PHILIPPINE EMBASSY CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
On 07 March 2013, in commemoration of International Women’s Day, the Philippine Embassy in Rome held a forum with the Embassy staff to share experiences and insights in further strengthening gender equality in the workplace.
Consistent with the 2014 International Women's Day Official UN Theme: Equality for Women is Progress for All, the forum participants shared valuable information on the vital role of women in Philippine society.
The World Bank identified the Philippines as a world leader in gender equality, particularly in the fields of legislation, management and government. In its 2013 survey, the World Bank said that 55 percent of Filipino lawmakers, senior officials and managers are female. This is the highest percentage in the World Bank report with data from 88 countries.
The Philippines is among the two only countries in the world with more women than men in the said professions. Following the Philippines' lead is The Bahamas, a chain of island in the Caribbean, with 52 percent of leaders who are female.
The 2013 Global Gender Gap Report also named the Philippines as Asia’s best performing country in terms of gender equality. The country ranked fifth worldwide. Iceland remained on the number one spot, followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden. “(The) Philippines is the only country in Asia and the Pacific that has fully closed the gender gap in both education and health,” the 2013 report said.
During the Embassy forum, the participants noted the exceptional performance of the Philippines in gender equality issues. There was consensus during the forum that this can be attributed to historical equality of the male and female in Philippine pre-hispanic society.
Citing from the work La Mujer Indigena— A description of the Filipino Woman during Pre-Spanish Time, by Lorna S. Torralba Titgemeyer, the forum participants discussed the following points to prove the historical gender equality in Philippine pre-colonial society:
(1) In the early Philippines there had always been an egalitarian relationship not only between husband and wife, but also in the upbringing of offsprings. The early Filipinos gave equal importance to both male and female offsprings. Inheritance was divided equally among them. Education was an opportunity for both sexes.
(2) The pre-colonial Filipino wife was treated as a companion, not as slave. She enjoyed freedom in making decisions in the family. Her say was not only confined to domestic affairs like having a baby or not.
(3) She enjoyed a key role in the economic stability of the family. Formal contracts were done only in her presence. In fact there were only very few husbands who would dare enter into contracts without the consent or presence of their wives.
In his remarks during the forum, Consul Enrique Voltaire Pingol said that gender equality has always been rooted in the Filipino’s psyche. Consul Pingol recounted the legend of “Malakas at Maganda”, which proves that man and woman were equal from the very beginning, simultaneously originating from the same bamboo stem, without one preceding the other.
Even in religious prayer, Mr. Pingol said that the Filipino term for “Hail Mary” is “Aba Ginoong Maria” further exemplifying the equality between man and woman in the Philippines.
FILIPINA PHOTOGRAPHER FEATURED IN ROME ART EXHIBIT
The Philippine Embassy in Rome celebrated International Women’s Day by supporting aspiring Filipina photographer, Ms. Sheryl dela Cuesta, as she was featured with other young women artists in “La Mente Artistica— Giovani Donne Artiste a Confronto” (The Artistic Mind— Young Women Artists in Comparison).
The exposition held on 06-08 March 2014 at the Teatro Dei Dioscuri al Quirinale was organized by L’Associazione Cuturale ArtisticaMente, a non-profit, non-political association which aims to promote culture through all the arts. The event was widely supported by diplomatic representations in Rome, including the Philippine Embassy.
Ms. dela Cuesta’s entry into the exhibit, entitled “Karen: Essence of a Woman”, captures in picture a woman in the later stage of pregnancy. She wanted to depict the immeasurable feeling of happiness of a woman in being instrumental to the miracle of life. “Karen” is a portrait in silhouette of a woman, who holds her pregnant belly instinctively to make her baby feel secure, protected, cared for and most of all, loved.
Nicknamed Bushe to her family and friends, Ms. dela Cuesta first arrived in Italy in 1991 at age 16 through family reunification as both her parents are working in Rome. Like other second generation Filipinos in Italy who have initially encountered difficulty in integrating to Italian society, Bushe was able to adjust through photography, allowing herself to be immersed in the beauty and culture of Italy.
FIRST CONSULAR OUTREACH FOR 2014 HELD IN NAPOLI
On 01-02 March 2014, a seven-person Consular Team from the Philippine Embassy Rome led by Vice Consul Margret Malang, went to Napoli to extend consular services to Filipinos in the city as well as to those from the neighboring cities of Avelino, Caserta and Salerno.
