Orlando, but in the everyday injuries and aggressions that insult, discriminate, and make one group less than. In restoring our sense of safety, all of us have a role to play in standing up against injustices and coming together as community, in solidarity,” says Maribel Martínez, Director Santa Clara County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the first office of its kind in the nation.
U.S. history is rooted in a system built on hate, fear and discrimination, leading to state-sanctioned violence and hate crimes on im/migrants, workers, people of color and the LGBTQ communities across the US. We now witness the socio-economic and political structures that neglect to protect marginalized communities from this culture and system of violence. Im/migrants and refugees from war-torn and impoverished nations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are forced to migrate, as many of our brothers and sisters from Orlando were forced to do. All were in search for freedom and a better life, fleeing structural poverty, environmental devastation, conflict and war, as many in our Filipino community are forced to do as well.
In an interview with Darnell L. Moore, Lillian Rivera, Director of Advocacy and Capacity Building says, “The economic situation in Puerto Rico is such that there are people leaving in huge numbers and the prime place they are going to is Orlando. Lots of people we lost are quite possible going towards searching for economic stability for their families because of the economic situation in the islands with some dreams in the US to find freedom and safety around their queer identities.”
While mainstream media outlets pour blame and instigate hate between the LGBTQ and Muslim communities, let us be reminded of foreign policies that manufactured international terrorism. The same corporations and leaders of this country that are now revisiting gun policies are some of the same leaders who created of these destructive weapons also known as assault rifles, which are designed to efficiently kill as many people as possible.
The attack in Orlando is very much personal to the LGBTQ community as well as it is political. The nature of all forms of violence has been exhausting for the LGBTQ community. Many suffer layers of violence initially in the family unit, work place and other institutions in society, instilling a self-taught feeling of survival mode at all times. “Coming out is a constant practice as we enter new environments throughout life, and it never becomes an easy task. The LGTBQ community has to be mindful about who we are, who we share that with, and when it is safe to do so,” says Annie Sayo, NAFCON Treasurer.
LGBTQ-run club establishments, which are places of sanctuary, validation, safety and camaraderie for the LGBTQ community, have steadily declined in the last decade. In the midst of US elections, we must remember that the heart of the matter driving conversations on gun laws is the personal lives of the 49 human beings who were best friends, lovers, mothers, im/migrants, fathers, sons, daughters, people of color and of Latina/o descent celebrating freedom.
In a few days, June 26 will mark the 47th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 where our LGBTQ brothers and sisters fought against the harassment and violent strikes by police officers. Many have already started gathering for PRIDE celebration throughout the U.S for it is in the month of June that the LGBTQ community joins in celebration of advancements that have been made in our community through political struggle.
For all the 49 sheroes and heroes of Pulse nightclub, may your souls continue dancing to our music of freedom, and may your souls rest in eternal peace through power and justice. We commemorate you today, and will celebrate you through our future progress and ensure your last moments of fighting for your life was not in vain. In loving memory, we stand in silence only for a moment but more importantly, we will shout for you until the echoes of our cries reach our ultimate goal of freedom. In your names, we call on all communities to remember to resist the attempts of pitting vulnerable communities against each other and to act with love and commitment to bridge solidarity across religions, sexualities, races, ethnicities and beliefs to end hate.
For Immediate Release
June 15, 2016
Contact: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two weeks before his inauguration, Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte follows through with his campaign promise to continue the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which were stalled for four years under the Aquino administration. A 3-day exploratory meeting is currently taking place in Oslo, Norway between the NDFP representatives and Duterte’s incoming peace advisers. The two parties are discussing draft documents on the release of political prisoners, an interim ceasefire, and a plan to accelerate the peace negotiations that are anticipated to be signed as official agreements as early as next month after Duterte assumes office. Filipino Americans fervently welcome and support these initiatives in tackling the Filipino people’s urgent issues.
Poverty, landlessness, and joblessness have long plagued the Philippines. Yet the Philippine government has historically made no genuine effort to address the root causes of these issues. It has merely instituted band-aid solutions such as the Labor Export Policy, which forces Filipinos to migrate and look for work abroad due to the lack of jobs and opportunities in their home country. Without the political will to resist international trade agreements and policies benefiting only the multinational corporations that exploit the natural resources of the country, the Philippine government cannot enact real change. Without nationalist and pro-people values informing the work of legislators and government officials, politicians will continue to treat government as a cash cow instead of a vehicle to provide services to the Filipino people.
