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Showing posts with label People. Show all posts
Showing posts with label People. Show all posts

Guhit Kulay holds exhibit at Consulate

Posted on 20 December 2019 No comments
Consulate officials led by Deputy ConGen Germi Usudan (above) open the exhibiton. 

By Daisy CL Mandap

The all-Filipino migrants group of art enthusiasts, Guhit Kulay, has marked a milestone with the opening of its art exhibit at the Consulate on Dec. 8, to mark International Migrants Day. Deputy Consul General Germinia Usudan cut the ribbon at the opening rites. The art exhibit, the first by a migrants group in the Consulate, will run till Dec 15.

Community members examine the works of art.
About 100 people attended the opening of the landmark exhibit titled “Obra: Likhang Sining at Galing ng Migranteng Pilipino.” The day’s highlight was a coloring contest in two cat-egories: adults and children. For Dec 15, a face painting contest is set to be held.

The works came in various genres.

According to GK president Noemi Manguerra, the group members now number 30. It took them nearly six months of preparation – given that most of them are off only once a week – to mount the exhibit, which features not just paintings and sketches, but also sculpture, photography, solar art work, self-designed and sewn gowns, and fashion accessories.

GK was formed two years ago by a group that attended an art workshop at the Consulate given by Pintura Circle, an art group made up of Filipino Hong Kong residents. The co-founders were, apart from Manguera, Cristina Cayat, Cecil Eduarte and Ruby Timtim.

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The group’s membership grew rapidly following a series of art jamming sessions organized by GK to encourage like-minded migrants to gather and give vent to their passion. Since then, they have been invited to hold their own art exhibits, notably by groups such as Enrich and NIDO Hong Kong.

In the first quarter of last year, GK was among participating groups of artists in “Beyond Myself,” a traveling exhibit co-organized by Enrich and was held in London, Manila and Hong Kong.

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The participating artists in the exhibit are: Noemi Manguerra, Cristina Cayat, Cecilia Eduarte, Divine Olavides Dela Torre, Jacklyn R. Evangelista, Meriam Cayat-Asiong, Rochelle Dulay Razon, Sheena Lyn Eballe, Maria Christina C. Anire,  Dholeeh Ann A. Hidalgo,Elpidia Malicsi, Michelle Asia Arcena, Ellen A. Almacin, Marilyn Santiago Lopez, Hermelin Q. Esmalla, Maureen A. Villanueva,Arlene Madriaga,  Donna Damian Sagudang, Leizl M. Tam-og, Mylene C. Ano-os, Marites Samiento Corbito, Edwin Santos, Lou Bella L. Sasutil, Jhoan Estrera, and Rhesa Makin Payangdo
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Helpers see LET as key to their teaching ambition

Posted on 14 October 2019 No comments
Aspiring teachers (from left) Lorna Escropulo, Mercedes Tesoro and Marlyn Bautista after the teachers exam. 

By Vir B. Lumicao

Nothing beats being a teacher imparting knowledge to young students in her own country. This is according to former school teachers who are now aspiring to return to the classrooms from their current domestic jobs in Hong Kong.

Year after year, this seems to be the general view of those who take the Licensure Examination for Teachers administered annually by the Professional Regulation Commission for Hong Kong-based OFWs.

On Sept 29, about 470 education degree holders sat for the LET at Delia Memorial School-Hip Wo in Kwun Tong, placing their hope in the exam as their way to fulfilling that dream.

Mercedes Tesoro, Gemma Musni and Juliet Pedida, who sat on a park bench to have their late lunch after taking the examination for elementary teachers, said they would return to Philippine classrooms to teach again once they pass and secure a professional license.

Tesoro, 48, a kindergarten teacher for eight years before she came to Hong Kong in 2017, said she was forced by circumstance to come and work here as she could no longer teach in a public school because she didn’t have a professional license.

Since 2015, the Department of Education has required all kindergarten teachers to be board passers, so she was the 28th in her town to lose her job. 

Tesoro would not say how many times she took the licensure exam, just “madami na po”, and this year was her second try in Hong Kong. But she expected to pass this year, given the ease with which she finished the General Education component. 


Musni, 38, came here two years ago after teaching for several years also in kindergarten in Pampanga. Like Tesoro, she was hit by the need to pass the board. This was her first time to take the exam and she was looking forward to hurdle it and return to her family.

She said she was forced to work abroad as she could no longer bear to see her children crying everyday, asking for PhP5 for their “baon”, a small amount she could not afford to give when she could no longer teach.

“Mga pinsan may kinakain, ako lang talaga ang walang maibigay. Napakahirap talaga ang loobin ng ina. Nakakaawa,” she said.

Juliet Pedida, a 34-year-old woman from Leyte, came to Hong Kong after graduating from college almost 10 years ago. She said she envied neighbors who had OFW family members. Now she is ready to go home and teach depending on the results of the exam.


So is Evelyn Ison, 46, a farmer’s wife who has been in Hong Kong for nearly five years. The BS Elementary Education graduate said she has no teaching experience.

Her determination to return home and teach is fueled by her desire to be with her two children, a 6-year-old boy and a girl, 4.

For Lorna Escropulo, 43, this was her third time to sit for the exam, hoping to take advantage of the government’s SPIMS program, or Sa Pinas Ikaw ang Ma’am/Sir, that offers teaching jobs for OFWs who pass the LET.

