by Ricardo Gacayan, Jr.
With due deference to the inclement weather, ENFiD UK officers braved the four- hour journey to Wales on Saturday, 8 February 2016. Their main objective was to meet Filipino leaders in Wales representing their respective organisations, also to have a feel of what preoccupied them.
This country of Tom Jones, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Roald Dahl, and Wales Rugby team is a stone’s throw away from London compared to Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Generally speaking, Filipinos in Wales have similar stories with Filipinos in other parts of Europe on how they came and settled. It was either by marriage way back in 1970’s or during the early 2000 when jobs for the medical profession opened up in various guises.
Discussions followed after the presentation of the mission and vision of ENFiD, a clear message was very apparent – the concept of unifying various Filipino organisations in Wales was tried before, though it was and is a noble aim, there seems to be no unifying motivation to sustain it. Hearing this, they were reassured that ENFiD will enter into ‘Partnership’ and not to duplicate nor impose its programme of activities. Rather a ‘Katuwang’ in whatever endeavour their specific organisations wanted to achieve than a lording imperialist.
Further, it was stressed that ENFiD is a conduit where they can Engage to Pan- European issues that concerns Filipinos in general, to be involved in Dialogue pertaining to their organisations’ advocacies and priorities, and be Empowered by networking to the rest of Filipino organisations in Europe.
The event was underpined by the attendees’ willingness to be the Wales Interim Advisory Board, to witt: Mr. Chito Fababeir of Morriston Filipino Community, Mrs. Emma Munoz Bello Jones of Swansea University, College of Law, Ms. Maribeth of Alliance of Filipinos in Wales, Ms Felma F Rivera Arriola of Filipino Community in Wales, and Mr Gilbert Custodio of Port Talbot FilCom.