BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: The Filipino community is set for a bigger celebration of the 115th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, organisers revealed at the soft launch of the Philippine Independence Organising Committee (PInOC) 2013 yesterday at the Philippine Embassy.
“We want to make this momentous occasion if not the grandest, it will be the most magnificent occasion next year,” said Flor Cabrito, Chairman of PInOC 2013, at the launch event attended by Filipino community leaders.
Held in June every year, the celebration is the biggest event for 200,000-strong Filipinos in Qatar and the newly installed committee has already started preparations for the grand event.
Among the highlights of the celebrations are the flag raising ceremony, motorcade, cultural show, band concert and magic show for children.
The annual ‘Kantahan sa Doha’, the biggest singing competition for Filipinos in Qatar, has been expanded to include more segments to surprise the audience.
“We are making sure there is more entertainment for Kantahan sa Doha, Atbp,” said Cabrito. The celebrations would not be complete without the annual Gupit Pinoy, Medical Mission by Filipino doctors and nurses and a blood donation drive.
In addition a showcase of ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ tourism campaign would also be held to promote the country’s diverse culture, breathtaking tourist spots, unique festivals and activities that await visitors to the thousands of islands of the Philippines.
To update the community, the committee will launch the official website of PINOC 2013 this week, said Cabrito.
Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador Crescente R Relacion revealed five Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Qatar will be chosen to participate in a dialogue with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III soon. “Qatar was among the five countries selected wherein five OFWs would be given the chance to ask questions to the President,” said Ambassador Relacion.
Estrella Mai Añonuevo, OWWA Board of Trustees member and Executive Director of Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, presented the Atikha and Pinoy WISE initiatives to the community leaders.
Atikha is a non-government organisation that provides economic and social services to OFWs and their families in the Philippines through trainings on financial literacy specifically on goal setting, budgeting, saving and investing of migrants and their family members and creating modules on migration issues.
Pinoy WISE Movement, on the other hand, is aimed at providing concrete services to address the lack of savings and investment of OFWs and their families through public and private partnerships.