The story of Philippine Generations Ltd. began at a forum held at the Philippine Embassy. The forum was aimed at tackling perceived problems Filipino Youth face in the UK. The key issue raised was the notion of the ‘second generation’. This term refers to the children of overseas migrant workers. Not many people are aware of the many cultural, identity and social difficulties faced by the second generation that were born in the UK and are undeniably British. The lack of Filipino leaders and organisations already addressing this issue was apparent. There were not focused nor fully utilising the second generation of Filipinos in the UK.
Through various conversations and meetings amongst people of the second generation, it was discovered that there were several groups of individuals discussing the same issue: a Filipino Cultural Identity. A large forum was held in the upstairs bar of Cineworld Docklands; present were several influential Filipino groups and around 30 people including the future directors of Philippine Generations. The culmination of this forum was the first Annual Philippine Independence Day Celebration held at the Wall Bar at Liverpool St on 9th June 2007 which was organised by PinoysFinest UK with the help of Philly4life.com and New-Manila.com, all present at the Docklands meeting.
The success and level of interest created by the celebration led to numerous meetings between the future directors of Philippine Generations Ltd., the Philippine Embassy and the second generation individuals and groups got involved in the celebration. It was from these meetings that the idea of an independent second generation led charity was born.
‘Philippine Generations Limited’ is a non-profit charitable community-based organisation awaiting. There are five Directors making up the Executive Committee; Adrian Williams (Chair), Vincent Fajilagmago (Vice-Chair), Mireille Vizcarra (Treasurer), Claire Bernabe (Legal Officer) and Mae Williams (General Secretary). Philippine Generations Ltd. had its constitution signed in a public ceremony on 9th August 2007. Those present were the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the Chair of the Westminster Partnership for Racial Equality, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Philippine Embassy, the Chairman of the Philippine Centre and various other individuals representing different Filipino groups and press. We are set up as a limited company by guarantee and we received our company number on 16th August 2007.
Philippine Generations Limited exists to raise the awareness of and promote the Philippines, its people and culture to multicultural Britain. Through our events and programmes we build responsive and sustainable networks by providing information, support and networking opportunities designed to educate, inspire and enrich the Filipino-British community. Support from the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Asia House, Westminster Partnership for Racial Equality and the Philippine Embassy is testament to this.
Our central function is to raise the profile of the Philippines, its people and culture within multicultural Britain. One of the biggest issues the Filipino Community has is the lack of a definitive Philippine Centre providing Cultural, economic and social services to the Filipino-British Community. Our ultimate aim is to establish a centre in Westminster to act as a focal point for the Filipino-British community. Integral to this is the development of a sustainable open-air event in Westminster open to all to celebrate the Philippines, its people and culture.
We have chosen to base ourselves in Westminster because it is arguably the most popular and culturally diverse borough of London. The story of the Filipino migrant worker is deeply ingrained in Westminster. During the wave of the early 1970’s many of the initial Filipinos worked and lived in Westminster. Many working several jobs a week at various hotels, hospitals and private residences. To this day the Filipino community in Westminster is a somewhat transient one, many still come to Westminster to visit the churches they first visited when they arrived in the UK and for work.
Our aim is to raise the confidence and awareness of the Philippine culture within the Filipino community, but also to raise the profile of the Philippines, its people and culture within multicultural Britain. This must happen through being both media-savvy and ensuring we are being seen and heard in high profile areas such as Westminster. More people will experience our culture in highly commercial areas such as Hyde Park, Oxford St and Trafalgar Square, than in the densely populated areas of East London or the highly residential area of Hounslow.