The Story of Philippine Generations

The story of Philippine Generations began in March of this year. Adrian and Mae Williams were asked to attend a forum at the Philippine Embassy, which was aimed at tackling perceived problems Filipino Youth face in the UK. It was here that the notion of the 2nd generation became a key issue.

The term ‘2nd generation’ refers to the children of overseas migrant workers. Not many people are aware of the many cultural, identity and social difficulties faced by 2nd generation immigrants. There is a whole generation of Filipinos who were born in the UK and are undeniably British. Growing up in London, and learning the difference of being British and being a part of an ethnic minority is not always easy. The social status of Filipinos when compared to some ethnic minorities especially in the UK is also not altogether positive. Trying to find Filipino leaders and organisations who were already addressing this issue is difficult. There are none that are focused and fully utilise the 2nd Generation of Filipinos here in the UK.

Throughout spring and early summer, various conversations and meetings amongst like-minded 2nd Generation individuals were conducted and it was discovered there were various groups of individuals discussing the same issue of the Filipino cultural identity. With the combined effort of Vincent Fajilagmago and both Adrian & Mae Williams, a big forum was held in the upstairs bar of Cineworld Docklands. Present were several influential Filipino groups and around 30 people, as well as the future directors of Philippine Generations. The culmination of this forum was the first Annual Philippine Independence Day Party held at the Wall Bar, Liverpool St, on 9th June 2007 organised by PinoysFinest UK with the help of Philly4life.com and New-Manila.com, all present at the Docklands meeting. This event, for the first time, gave young Filipinos the opportunity to show some national pride along the same lines as St. Patrick’s Day and Chinese New Year does for their respective celebrants.

After a series of further get-togethers with the Philippine Embassy and with fellow second generation Filipinos, the idea of an independent charity was born. ‘Philippine Generations Limited’ is a non-profit community-based organisation awaiting a charity number. There are now five Directors that make 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 aim to promote appreciation, awareness, understanding and the culture of the Philippines, their arts, religions, and economies, and to foster closer relations between the Filipino community and British mainstream Society. Support from the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Asia House, Westminster Partnership for Racial Equality and the Philippine Embassy is testament to this.