British Filipina witnesses attack on the royal Rolls-Royce

According to ABS-CBN Europe, a British Filipina witnessed the attack on Prince Charles’ car.

Jenalyn Masilungan, who joined the march against increased tuition fees, said, “We’re not protesting against Prince Charles because he’s done nothing wrong to us. He has no say in what the government does. And I think it shouldn’t have got so out of hand with Prince Charles. That was the big story. No one cared about the protest, everyone cared about the attack on Prince Charles.”

Read the full article: Brit-Pinay witnesses attack against Prince Charles (ABS-CBN Europe)

Manila ranked 9th most dynamic city in the world

In the post-recession world, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program ranked Manila as no. 9 on the 30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World. Surprised? Anyone who’s been to Manila recently won’t have failed to notice the construction boom so perhaps there’s something to this.

“Talk about relying on overseas capital: The Philippines depends so heavily on remittances from far-flung Filipino workers that a 7 percent boost in mailed cash this year dramatically improved the country’s economic projections for 2010. Healthy tourism and demand for IT products helped Manila crack the top ten in Brookings’ rankings for the first time.”

Source: The Atlantic – 30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World

New U.K. time travel novel featuring Filipino characters and locations

Image of 'Glow' book cover

Author C Ramos-Stovin contacted us to introduce his debut novel, ‘Glow: The Infinite Realms and Uncertain Certainties of Time’, which will be released on hardback on 11 October 2010. Glow is an exciting, intelligent and action packed time travel/ghost story and
using his two daughters as inspiration.

Mr Ramos-Stovin is an Englishman married to a Filipina who came to the U.K. to perform in Miss Saigon and The King and I. He now has two daughters and since being married has become very close to a lot of Filipinos. He tells us that his love of the Philippines and its people inspired him to give something back to a country.

You can visit the official book website to download the first few chapters for free.

C Ramos-Stovin: “ABS-CBN asked me a few questions relating to the Philippines and these are
the answers I gave:

1) Why did you choose a British Pinay protagonist?

I chose to use a British Pinoy character for the female lead after
deciding that there were far too many male action leads and that for what
was needed in this story, there was no reason that the character
shouldn’t be a female. I then very quickly came to the decision that if
the protagonist was to be a girl, then who better to base her on but my two
half Filipino daughters. I used traits from both and amalgamated them into
one character. Giving Filipinos something to be proud of as well as
something my daughters could read and really identify with as well as get
lost in. I then needed various locations and with no budget restraints, it
meant for the first time in my writing career, I could write whatever the
story needed, not what a limited budget would allow. So Manila was the
ideal choice for a number of chapters but I believe that any Filipino
reading will have never pictured the Philippines in this way. It’s a
unique story with a unique angle on who we are, where we come from and what
our futures could hold if we don’t take care of our planet. But it sets
the Philippines apart as a unique and wonderful setting for any story.

2) What do you hope to achieve? What kind of impact do you hope it will
make?

Ultimately I want everyone all over the world to read Glow because
it’s an entertaining, fun and action packed story that asks you to
question many things about what you know to be real. But I chose the
Philippines as the country of the protagonist Courtney, not just because of
my daughters, but because I have been to the Philippines many times and
seen the poverty and lack of resources that exist for the poor, in
particular the children. I hope that Glow can be read by as many
Filipino’s as possible because more than anything, it’s a story about a
young girl who has suffered massively in her life, but with determination
dares to say ‘I can achieve anything’. I want it to be enjoyed first,
but leave lingering thoughts long after you finish it and hopefully one
day, even if just one Filipino child takes something positive from the
story and implements it as an adult, then the story of Glow was really
worth documenting.”

Staff Nurses needed in Epsom [Job Ad]

Military Medical Personnel

Staff Nurses to work a variety of shifts at a Military Rehab Hospital in Epsom.

Must be NMC Registered and have lived in the UK for 3 out of the last 5 years.

It would be beneficial to have a car and a drivers’ licence, as the Public Transport links to the hospital are not great. Contact Steve on 0845 9000 197 to discuss or email steve@militarymedicalpersonnel.com

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The Barrio Fiesta sa London 2010

Edit: Information about the Barrio Fiesta sa London 2010 can be found here.

Organisers of the event have announced that The Barrio Fiesta sa London 2010 will on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July 2010. As usual, it will be held at Lampton Park, Hounslow, TW3 4DN.