Filipinos have unceasingly been forced to seek accountability from the Philippine government. We saw this in Kidapawan last April, where thousands of farmers and indigenous Lumad starving from drought protested for the release of calamity relief only to be met by bullets by government forces. The outpouring of support and donations of sacks of rice from Filipinos around the world, including celebrities like Robin Padilla, Nora Aunor, Monique Wilson, and Aiza Siguerra, highlight the strong collective spirit of the Filipino people on the one hand and the detestable lack of services they receive from their own government on the other.
It is in this context that Filipino Americans view the resumption of the peace talks — to truly address the causes of the Filipino people’s suffering. NAFCON strongly supports and advocates for the resumption of peace talks and release of political prisoners as first steps in fulfilling the people’s clamor for a just and equitable Philippines. We welcome Duterte’s actions to seriously follow through with his pronouncements, and we urge him to honor the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and other previously signed agreements with the NDFP, and to ultimately reach a comprehensive and detailed agreement with the NDFP that would resolve the root causes of societal ills in the Philippines.
NAFCON calls upon all peace-loving Filipinos, Filipino Americans, and allies to launch public forums on the people’s priorities for the next presidential administration and to engage in actions in support of genuine peace talks and the release of political prisoners as an act of goodwill.
To learn more about the peace talks, please email email@example.com.
Further reference: http://kodao.org/2016/06/14/ndfp-and-duterte-peace-teams-begin-informal-meet/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2016
Contact: Alex Montances, NAFCON Southern California
(562) 438-9515, firstname.lastname@example.org
Filipinos in Los Angeles March to “Break Free from Fossil Fuels”
On May 14, 2016, Filipino Americans joined over 2,000 people in a “Break Free from Fossil Fuel” march in Downtown Los Angeles. The march was part of a global mass action by environmentalists around the world to protest the fossil fuel industry and pressure governments and societies around the world to transition to 100% renewable energy. The march began at Los Angeles City Hall with local leaders and musical performances, then continued to the front of Southern California Gas Company headquarters, one of the largest fossil fuel companies and polluters in California.
Filipinos from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) Southern California and Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) joined the A3PCON Environmental Justice committee in a larger Asian Pacific islander contingent during the march. NAFCON members marched, waved Philippine flags, and carried signs highlighting the effects of climate change and environmental degradation in the Philippines. Dr. Absalon Galat, member of the Filipino American Health Workers Association (FAHWA), stated why he attended the rally, “As health workers we see the effects of climate change and fossil fuels every day. I am a doctor in the San Fernando valley where everyday, after the San Fernando gas leak at Porter Ranch, people are coming in all the time with nosebleeds, dizziness and runny nose. This is the effect I have seen here in the U.S.” Thousands of families in Porter Ranch, CA were poisoned and suffered medical ailments due to a large methane gas leak by the SoCal Gas company that lasted over 4 months. Filipino Americans and many communities are seeing the negative impacts of fossil fuel companies on health and welfare of families.
Fossil fuels and climate change has led to an increasing amount of storms, typhoons, and severe weather all across the Asia Pacific region. Jewelle Dela Cruz, KBKN Southern California regional coordinator, also attended the march and said, “We are here to make sure that the voices of the communities of the most vulnerable and oppressed people are heard in this space, represented, and advocated for.” Dela Cruz commented on climate change in the Philippines, “As Filipinos, we have seen first-hand the effects of climate change, particularly the effects of large corporations that produce a lot of CO2. That affects third world countries like the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan was a result of not just natural disasters but man-made disasters through corporate interests and profits causing third world countries to suffer from changes in the climate.” Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was one of the largest storms in recorded history that killed over 6,000 people, destroyed millions of dollars in agriculture and infrastructure, and displaced thousands of families.
