The Freeman - - OPINION -

As I am writ­ing this col­umn, I am in Dal­las, Texas, as a guest and the key­note speaker for the fifth an­niver­sary and in­duc­tion of of­fi­cers of the Hili­gaynon Com­mu­nity Amer­ica Texas, Inc. This group’s mem­ber­ship en­com­passes those who come from the prov­inces in Western Visayas which in­clude Iloilo, Ak­lan, Capiz, Guimaras, An­tique, and Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal. There will also be del­e­gates com­ing in from other parts of the United States which makes this event a high­ly­par­tic­i­pated and highly-an­tic­i­pated gath­er­ing held ev­ery year. Do not ask me why, of all peo­ple, they chose me to speak, be­cause I also do not know the rea­sons. What I do know is that this is a very vi­brant Filipino com­mu­nity here in Texas that has a very sig­nif­i­cant pres­ence in Western Visayas ow­ing to the var­i­ous pro­grams and projects they are spon­sor­ing in that part of the coun­try.

We need more Filipino com­mu­ni­ties like this. It is to our best in­ter­est as a peo­ple and as an im­mi­grant com­mu­nity in for­eign soil to pre­serve and main­tain our own cul­tural iden­tity, lan­guage, and val­ues while we try to as­sim­i­late into the norms of this adop­tive coun­try. It is in­cum­bent upon us to pass on to our chil­dren our own won­der­ful tra­di­tions so that it will not be lost to the next gen­er­a­tion what it means to be truly Filipino.

The event’s theme is fo­cused on “palang­gaanay” or car­ing. This is a timely re­minder as we are in the midst of the Christmas sea­son that in­vites us to bring unto oth­ers the in­tan­gi­ble gifts of joy, love, and hope. It is also fit­ting be­cause in this mod­ern world of in­di­vid­u­al­ism, ma­te­ri­al­ism, and in­dif­fer­ence, sin­cerely lov­ing the least of our brethren seem to be a rar­ity nowa­days.

I hope that through the ex­am­ple of the Hili­gaynon Com­mu­nity Amer­ica Texas, Inc., there will sprout more or­ga­ni­za­tions that have the same drive, en­ergy and de­ter­mi­na­tion to pur­sue a vi­sion-mis­sion of serv­ing Filipinos both in the US and in the Philip­pines.

This col­umn is not a sub­sti­tute for pro­fes­sional le­gal ad­vice ob­tained from a US-li­censed im­mi­gra­tion at­tor­ney. The in­for­ma­tion con­tained herein does not con­sti­tute a war­ranty or guar­an­tee or le­gal ad­vice re­gard­ing a reader’s spe­cific im­mi­gra­tion case. No at­tor­ney-client re­la­tion­ship is and shall be estab­lished with any reader.

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