Essay-writing Contest on Overseas Filipinos Attracts 250 Plus Entries, UP Student Wins Top Prize


The Filipino Australian
Posted by the TFA Staff
February 24, 2015

More than 250 students from across eight countries shared their research findings, insights and in some cases personal experiences in the recently concluded international essay-writing contest on “The Overseas Filipinos and their Impact on the Philippines.”


In the interview with USP4GG Essay Writing Ad-Hoc Committee chairperson Dr Celia Lamkin, TFA also gathered that the eight countries with students participation are Philippines, United States, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Greece. Philippine-based students are from schools in Nueva Viscaya, Benguet, Central and Western Luzon, National Capital Region, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.The contest, divided into two divisions: college and high school, was sponsored by US Pinoys For Good Governance (USP4GG) in conjunction with the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora (February 25-27) in Manila.

The list of winners was released on Tuesday February 24.

UP Diliman student Justin Keith Baquisal was First Place in the College division with his winning entry, “Saviors and Spectators: Overseas Filipinos and the Politics of Continuity and Change in the Philippines.”

In the High School division, the First Place position was a tie between Patrick Duane Noche (Calayan Educational Foundation, Inc., Lucena City) for his essay, “Mockingjay”, and Eugenie Marie Pranada (Phil School of Bahrain, Bahrain) who entered an essay titled “Overseas Filipino Workers: The Scattered Stars”.

College students Dia Marmi Bazar (Misamis University, Misamis Occidental) and Jeremy Mosquito (Saint Mary’s University, Nueva Viscaya) were second and third place, respectively. Hazel Ivy Jeremias (The Lewis College, Sorsogon) and Yvone Dayne Luis (Durat Al Sharq International School, Jeddah KSA) were declared second and third place, respectively, in the High School division.


College Division: Justin Keith Baquisal, Dia Marmi Bazar, Jeremy Mosquito, Clark Arthur Robles (National University Manila), Jasper Alcalas (University of Sto Tomas), Guillian Mecate (Lyceum of the Philippines University), Jericho Concepcion (De La Salle University), Argie Sumiguin (Malayan Colleges Manila), Alfonso Manalastas (Fr Saturnina Urios University Butuan City), and Christine Joan Din (The Lewis College Sorsogon City).

High School Division: Patrick Duane Noche, Eugenie Marie Pranada, Hazel Ivy Jeremias, Yvonne Dayne Luis, Patricia Mae Dacanay (Lagro High School Caloocan City), Jeni Ruth Olarte (The Lewis College Sorsogon City), Hannah Mimbisa (Dural Al Bhara International School, Jeddah KSA), Ezekiel Gumaru (Taj International School, Riyadh KSA), Julie Ann Asuncion (Philippine School of Bahrain, Bahrain), Samantha Mae Jeanine Sacdalan (Philippine School of Bahrain, Bahrain), Rex Meynard Cervales (Capiz National High School, Roxas City), Ericka Lacsamana Pare (Philippine Emirates Private School, United Arab Emirates), and Trischa Sheen Dumanjug (Ozamiz City National High School, Misamis Occidental).

The winners will receive their awards on Thursday February 26.

Panel of Judges

The judging panel comprised of:

Dr. Josefina G Tayag DPA – retired Vice chancellor of UP Manila;

Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay – grand winner of 2013 Essay Contest on West Philippine Sea and a community reporter of Sunstar;

Romy Cayabyab – multi-award winning publisher-editor of the Filipino Australian Online News;

George Chua – CEO and President of Bayan Automotive Manufacturing, and Chairman of the Philippine Association Manufacturing Industries;

Atty Lolita Farmer OAM – immigration lawyer in Australia;

Mithi Aquino-Thomas – a Hospitality and Human Resources specialist, wife of former US Ambassador to the Philippines Mr Harry Thomas;

Nimfa Gamez – CEO and President of California USA-based hospital and health-care provider Mission-Hope Developmental Services, Inc.

Gene Alcantara – Chair of ENFID and an immigration consultant in the United Kingdom;

Zaldy Dandan – Editor of Marianas Variety newspaper on Saipan; and

Dr. Celia Lamkin MD – retired Physician, chair of USP4GG Marianas chapter CNMI and Guam and chair of Global Filipino Diaspora Marianas and chair of Ad Hoc Committee of Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos.

Impressive Turnout and Quality

The contest is the second international contest sponsored by USP4GG. The first contest on “The West Philippine Sea and Its Impact on the Philippines” was conducted in February 2013 during the Second Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora held in Makati.

“The turnout and quality of the entries are very impressive, excellent and have met the focus of the theme,” said Dr Lamkin in the interview with TFA.

Dr Lamkin also said that during the judging, her email provider’s spam-filters mistakenly blocked her bulk transmissions to the judges and she had to send her messages with attachments in small batches which delayed the judging process.

“We encountered technical problems, but I am glad we overcame those hurdles”, Dr Lamkin said adding that she would like to acknowledge the support of CFO Secretary Imelda Nicolas, Atty Ted Laguatan, Atty Loida Nicolas-Lewis and many others including those in the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Education.



The Filipino Australian
Posted by the TFA Staff
February 24, 2015


Japan Grants One-Year Extension for Filipino Nurses and Caregivers


Filipina Women's Network (FWN)
5 March 2015

The Japanese government has decided to extend work visas with an additional year to Filipino and Indonesian nurses and caregivers.  The additional year will enable them to further their training and retake their qualification exams to work in Japan.  This decision is aimed at giving potential nurses and caregivers a better chance of passing their exams and securing permission to work in the profession.  

