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June 12, 2010.

Advance Happy Independence Day to all Filipinos in Thailand and all over the world.

Bagong Pagsasama (New Camaraderie).

Bagong Bayanihan (New Synergy).

Bagong Pagbabago (New Renewal).

Mabuhay tayong lahat!

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At 5:00PM yesterday afternoon, Election 2010 came to a close. The turnout? About 700 voters.  So few? Perhaps, yes, especially considering that the estimated number of Pinoys in Thailand runs up to more than 10,000. But considering there were only around 500 voters who turned out the previous election, an increase of 200 more is already good news.

Siam Pinoy visited the Philippine Embassy this afternoon to get a few words from voters, as well as ask Embassy officials for comments regarding this year’s election. To some who have been here in Thailand for many years, the lack of information about the candidates is a major challenge. One voter said she relies heavily on what others say about the candidates, particularly for the presidency. Asking young people about who they think deserves to win, she says, is all she can do so her one vote is not wasted.

Another voter mentioned that election is such a hot topic that even her Yahoo! Group members have succumbed to heated discussions about the presidentiables, which she thinks has gone too far, considering that is not the purpose of the group in the first place.

Back home in Cebu, as one Election Watcher told us at the Embassy, her friends, whom she lead during Election times years back, were lucky to have this new automated way to vote this year. She reminisced about the times in the past, when she would read the ballots out one by one, until the early morning hours the day after elections. Back then, she says, Election Watchers were very watchful. The chairman of a precinct had to read out ballots while Watchers are behind her/him, with flashlights to make sure she/he does not call out a name different from the one that’s actually written on the ballot. She couldn’t even look into her handbag, without a Watcher scrutinizing what it is she looks into her handbag for!

For one who has never exercised her vote in the Philippines, it is comforting to know that there are still places back home, where election proceedings are taken very seriously. It is medicine to one’s disillusionment about Philippine politics, to hear that election stories back home are not just all about fraud, vote-buying, or rigging of the election process.

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In answer to the Governor of Bangkok’s call for residents to help in cleaning up the Rachaprasong area, which had become a makeshift home to hundreds of anti-government protesters for more than two weeks prior to Wednesday, May 19th, some Filipinos joined this morning’s clean up, which started in Silom Road.

Many different kinds of people, from ordinary Silom residents clad in shorts and a T-shirt, to the more made up faces in the persons of Academy Fantasia contestants, were there promptly at 9am in Lumphini park. After a short program, where the Governor , M.R.Sukhumbhand Paribatra, spoke about the theme of the clean up, “Together We Can”, volunteers proceeded promptly to the different areas, starting at Silom.

It was a very organized affair, with people ready to hand out gloves and masks underneath the Saladaeng BTS station. There were people giving out black plastic garbage bags when we were starting to clean up, and along the whole stretch of Silom, there was water, soda or green tea being given to volunteers.

An announcer was thanking everyone through a public address system hooked up to a pick up truck, driving slowly along Silom as volunteers cleaned. In Thai, the announcer also reminded people of free lunch at Lumphini Park, and when we ran out of water while scrubbing the streets of Silom, the announcer was quick to ask Silom residents for more water so we can continue with our work.

There was no need for leaders to shout out orders, as people, with their gloved hands, scooped up garbage from the streets and into garbage bags. Some went on to cleaning ATM machines and phone booths. Others, worked on taking off stickers from street posts. And some of us who had the energy, went off scrubbing one side of Silom Road from end to end.

There were all kinds of people; Thais, farangs (Caucasian foreigners) and us, the few Filipinos. We were joined by Ms. Helen Villanueva from the company, Pedigree. More wanted to come and help, like Josephil Saraspe. But after hours of waiting for transportation from Phet Kasem to Bangkok, they had to abandon the desire to help, and settle on the fact that they did try to get to Lumphini in time for the clean up.

Filipino Expats in Thailand

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My apologies for the late post regarding this advisory. I am sure that most of you (and our forum readers) have already received this. But for the sake of those who are not based here in the Kingdom and are planning to visit Thailand, this is for you. And also please read the latest travel advisory from The Department of Foreign Affairs for Filipinos wanting to visit Thailand. Also for those who are already here, Mr. Fitness (an SiamPinoy.Net active member) shared several good tips that you can make use of in times like these. Read all the tips here.

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY ADVISORY

To : The Filipino community in Thailand

Re : Political tension in Bangkok

Due to the escalating political tension in Bangkok the past three days, the Embassy would like to advise the community to take the following precautionary measures:

1. Do not take sides in the ongoing political crisis;

2. Refrain from going near any of the rally sites or its vicinity; and

3. With the present tense situation, it is best to stay at home, as much as possible.

Please be guided accordingly.

(Original signed)
ANTONIO V. RODRIGUEZ
Ambassador

15 May 2010

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Mama Mary Photo

Filipinos in Bangkok can now attend a holy mass in Tagalog. Finally after years of living in Thailand, we are blessed with this opportunity.

This is especially good for those families with kids and you’d like them to hear some Tagalog words, sing Tagalog songs, and yes, meet Tagalog-speaking people. Our daughter, who is 8, and who only mostly hears Ilonggo at home, asked in the middle of the mass, “Mommy, what language is this?” Nge!