Many large governments, multinational corporations and military aid have also decimated indigenous communities and natural resources across the globe. In the resource-rich island of Mindanao, Philippines, the forests, mountains, and indigenous Lumad tribes are also threatened. Andrew Esposo, chairperson of Anakbayan Los Angeles and member of NAFCON, stated, “We are here marching to declare an end to U.S. military aid to the Philippines. Because the U.S. military aid that is sent in millions of dollars is aiding the Armed Forces of the Philippines to go to the indigenous lands in Mindanao, to destroy and take the land in order to secure it for multinational corporations like mining and logging companies.” Recently, dozens of Lumad indigenous leaders have been assaulted, harassed and killed by the private security forces of mining companies and Philippine military agents. The Philippine military has sided with many American and European mining and logging firms in violently displacing Lumad tribes for profit and corruption.
Filipino Americans are joining in coalition with the larger environmental justice movement for environmental change and human rights. Esposo highlighted why Filipino Americans should care–“We here as Filipino youth understand that our heritage and our history lies in the rights of the ancestral lands of the Lumads and our communities in the Philippines. As Filipino Americans we pay our taxes. It should go to social services, to youth and students for education, not wars, corporate profit, and human rights violations.” The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns will continue conducting mass actions and movement building to defend the environment while at the same time protecting human rights of indigenous people and other marginalized communities.
For more information on NAFCON’s stand on environmental justice 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.
For Immediate Release
May 3, 2016
Contact: Melanie Dulfo – email@example.com, 646-715-6391
1 Year Later: The Continuing Struggle to Free Mary Jane and End Human Trafficking
NAFCON Highlights Human Trafficking Issue on May Day, 2016
In commemoration of International Workers Day, NAFCON remembers the victory that halted, although temporarily, the execution of Filipina drug trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso.
On April 29, 2015, Filipinos and allies across the world celebrated as the news broke that the execution of Mary Jane Veloso was stayed by the Indonesian government. Mary Jane, a mother of two and overseas Filipino worker, was detained last year by the Indonesian government for allegedly smuggling drugs into Indonesia. However, Mary Jane had been trafficked. She was recruited by a family friend to work in Malaysia, but was sent to Indonesia, instead; and unbeknownst to her, she had been given a suitcase lined with heroin. She was arrested and set to be executed on April 29, 2015. But because of the clamor of Migrante International, the international alliance of Filipino migrant organizations, the Filipino people, Indonesian migrant groups, and supporters worldwide, the Indonesian government stayed the execution.
“Mary Jane is not a lone case. Thousands of Filipinos have had to survive trafficking because of the labor export policy of the Philippines, a model used by the Philippines state as a band-aid solution to the country’s poverty and unemployment issues. What’s more, the Philippine state has actually profited from the labor export program through taxes and fees that Filipino overseas workers pay, in order to work abroad,” states Melanie Dulfo, NAFCON Northeast Coordinator.
The fight for Filipino migrants and Mary Jane’s freedom continues. Join Filipino workers and immigrants on a series of activities to protest the forced migration of Filipinos and the complicity of the Philippine government in profiting from migrants. On May 1st, the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) mobilized on International Workers Day all over the US, to fight for worker and immigrant rights.
On May 7th, 2016, join NAFCON Northeast and Asiamerica Mission to End Modern Slavery (AMEMS) at the Second Summit on Human Trafficking: Communities Mobilizing Against Modern-day Slavery at St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst, New York, to discuss the conditions that migrant workers face, including widespread labor trafficking. Survivors of labor trafficking will be sharing their stories and successes, as part of a community-based network of support with AMEMS. RSVP to the summit and become part of this free event.
With rapidly worsening inequality and exploitation under globalization and forced migration, NAFCON also acknowledges that these conditions are seen in other Asian countries, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. “Labor trafficking and violations of worker’s rights intensified in the last decade. French youth and workers have been protesting against the new anti-labor reforms in Holland due to proposed anti-labor reforms. A new trade union law was being readied by Cambodia’s government which would severely curtail workers’ rights to union representation. The demand to increase minimum wage and improve workers’ conditions are seen in the United States and other countries,” says NAFCON Treasurer Annie Sayo.
End Forced Migration!
Stop Human Trafficking!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2016
CONTACT: Alex Montances, NAFCON Southern California
(562) 438-9515; firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at our main office 415.333.6267.