06 June 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that its Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) conducted a one-day Visioning and Teambuilding Seminar/Workshop for Filipino community leaders in Sarawak last May 26 at the Telang Usan Hotel in Kuching, Sarawak.

The seminar gained a huge response from the Filipino community and was attended by more than 40 participants, a manifestation of the keenness of Filipinos in Sarawak to unite and work together to enhance mutual understanding, cooperation, and solidarity among Filipinos in the community.

In simple but fitting opening ceremonies, Embassy Labor Attaché Dr. Alicia D. Santos warmly welcomed the participants and extended her appreciation to the cooperation showed by the Filipino communities in Kuching. She said that the day’s exercise is a good take off point for the group to learn and understand the importance of organizing, as the primordial concern for an organization is to have a common vision and goal. 

“All programs and projects that will be implemented should be geared towards one direction in order to achieve the perceived vision and goal. Corollary to this there is a dire need to build a strong cooperation and partnership among the group/members to make the effort successful and lasting. This is the very reason for initiating a visioning and team-building exercise,” she explained.

Dr. Santos also expressed her full confidence that thru the various methodologies that  will be adopted by the facilitator, the participants will be well-equipped with the knowledge of setting up a vision, in developing strong relationships among the group and ultimately, in organizing the Pinoys in Kuching.

Consul General Medardo Macaraig, who spoke on behalf of Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya, affirmed the Embassy’s commitment to pursue efforts to promote the best interest and welfare of the Filipinos through the conduct of this kind of seminar.

“I commend the Office of the Labor Attaché under the stewardship of Dr. Santos and the Filipino community in holding this kind of team-building seminar whose aim is to strengthen the ability of the community to unite among themselves for the best interest and welfare of our kababayans here in Kuching,” he said.

The seminar was facilitated in by Mr. Virgilio V. Guillermo, former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Deputy Director-General and special assistant to Senator Loren Legarda.  A lively interaction using the “learning by doing approach” was implemented.  This was highly appreciated by the participants, as manifested by their full and active participation in all exercises and outputs that they produced.

With the encouragement and guidance of Labor Attaché Santos, the participants organized their group as the ‘Filipino Community of Kuching’ (FCK) with five officers: Justiniani Y. Bersales, Jr. (chairman), Rodrigo Legaspi (vice-chairman for externals), Ody M. Faylona (vice-chairman for internals), Faith Villahermosa Jap (treasurer/secretary, and Leovell S. Avenido (project coordinator).

The seminar ended with the giving of Certificates of Participation to those who attended.

While in Kuching and to maximize the services for Filipinos that day, a consular team composed of Consul General Macaraig, Finance Officer Melinda Cunanan, Attache Anabel Espinosa and Translator Elenita Sangalang, and joined by the POLO team, which also included Welfare Officer Gloria Taule and Rey Sto. Domingo, rendered full-day consular, welfare and labor-related services.  END