Ugnayang Bayan

17 April 2008

Address: c/o Philippine Mission, 47 Ave. Blanc, 1202 Geneva

No. 1 Vol. 3

Editor - Rudy Guacena Contributors:
Rody de Guzman Joseph Sycip Jessica Aqui Raymund Flores Shirley Scheidigger Rey Marcelo Tess Baarde

PURPOSE OF UGNAYANG BAYAN (Art.I Sec.2 UB Statutes) The Ugnayang Bayan was formed to serve as an independent alliance, or a central body uniting the various Filipino groups, formal organizations, and individuals in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud, Switzerland.
We regularly receive e-mails from different sources but this one is special. Thank you Bro. Rey. Dear Rudy G., May the Grace and Peace of the Lord be with you all. Earth. And our mission: We strive for holiness of life, as we commit to renew the temporal order through our work with poor, our work for justice,and our work for life. We are servants of the Church, working to renew her children through every generation, until the Lord returns once again. In behalf of the Community of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, I would like you and the UB to know that the CFCFFL is existing specially here in Geneva and to the entire Switzerland and all over European and Nordic countries. By the way Ambassador Erlinda Basilio and Ambassador Falcon of Bern are both members of the CFCFFL Hand Maids of the Lord. Bro. I think it's about time to have a regular communications and fellowship specially in regards to all the activities here in Geneva, let's help each other and have unity. We can do it Bro. with the help of our Mighty God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ our savior. We know, UB'S purpose, goals and your vision. We do all know why you're doing these, it is for the interest of the Filipino specially in Geneva. MABUHAY KAYO, UGNAYANG BAYAN!!!!! OUR JOY IN CHRIST God Bless, Rey & Emma MARCELO CFCFFL Coordinator Geneva and Lausanne Area

The Philippine Eagle

(Pithecophaga jefferyi) is one of the rarest, largest and most powerful birds in the world. This bird of prey, or raptor, belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is also known as "Haribon" or "Haring Ibon," meaning "Bird King." from Wikipedia

Inside this issue: Cultural Evening and UPR Focus on FILSVA , 2

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you to all the informations regarding the activities you're having in Ugnyang Bayan, we do appreciate it very much. I guess you all know that the Community of Couples for Christ had Split, but we are still the same with our Catholic Christian faith and vision. The CFCFFL is an evangelistic and missionary community committed to become families empowered by the Holy Spirit to Renew the Face of the


Some activities of the CFCFFL
Sto. Niño Trip 3

Light A Candle for Truth


X-Mas Celebration 3 2007 Sans-Papier 4

2nd Sunday CLS in Bussigny
Travail Au Noir 4

With Bishop Cantillas in Geneva; next photos, Brothers and Sisters in La Pelouse.

Tagalog Classes:
Pokwang Concert 24 May 2008 and Agenda 5

The Tagalog Classes for Beginners, a project of UB Director Charly Hernandez is ongoing at Mabuhay Store every Wednesday at 1830 hours. For those interested, send the UB an e-mail of intent at .

Ugnayang Bayan

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Philippine Ambassador Thanks LDS Church for Cultural Event There is an enlivening presence of Filipinos in the Switzerland Geneva area. And so, to mark the United Nations Day, the Geneva Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sponsored a Philippine Cultural Evening at the Geneva Stake (diocese) Center on October 20, 2007. This was held in collaboration with Ugnayang Bayan, the coordinating group of the Filipino community in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud. One of the honored guests was Ambassador H.E. Erlinda F. Basilio. She is the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the U.N. and other international organizations in Geneva. She addressed the audience of over 300 members and guests. She expressed her desire for all Filipinos to integrate into the Geneva Community and thanked the Mormons for their kindness in hosting such an event. Rody de Guzman, a Filipino member of the Geneva Ward, coordinated the event with Ms.Tess Baarde, the chairperson of Ugnayang Bayan. The welcome remarks were given by Pierre-Richard Bonny, President of the Geneva Stake. Pierre-Richard Bony and Rody The audience stood and sang the Philippine national anthem "Lupang Hinirang" de Guzman in the native language. They then enjoyed a program where a series of Filipino folkdances were performed by the Filipino Catholic Community of Geneva/Tropang Pinoy and Migrante (a Geneva-based migrant workers organization). The audience was favored with hymns sung by two choirs, first the Filipino Choir of Pope John XXIII Centre followed by the Christian Church Fellowship International Singing Ambassadors. A group of young people from the Come to Jesus Fellowship performed a hand mime under black lights. The closing musical numbers were offered by the LDS missionaries who serve within the Geneva Stake. They sang "I Am a Child of God" in Filipino, French, Spanish and English and then Sister Maren Jacobson sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" accompanied by Elder Andrew Reid on the piano and Elder Andrew Nelson on the violin. Many in the audience were obviously touched by the beautiful renditions. The audience learned about the history of the Philippines and their 7,107 islands and the growth of the LDS Church in that country. Rody de Guzman ended the program by sharing some of the beliefs of the LDS church and then bore a tender testimony expressing his love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it changed his life and the life of his family after joining the church in Geneva. Following the program the LDS missionaries and members mingled among the attendees while they ate from a buffet of Filipino ethnic food and other foods from around the world. Article and photos submitted by Rody De Guzman

