Davao City – Closed to 1,500 OFWs and dependents (landbased and seabased) joined the annual celebration of OFW Family Day in Davao last December 11, 2016 at the Davao City Recreation Center (formerly Almendras Gym), Quezon Boulevard, Poblacion District, Davao City. With this year’s theme: Matatag na Pamilyang Pilipino sa Panahon ng Pagbabago, the event aims to gather OFWs and their families to spend quality time with their loved ones amid the backdrop of fun and wholesome entertainment during the holiday season.
This year’s event was drawn into familympics type of activity wherein each OFW Family Circle has representatives to play different parlor games and larong pinoy. Among the games include; thread and needle relay, pass the ball, basketball and bowling using stress balls and plastic baskets. Through the games, participants from the different barangays in Davao City were able to interact with each other and develop camaraderie.
To make the event more meaningful, free services were offered for the duration of the program such as; medical check-up courtesy of Dr. Laguit’s Clinic, eye check-up from Dr. Hailmarie Lanohan, and body massage, manicure/pedicure and haircut rendered by the therapists and beauticians of Arlyn L. Basquez Salon.
Government agencies like POEA, Pag-IBIG Fund, Philhealth, SSS, DTI, and DSWD provided information on its various programs and services. Participants with concerns and queries on the said agencies were addressed during the event.
Handicrafts and food products of the different OFW Family Circles were likewise displayed at the exhibit area.
The crowd was entertained by home grown comedians and talents. ODSP scholars likewise performed an amazing production number.
The most awaited part of the program was the raffle of prizes which include flat screen TV, Rody Project watch, cash prizes and various appliances as major prizes courtesy of this year’s corporate partners. Freebies and gift items were also given to all early birds.
A video Christmas message from the City Mayor, Hon. Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio graced the event while Hon. Councilor Antoinette G. Principe – Castrodes, Chairperson for Migrant Affairs, gave her message to the OFWs and their families which was delivered by her representative, Mr. Gary Angelo Medina.
Other honored guest who inspired the participants was DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao represented by Assistant Regional Director, Atty. Jason P. Balais. In his message, he gave emphasis on the reintegration programs implemented by the agency which help the OFW returnees in coping with the changes in our society and help them remain optimistic despite all adversities that they encounter.
OWWA-RWO XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido, on the other hand, read the message of the Honorable Administrator, Atty. Hans Leo J. Cacdac. “Hangad naming sa ilang oras nating pakikisaya sa inyo, ang makitang kayo ay nagkakaisa at magkakapiling. Ito ay isang palatandaan ng matatag na pamilyang OFWs na bahagi ng isang matatag na bansa.” Admin’s message.
The celebration of OFW Family Day in Davao City is one of the nine (9) celebrations throughout Region XI. Since its inception, the region is now on its 3rd year of celebrating the event in the four provinces of Davao Region. Dir. Bellido said that, the initiative was conceptualized to let the OFWs and their families from the four provinces experience the fun and excitement without leaving the comfort of their homes.
This year’s event was made possible through the sponsorship of the following social partners: Land bank of the Philippines, Pag-IBIG Fund, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Paramount Life and General Insurance, Philhealth XI, Banco de Oro, Philam Life, DMMA College of Southern Phils., Pascual Consumer Healthcare Corp., RD Pawnshop, Zest O Corp., Monde – Nissin Corp., Nature’s Spring Drinking Water, AXA Philippines. and 1 Forever Freedom.