Friday, July 24, 2009

July 5, 2009

Umbrella group in Jeddah pays tribute to Manese
RONALDO CONCHA, GMANews.TV07/05/2009 07:47 PM

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – An umbrella organization of Filipino community groups in Jeddah has said it is giving a posthumous award to Gil Manese, one of its founders and a sports enthusiast who died of heart attack on June 25 in his hometown in Pampanga.

The Kasapi Congress said the award is in honor of Manese’s contribution to the Filipino community in Jeddah.Edgar Mendoza, Manese's confidante and long-time friend, said Manese went home last month to undergo medical treatment but complications and failure of other organs triggered a heart attack. He was 65.

E-mails expressing grief and sympathy to Manese’s family as well as paying tribute to him circulated at once among Filipino community leaders in the western Region of Saudi Arabia following reports of his death.

Rudy Dianalan, former Kasapi chairman, said Manese’s demise was a tragic loss to the Filipino community as he was one of the pillars of OFW advocacy.Dianalan noted that Manese was a partner of Kasapi, the Order of the Knights of Rizal and other community associations and was one of the active campaigners of OFWS rights and issues such as overseas absentee voting, migrant workers’ interests and other labor struggles.

Riyadh based Rashid Fabricante, one of Manese’s co-founder of the Kasapi Congress, recalled that when they started the OFW movement in the western region way back 1983 in coordination with Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos (APPM), it was the apartment unit of Manese where they held meetings and strategic planning sessions for “a no thanks job" of organizing the Filipinos in the region.

“If there is one person I would like to thank in Jeddah, it is Manong Gil Manese whose kindness, generosity and hospitality towards a cause paved the way for the early formation of cause-oriented groups dedicated to promoting the rights and welfare of the OFWs in the region, especially the distressed," he said.Manese, a native of Arayat in Pampanga, was also one of the founders of other Filipino community groups such as the Kapampangan group.

It was in sports where he dedicated most of his work, being president of the Filipino Basketball Association of Jeddah for years.Aside from sports and other cause-oriented activities, Manese earned a living dealing various products, including GMA Pinoy TV and housing projects. John Asperilla, another Kasapi officials and leader of the Pangasinan group, said he had the privilege to work with Manese, who he said was a community service-oriented person.

Current Kasapi chairman Vic Aguila remembered Manese’s life as one that was full of ups and down — as an individual he has his own shortcomings, as a civic-minded fellow his good deeds overwhelmed and refuted what his detractors said about him.

Kasapi officials will give the award at the end of the month to Manese son and namesake, who is also working in the kingdom.

The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah also expressed its condolences to the family of late community leader and shared with the community in Jeddah the good memories of his achievements.Manese was buried June 28 in Pampanga. - GMANews.TV

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