Ambassador H. E. Erlinda F. Basilio

The Filipino Choir of Pope John XXIII Centre

Filipino Catholic Community of Geneva

Photo of RP delegation last 17 April at the Universal Periodic Review inside Salle XVII at Palais des Nations. The UPR is a new mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council that will enable a review the human rights situation of each country within a four year cycle. Sister Maren Jacobson and Elder Andrew Nelson

No. 1 Vol. 3

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Organizations’ Activities:
FILSVA of Lausanne is bustling with activities. We see their two Officers, also Directors of the Ugnayang Bayan always present during meetings of the UB. To Shirley Scheidegger and and Nessie Tome, the Filipino community salutes both of you. They have two major events coming up : 1. A fund raising event for building a church in Darasa, Tanauan, Batangas (Nuestra Señora de la Soledad parish) and scholarships for the Urious University in Butuan City. The item is a dinner/dance on Saturday, 10 May at Maison de SaintJean located at Av. De Cour 138, 1007 Lausanne. 2. The following Saturday, 17 May 2008 will be a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Mariastein in Soluthurn, near the boundary of Basel. PRESS RELEASE 1

rish, in Geneva, Switzerland last Saturday, 16 February 2008 at 4 p.m.

Magnificat, -- a powerful prayer for social transformation. Article and photos submitted by Joseph Sycip.

After a brief introduction, the CBCP statement, “The Truth will Set our Geneva Filipinos “Light a Country Free” was Candle for Truth” read. Being an ecumenical event, this was followed by GENEVA, Switzerland - In response the reading of “Truth is to the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Under Siege”, a statement Conference of the Philippines from the main Protes(CBCP) for prayer and communal action following the exposé of the tant group, National CounZTE-NBN corruption scancil of Churches of the Phidal, some concerned Christians, lippines’ (NCCP) together with groups like the Geneva Forum for Philippine The program ended with Concerns, Migrante, Akthe lighting of candles for bayan and Bagtasan held a Truth and as requested by “Light a Candle for Truth” prayer meeting at the the CBCP, the participants sideroom of John XXIII Pa- also recited in prayer the

The Sto. Niño Pilgrimage Bishops Martin Gächter and Precioso Cantillas SVD officiate during the ceremonies of the Sto. Niño pilgrimage last 26 Jan. 2008. Below, Jessica Aqui, FCCG chairperson near the statues.


UGNAYANG BAYAN E-mail: Websites:

« UB Filipino Christmas Party 2007 »
The successful UB Filipino Community Christmas Party Celebration held last December 1, 2007 at Cepta, under the theme “A Room at the In for All!!!! (Luke 2:120). Integration: bridging cultures toward an open and multicultural Swiss Society” culminated the Ugnayang Bayan activities in 2007. Close to 600 people celebrated Christmas together in Cepta. The event showcased Filipino culture and talent, showing double the number of performances (as well as participating groups/ association) versus 2006 celebration. The event was also a celebration of the collaborative involvement and partnership which the Filipino Community has with the various integration commissions/bodies in Geneva. There were many prominent external guests (e.g., Office of the Mayor etc) who attended the celebration and were impressed. On top, an excellent dinner meal was also provided to everyone for free, thanks to the generous contributions given by the various Filipino organizations and individuals who donated food/cash. Truly, UB has come a long way in making this event a memorable and seamless affair. This year’s 2008 event, UB is looking to bring more traditional Philippine Christmas activities like Simbang Gabi, parol-making and caroling, as well as a taste of our typical Christmas delicacies like puto bumbong and bibingka. Submitted by Chairperson Tess Baarde Lest we forget, it was a very good Christmas Party last year !

