by Novo-Mar F. Ramos
The Officers and Members of the Board of Trustees of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora United Kingdom (ENFID-UK) Country Chapter, an umbrella organisation of organisations of the Filipino and Filipino-British community in the UK, took their Oath of Office on the occasion of a Dinner and Dance Party it conducted on the 10th day of September 2016 at the Balmoral Hall of Kensington Close Hotel, Kensington, London.
(See more photos at ENFiD-UK Dinner and Dance and Oath-Taking Ceremony)
The event was the first major gathering that ENFiD-UK has held after the election of the following set of Board of Trustees and Officers on the 30th day of April 2016:
Edwin Dela Cruz
Deputy Chairperson/Vice-Chairperson for Northern Ireland
Vice-Chairperson for England
Vice-Chairperson for Wales
Vice-Chairperson for Scotland
Press Relations and Communications Officer
Ricardo Gacayan, Jr.
Assistant Press Relations and Communications Officer
They were sworn into office by His Excellency Evan Ralph P. Garcia, Philippine Ambassador to the UK. Ambassador Garcia, in his speech as Guest of Honour and Speaker, addressed the members of the Filipino community in the UK to congratulate themselves as “mga bagong bayani” (new heroes) for their sacrifices and contributions to the Philippines’ social, economic and political progress and development.
He challenged the ENFiD-UK leadership to more strengthen the bond of unity of the Filipinos and to involve the second and succeeding generations in activities pertaining to the promotion of Filipino heritage and traditions. He also encouraged everyone to support Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in his campaign to solve the problems brought about by the issue on illegal drugs and other government programs that redound to the peace and welfare of the country.
Gene Alcantara, one of the leaders of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council and Co-founder of ENFiD Europe and ENFiD-UK, narrated a brief history of ENFiD, the struggles it underwent and the challenge of further pursuing its purpose.
Fr. Benigno P. Beltran, SVD, presented his project in support of the children of in the Smokey Mountain to be tech-savvy like using the computer, internet and digital tablets, which would help in their education. He came all the way from the Philippines to attend the awarding ceremony of the 2016 Michael Ramsey Prize on the 28th of August 2016, where his book “Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain: Hope for a Planet in Peril” was adjudged by the panel of judges, chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the first runner-up among the six books that made it to the finals.
Charlene Ching, who represented Wonder Foundation and JJ Formento of Ajos Trust appealed for support to their respective projects of providing educational help and scholarship grants to female beneficiaries and give them access to gainful employment after graduation.
Jahna Lucero, a popular local teen singer entertained the crowd with her selection of songs. International singer-actress and ENFiD-UK Ambassador of Goodwill, Stephanie Reese made the event more meaningful when she sang a couple of songs. Her co-star in the stage musical, “Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story”, Alex Southern joined her into a duet.
The audience were also entertained by a surprise dance number of the ENFiD-UK Trustees and Officers to the tunes of Gentleman, Tatlong Bibe, Running Man Challenge, Trumpets Challenge and Uptown Funk.
The party was overwhelmed by the attendance of leaders and members of the Filipino community, supportive affiliates, corporate partners, individual advocates and other officials from the Philippine Embassy in London led by Consul-General Senen Mangalile.
The event was steered smoothly and excellently through the skillful management of the hosts, Junart Kim Nieva and Renato Lucero.