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Miguel Syjuco, author of Ilustrado, to appear at Asia House

Miguel Syjuco – Ilustrado
with Maya Jaggi
Wednesday, 2 June 6.45pm

Acclaimed Filipino writer and winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, Syjuco appears at Asia House on the publication of his epic tale. Beginning with a body pulled out of the Hudson River, Ilustrado takes us to the Philippines for an entertaining, generations-long saga of revolution, familial duty, political intrigue, and a people’s enduring struggle against their own worst tendencies.

Miguel Syjuco was born in Manila in 1976, and has lived in Australia, the US and Canada (where he is currently resident). As well as winning the Man Asian Prize, the manuscript of Ilustrado was awarded the Grand Prize at the Palanca Awards, the Philippines’ highest literary honour. Miguel will be speaking with award winning journalist, critic and presenter Maya Jaggi.

Talk followed by a reception sponsored by PICADOR.

Asia House Members £5, Concessions £6 & Others £10 For booking: 020 7307 5454 or enquiries@asiahouse.co.uk Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP www.festivalofasianliterature.com

“Ilustrado” – a satire of the chaos and violence of Philippine politics | Phil-UK

As the Philippine election period draws to a close, the New York Times features Miguel Syjuco and his first novel, “Ilustrado”. It is a satire of the chaos and violence of Philippine politics which parallels his own life. Miguel Syjuco won the Man Asian Literary Prize for the book in 2008.

Read more about “Ilustrado” and Miguel Syjuco: An Expatriate Filipino Writes of a Parallel Life

Gene Alcantara Running for office in UK General Election

Gene Alcantara, a well-known personality in the UK’s Filipino community, is running for Parliament. See his message below.

Dear friends –

As you may now know I am running for Parliament for the northwest London constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn. I would be grateful if you could please forward this to relatives, friends, employers and possible supporters in the constituency. The electoral wards covered are Belsize, Brondesbury Park, Kilburn, Queen’s Park, Fortune Green, Frognal and Fitzjohns, Hampstead Town, Swiss Cottage, and West Hampstead. If anyone could help with donations, that would be very welcome too!

Many thanks and best wishes

Gene Alcantara

============

RUNNING FOR OFFICE

The announcement of the UK General Election on 6 May 2010 signals the start of the campaign to elect the 646 Members of Parliament across the nation. The event is also the starting point for the Filipino community in London to rally in support of British-Filipino compatriots who are running for office. These are yours truly, Gene Alcantara, running for a seat in Parliament for the newly created Hampstead and Kilburn constituency in Northwest London which combines wards from the London Boroughs of Brent and Camden. We then have two gallant community leaders running for local Councillor posts in East and West Ham in the east end of London, Eva Macadangdang and Tony Chavez. All three of us need the support of British-Filipinos in any way they can help, through canvassing, campaigning, leafletting or making a donation.

We British-Filipinos are probably mostly too busy making a living for ourselves and our families both in the United Kingdom and the Philippines to care about such things as empowerment for our community, and making people aware that we can be major participants in British society and public life. I think it is important to show that we are not just health workers, carers, hotel and catering service providers, factory, or domestic workers in the homes of the wealthy and the powerful. I know that we have respected professionals who are carving their careers in different spheres — some are in government, some in the public and private sectors, and many others are entrepreneurs. And there are a few British-Filipinas who have made it in the music business. But what we truly need now are visible British-Filipinos in positions of power who would be role models for our youth, and who would ensure that we as a community are included by decision-makers as a matter of course.

The black Africans/Caribbeans, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Bangladeshis all know the importance of attaining power through the ballot box. And they have been relatively successful in returning their compatriots, through their solid votes, to the House of Commons, the European Parliament, and of course local government. The Arabs, Chinese and the Spanish/Portuguese speakers are waking up to the need for political empowerment. We British-Filipinos can do what they can do, we have the brain-power to do so, and we have the heart, honesty and determination to do it well. Our sense of fair play, love of family and community would fit such a public service role perfectly.

It is vital that we correct now the growing trend by politicians and extremists of blaming the ills of British society on migrants, and it is disheartening to see the British government pandering to hostility towards migrants and ethnic minorities. Unfortunately scapegoating is a fact of life in modern Britain. For the sake of our children and their children who will be future citizens of Britain and Europe, we must fight back through the ballot box. We have been referred to as a ‘hidden community’ back in the early 1980s and with the way our community is ignored by the UK government and politicians, can we truly say that we are now not hidden? The only notice that the government pays attention to the community is through the draconian measures seemingly being adopted by the UK Border Agency when they pick up say erring NVQ students and illegal immigrants and remove them from the UK. Of course we cannot change everything, but at least we should try.

