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OWWA RWO XII celebrates Christmas with DOLE XII RCC

Koronadal City – Vibrant staff of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office XII headed by OIC, Regional Director Marilou M. Sumalinog enjoyed a night filled with entertainment and exciting surprises held last December 10, 2014 at the KCC Convention and Events Center in General Santos City.


Spearheading the momentous activity was the Department of Labor and Employment XII headed by Regional Director Ofelia B. Domingo.


The gathering was also graced by heads of different attached agencies of DOLE XII namely NCMB XII, TESDA XII, NLRC XII, RTWPB XII, NRCO XII, POEA XII, PESO XII, and ECC XII, together with their staff.


One of the highlights of the activity was the raffle draw where participants are all tangled in excitement and wishful thinking as winners are being decided randomly through an electronic raffle drawing system.


A sumptuous meal was also served which was complemented by a glass of wine preceding the Christmas Toast called by Director Domingo.


Wowing almost every person in the party was the surprise number performed by the RWO XII staff dancing in the beat of Christmas Jingle, the “Jingle Bell Rock”. The presentation added further amusement and pure entertainment to the activity which was succeeded by a round of applause from the elated audience.


Meanwhile, the Renaissance Band, guest entertainer played an even more astounding music pieces cheering everyone in the venue. Even the DOLE XII Assistant Regional Director Yahya A. Centi wasn’t able to resist joining the band on stage singing “Sweet of Child of Mine”.


What made the party even more exciting was the unique ‘Exchange Gift’ activity, where ‘manitos and manitas’ were asked to pick numbers randomly and were compelled to look for the corresponding number they’re holding in the shortest time possible in exchange of a prize, a gift certificate courtesy of SM Supermalls.


A bit of fun and pleasure to experience in the yuletide season is undoubtedly deserved by people who enthusiastically work for the government. 

Retired Captain from Lanao Del Norte Proclaims as MOFYA 2014 Special Awardee

Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Capt. Meinrado Caminos Villame and Mrs. Luzvizminda Dagondon – Villame were neighbors in Lanao Del Norte. 


Capt. Meinrado started off as an inter-island cadet in 1983. It was during this apprenticeship when their platonic relation turned romantic for about 5 years until they settled down and reached 37 years. Mrs. Luzvisminda decided to marry his long-time partner since she knew his character of being patient, understanding, generous and compassionate. Despite of his career status, he still helps his father in farming whenever he’s home for vacation. It just simply shows how a responsible husband he can be whom she can trust. And even now that they are married, Capt. Meinrado makes sure he assists his wife at home whenever he disembarks.


First few months of their marriage, together with their eldest child, they stayed for 3 years in Manila. Capt. Meinrado, at that time, was still in an inter-island boarding when their ship sunk near Negros due to the operator’s unmonitored weather forecast of an upcoming storm. Moreover, they ran out of crude oil travelling from Negros to Cebu. 


He narrated how he focused himself along with his mates to survive literally. As the chief mate, he instructed the rest to follow strict procedure in diving and the proper ways to move along the storm surge for survival. Despite efforts to stay alive, one of his crew didn’t make it to shore.


Aside from arriving home with only pieces of clothes at hand, this survival scenario under his mandate recognized his efficiency and passion for work and eventually got promoted. Later on he ranked as master mariner in 1998. 


Realizing the danger, Mrs. Luz decided to go back to Lanao Del Norte and start her own business and livelihood to assist her husband. She can’t afford to lose him that way. However, Capt. Meinrado reassured her and continued sailing internationally this time. 


Villame Family’s 16 hectares wide ricefields in Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte.


Back in Mindanao, Mrs. Luz worked as a Midwife for 5 years at IHU-Kapatagan Hospital, Lanao Del Norte. With that unforgettable experience, she can’t help but worry for her husband. Whenever her husband embarks, practically speaking, emotions of being incomplete when he’s away and gladness of anticipating a job are mixed. Generally, she feels emptiness whenever her partner is away. “It’s totally different to face challenges in raising the children alone”, she exclaims.  As much as possible she doesn’t want to divulge problems to disturb him because she knows how he’s highly expected and how big his responsibilities are on board. She knows his weakness and only talks about it when he’s offshore.


