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OFW Surigaonons launch tourism, investment drive

After two successful projects of granting scholarships to deserving college students and providing old but still usable textbooks to elementary schools in the Philippines, the United Surigaonon Association in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia (USA-EPSA), a regional organization of Filipinos from the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte, officially launched a campaign to promote the tourism and investment potentials of their two provinces and their respective cities.

The tourism and investment drive, targeting overseas Filipino workers and foreigners alike, was announced during the 4th annual general assembly of the USA-EPSA held last Friday at the Philippine School in Dammam (PSD).

“The provinces of Surigao and Surigao City are endowed with all the amenities and infrastructure necessary for tourist destinations and have investment opportunities for overseas Filipino workers,” said Ferdinand Arana, founding president and adviser of the association, updating the Filipino community on the current projects of USA-EPSA.

Arana said information materials promoting tourism and investments in the provinces of Surigao and their cities, located in the Caraga administrative region of the Philippines, will soon be distributed among OFWs and their families in Saudi Arabia.

Imelda L. Manalang, another adviser of the association, said the tourism spots in Surigao provinces are among the finest in the Philippines and probably in Asia. “We offer these beautiful spots not only to our compatriots overseas, but to all foreigners who are looking for world-class tourism destinations,” she said.

As for the investment potentials of Surigao, the provinces have industries, mining, agro-industrial, and tourism business opportunities, according to Arana and Manalang.
USA-EPSA, which was founded in 2000 with 15 members and now has over 300 members, launched its scholarship program in 2006 starting with two scholars. The association is now evaluating applicants for its next batch of scholars.

The book donation campaign, called Aklat Mo, Tagumpay Ko, benefited three elementary schools in Surigao del Norte and Surigao City. The books were collected from the International Philippine School in Al Khobar (IPSA) and Philippine School in Dammam (PSD).

The drive to donate usable textbooks to schools in Surigao will continue. Solicitation of usable textbooks will be expanded to other international schools in Eastern Province, not only from Filipino schools.

As part of the campaign to encourage Filipino students to excel in their studies, the associatioin this year awarded three students the Rafael E. Seguis Leadership Award (named after Rafael E. Seguis, former Philippine ambassador to Saudi Arabia). The student-awardees were Edsel Magtoto, who was president of the supreme student council of IPSA and who led the successful collection of old textbooks from his school, James Manalo of PSD who excelled in both academics and extra-curricular activities, and Kimverlie Molina, also of PSD, who brought fame to Filipino students in Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia in the international arena by winning the The Filipino Channel Popstar Grand Championship held in Dubai last year.

During the 4th general assembly of the USA-EPSA, the newly elected officers were inducted into office by Philippine labor attaché David Des T. Dicang, who was also the guest speaker.

Inducted into office were Ted Cagampang, president; Ferdie Magallanes, executive vice president; Pol Eledia, external vice president; Jun Eledia, internal vice president; Greg Barcos, secretary; Romy Elizaga, assistant secretary; Vice Dela Costa, treasurer; Felix Ycong, assistant treasurer; Ric Gloria, auditor; Jess Angchangco, assistant auditor; Ted Picol, press relations officer, Louie Catubigan, assistant press relations officer; Larry Cabago, business manager; Cheruyl Caguimbal, assistant business manager; Danny Sumampong, sergeant-at-arms; and Imee Manalang, adviser.

The highlight of the USA-EPSA fourth general assembly was the giving of the RESLA award to outstanding leaders of the organization. The recipients of the RESLA awards this year were Ferdinand Arana, founding president of the USA-EPSA, Imelda Manalang, outgoing president, and Jun Eledia. Other recipients of the USA-EPSA 2007 service awards were Agnes Eledia (outstanding committee chairperson), Greg Barcos (most outstanding member), Pol Eledia, Ferdie Magallanes, Charlie Dahug, Roger Manalang, Claire Cagampang, Felix Ycong, and Cheryl Caguimbal.

Ted Cagampang, in his acceptance speech as the newly elected president of the association, urged USA-EPSA members to improve themselves while working in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere overseas. “It is by achieving success and progress in ourselves that we could also provide help and support to our less fortunate countrymen,” he said.(Joe Avancena, Saudi Gazette)
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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The act of goodwill by the OFW groupings USA-EPSA ia a noble act worthy of emulation not only among Overseas Filipinos but wealthy homeland Filipinos who has all the blessings to help less fortunate Surigaonons.

The vision for good governance and better Surigao starts with us all, whether one is an OFW or not.

It is of imperative that OFWs now start to do not only of charitable things but maybe starts, initiates initiatives towards political reforms in Surigao.

To Mr. Arana and company and the rest of OFWs congratulations!By doing things good to your fellowmen

You are heroes!

Join Global Filipino Nations, there is a website globalfilipinonation.com try this please!

The group is conglomeration of OFWs who is now initiating for good of this country!

MABUHAY KAMO did-on hurot!

BENG

Anonymous said...

I agree. Being beyond the control of politicians, OFWs have the privilege to criticize corrupt officials without fear of harassment and offer good ideas (especially the best practices they learn abroad).

Ipadajon an ijo pagkamatinabangon!

Anonymous said...

Unless of course, Surigaonon OFW groupings agree with the status quo in the way current political leaders in Surigao administer local governance.

Are you satisfied with the performance of Romarate, Barbers, Matugas, Casurra, Ruaya, Cary Mangacop, the Ecleos in Dinagat Island? and the Municipal Mayors of the towns in Surigao del Norte?