But it was so great that this has been started. There’s even a fellowship after the mass, so your kids get to bond with other kids of Filipino parents. Feel free to bring something Filipino to share with others at the end of the mass.

Next week, I have to make sure I’ve learnt how to say “Ama Namin” come Sunday, kasi yung Ilonggo version lang ang alam ko, eh. Haha!

For details about the mass and the location of the church please visit this Filipinos in Thailand Forum.

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Written By: Hedda (http://www.heddatan.com)

Visiting Thailand would require one to have good knowledge of Thai culture, for apart from the similarities in our appearances and geography, the culture of the Thais and the Filipinos are as different as night and day.

The following bits of information are a combination of years of experiences living in Thailand of Siam Pinoy administrators, contributions in the forum discussions by Siam Pinoy members, and brochures from numerous sites visited by Siam Pinoy admins over the years of enjoying Thai hospitality.

Ours is an attempt to simply make any visitor to Thailand, Filipino or otherwise, be aware of certain important aspects of Thai culture so he/she may fully enjoy his/her stay in the Kingdom of Smiles. The Thais are a very hospitable people, ready to befriend a foreigner, but could also be offended if we don’t follow certain ways of conduct while we are enjoying such hospitality and friendliness.

Enjoy your stay in the Kingdom of Thailand! And to the Filipino visitor or expat, learn as much as you can from this article, and hopefully, as you discover more about this amazing country, you will also be generous towards others and contribute your knowledge in our forum. Please find the link to our forum threads here.

Apart from knowing how and when to do the “wai” (the standard Thai greeting) the next 2 most important cultural tidbit anyone wishing to visit and/or live in Thailand ought to know of are “chai yen yen” and “mai pen rai”.

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‘When a banana has sprouted and bore fruits, it’s time to cut it down’, this, was one of FVR’s (former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos) messages to the Pinoys working and living abroad, expressed at the dialogue with the Filipino community at the Philippine Embassy on August 18, 2009.

FVR KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT AIT’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Like most Filipinos who have been living and working abroad for a good number of years now, I too, am disillusioned with the current political situation in our country. And so with heavy shoulders, I went to the Philippine Embassy last August 19, 2009, expecting more of the same scene when politicians come to visit: a lot of BS, nothing substantial.

Surprisingly however, FVR (Fidel V. Ramos), our former Philippine President, turned out to be a breath of fresh air. I’ve witnessed his quick and ready humor on television for several occasions in the past. And who could ever forget the image of him making a jump with arms raised in triumph at EDSA during the 1986 People Power Revolution?

FVR started his dialogue with leaders of the Pinoy community in Thailand by going back memory lane, wisely reminding everyone in the room of the fact that the Philippines became the first ever democracy in Asia in 1898.

With that, he went on to allay fears that he was here in Thailand to start his political campaign or to endorse somebody in the upcoming elections. He was invited by the Asian Institute of Technology to come to Thailand and be AIT’s keynote speaker at its 50th Anniversary. Along with that, FVR is also to receive an Honorary Doctoral Degree in Technology.

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If your idea of a party includes a walk on a red carpet and being photographed like a Hollywood celebrity, then you would have enjoyed the grand launching of Hotel Vista last August 28, 2009, in Soi 4, Pattaya. Hotel Vista’s owners, the Vannaying family, sure know how to give a blast of a party!

There was an endless flow of wine and cocktail drinks and the food would have passed a guest’s discriminating taste. Guests were entertained from early evening till the wee hours of the morning with a variety of activities. Highlights of the night included song performances from jazz, to pop, to ballads, and to disco, which led on to lively dancing from mostly the lovely ladies of the Filipino community.

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In compliance with the Teachers Council of Thailand Rules and Regulations for Testing and Evaluation of Knowledge of Foreigners in Applying for License to Practice the Teaching Profession B.E. 2549 (2006) Clause 2 (1) (2) and (3) [page 2], the English Program Coordinating Center – Northern Region has tasked Anubaan Chiang Mai School to host a Thai Language, Thai Culture and Professional Ethics Course on August 14-16 at Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel.

The course will cover the 20 hours required by the Teachers Council of Thailand (Evaluation of Knowledge for Practicing the Teaching Profession: Thai Language, Thai Culture and Professional Ethics Training Course [page 6-7]) to qualify a foreign teacher who has successfully completed the course to receive a certificate to be used in the application for the Teaching License, given that he/she has complied with all the requirements (Rules and Regulations for Testing and Evaluation of Knowledge of Foreigners in Applying for License to Practice the Teaching Profession B.E. 2549 (2006) Clause 1-6 [page 1-2]).

More details here

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Consular Outreach Schedule

In its efforts to reach-out to the various Filipino communities in and outside Bangkok, the Philippine Embassy has scheduled the following mobile consular services:

9 August 2009

Holy Redeemer Church
Ruam Rudee
8:00 a.m. to 12 Noon

Ekamai International School * (Tentative)
1 to 5 p.m.

15-16 August 2009

Metropole Hotel
Phuket, Thailand
9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Consular Outreach Team will be at the above venues to offer PASSPORT, DUAL CITIZENSHIP and LEGALIZATION of documents services.

More details here

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