Friday, November 28, 2008

November 28, 2008

Pinoy groups in KSA play to raise gift for stranded Pinays
11/28/2008 01:10 PM

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MANILA, Philippines - For the fourth straight year, Filipinos in the western region of Saudi Arabia gathered to raise funds for the more than 50 stranded female overseas Filipino workers (OFW) under the care of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Filipinos from Yanbu, Rabigh, Taif and the Asir regions of Saudi Arabia flocked to “WOW Pinoy" gathering at the Iceland, a mall in Jeddah. The event initiated by community leader Francis Salud was organized this year by the Overseas Filipino Workers Cooperative Council.

Salud said that the event has become an annual “bonding activity" for Filipinos in Jeddah and nearby cities in the western region, with the number of participants ballooning each year.Guest of honor Consul General Ezzedin Tago took the occasion to exhort participants to continue with such constructive activities and to avoid prohibited acts that not only could land them in jail but also stain the reputation of Filipinos in the Kingdom.

Giving spice to the occasion were the groups Waraynon Ha Jeddah and Hawak Kamay Gabay organization, who performed special dance numbers, and singers Say Hipolito and long-time Jeddah singing sensation Jeanette Cervito.The main feature of the gathering was a bowling competition, with the Yanbu Bowlers Saudi Arabia (A&B from the industrial city of Yanbu emerging as the champions.

The other winners were: Ranao Divers Club, 1st runner-up; Forever Friends, 2nd runner-up; Siglakas, 3rd runner-up; and the Institute of Overseas Filipino Architects (IOFA), 4th runner-up.Individual awards were also given to Jojie Ramos of Forever Friends, Olivia Soriano of King Abdulaziz Medical Center (KAMC) Tennis Club, Andy Yumena of Romblon Jeddah, and Leo Perez.of IOFA.Garnering the award for best in uniform was the Muslim-Christian Basketball Referee Coop; with the Yanbu Bowlers placing second and Hawak Kamay third.

The best muse award was snagged by the OFC-Philippine Sunrise Int’l School, with Forever Friends placing second and the Philippine Society of Mechanical Engineers (PSME) third. Apart from the teams mentioned, the other participating teams were the Bag-ong Bicol Saro nin Jeddah, Romblon Jeddah, the Serenata choir, Pinoy Harley Owners' Group, Guardians International, Inc. (Jeddah Legion), Cebuano-Speaking Organization in Saudi Arabia, Samahang MarinduqueĊˆo sa Kanlurang Saudi Arabia.United Filipino Migrant Workers Association (UniFil), Pinoy Anglers Club, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants-WR, FreeLife Filipino Workers Group, Filipino Salesmen & Merchandisers Association, Gulf Pinoy Workers Group, Kapit-Bisig OFW.

Jeddah Ranao Tennis Club, Filipino Volleyball League-Jeddah (FVLJ), International Medical Center-Family Sports, Boholano Community in Jeddah-ventures Coop. Mga Waraynon Ha Jeddah, Association of World Class Filipino Chef in Jeddah, Filipino Expat Damayan Group, Philippine International School in Assir, Saudia City Tennis Club, Xpat Bowlers, Al Suwaidi Rabigh Strikers (Rabigh), Al Shorouq International School (Taif), Desert Fox Shooters, and OFW Cooperative Council.

Like in the previous years, fund collected during the event is to be used for charity. The recipient is still being identified.In 2006, the recipient was a diabetes victim. Last year, proceeds of the event went to Leonora Somera, a 67-year-old native of Nueva Ecija who sought refuge at the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah after working as caretaker and shepherdess for about 18 years for a family in the western city of Abha without getting regular pay.

The money from Wow Pinoy was used to pay for accumulated penalties charged against Somera for overstaying her visa in the kingdom. She eventually returned home last March after being stuck at the OWWA shelter for more than two years. - GMANews.TV

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