Let all you native but overseas Surigaonons answer this, are you satisfied in the way current Philippine Government run this country?

Isn't that you work abroad despite of the hesitant to leave our families here in Surigao due to social cost it bears of leaving homes without mothers and fathers because there is no job available locally? And if there is the salary is not equal to high cost of living due to skyrocketing of prices of basic commodities, corrupt justice system like mushrooming of corrupt fixcal and hoodlums in robes?

Reflect now our brother OFWs, make the first step for change in Surigao!

BENG

Anonymous said...

eco-tourism initiated by surigaonon OFW's? susssss! ya nay lain? if my memory serves me right, mr. ferdinand arana, sometime in 2005, spearheaded a campaign in the kingdom of saudi arabia for donations which resulted to about 3 table top computers that they donated to the city government.

when they came to the city with the intention of handing these computers to the surigao city pilot school, tagharang ni ponso, kay kinahanglan ipaagi sa ija. what happened next was a picture taking at ponso's office of the city mayor.

where are these computers now? ya may computer an mga eskwela nan surigao city pilot school!

Mayor Ponso, hain man an mga computer? pastilan, gimmick naman sab jaon nahitabo. kausik nan mga PC na ya man makagamit ang mga studyante nan city pilot school!!!

Kuman jaon nasay eco-tourism initiative nan the same group of OFW in KSA. pastilan mayor ponso, klaroha jaon imo targets basin mahaud ini na initiative sa mga computers na napurnada.

the intentions of the Surigaonons in Jeddah KSA, led by Mr. Arana are noble but the supposedly recipients are feigning malice because of selfish motives and interest. Mr. Arana, seguradoha jaon ijo programa sa eco-tourism for surigao basin magfront-seat na isab si Mayor Ponso Casuka,,, este Casurra.

Anonymous said...

Mga Igso,

Salamat karajaw sa ijo tanan sa pagtan-aw sa mga kabos na Surigaonon na kanunay na nag-antos sa pagtrabaho diri sa Saudi Arabia.

Beng, salamat sa imo positive view. An United Surigaonon Association ay community group ra diri sa Saudi na an objective matabangan an mga kadugo nato diri sa Saudi na may problema.

An amo campaign sa Tourism and Investment para sa Surigao ay bahin sa project ng Philippine Embassy. Waya'y amo labot o koneksiyon sa bisan uno na political party didto sa Surigao.

An objective namo, matabangan an amo miyembro na maghinay-hinay sa pag-pondo nan ija bisan gamay na negosyo.

May I correct one comment from Anonymous, waya pa kami mag-donate nan computer sa Surigao Pilot School. Basi iban na Surigaonon groups.

Dinan Arana
United Surigaonon Association
Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Anonymous said...

mr. dinan arana, did-on man kaw nagpapicture sa opisina ni ponso casurra sa city hall. did-on ako sa gawas nan ija opisina tagpahuyat nan igo kadugay-dugay na panahon kay didto kamo sa ilayom iban an imo pamilya (siguro) jadto.

jaoy sab baja imo pagkapolitiko, ano? umay plano nimo pag-uli nimo diri sa surigao? for city mayor? haaahaaaay! kalaay tawon!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Arana I think you should answer the accusations of anonymous na did-on kaw suyod sa opis ni haring ponso?

You have to make your stand or else way kailinan nimo sa mga grandstanding na politiko.

Me I really wanted genuine electoral reforms in this country in general in Surigao specifically.

Mr. Arana are you satisfied with the leadership of Ponso Casurra?

Thank you for your comment anyway that I write positive reviews on what you did, kay Surigaonon man sab kaw.

Let us unite now for reforms, join Global Filipino Nation GFN),register yourselves, Fight surging political dynasty that is worst than the Marcoses eating us whole slowly but surely as "if killing us softly, have you visited the website?

Please do.. and be enlightened..

BENG

Anonymous said...

Beng, (and that Anonymous writer),

You can email me directly to dinan_arana@yahoo.com if you have anything to convey to the Surigaonons in Saudi Arabia. I will post it in our yahoogroup.

OFWs are not yet focused on local electioneering, as the Magna Carta on Absentee Voting is for us to elect only the National positions and the party list candidates.

To shed you light, I am not residing in Surigao City since 1979. This may clear your doubt if I am at all interested on Surigao politics.

Though I am not obliged to answer your questions, let me just share to you that I did not visit Mayor Casurra for a picture taking. I was there to cover the donation of the ETV package by the Philippine School in Dammam to an elementary school in Surigao City chosen by Deped in coordination with ABS-CBN.

FYI, I am a correspondent of ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel and Arab News based here in Dammam.

Mahamok an amo project diri sa Saudi. Last namo an pagdonate nan mga old text books sa mga kabus na iskuwelahan sa Surigao. We tagged it "Aklat Mo Tagumpay Ko." You could have seen it if you have been watching Balitang Middle East on ANC cable.

An next project namo na tourism and investment is simply to invite Surigaonons who no longer live in Surigao na mobisita sab sa ija gigikanan na lugar.

Simple ra an amo organization, an amo mga miyembro puro edukado, pero pirmi magka-angay kon may kinilaw.

Kon tan-aw nijo na mayaot an amo pagtabang sa Surigao, we can always divert our efforts to other parts of the Philippines.

Salamat karajaw sa ijo hurot.
Dinan Arana

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