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Another domestic worker who dreams of returning to the classroom is 38-year-old Marlyn Bautista from Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, who will be teaching high school students if she hurdles this year’s exam. Before coming to Hong Kong in 2010, she taught in kindergarten for two years.

The desire to go home and teach also consumes Pema Tema, a former private elementary teacher for several years before she decided to go abroad and work as a domestic helper.

In the first place, Tepan said her leaving the teaching job was not primarily due to the meager salary but, she admits, because of her insecurities and professional rivalry with her husband, who is also a teacher.

This time, if she passes the LET, she promises to go back to teaching.

Early beneficiaries of SPIMS, a joint program of the Department of Education and Culture, Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine Normal University, have successfully reintegrated into the local workforce by returning to the teaching job. 

One of them, Grace Shiela Padua, is now happily teaching and looking after her two young sons in Camarines Sur, after saying goodbye to her domestic work in Hong Kong in October 2016. Hundreds more in this city are expected to follow in her footsteps.
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HK-Pinoy artists exhibiting in New York praised for ‘giving back’

Posted on 20 July 2019 No comments
Consulate officials led by Consul General Claro S. Cristobal  and UN Mission Charge d’affaires Kira Danganan-Azucena, exhibit organizers and artists cut the ribbon.

By Daisy CL Mandap

A group of Filipino artists from Hong Kong and the Philippines has won praise for holding an art exhibit in New York aimed at raising funds for charity.

In his speech at the opening of the ‘Lakbay Sining sa Amerika’ exhibit at the Philippine Center in Manhattan on Jul 1, Consul General Claro S. Cristobal praised the artists for “having the heart for sharing” their talent with the less fortunate.

“Art speaks also to the sublime, to the ideal, and that to me is what the collection here represents. There is an ideal of giving back, of sharing,” he said.

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Cristobal, who also once served as Philippine consul general in Hong Kong, noted that the majority of Filipinos in the former British colony are not as privileged as those in New York, so they need other people to inspire them to be the best that they could be.

“People here in New York become masters of their lives, unlike in Hong Kong, where the great majority of Filipinos have masters and they cannot live out much of what they wish for themselves,” he said. “So we need people that give them that inspiration, that animating spirit, and that’s when I turn to these great people of this community to give back, to share.”

Attendees admire the works.

He added, “So I am so happy to welcome you here because here is a great collection of art.”

During his time in Hong Kong, Cristobal was a known supporter of Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge, the beneficiary of the New York exhibit.

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Gail Camaya-Hills, whose Galleria Camaya mounted the show, thanked Cristobal and his staff for allowing her group to book the Philippine Center, a most sought-after venue for Filipino artists who dream of exhibiting abroad.

“Thank you to the consulate in New York for allowing us to show what we can offer, and make the Philippines proud,” she said. There’s never been a better time to invest in an outstanding Filipino art piece. They are unique, well made, real works of art, and are reasonably priced.”

Gail Camaya-Hills

Hills said there are many talented Filipino artists waiting to be discovered. “However not many of them can afford to travel and sell their work abroad, so it is my job as a gallery owner to break the barriers and bring them to the international scene so they can get the worldwide exposure that they deserve.”

Hills started exhibiting Filipino art at the bi-annual Asian Contemporary Art show in Hong Kong in 2016. She has done this yearly since then, and last year, she mounted her first overseas show at the Philippine Embassy in Vienna.

Galleria Camaya’s New York exhibit showcases the outstanding works of 21 promising Filipino artists, many of them award-winning and highly sought after by collectors.

Hills, who is herself a well-known ceramic painter in Hong Kong, is among the featured artists.

She is joined by Bono Albania (former HK- based but has relocated to NYC), Ejem Alarcon, Jepoy Almario, Jaime Raphael Atienza, Gerrico Blanco, Ronald Buxani, Grace Pineda Camacho,Astrid Hernandez Castillo, Richard de la Cruz, Ronald “Bullet” Dematera, Alvin Florentino, Mary Rose Gisbert, Jaime Gubaton, Dondon Jeresano, Norlie Meimban, Keith Paras , Jojo Ramirez, Stella Tansengco Schapero, Rowel Vicencio and Janeth Marticio- Weil.
Albania, Gisbert and Schapero also attended the opening night.

The exhibit runs until Jul 12 at the Philippine Center on 5th Avenue, New York.

For inquiries, email Gailhk@ or call telephone number +1(240) 690-1999.
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Filipina writes, directs play on abortion

Posted on 04 June 2019 No comments
The cast during rehearsal.

A young Filipina tackles the delicate subject of abortion and a woman’s right to choose in ‘The Waiting Room,” an upcoming “physical theatre” she self-produced and directed, and written in collaboration with an all-women cast.

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Jessica de Borja said in an interview that the play is meant to show “the full faceted experience of being a woman” and that the issue of abortion is not just “black or white”.

The show will feature physical movement and verbatim story telling in multiple languages.


The show’s blurb promises to convey the “raw, unapologetic and diverse views on the subject of abortion and the female body told through the gripping stories of women faced with unplanned pregnancies and the sometimes funny, oftentimes heartbreaking struggles of a choice nobody ever dreams of having to make.

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“The Waiting Room”, produced by De Borja’s A Common Collective, will be staged on the 8th floor of The Hive Studios in Kennedy Town on June 7 and 8 at 8pm, and June 9 at 2pm. There will also be a theatre workshop at noon on June 8.

Early bird tickets at $180 are available at Everbrite - .
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