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‘Hug your family tight’, CG tells Filipinos going home for Christmas

07 December 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Congen Tejada says personal sacrifices have to be made for loved ones

“To those going home, have a happy holiday and hug your families tighter because it’s been a long time…”

This message came from Consul General Raly Tejada, who expressed a personal sadness that he hasn’t seen his family in the Philippines for about two years because of disruptions from the anti-government protests, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic.


So lahat tayo, sacrifice for our loved ones, ganoon talaga,” he added. (So all of us must sacrifice for our loved ones, it’s how it should be).

Congen Tejada gave his message at the annual general meeting of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association – Hong Kong on Saturday, Dec 4, where he was guest of honor, and was asked to administer the oath to the group’s new officers.


He said it was unfortunate that because of the emergence of the new Omicron variant, all those going home to the Philippines this month will have to spend some time in hotel quarantine.

Previously, all fully vaccinated travelers from Hong Kong could skip facility-based quarantine if they presented a negative result for a RT-PCR test for Covid-19 taken within 72 hours before departure.


Congen Tejada said he hoped people would understand that these were all necessary measures taken by both the Hong Kong and Philippine governments to protect their people and prepare for when the world opens up again once the pandemic eases.

On a lighter note, he made fun of how his fellow alumni from UP had tricked him into going to the Causeway Bay venue which looked dodgy from the outside, and had the address scrawled only in pen on top of a very narrow entrance.

Pindutin para sa detalye

He shared a hearty laugh with everyone in the group when they teased him about falling for “budol” (scam) as he was not warned beforehand that he had to climb several flights of stairs in the crumbling building to get to the venue.

Outgoing officers led by Manimtim-Erno (with antler headband) hand over $5k donation to Antonio 

Another highlight of the evening was the surprise turnover of a $5,000 donation by UPAA HK to Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge, whose executive director and fellow alumna, Edwina Antonio, was among the guests.

Outgoing UPAA HK president Sherina Manimtim-Erno presented the cheque donation to Antonio, along with Congen Tejada.

Pindutin para sa detalye

Antonio thanked her fellow alumni, and said the donation came at the right time because both Bethune House and its parent organization, Mission for Migrant Workers, are  struggling with massive budget shortfalls this year amid a spike in requests for help from migrant workers.

The UPAA HK officers for 2022 are: Jay A. Villafuerte, president; Charo Logarta Lagamon,, vice-president; Joane R. Mata, secretary; Chad de Guzman, treasurer; Lucky Gil Bunao, auditor; and Maritess C. Turingan, press relations officer. 

CG administering the oath to Villafuerte, Lagamon, Mata, De Guzman, Bunao and Turingan

The evening ended with an exchange of gifts and the awarding of prizes for the "ugliest jumpers" (sweater) worn by alumni.


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