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25TH EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS IN RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA


By Domingo P. Herras

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Sat 26th March 2011



Photos courtesy of  Mr. Alan Lumacad of Tau Gamma Phi, Triskelon Alumnia Organization-Riyadh Council and Cultural Affairs Office, Phil. Embassy, Riyadh and  Domingo P. Herras.
 
“Tatak EDSA 25: Ako ay Filipino. Ako ang Lakas ng Pagbabago”
 
RIYADH – In commemoration with the 25th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA 1 People Power Revolution, the Philippine Embassy together with the Filipino communities, institutions, organizations and Filipinos all over the world in joined hands in celebrating the most historic, peaceful and bloodless people power revolution that toppled the more than 20 years of Marcos regime. The theme of this year’s celebration : “Tatak EDSA 25: Ako ay Filipino. Ako ang Lakas ng Pagbabago.”
Leaders of the various Filipino community organizations in Riyadh with CDA Tago and school officials in Riyadh.


Phil. Embassy female personnel and staff attended the morning ceremony.

SIMULTANEOUS LIVE WEBCAST DIALOGUE WITH PRES. BENIGNO S. AQUINO III AND OFWS FROM SAUDI ARABIA, HONGKONG AND BAHRAIN
Ike Velarde with Embassy, POLO-OWWA and COMSOFIL officials during webcast dialogue with Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III.
 
As a prelude to the anniversary program celebration, a simultaneous live video streaming via Skype with His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III was held at 6:30 a.m. (11:30-12:00 noon RP time), emanating from P.O.E.A. EDSA Main Headquarters’s Office. The President’s live simultaneous webcast dialogue with OFW representatives from the various embassies was shown worldwide, which was partricipated by Philippine Embassies from Hongkong, Bahrain and Riyadh. Enrique “Ike” Velarde of the Phil. Professional Organization (PPO), represented OFWs in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Maritess Elvina in Hongkong and Alex Ginete from Bahrain. The three OFWs were able to have an intimate dialogue with Pres. Aquino.
 
The web telecast was attended by Consul Roussel Reyes, Vice-Consul Redentor Genotiva, Administrative Officer Cotawato Arimao, Welfare Officer Nestor Burayag, Assistant Labor Attache Wally Villasor, Rene Literal-POLO-OWWA, Esteban dela Pena, COMSOFIL PRO/BOD Domingo P. Herras and BOD VP for Engineering Ernesto Ganado.
Phil. Embassy's Cultural Affairs Officer Attache Rose Malicse (3R) with Phil. Embassy stafff.
 
The 10-15 minutes successful live web telecast dialogue and interview with President Aquino was successfully implemented through the remarkable joint efforts and partnership by the Philippine Embassy, through the Cultural Affairs Office, Education Office, POLO-OWWA and the Computer Society of Filipinos International, Inc. (RIYADH-CENTRAL). COMSOFIL, 2010 Presidential Banaag Awardee provided technical and manpower assistance during the morning coverage of the live events.
 
POLO-OWWA and Embassy officials
 
 
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION - MORNING PROGRAM
Charge d'Affaires Ezzedin H Tago delivering his inspirational message
 
A simple commemorative rites commenced at 7:30 a.m. with the ceremonial flag-raising led by Charges de Áffaires Ezzedin H. Tago, together with the Embassy personnel, respective attached agencies, the various leaders of the of the Filipino communities wearing the traditional Filipiniana and Barong tagalong custome. The Philippine national anthem was led by Miss Emily Saguindan. The Oath of Allegiance was recited by Roger Bunao followed by a solemn Christian prayer by Yvonne Mofar, while Wefare Officer Odin Abdulla led the muslim prayers.
 
After the solemn invocations, the message of President Benigno S. Aquino, III was read by Charges de Affaires Tago afterwhich he also delivered his own inspirational message, while Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ message was read by Vice-Consul Roussel R. Reyes
 
Attache Sheila Solas program host for the monrning rites
 
 
The morning ceremonies hosted by Attache Sheila Hernandez-Solas concluded with a group photo sessions and a simple Filipino breakfast for all the Philippine Embassy officials, together with Filipino community accredited leaders of the various organizations , and school officials of the Phil. curriculum carrying international schools in Riyadh.
 
President Aquino in his message urges all Filipinos around the world “We Filipinos continue to demonstrate the same ideals of unity and patriotism that freed us from oppression 25 years ago. These values embody our determination to tacke the challenges of today...Now that we are in a period of transformation, let us keep alive the spirit of People Power and democracy, as we work together and fulfill our aspiration of a peaceful and progressive Philippines”, Aquino in his message.
 