This is one the projects of the UB, initiated by Mr. Raymundo Flores, VP External Affairs

With the support of the Geneva City Council Day of solidarity with undocumented persons

Undocumented youth: denied a future ?
27 April 2007, 11h00 to 17h00 Salle du Môle, Pâquis Organised by the Collectif de soutien aux sans-papiers (Undocumented persons solidarity collective)
Program 11h00 Welcome: Ueli Leuenberger, National councillor, President of the collective. 12h00 Theatre: short scenes performed by undocumented persons 12h30 Meal (free), drinks at your own expense 14h00 Round table discussion, introduced by the Mayor of Geneva, Mr Patrice Mugny. With the participation of Denise Efionayi, collaborator at the Swiss migration forum (forum suisse des migrations), Pierre-Alain Niklaus, permanent representative of anlaufstelle für Sans-Papiers Basel, Christiane Perregaux, President of the Swiss-Immigrant contact centre (Centre de contact Suisse-Immigrés). (Martine Brunschwig Graf, National councillor), a representative from the Geneva Department of solidarity and employment (to be confirmed) a representative from the Geneva Department of Public Education. Chair: Anne Frédérique Widmann, journalist. 16h00 Closing performance: music and dance groups 17h00 Conclusion of proceedings Collectif de soutien aux sans-papiers : Rte de Acacias 25, 1227 Genève Tél : 022 301 63 33; Permanence ouverte le lundi, mardi et vendredi, de 9h00 Editor’s Note-The brochure was shortened to show only the major details to save space. « Pas

de travail au noir » - details at

Our VP for External Affairs Mr. Raymund Flores and this writer had the opportunity to attend the session on the issue of « travail au noir » last 24 January 2008. The speakers and their topics were: 1. 2. 3. Definition - travail au noir 1. la non-déclaration de travailleurs aux assurances sociales; 2. la non-déclaration de revenus du travail de la part de bénéficiaires de prestations sociales (chômage, AI, aide sociale); 3. la non-déclaration de revenu soumis à l'impôt à la source; 4. l'emploi de travailleurs étrangers en situation illégale, dont on rappellera qu'il est d'autant moins acceptable que les accords de libre circulation avec l'Europe élargie offrent désormais aux entreprises des possibilités accrues en matière d'autorisations de travail. M. Alain de Felice - Inspecteur du Travail et Juriste, Présentation de la nouvelle législation (définition, organisation et sanctions) M. Michel Gisler - Directeur OCIRT, Organisation et contrôles à Genève M. Phillip Ecuer - DirecteurAdjoint OCIRT, Main d’ouvre étrangère: quelles possibilities de recrutement?

The topics were professionally presented and focused more on the employer; the subject matter was far away from the witch hunt idea which many of our compatriots would like to think. During the question and answer forum, one Latin American lady asked this: « What about the Latin Americans and the Philippines who work without permit in relation to the article of Geneva’s Mayor which favors the regularization process? » The answer was « It will be treated on a case to case basis. »

Some IMPORTANT DATES to keep in your calendar.
Editor Note: A full Calendar of Activities will be released in next issue of the UB Newsletter once we have consolidated all the activities involving the Filipino Community.

a) UB General Assembly Meetings at the Phil.Mission Consular Office: Note: This is always the first Thursday of the first month of the quarter. - April 17, 2008 – 2nd Quarter UB General Assembly - July 17, 2008 – 3rd Quarter UB General Assembly - Oct 16, 2008 – 4th Quarter UB General Assembly b) Philippine Independence Day Celebration in Bern –June 1, 2008 “Salu-salo para sa Kalayaan mula Bruder Klaus hanggang Rathaus” c) UB Philippines Independence Day Celebration in Geneva – June 14, 2008 (Sat) d) FilCom Migrant Weekend Celebration in Fribourg – November 8 (Sat) e) UB Fil.Com Christmas Party Celebration in Geneva – December 6, 2008 (Sat) f) Concerts: - May 24, 2008 – Pokwang “Just for Laughs!” –for the benefit of Bantay-Bata - Oct 12-13, 2008 – UP Singing Ambassadors (tentative)

An evening full of laughter