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PAHK promises ‘exciting year’ for Filipinos in HK

20 January 2017

Members of the 2017 Board of Directors of the Philippine Association of Hong Kong are offered a toast by Consul-General Bernardita Catalla after inducting them into office in rites held at the Consulate. Photo by Frederick Suarez

By Daisy CL Mandap

From monthly pep talks over lunch to reviving old traditions like Family Day, the new leadership of the Philippine Association of Hong Kong is promising an exciting year for Filipinos in Hong Kong.
Shortly after taking his oath as PAHK chair before Consul General Bernardita Catalla on Jan 11, journalist Rex Aguado unveiled a long list of activities aimed at reaching out to more members of the community, particularly the young and the old-timers.
The new projects include a monthly brown bag lunch where professionals, both Filipinos and non-Filipinos, will be invited to speak on such topics as career and family issues. The meet-ups, dubbed BYOBB (for Bring Your Own Bag and Brain) will be open even to non-members.
“ We will be inviting Filipino corporates to send their staff to these events,” said Aguado.
Young members of the community will also be provided with activities such as hiking and networking sessions to help them kick-start their careers or enhance their job opportunities.
Alongside these are two Family Day events being planned for the spring and autumn, which are primarily aimed at orienting newly arrived Filipino families about life in Hong Kong.
PAHK used to hold family-oriented gatherings in the past, including one that featured friendly sport competitions and another over Christmas, but the practice has long been abandoned. Aguado said the Family Days under his term will also feature sport activities.
Long-term residents are also on the radar of PAHK this year, with plans to reach out and involve them in the activities being planned.
The previous practice of organizing monthly cocktails to allow members to expand their contacts in the business and professional communities will also be revived this year. Aguado said his team looks forward to getting the support of big companies to make these monthly networking sessions successful.
Already in the works is a plan to use social media to reach out to more Filipinos, and get them involved in community activities. In line with this, PAHK has created Facebook pages called PAHK Life, PAHK Business & Events, and PAHK Classifieds. As their names suggest, each page is dedicated to sharing information among members about the various aspects of living and working in Hong Kong.
“I can foresee that it’s going to be an energized board this year,” said Aguado.
But along with the new activities, traditional events like the Philippine Independence Day  Ball and the Sunday community event on Chater Road will continue to be held.
It will be a year packed with activities, but Aguado is confident his new board of directors will deliver.
“Please help us in this journey, it’s going to be an exciting one,” he promised.
He said the “reveal” for all the activities will be held at a general assembly for PAHK members set for Feb. 17.
Congen Catalla for her part unveiled the Consulate’s own plans for the year, including the staging of Kadayawan Festival in this year’s Chinese New Year parade on Jan. 28, and its first ever official participation in Hong Kong’s Flower Festival from March 10-19.
She also hinted at other projects for the year, to be staged in cooperation with the Hong Kong government.
“We need your assistance to make these big projects successful,” she told the PAHK members.
The other PAHK officers who took their oath with Aguado were: Louise Vas, vice-chairman; Euvi Regis-Kay, secretary; Steven Co, assistant secretary; Edna Hui, treasurer; Senen Glinoga, asst. treasurer; Fred Valencia, auditor; Gary Flores and Tom Magno,  PRO; Joel Almeda, Mark Yabut, Richard del Valle, Emilie Veringa-Tobias and Jaerey Velasco, committee members.

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