The Commission on Filipinos Overseas, through its Migrant Integration and Education Division, hosted its first episode of CFO Live! Entitled OZapang Pinoy, featuring relevant information for Filipino emigrants bound for Australia. The said episode was live-streamed via Streamyard and Facebook Live.

Allan Ducusin and Kathleen Faye Ruga
Hosts, Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)


Joel Buenaventura, M.D.
Chief Health Program Officer of the Department of Health


CFO Officers Allan Ducusin and Kathleen Faye Ruga served as the hosts. The program opened with an interview of Dr. Joel Buenaventura, Chief Health Program Officer of the Department of Health. He discussed the BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19, a prevention campaign spearheaded by the DOH on behalf of the Inter-Agency Task Force, in coordination with the Presidential Communications Operations Office. BIDA stands for: Bawal walang mask, Isanitize ang mga kamay, Dumistansya ng isang metro, Alamin ang totoong impormasyon.

Ms. Norminda Forteza
The Chaplain and former Managing Director of the Australian-Filipino Community Services Inc.


Following the discussion of the health protocols, the Chaplain and former Managing Director of the Australian-Filipino Community Services Inc., Ms. Norminda Forteza, presented the current status of overseas Filipinos in Australia, how they are coping amidst the pandemic and other matters concerning the Filipino community.

The online discourse was divided into three (3) parts:

1) The Honeymoon Stage;
2) The Adjustment Stage, and
3) the Settlement Stage.

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Dionnybel Sarate
Resource Persons from Brisbane, Australia


For the first segment, the Honeymoon Stage

Invited guests Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Dionnybel Sarate from Brisbane answered the frequently asked questions of aspiring Filipino emigrants to Australia. Queries about lodging, clothing, food, registration of children to school, and accessing general services were addressed. They also emphasized the need to set goals and expectations before going to Australia.

Ms. Catherine Reyes
Resource Person from Australia


Ms. Nikki Velez
Resource Person from Australia


Ms. Catherine Reyes and Ms. Nikki Velez, who are also both residents of Australia, shared their insights, tips, and tricks for their fellow Filipinos who are planning to migrate to Australia.


Mr. Alvin Lustre and Ms. Jennifer Bermejo
Resource Persons from Australia


For the second segment, The Adjustment Stage

Mr. Alvin Lustre and Ms. Jennifer Bermejo, a couple residing in Australia, provided pointers on how to look for a job and prepare for the first day of work in Australia, and to always have a positive attitude in life. They, moreover, shared the adjustments they had to experience in their new work environment, and how they managed to thrive in their chosen career paths. The dialogue also gave the audiences information on the basic requirements in applying for a job in Australia, Australian work culture, and how to easily save money and appropriate your budget accordingly.

Mr. Raul Panlilio
Resource person from Australia


In the last part, which is The Settlement stage

Resource person Mr. Raul Panlilio shared the most significant changes he had to adapt to during his first year of migration to Australia. The viewers were likewise given some tips such as when to and when not to apply the saying “When in Australia, do as the Australians do” as migrating to an entirely new country means that you’re integrating into a different culture, opening up a lot of opportunities for yourself, without turning away from your Filipino heritage. He also mentioned how important it is to follow one’s heart and be brave, should he/she decide to migrate—and to consider Australia, being a friendly and progressive country.

The 2-hour online activity aimed to answer frequent queries brought to CFO’s attention about the challenges Filipino emigrants bound for Australia frequently face by inviting resource speakers with actual involvements and experiences to share on the matter. The invited speakers were very apt as they were once also prospective migrants to Australia, and are now happily living their lives in the Land Down Under.


Photo op after the successful airing of the first episode of CFO LIVE! OZapang Pinoy with Mr. Paul Avecilla, Mr. Allan Ducusin, Ms. Kathleen Faye Ruga, Ms. Janet Ramos, and Dir. Ivy Miravalles.