Ambassador Laurel receives the updated Virtual Sentro Rizal from CFO officers Francisco Calingasan and Rodrigo Garcia Jr.

As part of its continuing efforts to promote Filipino language and culture overseas, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas turned over the latest edition of the Virtual Sentro Rizal (VSR) to Philippine Ambassador to Japan H.E. Jose C. Laurel V at the sidelines of the Month of Overseas Filipinos International Forum held at the Philippine Embassy, Tokyo, Japan on November 17, 2019.

Complementing the VSR are various advocacy materials given such as CFO publications and shirts.

The VSR is a project of the CFO that brings the traditional mode of appreciating Filipino heritage into the digital age. It is a portable, multi-lingual collection of selected Filipiniana references contained in an external hard drive which were culled from the library collection of the National Commission for Culture & the Arts with additional materials sourced from cooperating producers and publishers.

This initiative is in compliance with Section XII of Republic Act No. 10066 – the National Cultural Heritage Law (2009) – which calls for the institutionalization of Sentro Rizal/s to serve as physical venues for the promotion of Philippine history, language, arts and culture in areas with significant numbers of overseas Filipinos.

While the virtual nature of the collection allows cultural dissemination beyond borders and is purposively designed to appeal to the tech-savvy generation, this compilation is a modest attempt to introduce the Philippines via distance learning to Filipino as well as foreign audiences.

The translation of the texts into Filipino, Ilocano, Sebwano, Bicolano, Mëranaw, and Spanish provides a teaching/learning tool for culture educators that also promotes the use of the Filipino language and the development of the Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education program.

The translation of the texts into Spanish was piloted to address the importance of cross-cultural understanding by making Philippine culture accessible to foreigners and especially to the growing number of transnational diaspora youth born to Filipino marriage migrants worldwide.