Friday, October 31, 2008

December 29, 2007

Filipinos host Christmas parties for runaways in Jeddah
12/29/2007 09:40 PM

Various groups of Filipinos in Jeddah took turns Friday in hosting Christmas parties for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who ran away from their sponsors in Saudi Arabia.For the first time, three groups hosted separate Christmas parties for runaways in one night. Various groups and individuals expressed intension to give food and Christmas gifts to stranded OFWs, said welfare officer Romeo Pablo.

"Hindi ko na nga alam kung paano ko sila ise-schedule dahil sa halos nagkasabay-sabay sila" (I had difficulty arranging the schedule for each group who wanted to throw a party), Pablo said.Some 40 runaway OFWs are temporarily housed at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Center in Jeddah.“On Friday night, each group distributed food and gift items," said Danny Londonio, chairman of the Bag-ong Bicol Saro community based in Jeddah.

Londonio’s group was first to throw a party, followed by the Famous Achievers in the Middle East and the last was All Filipino Ten Pin Bowling Team.It has been a yearly tradition for Londonio’s group to host a Christmas party for OFWs who sought refuge at the OWWA center. Despite the hardships in our work, we made it a habit to make our distressed kababayans happy even once in a year. “A simple smile from their faces is cause for great joy for our group," Londonio said in Filipino.

The OWWA center was jam packed with Filipinos who came to celebrate Christmas with runaways. “We were so happy because each one of us received plenty of gifts, and that despite our problems we were still able to celebrate Christmas, said Genebel Cuaresma, one of those stranded at the OWWA center.The chairman of the All-Filipino Ten Pin Bowling team, who requested anonymity, said that his group was so happy for the chance to share a “little extra" of their blessings to “unlucky" OFWs. - Bong Concha, GMANews.TV

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