The past few British and European elections have not enticed British-Filipinos to the polling booths. It is disappointing that people are so apathetic, unlike in the Philippines where everyone seems so excited about the forthcoming presidential elections. In a way this is understandable, because people seem still to be in transient-mode, that they do not engage in local British matters because they think they are just guestworkers and will go back home one day soon. However the concerns of white voters are not necessarily incompatible with ethnic interests. We all want safety on our streets, affordable healthcare, education and housing. We all hanker for equality and fairness, and we all want to progress socially and economically.

So how do we get British-Filipinos in the UK excited and challenged about empowering themselves, like they are in the USA and Canada? In North America a large number of politicians with Filipino blood have been elected into office by solid blocks of Filipino-American or Filipino-Canadian votes. We can achieve this in the UK too, and we need to tell every British-Filipino that we actually can.

There are now an estimated 250,000 Filipinos in the UK who have come legitimately to this country since the latter part of the 1960s. In 2008/09 alone, a staggering 8,000+ Filipinos acquired British citizenship. A similar number acquired British citizenship in 2007/08. So potentially in the last 30 years alone, if let us say the numbers more or less stayed the same, we could now have over 200,000 potential voters of Filipino blood. And what about their spouses, their children, their relatives and friends? With an average of 5+ registrations of Filipino birth in the UK per day reported by the Philippine Embassy in London, the pool of potential voters is set to grow.

In a given Parliamentary constituency you only need around 15,000 votes to win a seat, and in local council positions 2,000 votes will swing seats your way. So this means that if concentrations of British-Filipinos, their relatives and friends in Hampstead & Kilburn and in East and West Ham truly registered and turned out to vote, and voted for British-Filipino candidates then we could have our first 3 elected British-Filipinos by the 7th of May.

You may call me a dreamer, but sometimes dreams come true. This is my vision — that one day we will elect British-Filipinos into positions of power in the UK and the bigger arena of Europe. That we will be seen as major participants in British, European and world affairs. That we will no longer be ignored, but seen as equal partners in achieving social and economic progress, that we will be treated fairly and with respect as British, European and indeed global citizens. Of course this needs cultural transformation on our part, and greater open-mindedness on the part of policy-makers. All this is why I am running for office.

Gene Alcantara

Parliamentary Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn

April 2010

http://www.facebook.com/l/b99af;genealcantara.com
alcantara.gene@gmail.com
Mobs 07958 429056 & 07788 513542

Mini-Documentary to Challenge the Negative Pinay Stereotype Released from Dubai

PRESS RELEASE

12 April 2010

Mini-Documentary to Challenge the Negative Pinay Stereotype Released from
DubaiDubai, UAE – Under the Patronage of the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi,
Filipino lifestyle magazine Illustrado has joined forces with Dubai-based
Filipino film director Kamil Roxas, Winner of the Hayah Film Competition at
the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) in 2008, to create
“The Empowered Filipina.” The mini-documentary film provides a
compelling message of Filipina empowerment that is slated to create
positive ripples throughout the Filipino expatriate community in the region
and around the world.

Illustrado Magazine’s Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Lalaine Benitez
states, “This film carries the message of empowerment which is the core
of our Women of Substance Project – and that is a call for Filipinas to
uplift themselves despite prevalent negative stereotypes.” She adds,
“The film has been created not only to make Filipinos aware of the
effects of Pinay stereotyping, especially here in the Gulf, but most
importantly to create that spark of positive action that will encourage
each Filipina to carve a better future for herself by further enriching her
talents and skills and developing love for self, confidence and
self-respect.”

According to Kamil Roxas, “I think a documentary has always been a
beautiful medium and a vitally necessary form of information. Even more so
when the subject is something that you can really respond to. And so for my
part, it was a choice to capture not only the exploitation and stereotyping
but also to change the incorrect mindset some people have of Filipinas and
to share that with as many people as we possibly can.” He continues,
“Luckily for us, the need to make it, and the need to raise as much
awareness resonates with everyone involved in the production and has
propelled us through the very long process of shooting this film.”

“The Empowered Filipina” which had its premiere screening at
Illustrado’s Women of Substance event in Dubai on the 27th March 2010 was
released on the WWW today via Youtube and through social networking sites. The mini-documentary whose trailer has been the topic of lively discussion
on the internet has gained excitement and anticipation throughout the
Filipino community around the world, will be rolled-out in independent
screenings events through links with Filipino schools, community
organizations, Philippine government offices, NGOs, women’s groups,
socio-civic as well as spiritual groups. To date, the film showing is
already slated for the UAE, Bahrain, Thailand, Malaysia, Ireland, Norway,
Canada, Germany, and the Philippines.