Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos Launched

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In 2012, the Commission on Overseas Filipinos ( CFO), a government agency under the Office of the President of the Philippines which is headed by Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas, estimated that approximately 10.5 million Filipinos worked or resided abroad.

The contest is open to all Filipino students or of Filipino descent in the Philippines or overseas, from 10 to 25 years old who are enrolled in high school and college.

Submissions start from December 31, 2014 to February 1, 2015. Entries should be submitted by email only atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The theme of the essay is “The Overseas Filipinos and their impact in the Philippines." 

 The essay should focus on:

1. The contributions of Overseas Filipinos to the economy of the Philippines. The importance of the participation of overseas Filipinos in the Philippine elections.

2. What are the social risks that the children and families of overseas Filipinos face due to long years of separation or long distance relationships?

3. Why are the overseas Filipinos called to be the  ” new heroes” of the Philippines? Please describe the traits of overseas Filipinos which make them unique as global immigrants and Overseas Filipino Workers ( OFWs).

Contestants are encouraged to read books, publications, and the Internet on various articles regarding the theme.

The essay must be original. It must not be previously published in print or online nor in any visual and/or auditory recording. It must be in English and must not be more than 1,500 typed words and should be in MS word format.

Prize ranges from 25,000 to 3,000 pesos ($500 to $ 60). The school/college/university of the first prize winning essays will receive 10,000 pesos ($220) each.

Every student entry must contain the confirmation of the school principal, college/university dean or president that the essay is written by and originated from the student. Signature of the school principal, college or university president or dean, address, email address and telephone number are required to authenticate the student entry.

Only one entry per person will be accepted. The entry form is available at or it can be requested by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . A parental consent, authorization and liability waiver form is required for minor student. Adult students, for their part, must submit a student consent, authorization and liability waiver form.

A panel of judges, selected by the US Pinoys for Good Governance Ad Hoc Committee for Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos, will make the final decision. The panel is composed of prominent lawyers, journalists, retired educators and university administrators, consultants, among others.

The awards ceremony will be held during the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora on February 25-27, 2015, at Manila Hotel  in Manila, Philippines,  where approximately 600 participants from different countries are expected to attend. 

Attorney Loida Nicolas Lewis, national chairperson of US Pinoys for Good Governance, says, " It is good to listen to what the youth feel about Filipinos Overseas because they themselves may be children of Filipinos who went abroad to seek financial resources to give their family a better future." 

US Pinoys for Good Governance, headed by national chairwoman attorney Loida Nicolas Lewis, president attorney Rodel Rodis and legal counsel/spokesman attorney Ted Laguatan, is a nonprofit organization based in New York, whose mission is a better life for Filipinos everywhere and a better Philippines.

For more information, email Dr. Celia Lamkin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Norman Silvestre atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information on the USP4GG, visit

Essay Contest on Overseas Filipinos Rules and Official Entry Form



By Dr. Celia B. Lamkin
Chairperson, US Pinoys for Good Governance Marianas chapter 
(CNMI and Guam) 
December 30, 2014


Instituto Cervantes holds a film series on migration issues


The Philippine Star
Lifestyle Feature
April 27, 2015


MANILA, Philippines - Instituto Cervantes — in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain, the AECID Filmotheque, and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila — presents "En Tránsito," a film cycle dedicated to a widely featured theme in Spanish and Philippine cinema: immigration.

The cycle will kick off with the film Edna (Ronnie Lazaro, 2014), on April 28, 6 p.m., at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. Edna is Lazaro's take on real and imagined fears of overseas Filipino workers, as characterized by Edna (Irma Adlawan). Staged in three parts, the film attempts to walk the audience from a thrilling arrival to an astonishing departure. The movie will be presented by its director Ronnie Lazaro.

After the opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the film series will continue in Instituto Cervantes. On May 9, at 2 p.m., Edna will be rescreened at Instituto Cervantes.

The following Saturday, May 16, will be the turn for a Spanish documentary, El tren de la memoria, directed by Marta Arribas y Ana Pérez in 2005.

On May 23, at 2 p.m., Instituto Cervantes will present another documentary, Extranjeras (Foreign Women). The film shows the diverse aspects of the lives, hopes and experiences of various immigrant women living in Madrid. A fresh and different look at the social phenomenon of immigration in contemporary Spain.

Directed by Spanish filmmaker Icíar Bollaín in 1999, Flores de otro mundo will conclude the film series on May 30, at 2 p.m. The movie focuses on a group of women who arrive to a small town in the depopulated area of central Spain, where there is a scarcity of single women.

For details, visit or


The Philippine Star
Lifestyle Feature
April 27, 2015


Filipino Prodigy Law Graduate in Australia at 18


April 20, 2015

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PRODIGY. Jozef Erece in 2013. File photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino prodigy Jozef Erece became one of the youngest recipients of a law degree in the world at just 18 years old.