With their communication, they make sure they receive letters every week. They even indicated numbers on envelopes to avoid confusion since some letters skip to another or oftentimes missing. In their letters, they filled it with description on their respective work areas which she read all over again and over again when she puts her children to bed. That at times Mrs. Luz makes it her inspiration in understanding his nature of work. When mobile phones are accessible, he roll calls all his 6 children everyday.


When it comes to disciplining her children, she’s flexible and manages to be a “nanay & tatay” all at the same  time. She has to be strict and wants her children to abide by her principles or else you deserve worth punishable for. She has to be strong since she especially has 4 boys to tame for. She even taught them domestic works and not to rely on anybody, “you want it, work for it”. They were taught to live within their means and not to be extravagant.


Mrs. Luz wishes that, as a couple, they may live longer together to make up for the lost years of being far from each other.


At present, all their children are through with school and ventured on each of their own careers. Three (3) of the boys followed their father’s footstep as a seafarer and the other one (1) pursued aeronautics engineering. And the two (2) girls are licensed nurses.


Capt. Meinrado Caminos Villame earned his degree in Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and was onboard for a total of 30 years and just retired from work last November 2013.


Mrs. Luzvizminda Dagondon- Villame finished her Midwifery in Misamis University, Ozamis City. And practiced her profession for 5 years in Lanao del Norte public hospital.


When Capt. Meinrado retired last December 2013, he kept his schedule busy at his farming business. (At the photo) He keeps a 1 hectare wide drier.  


Marwin Villame, eldest son of the couple, graduated Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation from Ozamis City, married, and now on board for international destination acting as Master Mariner. Vilda Villame, eldest daughter is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing and currently practicing her license in a public hospital in Taiwan. Meinrado Villame Jr., 2nd son earned a degree in Aeronautics, had worked in NAIA and currently pursued his second course, BS Marine Transportation to follow his father’s footsteps. Joseph Villame, 3rd son, completed his Aeronautics Engineering degree presently working with Qatar Airlines based in Qatar. Louville Villame, youngest daughter, is a licensed and registered Nurse in San Lazaro Hospital for 2 years. Archiemedez Villame, youngest son, is also BS Marine Transportation graduate and currently a licensed 3rd mate and just recently got married to a teacher.


All of the couple’s children are through with their college education and currently having their own lives and own career locally and internationally. They are taught proper ways to deal with all their people in their family businesses. The boys were active during the younger years in engaging sports leagues as Sangguniang Kabataan members.


They not only invested on their own children’s education but also assisted some of their nautical scholars, mostly their relatives and sons of their loyal caretakers, who are all on board.


Moreover, Mrs. Luz was one of the 17 pioneer members of then now established MWIMPC (Maranding Women Integrated Multi-Purpose Cooperative)  - an OFW Family Circle (OFC)-  whose group started off as OFW’s and dependents that caters programs applicable and helpful towards its members. Currently, the cooperative has 150 personnel with several branches in Lanao Del Norte.


The family also acquired lot parcels in some locations of Lanao del Norte for their residential, business venue (newly opened function hall), ricelands and agricultural farm:


a.       16, 301 sq.m – Brgy. Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte (Ricefields) - 2012

b.       15, 801 sq.m – Poblacion Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte (Ricefields) - 2012

c.       102 sq.m – Poblacion, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte (Function Hall) - 2012

d.       20, 068 sq.m – Pancilan, Sapad, Lanao del Norte (Ricefields)-2005

e.       34, 307 sq.m - Pancilan, Sapad, Lanao del Norte (Ricefields)-2005

f.        470 sq.m – Lala,Lanao DelNorte (Apartment business with Php288,000 annual income)-1984