Charges D’Affaires Tago, on his part, also gave his brief remarks “Today is a very historic moment for all of us, as Secretary Romulo had said in his message, that while we are here today celebrating the 25th anniversary of people power revolution other countries around us also is experiencing civil unrest. While we are here in Saudi Arabia, we should be very careful in how we conduct ourselves, especially during these times. Every country has its own experiences, and its own cultures that we must respect, Tago pointed-out. He also happily noted series of past and upcoming activities of the Phil. Embassy, such as the pending visit of Vice President Jejomar Binay,who will check on the conditions of OFWs in the Middle East. Before closing, Tago warmly extended his congratulations to all Filipinos across the world and the Fillipino community leaders, organizations, institutions and school officials in Riyadh for their participation in the 25th Anniversary of People Power revolution here in Saudi Arabia.
 
IMPROMPTU SPEECH CONTEST
 
An Impromptu Speech competition in Pilipino immediately preceded after the morning program. The contest was organized by the the Cultural Affairs Office spearheaded by Attache Rose G. Malicse, in cooperation with the Office of Education Attache Dr. Estrella A. Babano. The project aims to help
 
Filipino students to better understand the significance of the 1986 EDSA 1 “People Power Revolution”. The contest had two categories: (Intermediate level opened to Grade 5 and 6 pupils; and the Secondary level for high school students enrolled at the Phil. Curriculum Carrying Schools (PCCS) in the Kingdom. Eight (8) PCCS schools in Riyadh participated in the contest, these are: Al Danah Intl. Schools (ADIS), Al Taj Intl. School (ATIS), Elite Intl. School (EIS), Fawaq Intl. School (FIS), Future Generation Phil. Intl. School (FUGEN), Intl. Phil. School in Riyadh (IPSR), Palm Crest Intl. School (PCIS) and Riyadh Intl. School (RIS). Overall champion in the intermediate level was Edward Ruzzel G. Conquilla of IPSR, Edlene C. Pesigan –PCIS (First Runner-up); Janna Mae Rosales Warain – (EIS -2ND-Runner-up); and Patria Mae I. Santos – (EIS -3rd Runner-up); while in the secondary (high school level) Mark Anthony G. Inciong from PCIS bagged the Championship followed by Rosheedel F. Tanael (ATIS-1ST Runner-up), Boris L. Guinto (ADIS-2ND Runner-up), and Norman C. Mallari (FIS-3rd Runner-up.
 
During the Awarding Ceremonies Charges de Affaires E. Tago conferred Certificates of Participation and trophies to all the contestants. He was assisted by the Board of Judges composed of Vice-consul Redentor G. Genotiva, Police Attache PSSupt. Jimmy Manabat and Attache Aniline A. Punzalan. Western Union through its supportive Diaspora Manager, Rodelon del Mundo, was the major sponsor of the event donated laptop computers for the champions, digital cameras for the 1st and 2nd runner-ups and MP3 Players for the 3rd and 4th runner-ups.
 
FORUM ON PHILIPPINE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES
 
Embassy staff families with CDA Tago
 
 
The Philippine Embassy in an effort to keep Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) abreast of the latest updates on the government’s programs and projects and how they can use it for personal development in order to become a socially responsible member of the community, had successfully organized a special forum on the various government services that can be availed of by Filipino expatriates in the afternoon of the same day.
 
Among the resource speakers during the forum, were representatives from the different attached agencies based in Riyadh composed of Atty. Dulfie T. Shalim of the Dept, of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PSSupt. Jimmy L. Manabat of the Dept. Of Interior and Local Government/Phil. National Police (DILG/PNP) and Messgrs. Danilo Calape, Raymund Philip Salem, and Romyl Cabillo of the Social Security System (SSS), PAG-IBIG Fund, and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), respectively.
View of the crowd at the Phil Embassy that attended the anniversary rites
 
The forum was successfully attended by mostly Overseas Filipino Workers from Riyadh, school officials, community leaders and representatives from intermediate and high school students from PCCS in Riyadh. A delegations of Filipino community leaders from the Qassim Region participated during the forum deliberations. At the concluding part of the forum, OFWs and the various Filipino community leaders appreciated the informative and fruitful discussions that transpired during the afternoon programs. The forum concluded with the distribution of free snacks to all forum participants.
 

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