PG’s end of Year 2009

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Philippine Generations has seen a lot of change over the past 2 years. A change within the Filipino Community, a change in the amount of proactive Filipinos, a change in attitude towards the second generation, or children of migrant workers, there has even been a change within Philippine Generations. The correct word is expansion. As our community in the UK grows (some figures state 5 babies of Filipino origin born a day in the UK) so does Philippine Generations.
We started in August 2007 with 5 directors and we did everything. We had a Legal Officer, a General Secretary, a Treasurer and a Chairman and Vice Chairman connecting all the dots and building relationships. It was a successful combination! The nature of the beast is that things seem to snowball one way or the other, in a good way or a bad way, for us, it has been good. In 2007 we had 2 events, in 2008 we were involved in over 10 projects, this year, in 2009 we were involved in over 15 as well as receiving funding. In fact we had at least one event a month from May through to December!
The highlight of our year has been our first successful grant funding application! We obtained funding through Grassroot Grants and it has enabled us to put on our first funded events, both a success. Firstly our Kultura in workshops in July 2009, in which we offered free workshops in Philippine Dance, Philippine Martial Arts and Philippine themed drama. Secondly our Parol workshops in Dec 2009, this one involved traditional Parol making with bamboo as well as paper parols, baskets and Christmas decorations made from recycled materials, we had a gift shop with Filipino crafts and a café offering funnel cake, cup cakes and empanadas! We still have some funding left over for another project in 2010 to be announced!
A particular highlight is our continued collaboration and relationship with Asia House was They are the UK’s premier pan-Asian organization aimed at raising the profile of Asian countries in the UK. They have been in operation for over 10 years and their only real Filipino events have come through Philippine Generations; Philippine Cuisine in June 2008, Miguel Syjuco visit in March 2009, Kultura workshops in July 2009 and Bakal Boys premier in Dec 2009.
One thing that has also been a constant for us since 2007 is the support and assistance from the Philippine Embassy in London. They have had criticism in the past of not being accessible and there has been confusion about what they can actually do for the community other than passports and visas. However over the past 2-3 years there has been a real effort on their part to engage with the community, encourage the community to be proactive and more importantly connect with the children of migrant workers, something that hadn’t been done effectively enough before, at least not to the scale it is being done now. This is credit to the Philippine Embassy, the past couple of Ambassadors, and the entire current staff.
We also organized our first sporting event, the PG Charity Golf Day and our first musical event, the Guanabana Gig, both in aid of the Typhoon victims in the Philippines. What we have shown in our 2 years is our diversity, we have been involved in events and projects in relation to Networking, Cuisine, Sport, Literature, Dance, Drama, Martial Arts, Music, Art, Culture, crafts, Film, Politics, we have appeared on both UK and Filipino TV and we even had a short film made about us in August 2009 by a British documentary maker! The film is titled ‘We are’ and can be seen on our website and on youtube.
Recently we have seen Filipino faces on TV, not just Myleene Klass, Rebecca Grant, Rhoda Montemayor, Vanessa White or the Cachero sisters, but Tru Colorz almost made it through to the latter part of the audition process for X factor. In the same show, Graziella Affinita went through to the live finals as part of Miss Frank. This week we saw the Animaineax win the ‘Move like Michael Jackson’ TV Show in which the winners perform at the official tribute concert next year! And currently competing a dance competition ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Mark Calepe has gone through the next stage. The amount of Filipinos twittering and facebooking about voting should serve as an inspiration for Filipino talent – the Filipino community will support you if you acknowledge them. It is great personally, for my kids to grow up and see a Filipino face on TV, however brief. All I had growing up to relate to was Michael Chang, some Fil-Ams (more Ams than Fils) and a mail order bride character on Emmerdale! This is progress!
We aim to find the heroes of tomorrow, we want to help provide our future generations with individuals and groups they can relate to and hopefully aspire to be like. This does not have to be dancers, musicians, singers or actors, there are numerous Filipinos within the community making a success out of their business and careers that often go unnoticed. So far on my travels in my day job within online recruitment advertising industries, I am often the only Filipino a client has ever had a meaningful conversation with, suddenly I am an ambassador for the Philippines, if I give them a bad impression they may tar other Filipinos with that same brush. A good example is when I worked for a financial consultancy in the city, a Partner in the firm found out I was Filipino and jokingly apologized for any offence he caused me in the past just so long as I didn’t pull a knife out on him, a reference to a series of events involving Filipinos in the mid-90’s that was in very bad taste. The only Filipinos I deal with are either administrators in Dubai or the wives of clients…this will change. For instance our Legal Officer is a City Lawyer at a top 100 UK Law Firm and one of her fellow lawyers in her firm is also Filipina! There are numerous Filipinos with their own businesses, from automotive shops to restaurants to design companies, these are the real heroes who represent our country in the UK on a daily basis. The same is true for those in traditionally Filipino professions; hospitality, nursing and domestic staff.
Together we can make a difference. Join the movement. If our children gain confidence in their own ethnic identity and find doors are opened to them in the future thanks to our efforts today, then we will have made the world a better place, fact.
If you would like to find out more about us or how you can get involved please contact us on:
Email: info@philippinegenerations.org
Tell: 078 9870 8319

By Adrian Williams


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