The couple also owned residential house and lot in Villanueva, Subdivision. (a. 790sq. m); ( b. 770 sq. m.); (c. 200sq. m) They owned several vehicles for private, logistics and mobilization. These include: a) 2001 – Dropside Elf (Isuzu); (b) 2005 – Wagon Crosswind (Isuzu); (c) 2009 – Dropside with Canopy; (d) Wdetach Roofing (Toyota); (e) 2014 – Dump Truck (Isuzu Giga); (f)2014 - White Honda City Car (Bridal Car).


The couple is now active sponsor of Gagmay nga Simbahan sa Katilingban (GSK) in Purok Molave, Maranding, Lala, Lanao del Norte. With their family scholars, businesses and farmland they have invested, they employed a total of 51 personnel.


¨       Function Hall : 11 Personnel

¨       Farm : 28 Personnel

¨       Mobilization/ Logistics/ Trucking/ Apartment : 5 Personnel

¨       Education : 7 Nautical Scholars


Having returned from her previous overseas employment in Dubai, Maricel Ladiao looks forward in her new venture as she expands her grocery store with rice retailing in their home in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The rice retail is part of the livelihood package OFW Ladiao received from OWWA through the Balik Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay Program.


Maricel Ladiao tried her luck overseas to help her husband, a mason and welder in their province, to finance the education of their four children, the eldest among them is currently a grade-9 student from Palawan National High School. “Gusto kong maghanda para sa kolehiyo ng aking anak”, she further added. However, she has not been able to finish her contract due to misunderstandings with her co-worker which resulted in souring relationship with her employer. The situation got out of hand which prompted her to seek the help of Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai to assist her in going back to the Philippines.


Upon arrival, the Department of Labor and Employment – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (DOLE-OWWA) gave OFW psycho-social services such as stress debriefing sessions. Furthermore, she received livelihood assistance as part of the reintegration program of DOLE-OWWA through the Balik Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay program. Under the program, a distressed OFW is qualified to be a recipient of livelihood starter kits to aid in starting again in the country and strengthen entrepreneurial skills of the OFW. With the mini grocery she had been able to invest during her stint as OFW, she plans to augment her existing business through rice retailing. “Mahirap magnegosyo ng puro utang at walang kapital”, OFW Ladiao said.


True to its mission, “Umulan ma’t umaraw, ang OWWA ay maasahan”. She is very happy and relieved that OWWA, through thick and thin, is ready to help OFWs, especially distressed ones like her to stand again through livelihood assistance programs. 

OFW Family Circles Joins DTI’s Diskwento Caravan 2014

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- To acknowledge strong cooperation and support towards consumer welfare by giving out discounts on commodities and products for sale, OWWA – RWO 10 (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 10) invited three (3) active OFW Family Circles (OFCs)  to participate DTI’s (Department of Trade and Industry) two-day Diskwento Caravan themed “Presyong Panalo Para sa Mamimiling Pilipino” along with other partner agencies (RTWPB, TESDA & CONSUMERNET), distributors, suppliers and service providers last September 15 & 16, 2014 at the Gaston Park, Cagayan de Oro City.


“I am grateful with OWWA for inviting us to participate on this government program which enables us to promote our product as well”, one member exclaims. Thus, in order to enhance their knowledge in promoting their products and services, they are encouraged to avail OWWA’s Information Technology (IT) Program especially on venturing tri-media advertisements.


Among the groups who participated are OFCs within Cagayan de Oro City & Claveria, Misamis Oriental namely: HALO (Home Alliance Livelihood Organization) of Carmen, Claveria Migrant Ministry Association and Opol Sealand.

OWWA Celebrates 2014 National Maritime Week

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --- Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Office 10 spearheaded by Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)  Region 10 celebrates 2014 National Maritime Week slated on September 21 – 28 adopting IMO’s theme: “IMO Conventions: Effective Implementation” held at SM City Car Park, Cagayan de Oro City.


