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At least eight Filipino-Australian community leaders will be attending the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) global summit in Manila from February 25 to 27. From South Wales alone, Lolita Farmer, the chairperson of the Global Filipinos Australia organization, is expected to attend the event along with other Fil-Aussie community leaders: Linda Alvarez Barnes, Cristina Ceniza, Leo Ceniza, Chris Pilao, and Jossie Pilao. According to the news site The Filipino Australian (TFA), two other Fil-Aussies will participate in the CFO summit: 2012 Philippine presidential awardee Imelda Argel and TFA Editor Romy Cayabyab. Dubbed “2nd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora Two Years Thereafter: The Best of the Philippine Diaspora,” the conference intends to unite overseas Filipinos. The D2D will also coincide with 27th anniversary of the EDSA 1 People Power Revolution. A celebration will be held at the People Power Monument in EDSA on the first day of the summit, February 25. The forum will then transition to the summit proper in the following days to be held at the Thani Dusit hotel in Makati City. To register for the event, the public may visit the CFO website. In a news conference in November last year, CFO Chairperson Secretary Imelda Nicolas said some 400 Filipino migrants from all over the world are expected to converge in Manila for the global summit. She said “overseas Filipinos would like to show that people power is not limited within the boundaries of the Philippines.” “It’s about time that Filipinos here and abroad use that power to create a collective future which will benefit the country, their communities and families whether they are with them [or not],” she said. Close to 10 million Filipinos are residing in 200 countries, Nicolas noted. Balikbayan With its slogan “Balikbayan, kaalaman, kakayahan, ibalik sa bayan,” the event aims to:
- tap into the heroic nature of Filipinos
- ignite the Filipino spirit of helping each other, and
- expose Filipinos to the concept of returning to their homeland.
- Skills and technology transfer
- Arts and culture exchange
- Educational exchange
- Business linkaging
- Diaspora investments
- Global legal assistance
- Diaspora philanthropy
- Medical mission coordination
- Tourism initiatives, and
- Return and reintegration.