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Filcom Meeting: A way to reach out to Filipinos in The Netherlands



By Jack O. Apostol
The Hague-The Netherlands
March 30, 2018


 
 


Philippine Embassy-The Hague-March 22: Our government has diplomatic relations with many countries around the world. This is manifested by the presence of Philippine Embassies in those host countries.


But, what does the Philippine Embassy do for its citizens in the receiving state aside from its consular services? Of course, this question is something not difficult to answer for Filipinos who are working and living abroad. If you asked them, you could expect almost a similar answer – to promote the interests of our citizens in the host country.

Yes, this holds true in the Netherlands!



Our Philippine Embassy in the Netherlands opens its door to Filipino leaders of different local community organizations by holding a Filcom Meeting every year. Filcom stands for Filipino community in the Netherlands.  

Holding a Filcom Meeting is the Philippine Embassy’s creative way of bringing itself closer to the hearts of the Filipino community. No question, it becomes instrumental for making the Embassy in The Hague more effective and efficient in terms of conveying information to its citizens all over Holland. In short, our Embassy has transformed leaders of different organizations into vital partners in its efforts to reach out to the Filipino community especially those who live in the distant provinces of the Netherlands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just last March 22, 2018, our Philippine Embassy in The Hague hosted a semi-annual meeting for the Filipino community. As usual, the honorable Jaime Victor Ledda, the dynamic Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, presided over the meeting. He was assisted by Ms. Shirley Banquico, who is the current First Secretary and Consul of the Embassy.  

Ambassador Ledda highlighted the important accomplishments of the Philippine Embassy during the past year 2017. He also mentioned some of the latest events of the Embassy, including the forum held recently last March 17th in celebration of National Women’s Month 2018,  and other up-coming activities such as the Legal Clinic to be conducted by Atty. Elizabeth Pangalanan, Consular Outreach Program, Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) registration, to name the few.

The meeting ended with a sumptuous dinner consisting of palatable Filipino cuisine and pleasant conversation with other community leaders. The night seemed to be a perfect opportunity for us to develop a strong camaraderie and collaboration with other leaders for future projects. Certainly I had the opportunity to engage in a light talk with the founder of MCVO, Kap Bhong David and MCVO Secretary Jun Canares.



At past 8 in the evening, the dinner was over, but the feeling of gratefulness and pride for being part of the Filcom Meeting was still reverberating. After leaving the Embassy building, I told to my FILMIS colleagues, “You know, I feel at home at the Philippine Embassy!”            

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