To focus attention on the importance of maritime safety, security and environment protection, members of the academe, private sectors and attached government agencies joined the week-long celebration which started off with a parade from Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) up to Upper Carmen – SM City.


The event aims to invigorate the participation of the four sectors of maritime industry: the domestic shipping, the overseas shipping, the shipbuilding and ship repair and the maritime manpower development, as well as the maritime education and training sector and other related groups. 


San Fernando City – OWWA RWO III, together with PRU Life UK, conducted financial literacy seminar for 126 children of OFWs in Bulacan on 22 November 2014 at the Guiguinto Municipal Gym, Guiguinto, Bulacan.


Children of OFWs ages 7 to 12 participated in the exciting and fun-filled activities lead by Pru Life UK. They were taught money-smart values shown on the episodes of Cha-Ching, Pru Life UK’s flagship financial literacy for the youth program.


Cha-Ching is a three-minute musical cartoon featured in Cartoon Network which introduces the four money management pillars – Earn, Save, Spend, Donate. It is a band composed of six cartoon characters, namely, Prudence, Zul, Justin, Bobby, Charity, and Pepper. Through this edutainment approach, children are provided with opportunities to begin practicing financial literacy skills at a young age.


Children enjoyed the activities based on these concepts. They were also able to meet the members of the Cha-Ching band, Zul and Prudence. Each kid received exciting Cha-Ching items, such as money box and kit which will surely help them be money-smart kids.


The activity was the fourth financial literacy program for kids conducted by the regional welfare office in partnership with Pru Life UK. In 2013, children of OFWs from Bataan, Bulacan, and Pampanga participated in the same program.




24 November 2014. Hundreds of aspiring Chemical Engineers rejoice as they hurdle the 2014 Chemical Engineering Board Examinations conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission. And of the 596 newly registered Chemical Engineers, EDSP Scholar and now Engr. Ellyza Joy M. Quintela soared high to land the third place in the examination.


Engr. Ellyza is the daughter of OFW Joel Ignacio Quintela, a seafarer who works in a Shell company and who inspired her to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering. “Gusto ko po talagang magka-title sa pangalan ko”; and this desire became her motivation to pursue college with flying colors. She took up her BS Chemical Engineering program in the University of the Philippines – Los Banos. Though a self-confessed “grade conscious” student; she, like any other UP student, has experienced sleepless nights and tiring days to satisfy all the academic requirements and deadlines of college life. She even admitted incurring a grade of 3.0 (passing grade) in a major subject, and had experienced taking up final examinations twice as a means of “removal”. These trials and challenges, however, did not stop Ellyza from pursuing her dreams. In fact, she even threw away her being “grade-conscious” in the latter years in college when her graduating with honors was assured.


On April 2014, Ellyza graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines and was recognized later in May by the beloved OWWA Administrator together with her fellow OWWA Scholar-Awardees.


An aspiring leader, exceptional student, and now, a professional; these are the words which exactly describe EDSP Scholar and now Engr. Roxanne A. Rosales as she passed the 2014 Chemical Engineering Board Examination. Engr. Roxanne is the daughter of OFW Simeon P. Rosales, a process operator working in the Equatorial Guinea.


Roxanne graduated from the Batangas State University with a degree in BS Chemical Engineering. She was the former Secretary of the OWWA RWO IV-A Scholars Circle and still an active and supportive alumna. She was also a former SK Chairperson of Brgy. Resplandor, San Pascual, Batangas. Through the handful activities of the OWWA RWO IV-A Scholars Circle, Roxanne was one of those responsible enough in the planning and logistics to make each youth activity possible. Despite her active participation in the Sangguniang Kabataan and the Scholars Circle, Roxanne never failed to give priority in her studies. In fact, she was awarded as the Best Thesis for her Department prior to her graduation and was recognized by the beloved OWWA Administration last May of 2014 as one of the achievers among OWWA Scholars.