This third extension will affect 93 nurses and caregivers from Indonesia who arrived in Japan in 2012 and 300 Filipino and Indonesian candidate nurses and caregivers who arrived in 2013.  This move will benefit those who failed the exams but were able to meet certain conditions such as having a relatively good scores in the last qualifying exams they took. The low passing rates has been due to the language barrier.   

New candidates arriving will take language lessons for six months as well as on-the-job training. Candidate nurses are given three chances to take the exams, but caregivers are given only one  This extension will make it possible for prospective nurses to sit the text four times and caregivers twice.

Japanese Consul General Maria Teresa Taguiang has advised Filipinos to learn how to speak and read Nihonggo in order to look for employment in Japan as the demand for English teachers and caregivers are high.


Filipina Women's Network (FWN)*|RSSFEED%3ADATE|*&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_43e2304caa-982d93b406-341672113&goal=0_43e2304caa-982d93b406-341672113&mc_cid=982d93b406&mc_eid=5217a3ee44
5 March 2015


Winners of Overseas Filipinos Essay Contest Honored

25 March 2015

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Dr. Celia Lamkin with Justin Keith Baquisal of UP Diliman, grand winner of Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos during the awards ceremony on February 26, at Manila Hotel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

MANILA – Winners of the Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos were feted during an awards ceremony February 26 at the Manila Hotel during the gala dinner of the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora held in Manila.

The essay contest with the theme “The Overseas Filipinos and their impact on the Philippines” was launched by the US Pinoys for Good Governance Marianas chapter (CNMI and Guam) Chairperson Dr. Celia Lamkin in collaboration with the Commission on Overseas and its chairperson, Secretary Imelda Nicolas.

There were 257 essay entries received by the USP4GG Ad Hoc Committee from both College and High School Categories from nine different countries: Philippines, USA, Greece, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, China, Bahrain, Qatar.

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(From left) Mrs. Jeremias, mother of Hazel Ivy Jeremias, 2nd prize winner (High School category) of The Lewis College in Sorsogon City, Dr. Celia Lamkin, Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis, Hazel Ivy Jeremias, 2nd prize winner, Justin Keith Baquisal, grand winner (College category), CFO Secretary Imelda Nicolas, Atty. Lolita Farmer, Mr. Jefferson Baquisal, father of Justin Keith Baquisal, and Jeremy Mosquito, 3rd prize winner (College category) of St. Mary’s University at Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya.

Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III sent congratulations to the winners: “Our countrymen have sacrificed much so that we can build upon the foundations they toiled for us. Let your perspectives and insights motivate our kababayans to intensify their support for our fellows in distant shores.”
The winners are the following:

College Category
Justin Keith Baquisal – First Prize of the University of the Philippines, Diliman
Dia Marmi Bazar – Second Prize of Misamis University at Misamis Occidental
Jeremy Mosquito- Third Prize of St. Mary’s University at Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya

High School
Patrick Duane Noche – First Prize of Calayan Educational Foundation,Inc at Lucena city
Eugenie Marie Pranada – First Prize of Philippine School of Bahrain
Hazel Ivy Jeremias – Second Prize of The Lewis College at Sorsogon city
Yvonne Dayne Luis -Third Prize of Durat Al Sharq International School at Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Grand winner Justin Keith Baquisal said, “As mass out-migration has become a trend since the 1970’s, the task for today’s generation is to critically examine the phenomenon and its effects on our private lives and public issues. I think we should continue to locate the overseas Filipino community in the narrative of our nationhood. They may be geographically far from us, often becoming citizens of other states either by economic necessity or free will, but I think their experiences should vitalize rather than be relegated from talks about national development.”

Eugenie Marie Pranada said, “The topic of the essay contest is timely, challenging, and relevant. The contest provided channels from the youth around the globe to come to one destination -the hearts of the OFWs. Also, this aided the realization and the discovery of the reader on what views the author has to offer to the world. Lastly, like any other writing competitions, all the contenders let their hearts speak. That’s how we won…the experience.”

400x533xwith loida et al 251 300x400.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ss7jgJ5dWIe6cGbyQNFj
(From left) Dr. Celia Lamkin, USP4GG Marianas chapter chair; Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis, USP4GG national chair; Aurora Aguinaldo, USP4GG member from New York; Treenee Lopez, Chairperson of Global Pinoys Diaspora in Canada.

The judges of the essay contest were:

Dr. Josefina G. Tayag,DPA, retired vice-chancellor of UP Manila; Zaldy Dandan, editor of Marianas Variety, Atty.Lolita Farmer,OAM, an immigration lawyer in Australia; George Chua, President and CEO of Bayan Automative Industries Corporation and President of Philippine Industries ( FPI) ; Mithi Aquino-Thomas, an experienced instructor and trainer in the customer service industry and wife of former US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas, Jr.

Gene Alcantara, chair of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora ( ENFiD) and immigration consultant in London; Juanita Nimfa Gamez, one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the US in 2007 and CEO and president of a home care business in California; Romy Cayabyab, founder and publisher of the award-winning Internet publishing and media company in Sydney, Australia.

Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay, grand winner of USP4GG Essay Contest on West Philippine Sea and a community journalist/reporter for the Sun Star Publishing,Inc; and Dr. Celia B. Lamkin, chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee for USP4GG Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos, founding chairperson of Global Filipino Diaspora Marianas and founding member, Board Member and Secretary of Global Filipino Diaspora Council.

25 March 2015


INVITATION REMINDER: DISRUPTing Washington DC in cooperation with the U.S. Philippine Society @ Embassy of the Philippines

 DISRUPTing Washington DC: 
Friday, June 26 @ Embassy of the Philippines -


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