The Team was able to process 409 e-passports, including 21 reports of birth and 6 passport extensions. Philippine Honorary Consular Officer in Napoli, Dott.ssa Francesca Giglio was also there for notarization/legalization of documents.
The Philippine Labor Office headed by Labor Attache Viveca Catalig likewise joined the outreach together with representatives of OWWA, Pag-Ibig and SSS.
The outreach was successfully coordinated with the UDFCN 1977 headed by Mr. Romy Marcos.
The next consular outreach will be in Valetta, Malta from 22-23 March 2014.
(Photo credits: Mr. Romy Marcos.)
PHILIPPINES REPRESENTED IN THE 2014 EDITION OF THE ITALIAN PRESIDENT’S FOOTBALL CUP (MUNDIALIDO)
The Philippines shall be represented at the 16th edition of the Mundialido, a prestigious football tournament for all foreigner teams in Italy under patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy.
The 2014 Mundialido, otherwise known as "Coppa del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana" (The Cup of the President of the Italian Republic) shall be held from 28 May 2014 to 29 June 2014.
The Philippines, represented by Team Deus Fratres Onlus, is among the 25 teams represented in the Mundialido.
The Mundialido is a project of the Italian government to foster cultural mediation and integration of all foreigners in Italy. Beginning in 1999, the President’s Cup has brought together the diverse communities of migrants in Italy who share the common love for football. Participation in this prestigious football tournament is reserved for teams composed entirely of immigrants from countries being represented.
On 02 March 2014, Vice Consul Jarie Osias attended the first training session of Team Deus Fratres Onlus. He congratulated the all-Filipino football team for making the Philippines proud by qualifying to play in the multi-nation tournament thereby raising the stature of Philippine football. He said that through the determination of Team Deus Fratres Onlus, the Philippines shall be playing alongside with other nations which have world-class teams like Spain and Italy.
Together with the Philippines, the other nations represented in the 2014 Mundialido are Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Colombia, Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Spain and Ukraine, plus 2 ethnic teams called Senza Frontiere and Rappresentante ROM, respectively.
The trophy cup for the champion of the Mundialido was specially designed by the President of the Italian Republic. During the month-long tournament, the participating teams compete in divisions for the elimination rounds, with the two succeeding teams to face each other in the final scheduled on 29 June 2014. More information on the tournament is found at www.mundialido.it.
FILIPINO ARTIST IN ITALY RECOGNIZED AT THE CELEBRATION OF THE NATIONAL ARTS MONTH IN ROME
The Philippine Embassy in Rome celebrated the National Arts Month by featuring young Filipino artist Paul Alex M. Samaniego in recognition of his artistic talent and valuable contribution in strengthening appreciation for the story of Filipino migration in Italy.
In a ceremony at the Embassy Social Hall on 27 February 2014, Mr. Samaniego held a public showing of his 15-minute video entitled “COLF”. COLF is an abbreviated term for “collaboratrice familiare” which translates into “domestic worker”.
“COLF” was produced entirely by Mr. Samaniego from direction, script, cinematography, editing, performing and musical score. It was exhibited for the first time at the 2013 New Florence Biennale where it won the second prize ("Lorenzo il Magnifico") in the category Video Art.
Born in 1989, Mr. Samaniego graduated from the Via di Ripetta Art School in Rome. He started public exhibitions of his works at age 19, and since 2008 has conducted art exhibits in Florence, Milan and Rome.
The son of Filipino migrants, Mr. Samaniego is a second-generation Filipino in Italy who has been inspired by the human experiences that define Filipino migration in Italy. His mother and father, a teacher and a nurse in the Philippines, respectively, migrated to Italy in the 80’s and previously worked as COLF in search of a brighter future for their family.
Mr. Samaniego also has a promising career in visual advertising but had personally decided to work as a COLF himself to gain inspiration for his works and trace his roots.
In her message during the ceremony, CDA Lora-Santos congratulated Mr. Samaniego for his artistic genius and perseverance, despite enormous challenges. Mr. Samaniego’s parents were likewise praised for raising a son who serves as an inspiration to Filipino youth in Italy, specially the second-generation.
The month of February was declared as National Arts Month (NAM) through Presidential Proclamation No. 683 signed in 1991.