Truly Roxanne is one of those youth who should serve as an example today; for being a government scholar must not merely rely on academic excellence or achievement, but also counts on one’s active participation in various youth development activities which could be a vital role for tomorrow’s leaders and professionals.

OWWA SOCCSKSARGEN Yields Another Pride

Mithrica Mae D. Fantone, or Mith as what her friends call her, exemplify an innocent beauty and an undoubtedly pleasing personality. Mith hails from Greenvalley, Midsayap located in the province of North Cotabato. A loving daughter to Mr. Danilo L. Fantone, a Filipino migrant worker manning a foreign vessel for 8 years in pursuit of an improved quality of life for his family.


Mith being a native of a peaceful municipality was stunned by what seemed to be foreign things and practices in the beginning of her journey to educational success. She even asked herself, “was I living under a rock?” This however, she took as a challenge. Mith worked herself out to adapt to the new culture of liberated people while keeping the good moral values her parents taught her back home.


Adjustment period wasn’t easy since Mith had to live a student life alone, away from home and her family. She gained friends who stood by her in difficult times, while some she lost. Mith always believed that it’s inevitable.


Having no idea to augment her parent’s income to support her studies, Mith was thankful she was able to avail the scholarship grant under the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration thru the Regional Welfare Office XII. She was motivated to strive harder than she used to, to reciprocate the efforts and sacrifices of her father working overseas. “After all, he was the key to my scholarship”, Mith emphasized.


Davao City, the center of Metro Davao, and the third most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines was never easy to live to especially for a teen like Mith. The cost of living is quite high. Since her allowance comes every month, she learned how to manage her finances responsibly. She even made a record book of her priority list taking into consideration her basic needs over her wants.


Mith admitted she had a hard time on her studies. Medical Laboratory Science wasn’t easy she said. Spending hours on books, dealing with disappointing examination results to sleepless nights of stress and pressure were some of her agonies during her college days. Those experiences however made her a stronger and better person.


She finished her course on March 2014 at San Pedro College in Davao City. After which, Mith underwent a review and later took the Medical Technology Licensure Examination in September 13 and 14, 2014.


On September 17, 2014 thru the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) website, Mith was informed about the examination result. She passed.


While it is often told that dependents of most Filipino migrant workers don’t end successful, OWWA through its young and vibrant scholars continues to prove the notions otherwise.



National Capital Region
RWO-NCR conducts OFW Family Day at the Makati Coliseum on  4 December 2014

The Regional Welfare Office - National Capital Region (RWO-NCR) celebrated the annual OFW Family Day at the Makati Coliseum on 4 December 2014, with the theme, “Ang Pasko ay kay saya  kapag  Pamilyang OFW ay sama-sama!”


The celebration aims to recognize the contributions of the OFW sector to the economy of the country. The event has become a much awaited celebration wherein OFWs and their  families gather in a simple yet exciting and fun-filled day of laughter and surprises.


The event was graced by Deputy Administrator Josefino I. Torres and Director Emma V. Sinclair who delivered their.


This year’s concept was inspired by colorful carnivals. The participants who joined the event were either in their vivid costumes or in color coordinated shirts to identify which city they are representing.


Aside from games, prizes and raffle draws, the event was filled with song and dance presentations from representatives of each city from NCR. They also showed their creative side by showing off their very own design of human Christmas tree. The most creative design has received a special prize from RWO-NCR.


Director Emma Sinclair during her    Welcome remarks for the participants of Family Day 2014 


D.A Torres during his message to the participants of  Family Day 2014


Director Emma V. Sinclair together with the winners of Human Christmas Tree Contest.


Director Emma V. Sinclair and PSD Chief  Ma.Teresa  Capa togethter  with the Grand Prize Raffle Winners.


Boracay OFC Dance Group performs a dynamic dance number for all of the participants of the event.