He graduated last Friday, April 17, from the University of Southern Queensland in Australia "at the age most students leave high school," according to The Chronicle.

"Whether through law, commerce, politics, the academia or otherwise, my humanist aspiration to precipitate empirically positive change will remain a constant," he told the newspaper.

A profile feature – shared with his sister – at the Australian Scholarships Group says "he holds the distinction of being the youngest lawyer to graduate at 18 years in the southern hemisphere."

Aside from this, the Filipino wonder is a Taekwondo black-belter, a semi-professional basketball player, and an orchestra violinist.

Erece's aspirations of becoming a lawyer started when Waikato University School of Law in New Zealand invited him to be the youngest law entrant on record. He entered law school in 2012.

Prior to this, he graduated Dux (valedictorian) at St. Peter’s Catholic School in Cambridge — becoming the first ever student of Asian descent to achieve it in the school’s 75-year history.

At the age of 10, he wrote an essay and sent it to Stanford University. As a result, he was invited to move to the United States to skip high school and enter Stanford.

Within weeks, London’s Oxford University also sent him an invite, this time to take their Maths and Physics program.

Despite these offers, he stayed in Australia to pursue law.

Other fields of interest

Born and raised 5,000 miles away from the Philippines, Jozef never fails to look back to his roots here. Every 5 years, his family comes home to spend time with their relatives.

“There’s this feeling of real love and real connection for me with the Philippines. I may have grown up in New Zealand but my heart stays at home: the Philippines,” Jozef had told Rappler in an exclusive interview back in 2013.

His basketball credentials include captaining the Saint John's College senior team to a regional championship, copping the MVP trophy in the process. He later skippered the Waikato University Under-17 squad.

After that, Jozef brought his wares to Australia, where he first became back-to-back MVP for the Springfield Brumbies in the Ipswich City league before turning heads when he received an invitation to join the Nike All-Australian tour to the United States.

He was the youngest athlete competing at the Greater Brisbane League Gold, a semi-pro level tournament in Australia. He has since been invited to play for the New Zealand National Team and Queensland (AUS) but turned it down to avoid complications when he tried out to play for the Philippines.

Jozef is also 3rd Dan Black belt holder of the Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Headquarters in Korea. He became a member of New Zealand’s Olympic demonstration team when he was just 9 years old. He later on became an instructor at the Waikato University Taekwondo Club. – With reports from Danielle Nakpil/


April 20, 2015


Fil-Am Named Head of NY City’s Human Rights Commission


Philippine Daily Inquirer
by US Bureau

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New Chair of New York City’s Commission on Human Rigts Carmelyn P. Malalis. CHR WEBSITE PHOTO

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Carmelyn P. Malalis, a Filipino-American lawyer and activist, chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights (the commission), which had faced criticism for lethargy.

Malalis vowed to revitalize the commission, which is responsible for New York City’s efforts to enforce the New York City Human Rights Law, educate the public about the law, and work with governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations with similar functions.

Malalis’ appointment follows more than a decade of her career in private practice as an advocate for employees’ rights in the workplace. As Chair and Commissioner of the Commission, Malalis leads an agency with the dual roles of investigating complaints of discrimination and retaliation in employment, housing and public accommodations; and providing outreach, education and training to the public to prevent discrimination before it occurs and avert intergroup tension.

Prior to her appointment, Malalis was a partner at Outten & Golden LLP. She joined the firm in 2004 and represented individuals and classes of employees in New York City and across the country in civil rights and employment actions.

At the firm, she co-founded and co-chaired its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workplace Rights Practice Group; co-chaired its Disability and Family Responsibilities Discrimination Practice Group; and successfully represented employees in negotiations, agency proceedings, and litigations involving claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination based on race, national origin, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy, disability, and religious discrimination.

Previously, Malalis worked as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and for the Honorable

Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In recognition of her professionalism, commitment to civil rights and human rights, and her contributions to different marginalized communitiesMalalis has been awarded numerous honors throughout her career, including the Arthur S. Leonard Award (The New York City Bar Association), a Community Vision Award (The Lesbian & Gay Law Association of Greater New York), a Women on the Move Award (The Arthritis Foundation), a Pro Bono Publico Award (The Legal Aid Society), an inaugural Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Award (The National LGBT Bar Association), and a Visionary and Policymaker Award as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the US (Filipina Women’s Network).

Malalis, a daughter of Filipino immigrants, earned her law degree from the Northeastern University School of Law and received a B.A. in women’s studies from Yale University. She and her spouse live in Brooklyn with their two children.


Philippine Daily Inquirer
by US Bureau


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